My 10 pet peeves about golfing, golfers
I’m an avid golfer, though not a very good one. I can count my rounds of under 90 on two hands. I’m usually between 90 and 94, and I hit enough good shots to keep me wanting to play the game.
There are a lot of things I don’t like about golf after spending time around golf courses throughout my adult life.
Here are my top-10 peeves, drum roll please.
10. Showing up five minutes before your tee time and expecting to have time to go out and hit golf balls before being called to the first tee. Get real folks, you should show up at least 30 minutes prior to your tee time. By the time you register in the pro shop and get stuff loaded on the cart, it’s almost going to be time to tee off in most cases.
9. Making a tee time and then not calling the golf course to tell them you won’t be showing up. It’s downright rude.
8. Not repairing your divots, both at the tee box and in the fairway. Most courses have sand bottles on the tee boxes, so there is no excuse not to fill in those divots. If you are in the fairway and take a divot, fill the divot with sand if you are riding and have a sand bottle on your golf cart. Putting the grass back in the spot doesn’t help that much or so I’ve been told.
7. Not repairing ball marks on the green. It’s simple to do. A conscientious golfer will not only replace a ball mark he might have made, but look for others to fix while he is on the green. The tool to do this only costs a few bucks.
6. Not raking sand traps. I’m not saying the trap has to be pristine after you’ve hit out of one, but make some effort to get rid of the footprints you have made. Have some consideration for your fellow golfers.
5. Not allowing faster players or smaller groups to play through if they catch up to you. If you are a foursome and a twosome is always having to wait on you, it might be a good idea to let them through as soon as possible. There are going to be times, however, where there is no place for a twosome to go, and in that case the twosome has to show some patience.
4. Players that bring cell phones to the course and don’t turn them off before teeing off. Have the phone turned off and check very few holes for messages. Nothing worse than a cell phone going off in the middle of somebody’s back swing.
3. Not knowing the rules of golf. If you are going to play the game, learn the rules. I umpire baseball and softball, and I’m always stunned at what coaches don’t know. This should probably come under speeding up play, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to play out of bounds as a lateral where you would count the stroke but get the distance, especially if it’s not a tournament and you are out for a good time.
2. Not playing ready golf, and there are many ways you can play ready golf. If you are in a foursome and your ball is on the opposite side of the fairway from somebody else in your group, there is no reason why both of you can’t be hitting at the same time. You have two other sets of eyes who can help you watch your shots Also, if there is somebody who can’t reach the group in front who is still on the fairway let them hit instead of all of you waiting around for 10 minutes while the foursome in front of you hits their approach shots. One of the things that always leaves me scratching my head is when a guy hits it 135 off the tee, and then waits until the green clears on the par-4 400-yard hole. Dude if that’s all you hit it off the tee there is no way you’re going to hit a fairway wood 265 yards to the green.
1. Playing from the wrong tees. I don’t know if it’s macho or not, but I see way too many people playing from the blue tees at courses because they feel playing the whites would be too easy. I’ve always felt that if you are a 12 or less you should play blues. Anything above that you should be on the whites or even the forward tees. The PGA and USGA are imploring golfers to “Tee it Forward.” I like the idea.
“The passion that golfers have for our game has the potential to be enhanced by the Tee it Forward initiative,” said Jim Hyler, president of the United States Golf Association. “This is an innovation that we think will appeal to golfers of all skill levels because it gives them a new challenge that better aligns with their abilities. We hope that it will be embraced by players and golf facilities across the country.”
The USGA says that with many more golfers hitting approach shots with 6- and 7-irons instead of hybrids and long irons, their chances for enjoyment increase. Also, playing from forward tees should result in fewer overall shots, shorter distance traveled on each hole, and potentially, fewer lost balls.
The initiative isn’t about having your local course create new tee boxes. It is about changing the mindset of golfers in a positive way – encouraging people to consider setting aside playing from 6,500-6,700 yards and moving up to a length of 6,000-6,200 yards or moving from 6,000-6,200 yards to 5,700-5,800 yards.
Personally, I’ve seen a lot of golfers who need to adopt that mindset. Golf is tough enough without it become frustrating. Wouldn’t it be nice to putt for several birdies a round instead of several pars or bogeys?