ARNIE’S NINE BEST LESSONS IN ETI­QUETTE

Golf World (UK) - - Palmer & Nicklaus -

1 KEEP YOUR TEM­PER UN­DER CON­TROL

“Throw­ing clubs, sulk­ing, and bark­ing pro­fan­ity make ev­ery­one un­easy. We all have frus­tra­tions, but the trick is to vent in an in­of­fen­sive way. I of­ten fol­low a bad hole by hit­ting the next tee shot a lit­tle harder – for bet­ter or worse.”

2 PLAY WHEN READY

“If you’re con­sis­tently your group’s slow­est, you’re a slow player, pe­riod. Play ‘ready golf’. Hit when ready, even if you aren’t away, un­til you reach the green. Play when it’s your turn on the tee and green.”

3 DON’T CALL OFF

“There are few good rea­sons for break­ing a golf date. De­cid­ing last­minute to clean the garage doesn’t cut it.”

4 RE­PAIR THE GROUND

Fix ball marks and re­place div­ots. Rake the bunkers like you mean it. Have you ever no­ticed the worse the bunker shot, the poorer the job a guy does of

rak­ing the sand af­ter?” 5 BE A SILENT PART­NER

“Dur­ing one of my last tour events as a player, I no­ticed an­other pro mak­ing prac­tice swings in my field of vi­sion as I was get­ting ready to hit a shot. I stopped, walked over, and re­minded him – maybe too sternly – it was my turn to play. The point is, stand still from the time a player sets him­self un­til the ball has left the club. Never walk on some­one’s line of play on the green. The first thing to note when you walk onto a green is the lo­ca­tion of ev­ery ball, then steer clear of their lines to the hole. When a player is about to hit a shot, think of the fair­way as a cathe­dral, the green a li­brary.”

6 LOOK YOUR BEST

“From Bobby Jones and Wal­ter Ha­gen to Ben Ho­gan and Sam Snead to Tiger Woods and Phil Mick­el­son, the best play­ers have been metic­u­lous about their ap­pear­ance. Their cloth­ing has been sharp, and not one has shown up with his cap back­ward, mud caked on his shoes, or his shirt­tail hang­ing out. (My shirt of­ten came un­tucked, but it was my swing that did it.

Is­tarted with it tucked in!) Give the im­pres­sion the course and the

peo­ple are spe­cial.”

7 TURN OFF THE PHONE

“No­body knows less about tech­nol­ogy than I do. But I know enough to recognise a cell phone when it rings in my back­swing. I’d turn cell phones off at all times on the course, but most clubs have given in to peo­ple us­ing them. Do what­ever you have to do to keep it quiet. If you ab­so­lutely have to make a call, move away from the other play­ers and keep it so brief they don’t know you made it.”

8 LEND A HAND

“It’s easy to help out your fel­low play­ers if you just pay at­ten­tion. One ob­vi­ous way is look­ing for lost balls – bet­ter yet, watch­ing er­rant shots so they don’t turn into lost balls. Pick up the club left on the fringe or the head cover dropped next to the tee, and re­turn it to its owner af­ter say­ing, ‘Nice shot!’”

9 YOUR ETI­QUETTE WILL BE RE­PAID

“There are a hun­dred bits of eti­quette I haven’t men­tioned, like lay­ing the flag­stick down care­fully, tap­ping spike marks when leav­ing a green, let­ting faster groups play through, and so on. Just know that golf has a way of re­turn­ing favours; ev­ery piece of eti­quette you prac­tise will be re­paid ten-fold.”

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