Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mind Your Manners

For so many years I have been an etiquette freak: Thank you’s are in the mail before the gift is used. Hostess must be called the next day and a note sent. Use the right flatware but don’t make a big deal of it. And never make anyone uncomfortable if his or her action or gesture is, in fact, a breach of etiquette. Good manners dictate making other people comfortable.

And there is etiquette on the golf course as well. Some times they are rules and some times good manners but the bottom line is not comfort but allowing others ease of play and timely play.

It helped me a lot when playing with more experienced golfers to say to them ahead of time, “I am new and learning, so if you notice I am doing something untoward please point that out; I want to learn.”

And people did—in the nicest ways. Clearly they had good manners.

But I also learned a lot by reading about golf. One of my favorite books is “A Girls On Course Survival Guide to Golf” by Christina Ricci. Riccci is an amateur golfer with a five handicap. And she went from a 30 handicap to that five in 5 years. So she is one to pay attention to.

In her small spiral book she has chapters on Rules and on Etiquette and throughout the book as she teaches and explains the fundamentals like, grip, stance, chip and putt—she has included tips on each page that give more guidance on good manners for golf.

Some things I would never have known—because I’ve been playing on public courses are:

*Always introduce yourself when playing as a guest. Club employees know you are not a member so they want to know whose guest you are.
* What to tip: $1 for the valet, $1 -2 for the locker room attendant etc.
*Your relationship with the caddie: lighten your bag ahead of time, ask his/her advice/and tip $15 per bag. And buy your caddie a beverage at the turn.

I was very grateful to know those things—and much more that Ricci provides in her book. (And her book fits in your bag and doesn’t add a lot of weight.)

Here’s a link to find The Girl’s Survival Guide:

Another day we’ll talk about why women are called Girls or ladies in golf.