10 Golf Etiquette Rules From Arnold Palmer

When it comes to playing golf, retired American professional golfer, Arnold Palmer is one we can learn a lot from about the game. His numerous wins on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955 teaches us great golf etiquette when it comes to teeing up on your next golf tour vacation.

Below, are 10 golf etiquette rules from Arnold Palmer “The King.”

Being the slowest player – Play “ready golf” (hit when ready, even if you aren’t away) until you reach the green, be prepared to play when it’s your turn on the tee and green, and never search for a lost ball for more than five minutes.

Keep that temper under control – Throwing a club, sulking and yelling profanity can make other players around you uneasy. We all have our moments of frustration, but the trick is to vent in an inoffensive way. For example, I often follow a bad hole by hitting the next tee shot a little harder — for better or worse.

Respect other’s time – Time is our most valued commodity. Don’t make excuses for breaking a golf date by deciding last minute to complete work around the house or some other for not following through with your plans. Always make your tee times, and show up for your lesson with the pro a little early. Social functions are no exception.

Repair the ground you play on – Ever notice that the worse the bunker shot, the poorer the job a guy does raking the sand? Fix ball marks, replace divots and rake the bunkers like you mean it. Make the area nice and smooth. To make sure you’ve repaired in a correct manner, ask yourself, Would I be upset if I had to play from that spot?

Be the silent partner – Stand still from the time a player sets himself until the ball has left the club. It’s common courtesy to never walk in someone’s line of play on the putting green. The area around the hole, in particular, is sacred ground. Know where to stand and when to keep quiet by positioning yourself directly across or at a diagonal position from a player that is set up. Think of the fairway as a cathedral, the green a library when the player is about to hit a shot.

Leave no trace – What should your goal be when driving a cart? The answer is simple; leave no trace you were there. Why is this? We tend to look where we’re going and not where we’ve been, it’s easy to damage the turf and not realize it. This is done easily by avoiding wet areas that are getting trampled from traffic. Golfers tend to play “follow the leader” and drive in single file. For cart traffic to be spread out, it’s better to “scatter” — everyone takes a different route.

Be meticulous about your appearance – Show up in sharp clothing, tuck in your shirt, avoid wearing your cap backwards and mud being caked on your shoes. Your appearance speaks volumes about you as a person, and the neatly appointed golfer, like a businessman, gives the impression he thinks the golf course and the people there are special.

Turn off technology – Nothing is more annoying than a cell phone ringing and distracting your fellow player during their backswing. If you’re not familiar with the settings on your phone to keep it silent, power it off. If it’s a must to make a call, move away from the other players and keep the call brief as if they didn’t know you even made a call.

Help out your fellow players – It is very easy to help our your fellow players by simply paying attention. This can be done by looking for lost balls, watching errant shots, picking up that extra club left on the fringe or the headcover dropped next to the tee, and return it to its owner after saying, “Nice shot!” See a cart out of position or a provisional ball that needs picking up? Fix it…don’t just walk by it.

The little things – There are dozens of etiquette rules not mentioned above by Arnold Palmer such as laying the flagstick down carefully, tamping down spike marks when you’re walking off a green, and letting faster groups play through. All of these are easy to learn. All it takes is an observing, a sharp eye and considerate heart. Keep in mind golf has a way of returning favours. By practising these 10 golf etiquette rules from Arnold Palmer, you are sure to be repaid tenfold.

What are your etiquette rules for the course? If you’re looking to up your game and practice the above rules by Arnold Palmer, check out our golf vacations.

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