do’s and the don’ts

Bray People - - GOLFINGGUIDE -

Keep carts on paths at all times – this is a rule that cour­ses use if the ground is very wet and they don't want the tires of the mo­torised carts to dam­age the fair­way grass. 90 De­gree Rule – this rule re­quires you to stay on the cart path un­til you are even (at a 90 de­gree an­gle) with your ball. Then you may drive your cart straight out to your ball. When you've taken your shot, drive straight back to the cart path. Ad­her­ing to this rule min­imises dam­age to fair­way grass as well, but still al­lows golfers to drive right up to their ball. Al­ways, un­der all cir­cum­stances, keep all carts, mo­torised or pull-carts away from the greens and off the teeing ground. Of­ten the course will post signs giv­ing di­rec­tions as to where they want you to park your cart; fol­low the di­rec­tions.

Keep Mov­ing If golfers have to wait too long in be­tween shots they get im­pa­tient and they lose their mo­men­tum. So here are some things you can do to main­tain a good pace of play:

Don't wait un­til your turn to start think­ing about what club you will hit, or whether to go over the wa­ter or lay up to it – be ready in ad­vance.

As you ap­proach the green de­ter­mine in which di­rec­tion the next tee is lo­cated and leave your clubs on that side of the green.

When play­ing from a mo­torised cart, if one player is on one side of the fair­way and the other player on the op­po­site side, drop one player off at his or her ball with a choice of a few clubs, then drive to the next player's ball and meet far­ther down the fair­way, af­ter both have hit their shots.

Keep up with the group ahead of you. As they leave the green you should be ready to hit up to the green. Don't worry about how far ahead you are of the group be­hind you, fo­cus on stay­ing a rea­son­able dis­tance from the group ahead.

Play "Hit When Ready" golf when­ever it's ap­pro­pri­ate.

If you are not play­ing golf in an ac­tual tour­na­ment or other sanc­tioned event, it is okay to play "ready golf."

Ready golf means the golfer who is ready to hit can do so even though he or she may not be far­thest away from the hole. Just agree ahead with the oth­ers in your group that you will play ready golf when it makes sense. That way they won't think you are just un­aware of the rules. It is good cour­tesy to ac­knowl­edge that you are play­ing ready golf to move things along.

Ready golf can re­ally help to speed things along, but be­fore you hit be sure that every­one in your group knows that you are go­ing to hit and that you are aware of where every­one in your group is. You cer­tainly do not want to hit some­one who is not pay­ing at­ten­tion, nor do you want sev­eral peo­ple hit­ting at one time.

At­tire Call the pro shop if you have any ques­tions about at­tire. Clas­sic dress for men: slacks, col­lared sport shirt, golf shoes. Clas­sic dress for women: knee­length skirt, col­lared sport shirt, golf shoes. A wide-brimmed hat, a vi­sor, a ban­dana, and sun­screen are fash­ion­able pre­ven­ta­tives for skin can­cer. At clubs, use avail­able locker fa­cil­i­ties. Golf or ten­nis shoes, please.

Equip­ment A good swing can hit any club. Good used clubs are read­ily avail­able. Take a "test drive." X-outs are an hon­est bar­gain. Find out if your bag is for walk­ing or rid­ing? (small/big)

Get­ting Started Play the course at low tide: week­day and week­end af­ter­noons. Par-3 and ex­ec­u­tive cour­ses won't take all day. Call for a tee time and be prompt. Call and can­cel your tee time if you can't make it. Never carry your clubs into the pro shop. You must have your own bag; no shar­ing.

On the Prac­tice Green Har­vey Penick had a way of em­phas­sz­ing the im­por­tance of putting prac­tice. He'd point to a crowded range, then look back at the peo­ple putting on the prac­tice green and say, "Th­ese peo­ple [on the green] are go­ing to take their [on the range] money." Even if you're not putting for dough, dili­gence on the prac­tice green is usu­ally re­warded with lower scores.

The in­escapable truth is that a missed 18-inch putt counts the same as a 270-yard drive: one stroke. The buck in golf stops on the putting green. A cur­sory glance at his­tory re­veals that all great golfers have been great put­ters.

Prac­tice greens are usu­ally free and open to the pub­lic. Golfers share an affin­ity with fish­er­men who al­ways keep their gear close at hand; their put­ter is never far off. You'll of­ten see peo­ple slip­ping in a few putts at lunch or on their way home from work still dressed for the of­fice.

Golf at­tire is not re­quired to use a prac­tice green; proper shoes are. Don't step on a green without them. Ac­tu­ally, it's a good idea to stay off the green un­less you are putting. Walk around rather than cross over on your way to the club­house, pro shop, or car.

The prac­tice green dif­fers in sev­eral re­spects from the green on the course, but the eti­quette con­sid­er­a­tions are the same.

Sev­eral holes are cut into a prac­tice green to ac­com­mo­date many golfers at once. It can get crowded, but there is no rea­son why they can't be com­fort­ably shared with a lit­tle con­sid­er­a­tion. As you might ex­pect, loud or bois­ter­ous be­hav­ior will not be ap­pre­ci­ated. A prac­tice putt sunk from down­town does not merit a cel­e­bra­tory lap ex­chang­ing high-fives.

More than one per­son can putt to the same hole. It is dis­cour­te­ous, how­ever, to tie up a hole that you're not us­ing. This can be eas­ily done without think­ing. Af­ter you've re­trieved your ball, move far enough away from the hole you've fin­ished so oth­ers have a clear shot. One golfer, obliv­i­ous to oth­ers, can tie up two, even three holes at once. A packed prac­tice green still has empty us­able space. Move to an area of the green that doesn't have a hole cut in it and you'll be able to putt in peace. Prac­tice touch and feel, gaug­ing how hard a stroke it takes to sink a three-, four-or five-foot putt. Or putt two or three balls in clus­ters. As is true with the greens on the course, prac­tice green holes are reg­u­larly ro­tated to of­fer dif­fer­ent putts from one day to the next.

Go ahead and hit some long putts (60 to 70 foot­ers) if the prac­tice green is empty. When it is crowded, cour­tesy in­sists that you shoot from closer range (15 to 20 feet or less).

Go! Con­sider the av­er­age four­some. If each golfer in­di­vid­u­ally wastes five sec­onds per shot and shoots 90, that adds up many min­utes? Seven and one-half min­utes. Cor­rect. And that's per golfer. Now, without any other mishaps, how many min­utes does that add to the length of the round? Thirty min­utes added to the length of the round. Thirty min­utes wasted, and that's be­fore you in­clude thrown clubs, lost balls, the cart girl, mul­li­gans, plumbob­bing, etc. No won­der the four-hour round is go­ing the way of the eight-track tape.

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