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Be a good steward!

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How many times have you had a great shot into a green and you’re excited at a real opportunity for a birdie but when you get up there you find a massive pitch mark right in your line? The person that left it either ignored it or thought it wasn’t big enough that s/he needed to fix it. To you, it is so big that it looks like meteor crater in Arizona, and you are wishing you could find the guy that left it.

Or how about this: Your ball landed in a bunker and you need to get up and down to stay in the money with your buddies. When you get up to the bunker, you find out your ball is in a footprint that looks like it was left by Goliath himself.

Both of these things are extremely frustrating and even if you can fix the ball mark or rake the trap and replace it throws you off your game a little. It’s also at the heart of what I want to talk about this week.

Our game is a game for ladies and gentlemen, it’s a game of honor and tradition. It’s also a game that asks us to be good stewards of the grounds we play on. We are responsible for what we do to the course and we should do whatever we can to keep that course in great playing condition.

Over the past 20 years, I have noticed that people are doing less and less of this. I watch guys go into a trap play their shot and then walk away never even thinking about raking the sand. I have watched people hit a great shot into a green and then when they get up there leave that massive pitch mark. I start to wonder if this person was ever taught to do these things and they are choosing not to fix them or are they simply uneducated in the ways of the game.

If they are just ignoring their responsibility, it speaks to their lack of character, and if that’s the case they are the only ones that can fix that. If however, they are just uneducated it falls on those of us that are teaching the game to new golfers both young and old what to do and why it’s so important. We owe it to them as new players as well as to others that will be sharing the course with them to teach new players how to take care of the course. It’s not something that is shown on TV, and it’s not something you get from a golf coach, but it is something they need to know.

These golf etiquette basics won’t help them hit the ball straighter or improve their putting but in my mind, they are just as important. Taking care of the course is something you do that isn’t for your benefit; it’s for other players. It is something you do that will have very little if any impact on your round or your score but it does say what kind of person you are.

I have a nephew who is just starting the game, and just as much as I want him to have a fantastic swing, incredible short game touch, and the putting skills of Jack, I also want to teach him to take care of his course. I want to teach him what the game has taught me, and that’s how to be a gentleman. I want him to learn that you fix ball marks and rake the sand not because others are watching but because it’s the right thing to do. It is one of those life lessons that will stick with him far beyond the 18th green and will carry over to his entire life.

Editor’s note: And for goodness sake, if you know someone who struggles with either fixing pitch marks or raking bunkers, or God forbid, both: pass along the video(s) below c/o the USGA. 

 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. ewfnick

    May 1, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Etiquette is a thing of the past on many courses these days, it has become increasingly worse since, for reasons that bewilder me, the use of mobile phones became acceptable while on the course!

  2. Fergie

    Apr 30, 2019 at 11:12 am

    My most frequent observations are unrepaired ball marks on greens and not seeding divots on the tees. It only takes a few seconds . . . No Excuse!

  3. ND

    Apr 30, 2019 at 9:56 am

    The greens at my home course have been hit exceptionally bad this year. I usually try to fix at least 5-6 extras since usually im one of only a few out there at twilight and im not in a hurry. It boggles my mind how people can just say “screw it im not fixing my pitch mark” and continue on. It literally takes 3-4 seconds to fix a mark people!!!!

  4. Hanke

    Apr 30, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Rake the sandrrap and replace the ball? Which game is this?

  5. daniel

    Apr 30, 2019 at 5:23 am

    I’ll be that racist person.People that come from countries that get caddies provided for next to nothing on nearly every golf course and then come out here without the luxury of hiring a caddie tend to not pick up after themselves.

    • Mike

      Apr 30, 2019 at 7:42 am

      It really is true that you can put an article on the internet about literally anything and get a racist reply. Where exactly are people coming travelling from where they are so used to their slave caddies that they don’t pick up after themselves in their absence? I really hope this is not a serious explanation for this issue.

    • Joey5Picks

      Apr 30, 2019 at 4:17 pm

      I don’t see how it’s racist. Elitist maybe, but not racist.

  6. Acemandrake

    Apr 29, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    A club pro told me his biggest frustration with new players is their lack of etiquette.

    Most likely due to never being taught rather than some character flaw.

    • Joey5Picks

      Apr 30, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      True. Just like anything, if you’re not taught the nuances, how are you supposed to know. Basics like
      -where to stand (not behind a player on an extension of their line)
      -first to hole out should get the flagstick
      -don’t step on a player’s through-line on the putting green
      -They’re bunkers, not “sandtraps”
      -you play golf. You don’t “golf” or “go golfing”

      • Hunter

        Apr 30, 2019 at 7:49 pm

        That last point is so elitist its ridiculous, you absolutely go golfing.

      • scott

        May 1, 2019 at 4:05 pm

        Yikes. I get the flag stick, standing in the right spot, and not walking on people’s line, but “sand traps” or going golfing, Jeeze, take it easy. With that attitude I am sure that you do not have any problems with etiquette, because you are probably playing alone.

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5 most common golf injuries (and how to deal with them)

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You might not think about golf as a physically intensive game, but that doesn’t change the fact it is still a sport. And as with every sport, there’s a possibility you’ll sustain an injury while playing golf. Here’s a list of the five most common injuries you might sustain when playing the game, along with tips on how to deal with them in the best way possible so you heal quickly.

Sunburn

While not directly an injury, it’s paramount to talk about sunburns when talking about golf. A typical golf game is played outside in the open field, and it lasts for around four hours. This makes it extremely likely you’ll get sunburnt, especially if your skin is susceptible to it.

That’s why you should be quite careful when you play golf

Apply sunscreen every hour – since you’re moving around quite a lot on a golf course, sunscreen won’t last as long as it normally does.

Wear a golf hat – aside from making you look like a professional, the hat will provide additional protection for your face.

If you’re extra sensitive to the sun, you should check the weather and plan games when the weather is overcast.

Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint. This group are the main muscles responsible for swing movements in your arms. It’s no surprise then that in golf, where the main activity consists of swinging your arms, there’s a real chance this muscle group might sustain an injury.

To avoid injuries to this group, it’s imperative you practice the correct form of swinging the club. Before playing, you should also consider some stretching.

If you get an injury, however, you can recover faster by following RICE:

Rest: resting is extremely important for recovery. After an injury, the muscles are extremely vulnerable to further injury, and that’s why you should immediately stop playing and try to get some rest.

Ice: applying ice to the injured area during the first day or two can help. It reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscles.

Compress: bandage the rotator cuff group muscle and compress the muscles. This speeds up the muscle healing process.

Elevate: elevate the muscles above your heart to help achieve better circulation of blood and minimize fluids from gathering.

Wrist Injuries

Wrist tendons can sustain injuries when playing golf. Especially if you enjoy playing with a heavy club, it can put some strain on the wrist and cause wrist tendonitis, which is characterized by inflammation and irritation.

You should start by putting your wrist in a splint or a cast – it is necessary to immobilize your wrist to facilitate healing.

Anti-inflammatory medicine can relieve some of the pain and swelling you’ll have to deal with during the healing process. While it might not help your wrist heal much quicker, it’ll increase your comfort.

A professional hand therapist knows about the complexities of the wrist and the hand and can help you heal quicker by inspecting and treating your hands.

Back Pain

A golf game is long, sometimes taking up to 6 hours. This long a period of standing upright, walking, swinging clubs, etc. can put stress on your back, especially in people who aren’t used to a lot of physical activities:

If you feel like you’re not up for it, you should take a break mid-game and then continue after a decent rest. A golf game doesn’t have any particular time constraints, so it should be simple to agree to a short break.

If you don’t, consider renting a golf cart, it makes movement much easier. If that’s not possible, you can always buy a pushcart, which you can easily store all the equipment in. Take a look at golf push cart reviews to know which of them best suits your needs.

Better posture – a good posture distributes physical strain throughout your body and not only on your back, which means a good posture will prevent back pain and help you deal with it better during a game.

Golfer’s Elbow

Medically known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow occurs due to strain on the tendons connecting the elbow and forearm. It can also occur if you overuse and over-exhaust the muscles in your forearm that allow you to grip and rotate your arm:

A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is the way to go to alleviate the most severe symptoms of the injury at the beginning.

Lift the club properly, and if you think there’s a mismatch between your wrist and the weight of the club, you should get a lighter one.

Learn when you’ve reached your limit. Don’t overexert yourself – when you know your elbow is starting to cause you problems, take a short break!

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Podcasts

TG2: Our PGA picks were spot on…and Rob hit a school bus with a golf ball

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Rob picked Brooks to win the PGA and hit the nail on the head, while Knudson’s DJ pick was pretty close. Rob hit a school bus with a golf ball and we talk about some new clubs that are going to be tested in the next couple days.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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The Gear Dive: Vokey Wedge expert Aaron Dill

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In this episode of The Gear Dive, Johnny chats with Titleist Tour Rep Aaron Dill on working under Bob Vokey, How he got the gig and working with names like JT, Jordan and Brooks.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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