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The new rules of golf… and the etiquette of life

Players around the country are still having some challenges getting used to the changes in the rules of golf. Probably, back on the 1st May, 1812 the gentlemen who decided upon the first 17 rules of golf would never have imagined how today’s game would have changed the list of those rules almost beyond recognition. As one magazine journalist remarked recently, he still hasn’t got over the sight of an adult golfer trying to work out how to drop the ball from knee height. Over the shoulder used to be so simple… drop and jump away!

What hasn’t changed is the need for etiquette, both on the course and off it. Everyone can cite examples of poor golfing etiquette because, as in life, everyone has their own agenda. However, having the right foundations to play the game from is undoubtedly the best way to start and although much of this is about technique and practice, it’s also important to learn the rules and etiquette of the game. This enables you to be able to play confidently with your friends, fellow members in competitions or with strangers at larger events.

Professionals are often berated about their implementation of the rules. The fact is, they will push these rules as far as they can because they do know the detail… and it’s up to the referee to decide if they’ve crossed the line in a request. All golfers though, and that goes from the World #1 down, will agree that etiquette is key. It’s a game of tenacity, trust and truth. You and your little dimpled friend (the ball, let’s be clear about that!) against the world. Even if you’re playing in a fourball and your partner suggest the wrong solution, you should not hesitate to choose the right one… you’re only cheating yourself, your fellow players and the rest of the people in the competition.

The One Day Programmes our Trust delivers at Primary Schools and Golf Clubs helps children understand, and develop, the key life skills they’ll build upon to give them a better foundation for the future. Courtesy, Compassion, Perseverance and more, these fundamental skills will enable the children to choose to be the very best at whatever career they follow. Their geography and environment may not give them the opportunity to get to a golf course, but using these skills will help them make a difference in their life… and at the same time learn about some very special and famous sportsmen.

Think positive. Thoughts are things.

And if those children can choose golf, fantastic – every Club needs a strong Junior membership because they’ll go on to be members at other Clubs around the world and may, in the future, return.

Life was a little bit simpler back then…