The first two steps are as follows:
Step 1: have fun learning the rules and etiquette of golf.
Step 2: And don’t hit anything in the ocean.
Step 3: Follow step one.
Golf Elitism is a double-edged sword. You want to be nice to your fellow golfers, but you don’t want anyone to know that you’re thinking about being nice to them. If you are nice, other players will think you are trying to improve your game; if you are not, they’ll think that too.
The first rule in golf etiquette is don’t talk about your handicap. It’s tempting because it’s an easy way of expressing the idea that everyone has something to learn from everyone else. But that only works if everyone knows everyone else’s handicap. And no one does. Of course most people have heard of Tiger Woods’ and Greg Norman’s handicaps, but have no idea who their caddies are or what their handicaps are. (In fact it’s quite likely that most people have no idea who the caddies for either one of them are.)
Golf is a good sport to start with, but it has gotten so competitive that beginners are getting crushed. Even the best golfers get angry at their frustrations. The game is not just painful; it’s embarrassing.
One reason golf is so competitive is because the game is played in a way that encourages rudeness. Golf etiquette is a kind of etiquette, but it’s not the only one. There are other sports where you can be polite and still win, like tennis and baseball and basketball, for example. And there are even other sports where you can be rude without making your friends hate you, like football and hockey, or NASCAR
Golf is a game that can be taught and learned, but it’s also one that is played by people of all kinds of different ability levels. There are some basic rules of etiquette that can be applied to all players, but there are others that are different for each of us.
The key thing is to learn the way you play and develop the skills necessary to make the game work for you. By learning about what your body does and what it feels like to swing a club in different ways, you’ll discover how to put your own personal touches on the game, so that golf becomes fun for you.
“If the professional golfer has any objective rules, it’s that you shouldn’t hit it too hard or too far.”
That’s what the PGA Tour says about golf etiquette. Golf etiquette is as important to the game as physics, yet no one writes books about it. The reason is that when you play a round of golf, you don’t care how well someone else plays his balls. You care how well you play your own balls. If the professional golfer has any objective rules, it’s that you shouldn’t hit it too hard or too far.”
There are golfers who make good strokes, but there are also golfers who make bad strokes. The difference is that the bad strokes are not intentional, but the good strokes are.
If you play golf well, it’s usually because you’ve learned to put the ball in a hole in a way that fits your stroke and your ability. There’s no secret to this; you just need to spend time practicing every day. If you’re not practicing, chances are you’re not improving either, so you’ll probably never reach the intermediate level of skill that allows you to play “pro like.”
But here’s something you can do: practice putting the ball in a hole on purpose. Because when you practice doing this, it becomes easier to do it when you actually have to do it in a real game.
The most important thing in golf is to hit the ball straight. The second most important thing is to hit the ball straight, so that you don’t have to think about which club you are going to use next.
But there is a third thing that can make your swing more powerful, which is to practice exactly the way you will be practicing on that day.
When you walk up to the practice green, do everything exactly as if you were playing a tournament round, including your routine warm-up shots. Don’t practice any shot except the shot you are about to play in the tournament. If you don’t practice like this, your game will never improve at all.