Before We Announce The Rules..........

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Many of us played sports as young girls and boys.  As we were taught how to play a new sport, we were also given the rules.  We needed to know about traveling in basketball, where to run in baseball, and the proper use of hands in football.  Golf of course, has its own rules to learn as one grows in the sport.  As you know, there are so many rules, that an official book is available, in order to have them all in one place to use as a reference.  However, before we get too deep into the rules of golf, we should begin with something else......proper etiquette.

Golf has many rules and as many traditions.  The game also has an etiquette story, the proper way to conduct oneself on and around the golf course.  As many of you work hard to grow the game, I ask that you put etiquette before the rules.  In fact, I believe etiquette should be near the top of your to-do list when it comes to teaching new players, especially older adults, about the sport.

As someone who has worked with a team, building and executing a player development program, I can tell you that older adults have a great fear.  They fear they will be in the way and that they will make mistakes that will cause great embarrassment.  These adults are afraid, so afraid in fact that in many cases, they quit a program and stay home, all in order to avoid looking stupid.

Today, I am asking you to emphasize golf's etiquette to every new golfer.  Show them the right way to conduct themselves in order to maximize their learning and fun.  Building their confidence in these rarely taught parts of golf can, I believe assure us not only of solid growth, but better long term stability as people stay in the game.

Here are 5 suggestions on etiquette in golf:

  • Provide a simple, easy to understand handout, early in a clinic schedule, providing direction in all phases of proper etiquette
  • Make learning etiquette fun and also an important piece of your program
  • Emphasize etiquette during each session, ask questions, and provide prizes for the correct answers
  • Demonstrate proper etiquette in all you do as well as communicate what you want to see from pupils during the sessions
  • Teach the proper use of pulling or driving a golf cart.  We may assume too much.  Build a plan for long term growth.

Knowing the rules is important while teaching proper etiquette early, might just be our "secret sauce."


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