Ask The Pro

By Eric Lohman

Ask The Pro

The New and Improved Proper Golf Course Etiquette and Style

Everything changes with time. Everything. The Oreo is getting smaller, people are running faster, cars are becoming more energy efficient and Donald Trump is crazier than that comb over (okay that isn’t new, but an easy zing!!!) Same goes for what is expected of everyday golfers. By expected I mean how a golfer should act, dress, clean up after themselves, their personal and group’s pace of play, etc. etc.

In the old days when mules pulled your pull cart and sheep grazed the unkempt turf, golf was an experience only enjoyed by elite, traditionalists who could actually name an opera or two or better yet the difference between a French, British or German composure. Golf now is played by the likes of rock and roll stars, kids, minorities, woman, the handicapped, and the cool kids. What does Tom Brady and Kelly Slater have in common other than my wife finds them “attractive” and has them on her “list”? They play golf. How about band members from Pearl Jam, No Doubt or Motley Crue? Golf baby. How about them apples, girls, girls, girls????

So now that golf has become cool, the overall vibe of golf must remain cool to not only retain our new golfers, but also encourage others to step up to the plate and find their enjoyment in it. How do we do that? Casual and fun dress with lots and lots of options is one way. Wear what you want to wear, wear what you feel comfortable in, wear what you can afford, wear your style, not someone elses.

Use golf equipment which only makes it easier to score well like belly putters (stay away USGA!!!), juiced up golf balls and 460 cc sized drivers. Some card shark once said “if you aint cheatin, you aint trying.” We aren’t encouraging you to cheat Lance, but to take advantage of the resources allotted to all golfers.

We need to speed the heck up!!!! A pace of play which promotes god speed and not sun burns is a must. A round of golf is not a commitment to get skin cancer, it should be a test of skill, endurance and patience. But our patience has ended for the person who thinks their guest fee entitles them to play a round in over 4 hours and 15 minutes. Either keep up or move over. The fun golf train is coming through!!!! All aboard!!!

Course conditions have to be good and consistent wherever someone elects to play. To do that we all have to do a better job of raking bunkers, fixing divots, repairing ball markers and throwing away our trash. No one is entitled to playing a shot, a hole, or a round and leaving the facility worse off than they found it. Pick up after yourselves, treat the golf course like your mom’s fancy living room on holidays. Don’t mess it up or you can’t sit at the adults table anymore. If you hit a bunker shot, clean your shoes before you enter the green. Tap your shoes a few times with our sand wedge. If you hit a bunker shot or pitch shot and the sand or divot goes all over the green, please clean it up. Your mom isn’t going to do it for you. Why should the people playing behind you do it? Why should we?

It is time to simply play some fun golf. Whether you hit a good shot or not so good a shot, you still should have a smile on your face and thankful to be outside, to be with family and friends, to be athletic, to challenge yourself. To be cool. The game of golf loves you. It is time you love it back!!!!!


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