Most if not all sports have written rules that must be followed for it to be played properly and fairly. Most sports however also have an unwritten code of conduct, or techniques, which is really all about your behavior while you play. A lot of the rules of techniques are really just common sense and good manners but there are a number of specific things you should be aware of when you are playing a round of golf.
1 – Safety first. Your first instinct should always be for the safety of yourself and other people around you when you play your shots. Always ensure there is no-one stood close-by before you start swinging your golf club around. You should also be aware of this when other players are taking their shots too. Don’t stand too close. Never do your practice swings in the direction of where people are stood, even if there is no ball under your club as you may hit a stone you hadn’t seen or some other debris from the course that could cause an injury.
2 – Never hit the ball until you know that the group who are playing on the course before you have cleared out of the way or are comfortably beyond your range. If you think you are not likely to hit the ball as far as where people are standing, don’t take the chance as you may get a lucky shot that carried twenty yards further than you can normally hit it. If you do hit a long ball into the air in the general direction of another group of players, shout ‘fore’ so that people are aware of this and can take appropriate avoiding action if necessary.
3 – Respect the course rules. Each course will have specific rules associated with your use of their facilities. Always make yourself aware of the rules and always follow them. The last thing you want is to be asked to leave the club because you have broken the rules.
4 – Keep control of your emotions. Everyone hits a bad shot every now and then and everyone sometimes has a bad day. If this happens to you, don’t take it out on your equipment or other players. You will be considered childish and may be asked to leave the club.
5 – Maintain a good pace. The chances are you don’t like waiting for others to take their shots, this also means that they will dislike waiting just as much. Start preparing for your shot even before it is your turn in order to speed things up a little. Also, if you lose a ball in the rough don’t take too long over finding it. Take the penalty and use a new one. Golf balls are not that expensive and your fellow players will appreciate you not delaying the game. If you have taken five minutes to search for a ball then that’s about the limit of time you should allow.
6 – Wave faster groups through. If your group is naturally playing at a slower pace than the group behind you then allow them to play through to save their frustrations.
These are just a few basic rules of golfing techniques. If you are new to the game, take these tips on board but also watch how more experienced players around you approach the game and how they show respect to other players on the course and follow suit. A few manners and consideration for others will make the game more enjoyable for everyone.