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Lack of Etiquette

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  • Lack of Etiquette

    I am a supt. and in the last five years, I have noticed a dramatic drop in etiquette on the course. Not just mine , but everywhere I go. The quantity of ball marks has increased. The lack of divot replacement is glaring. Golf carts driven like off road nascar. As an industry I see little to no initiative to educate the golfer. On many Swiss golf courses, you have to take a class before you play. Relaxing the dress code is one thing, but not respecting the golf course and more distressing, not respecting the groups who play behind you is, well, not cool. We have repaired almost 20 "putter scalps" on our greens this season. Maybe they missed a putt and got angry, and Ill bet you they missed it because of an unrepaired ball mark. We have escorted people off the course who have been caught vandalising, carts and the turf. We also have a "blacklist". I cant help but think that some of the onus is on the club(s) to educate golfers, but where is the line?

  • #2
    There was one time that the group on the adjacent nines having a party while playing. They have the music on speaker so loud that we can hear it clearly when walking to the green to putt.
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    • #3
      Occasionally there are threads about dress codes at golf courses.

      Your post helped me understand why I want to see them kept up.

      If you can't be bothered to dress properly for the course, then it's less likely you can be bothered to fix divots and pitch marks or to rake a bunker.

      We could all just learn to live with it, with courses in awful shape, or we could actually encourage, teach, and even enforce some sort of minimal standards.

      Despite my advancing age, I don't think you have to be old to want this.
      "Confusion" will be my epitaph
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      • #4
        Originally posted by ARL67
        I got paired with a couple younger guys this season at Mystic.
        On every green, I was repairing either my ball marks and/or several others while I waited for them to putt out. Not once did those 2 reach down to fix anything. After I caught on to their lack of etiquette, on the back 9 I increased my repairing efforts, hoping they might catch my drift, but they probably thought I was on the Mystic payroll by then. I'm non-confrontational so didn't say anything, but on 18 I really should have said something like: " Hey guys, great greens here, huh ? Know why ? Guys like me who fix pitch marks so YOU have nice greens to putt on, and have a nice day "
        I think people like this may just need to be educated in the correct way. Maybe they've only ever played with 'buds' and were never informed.

        But on the flipside I've also seen guys that have been playing for 30+yrs just ignore pitchmarks and divots. Unlike you, I would be very confrontational and have no problem shaming them and have done so on many occasion.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by oneiron View Post
          I am a supt. and in the last five years, I have noticed a dramatic drop in etiquette on the course. Not just mine , but everywhere I go. The quantity of ball marks has increased. The lack of divot replacement is glaring. Golf carts driven like off road nascar. As an industry I see little to no initiative to educate the golfer. On many Swiss golf courses, you have to take a class before you play. Relaxing the dress code is one thing, but not respecting the golf course and more distressing, not respecting the groups who play behind you is, well, not cool. We have repaired almost 20 "putter scalps" on our greens this season. Maybe they missed a putt and got angry, and Ill bet you they missed it because of an unrepaired ball mark. We have escorted people off the course who have been caught vandalising, carts and the turf. We also have a "blacklist". I cant help but think that some of the onus is on the club(s) to educate golfers, but where is the line?
          My buddy is supt also and very early in the year we were playing together ( at his course) and as we waited to tee off, we witnessed some dumbass driving across a green. My buddy lost it and screamed at them, but stopped short of getting them booted, which would've 100% been his right to do. We couldn't believe it, so bizarre. I'm playing golf around 40yrs and had never seen it before.

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          • #6
            I think the problem is somewhat multifaceted. As a starting point, enforcing rules related to etiquette has become more challenging when a majority of marshals are volunteers (working for golfing privileges). Having worked in this role, the last thing I wanted on any day was to get into it with a bunch of buzzed idiots over ball marks, loud music, etc. It just wasn't worth it.

            While this might not apply to all us TGNs, I think Golfnow and other discount tee time apps has contributed to a lot of public players golfing at a variety of courses each season. While this isn't a bad thing, people have less connectivity to the courses they play. I think people are more likely to take the time to fix divots and ball marks when they know they'll be back next week.

            Lastly, I have learned there are two types of rowdy groups on the course. Golfers who drink a bunch of beers and have fun while respecting the game and it's rules. Non-golfers who see the game as an opportunity to party for 6500 yards.

            But what do I know...

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            • #7
              I think the trend that the OP is observing on the course is a pretty accurate reflection of society in general over the last decade or two.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by dmcdam View Post
                I think the trend that the OP is observing on the course is a pretty accurate reflection of society in general over the last decade or two.
                And how do we reverse that trend? By showing some respect - to our fellow golfers, to the golf course, to staff running the course/competition and to ourselves. In yesteryear, golfers and staff were not concerned about pointing out acceptable behaviour on the course and in the clubhouse.
                Who else remembers the "Players Please" signs that reminded players to repair/replace their divots, fix ball marks and generally respect the facility that has provided them the opportunity to play. Now it's all about "me", with much disregard for everyone/everything else. Rant over!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ignatius Reilly View Post
                  Occasionally there are threads about dress codes at golf courses.


                  If you can't be bothered to dress properly for the course, then it's less likely you can be bothered to fix divots and pitch marks or to rake a bunker.

                  Despite my advancing age, I don't think you have to be old to want this.
                  I'll probably take some heat for this, but when playing at a private club, full proper golf attire. When at a normal public course, often time I find myself in a collarless golf tee, or depending on the weather, fitted hoodie similar to JT, and Underarmor pants which somewhat resemble jogging pants in the way they look, but not the material.

                  The way I dress should have no implication or affect my attitude towards the course or game itself. Often times when getting paired up with individuals I have never played with before I can hear snarky comments before the first tee. I will be the first one to point out to the entire group when they are breaking any rules or they are not following golf etiquette. I will also be the first and usually the only one on the green walking around looking for my ball mark as well as others. I've even gotten my handicap down this year to the lowest single digit it has ever been. I personally just like to be comfortable and how I look should not affect anything else, a huge misconception.

                  I believe the others who fall under this category were not introduced to the game in the same way and do not take it as serious as others. I also think a huge affect is the groups these people play with. When you are around more serious players, everyone will hold everyone accountable, and you don't want to get caught slipping so you do your part. When you are out with your buddies who only come out twice a year, well, you can imagine what a day with that group looks like with no one holding anyone accountable or understanding the game in it's whole.

                  just my 2 cents

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                  • #10
                    An easy way to start trending back in the right direction is to have the pro shop staff give a standard line to each customer upon checking in — please remember to repair your ball marks, be aware of other groups, etc.

                    Nothing to heavy handed but said in a way that gets the point across.

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                    • #11
                      Here is todays players etiquette. Oct 31 wish we could catch them. disgusting
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                      • #12
                        Definitely lack of etiquette on the golf course from dress code, fixing ball marks and blaring music. Its not from the young guys, the old guys do it too. I play alot with my son and he grew up knowing what to do on a golf course. Some people just don't care.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ignatius Reilly View Post
                          Occasionally there are threads about dress codes at golf courses.

                          Your post helped me understand why I want to see them kept up.

                          If you can't be bothered to dress properly for the course, then it's less likely you can be bothered to fix divots and pitch marks or to rake a bunker.

                          We could all just learn to live with it, with courses in awful shape, or we could actually encourage, teach, and even enforce some sort of minimal standards.

                          Despite my advancing age, I don't think you have to be old to want this.
                          That antiquated thinking is exactly why golf was dying a slow painful death before COVID restrictions bailed the industry out.

                          For several years I was a member at a old school high end private club with a restrictive dress code and quickly came to realize that neither the amount of money you have or golf attire you wear make up for a lack of respect. Sure they wouldn't drive on the greens but ball marks and divots were deemed to be someone else's problem by a large portion of the membership. It's a perfect reflection of society as a whole ... you either give a sh1t or you don't.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tacks451 View Post
                            Here is todays players etiquette. Oct 31 wish we could catch them. disgusting
                            We once suspended a member for a month for doing that! (and not a private club)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cdntac View Post
                              An easy way to start trending back in the right direction is to have the pro shop staff give a standard line to each customer upon checking in — please remember to repair your ball marks, be aware of other groups, etc.

                              Nothing to heavy handed but said in a way that gets the point across.
                              I understand your point, but I suspect that such advice would have as much impact as the similar request to maintain a proper pace of play.
                              Sage of the GTA...

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