Golfing etiquette

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Updated: 4/18/2007 11:42 am
Golf was introduced in Scotland about 250 years ago. As you can imagine, quite a few rules of golfing behavior have developed over the years. Many of them are based on a common-sense principle: don't hurt anybody. Whenever you have lots of people swinging clubs and sending balls flying, there's a chance of injury. Paying attention to where you are in relation to others is important. Don't take practice swings when anybody else is nearby, and don't hit your ball in the direction of other players. The next set of etiquette rules concerns respecting your fellow players. Concentration is an important part of anybody's golf game, and you should try to be considerate of others. That means complete silence when somebody else is shooting. It also means keeping still. If a player sees movement, it could be distracting enough to ruin the shot. Next, help the greenskeeper out by repairing any damage to the course. Replace any divots and tap them back in place. The pro shop should have an inexpensive tool for fixing up ball marks on the greens. If your ball is in a bunker, always enter it from the low side. In play, there are other rules of etiquette. The player with the lowest score on the previous hole has 'honors,' which means that player gets to shoot first on the next hole. Once off the tee, the player farthest from the pin gets the first shot. Finally, don't hold up other groups on the course. A foursome takes longer to play a hole than a group of two or three, so the smaller party should be allowed to play through. Once you finish a hole, get off the green immediately to clear the way for the next group.
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