Play Like a Pro
Like many of us, we’ve been playing the game of golf for years now. Putting in as much time as we do here at Mountain Glen, however, it’s easy to forget that we were beginners once too. The ages may vary, as well as beginning skills, but we all had to start somewhere. The funny thing about the game of golf, is that often, more seasoned players, are quick to lend tips and tricks into how to improve the actual act of playing the game but often just sit back and complain when a players “etiquette” is in question. We all, kind of, know how to properly conduct ourselves during the course of a game but generally assume anyone who is “discourteous” is just being rude. Have you ever thought that maybe they just don’t know yet? Sometimes it’s just going to take practice to improve your personal game, but if you really want to play like a pro, it’s nice to know the rules of etiquette from the get go.
A general problem that is easily addressed, is time management. If you’re new to the game, don’t feel that you have to rush, take your time and do the best you can. Your swing and skills are going to come with time and that is to be expected. However, if you’re are consistently the last in your group or the folks behind you are constantly waiting, then you may need to pick up the pace a bit. The true practice in your stroke can be done outside the realm of a game itself, so when you’re actually on the course, be mindful of those around you enough to not hold anyone else up. Don’t waste more than a minute or so looking for lost balls, don’t “overthink” a relatively normal shot because your new and “doubtful”, just play your game at a reasonable pace and make a mental, or literal if needed, check-list of things you need to work on, and then practice in your own time. Setting reasonable expectations in relation to your current skills is just good golf in general anyways.
Another easy, yet not so easily addressed situation, is visually and audibly being aware of your surroundings. Even the newest player to the game, usually knows not to go running around the course like a madman. However some folks, even those who HAVE been playing for awhile, may not take into consideration their fellow players as much as they should. Avoiding distractions to other players by remaining quiet during putts and such may go without saying, but it’s also a good idea to NOT practice your swing within eyesight, for example, while a fellow golfer is about to tee up. It’s not as blatant as whispering in their ear, but in general is frowned upon. You’re about to have your turn, save yourself the practice swings for when you step up.
As usual we could go on for days about do’s and don’ts and properly handling different situations. Many of these things are only going to be learned over the course of playing the game though. A general rule of thumb for both newer players, as well as something worth reminding the more seasoned players about, is remembering that golf has a funny bit of karma attached to it. Generally speaking, what goes around comes around, and if you treat others the way you’d like to be treated the golf overlords will be sure to look out for you. Repair that divot. Rake the bunker you just got out of like your life depended on it. Turn your cell phone off during the course of the game. These seem like little things and the good news is that they are. If ever in doubt about anything you may not yet be familiar with on the course just ask yourself, “how would I feel if I came across that situation from someone else?”. Chances are if you yourself wouldn’t appreciate it, nobody else will either.