Misconceptions concerning our favorite game abound. Many people think golf is relaxing; and depending on whom you ask, that may or may not be the case.
Most perceive it as a safe and harmless way to spend a morning. If may surprise you to know that numerous deaths occur on the golf course every single year. There are fatalities ranging from heart attacks and strokes, lightning strikes, and fatal injuries caused by being struck by an errant golf ball. Have you ever known someone who has seen any of these events first-hand? Or perhaps you have your own story of a tragedy you personally witnessed.
Golf carts are a great source of accidental death; they can be very dangerous for the inexperienced and unlicensed to operate. It’s so important to make sure you have a driver that knows what they are doing. It sounds simple enough but the fact that there are so many accidents proves the point that not all drivers follow the rules to prevent avoidable issues.
Golf courses and clubs have rules and covenants to control dangerous behavior on the golf course. This is for the safety of all. Courses will not hesitate to remove players evidencing dangerous behavior. They also try to implement a code of etiquette for every player to follow. The golf courses and clubs make the rules and golfers must obey or be subjected to removal from the course. The first set of rules has to do with preventing dangerous, deadly behavior.
The following are the most egregious of penalties which will get the player thrown off the course. These rules should not be taken lightly.
• Driving a golf cart recklessly. Make sure you understand what the course views as “reckless”
• Disrespectful behavior on the course or grounds. Each club may have different rules here so be to sure check ahead of time.
• Hitting into the group in front of you.
• Abuse to the golf course itself, every course wants to maintain its best look.
• Failure to repair divots on the par three tee boxes, you should be willing to do your share to help keep the course in good shape for other players.
• Not repairing ball marks on the greens or divots on the fairways, while this may not seem as big of a deal, you still want to follow all rules to the best of your ability.
• Wearing clothing not suited to the sport of golf. While golf attire has been subject to many a joke, no one wants to see you play in board shorts that look like you should be on the waves instead of the green.
Play the Game with Respect and Shout Fore
Usually, the low-handicappers and the members of the golf club are the more courteous of players. Those who think golf is not dangerous are generally the more serious perpetrators on any public or private course.
The golf course police are out there in the guise of the friendly starters and course rangers who patrol the course. Usually, the rangers are trying to speed up the pace of play, but they are also charged with imposing the golf course rules on all players on their course. So long as you are following the rules, you’ve got nothing to worry about with these authorities.
The following are a set of rules every player and every group should adhere to. Think of the whole “do unto others” concept:
• Communicate with the groups in front and behind you
• Keep all communication reverent in respect to the game and the beauty of the course
• Players are on a course to have fun; share the fun with others
• Respect the golf course as if it was your home course or club
• Be an example to junior golfers; often they know little about the game
• Drive a golf cart like a car and not a toy
• If a cart driver is leaving before you are comfortably seated, change places
• Relax and enjoy the game
Golf can be an expensive sport to play. The cost of clubs and equipment can run into the thousands of dollars, and more, over time. Paying greens fees at a Muni won't break your bank, but greens fees at resorts and semi-private clubs are more expensive. They should be. These courses are beautiful, well-maintained by groundskeepers and staff who typically have a degree from a golf management school and require the player's respect. These clubs also adhere to strict rules of play, etiquette, and courtesy. If you break the rules at an exclusive club, you may find yourself blacklisted.
Do yourself, and the sport, a favor and follow proper rules and etiquette on the course.