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Let's use nice manners, the right club

Published January 5, 2007


Because we as golfers are so prone to missteps, miscalculations and missed putts, the New Year is an excellent time to get right with the golfing gods.

With that in mind, let us make not one New Year's resolution, but instead, 10 self-imposed promises so that we can make the world a better place for golf balls and the people who hit them.

So for 2007, and the many years ahead, let's resolve to:

1) Enjoy the game. No cursing and stomping and gnashing of teeth and hurling clubs when a shot goes awry. Let's face it, most of them do.

2) Fix your divots. Nobody wants to hit their ball out of the trench you dug during a disastrous approach shot.

3) Fix your ball marks. Look, if you're fortunate enough to ever hit the green, repair the evidence of that triumphant feat.

4) If your course allows walking, and the temperature is less than 80 degrees, do it. That's the way the game is supposed to be played.

5) Take a trip to Scotland, the birthplace of golf, and see how the game is supposed to be played.

6) If you are holding up a faster group, let them play through. And be genial about it. Introduce yourself, make a friend and play on after they par out.

7) If you are a fast group playing behind a slower group, do not hit tee shots at them in an effort to speed their play. This will only antagonize them. It's not nice and it will not accomplish anything except for a lawsuit should you actually hit one of the slower golfers. Instead, in a pleasant voice, ask if your group can play through. Be genial, introduce yourself and make a friend as you do.

8) Be punctual. If your tee time is at 9:37 a.m., show up early enough to get in some putting practice, loosen up and get to the tee on time. Nobody wants to wait for you to put on your golf shoes in the parking lot when they have the 9:45 tee time.

9) This one may be hard to do, but stop underclubbing. If your 7-iron cannot consistently reach the green from 145 yards, do the smart thing and go with a 6-iron. I know, I know ... all your playing partners are hitting 7s and maybe even 8s. But it's better to be on the green and humble than proud and in the sand trap.

10) Try not to buy the latest thing to improve your game. Whether it's laser tees or Kryptonite drivers or balls fitted with implanted GPS sensors, nothing will improve your game faster than a couple of lessons from a PGA professional. Absolutely nothing.




[Last modified January 4, 2007, 21:54:03]

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