Ten Golf Traditions The PGA Won’t Tell You About
The PGA doesn’t spell these out in their manual, but they are deeply ingrained on the course. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Here is a handy list of rules to know and live by the next time you’re on the green.
1. Silence shows respect: Golfing is a test of concentration as much as it is a social affair. When somebody is hitting, be sure to not do anything to distract them. You’ll become a lot less popular and probably a good scapegoat for a bad shot.
2. Tidy up after you’re done: It’s courtesy to fill the divot you made, fix your ball marks and rake your bunker- and put the rake in an unobtrusive place once you’re done. This is because you don’t want to make the shot more difficult for the people behind you.
3. It’s courtesy to offer to ‘tend the pin’: Be sure to offer to hold the pin in place until the putt gets close to the hole if you see someone that has a long putt. Also be sure to ask someone off the green if they want the pin left in or out.
4. Yell ‘Fore’ if you’re hitting a wayward shot: If the shot you’re hitting is likely to land near someone else, yell ‘Fore’ to give them a heads up. If it lands near someone, be sure to apologize.
5. Unless your partner concedes, putt it out: The hole isn’t done until the ball is in the cup. Conceding the shot is a courtesy that can only be granted by your opponent. Don’t ever ask for it! Another thing- a Gimme Putt is a Gimme Putt only if it’s ‘inside the leather’, or so close to the cup that its shorter than the length of your putter from ball to cup.
6. If a group is faster than you, it’s courtesy to let them play through: No one will like or want to tee up with you if you’re always holding up the pace of play. Showing courtesy in such a situation is much, much better than trying to show the hole who’s boss.
7. Tip the course’s employees well: It’s courtesy to tip the caddies, bag boys and the beverage cart well. If it wasn’t for them, your game would be worse off.
8. On the green, Dress like you belong: This one is self-explanatory. And also applies especially for golfing equipment.
9. Winner buys the drinks: It’s courtesy, if you won, to buy the drinks after the first round’s done. Especially if you won the big money.
10. Know what ‘Scratch’ means: The term originates from the official PGA handicap designations. If someone’s handicap is described as ‘scratch’ then it indicates a handicap of zero- in other words, that person is a really, really good golfer.
Keep these in mind the next time you’re on the green. And be sure to share this with someone who needs it!