By BRUCE MEADOWS
How is your etiquette ???
If you are a good golfer, a mediocre one or somebody who is struggling to find your game, there is one aspect of golf that we can all learn, exercise and learn from to make the game more meaningful and enjoyable.
We’re talking about golf etiquette, which most players understand but not all observe . . . even the good players.
Golf etiquette is relatively simple to follow and can pay dividends to you and to golfers with whom you play.
I recently was given a book by Dave Herrington, former Santa Rosa JC golf coach – the program has been unfortunately jettisoned for now – who teaches a golf class at Fairgrounds GC, entitled “Easy Golf Etiquette” by Michael Thomas.
The small book is a quick read and quite simple to digest, as the title implies. Chapters include “Prior to the Round,” “On the Tee Box,” “In the Fairway or Rough,” “On the Green,” as well as a “Spectator’s Guide,” “Conclusion,” and “Golf Terminology.”
As Thomas writes in his introduction, “It may seem tedious at first, but the rules of golf etiquette exist simply to keep the golf course operating smoothly and to make rounds enjoyable and safe for you, your playing partners and all the other golfers with whom you are sharing the course.”
Thomas mentions things that seem obvious, but are not always followed, such as keeping your cell phone turned off! If you’ve ever had a playing partner’s phone go off in the middle of your swing, you know what I mean.
We all hit our share of bad shots, some more than others, but Thomas suggests you “keep your temper.” It not only affects your playing partners, but often leads you do duplicate the effort on your next shot.
“Don’t yell or throw clubs or pout,” cautions Thomas. “Nobody wants to play with someone who reacts that way to every bad shot or putt.”
In “On the Tee Box,” Thomas talks about observing the “honor” rule – golfer with the low score on the last hole tees off first — unless your playing partners don’t really care.
And he strongly suggests playing “ready golf,” which I definitely endorse. I’ve often addressed by ball while a playing partner is agonizing over what club to use, the wind direction, etc. If challenged, I just explain, “well, I’m ready and you’re not.”
Thomas talks about replacing divots, repairing ball marks on the green and raking bunkers. These are simple tasks but not only make things better for golfers behind you, but also help maintain a golf course.
He also mentions not hitting until it’s safe, yelling “fore” when appropriate letting faster groups “play through,” especially if your group is not maintaining a reasonable pace.
Thomas writes about limiting practice swings and the time spent looking for lost balls, and taking an extra club when prudent . . . like if you are in a greenside bunker, take your sand wedge and your putter with you.
These are all obviously common sense suggestions, but acts not always as “common” as they should be.
You can Google “Michael Thomas, Easy Golf Etiquette” . . . paperback books are only $4.99.
Maybe this little book can help your game, or that of a golfer you know.
Coming Up . . .
At Santa Rosa G&CC . . .
Spring Golf Clinics
Take a clinic from 2022 LPGA Western Section Teacher of the Year Jessica Reese. Get ready for spring golf with clinics that are designed to knock strokes off your scorecard. There is something for everyone, from new golfers to advanced on course clinics. To book a clinic or lesson, call the pro shop at 707-546-6617, or email Jessica.
New To Golf: Get Golfing Clinic. For newer golfer that are developing the skills needed to play. Last session is on course. Thursdays April 6-27th for 4 weeks. 90 minute class . . . $300 12:30-2:00. Located in the Game On section of the website.
On-Course Clinic. 2.5 Hours of playing instruction. This clinic covers trouble shots, pre shot routine, sand, decision making, and green reading. April 13 from 9-11:30 . . . $150.
New Lesson Prices starting April 1st. . .1 Hour Lesson $150 Non-Member, $140 Member of SRCC . . .Half Hour Lesson $80 Non-Member, $75 for Member of SRCC . . .9 Hole Playing Lesson $300.
At Bennett Valley . . .
At Foxtail . . .
Get Ready for the Masters with Foxtail’s Par Three Contest. We set up 9 holes on the south and you get to play the same yardages as the Famous Master’s Tournament! April 8, 12pm. Just $15 per person. 4 Flight: Adult/Adult, Adult Child under 13, Adult Child 13-18, or the FUN Flight.
CourseCo Championship! April 15th. Pick your best foursome and play in a qualifier for our Annual Trip to Pullman, Wash. at Palouse Ridge GC at Washington State University. Format for Qualifying is 1 Best Ball Gross + 1 Best Ball Net. Championship is a 5 person scramble includes Pro from Foxtail. Championship is July 22 & 23
Valley of the Moon . . .
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