Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Etiquette Tips by the TPC Network Pros

TPC Scottsdale Champions Course

I don't want to be a negative Ned, or some golf version of Mr. Manners, but golf course etiquette these days is showing some serious slippage.

From cell phones ringing in my backswing to unraked bunkers, untended divots and discarded cigar butts on tee boxes, let's just say things have gotten a bit interesting on the golf course.

Head golf professionals, no doubt, have seen it all. Thus, I've solicited the advice of the head golf pros of the TPC Network, which is comprised of 32 premier daily fee, resort and private golf properties designed specifically to host PGA TOUR events. Among their high-profile courses are TPC Sawgrass, TPC Harding Park, TPC Scottsdale and TPC San Antonio. 

“The old saying tells us it isn’t about winning or losing, but how you play the game. Being a gentleman or lady truly embodies the spirit of our sport, so these tips are meant to help be the best you can be on the links,” says Brian Riddle, head golf professional of TPC Sawgrass.

Here are 10 great etiquette tips:

1. “Play from the tee box where you'll have the best chance for success. Don't be shy or embarrassed.  Playing the ‘tips’ when your ability level isn't suited for them will be frustrating not only to you, but to those around you as well.”
– Rob Nader, TPC San Antonio

2. “There is no need to rush shots – efficient play consists of getting ready to hit every shot without wasting time. Take several clubs to your ball and hit a provisional ball if you feel you need to.”
– Brian Riddle, TPC Sawgrass

3. “Respect your playing partners; talking and playing music at an appropriate volume should be taken into consideration. Ask others in your group if music is welcome. Players should always be aware that it relaxes some and disturbs others. These distractions could not only delay your group but also the play of all other golfers behind you.”
– Michaelyn Bradford, TPC Southwind / Jim Calhoun, TPC Craig Ranch

4. “Silence your cell phone. Nothing is more of a nuisance to a golfer than a ringing phone while in mid-swing.  In some cases calls are unavoidable; if one needs to be answered – or made – do so away from the group.”
– Tom Smith, TPC Harding Park

5. “Allow staff to do their job, including carrying clubs, giving out information, etc. The great majority of people want to do their job well and they take pride in their work. Let them make your time on the course enjoyable.”
– Greg Wolf, TPC Scottsdale

6. “Always be aware of your pace and never be the slowest player in the group. The best way to remedy slow play is to play ‘ready golf’: be prepared to play your shot when it's your turn – whether you're on the tee, fairway or green.”
– Brian Long, TPC Louisiana

7. “Always take care of the course you're playing.  Repair your ball mark and at least one other on the green, replace divots (or fill divots with seed mix if supplied), and rake bunkers after every shot. Care of the course will make the round much more enjoyable for the golfers behind you.  Also, if you have decided to pick up or not play a hole, speed up play by taking it upon yourself to rake bunkers for others playing the hole.”
– Andy Stoterau, TPC Deere Run

8. “Presentation is key on the course. Take pride in your appearance. Arriving with a shirt un-tucked, hat turned backwards or attire meant for jogging is no way to dress on the golf course.  A golfer's attire or appearance leaves a lasting impression – make certain it's a positive one.”
– Chris Weinhold, TPC Twin Cities

9. “Observe the good habits of seasoned golfers. Those that play often will know when it's their turn to play a shot, where to stand when others are hitting, and how to take care of the course throughout the round.  Following their lead and learning from them will form good habits for the less experienced golfer.”
– Mike Messner, TPC Summerlin

10. “Always enter and exit bunkers at the lowest point, never climbing the face of a bunker. Although it’s very temping to jump in, every bunker is shaped in a manner specific to its course; if the sand is dis-positioned it could alter the lay of the course.”
–      David Corrado, TPC Boston

If you like attending PGA TOUR tournaments, I highly suggest you attend one at a TPC course, which are designed to enhance the experience for spectators.

The TPC hosts THE PLAYERS Championship at the PGA TOUR’s flagship property, TPC Sawgrass, (one of my favorite tournaments for spectators). Let's face it, we're not all getting into Augusta National to watch the Masters. This just might be the next best thing. Nothing quite like sitting on the hill left of the number 17 island hole and watching the pros sink or swim while you sip on a frosty brew.
TPC Scottsdale Champions Course

The Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale (arguably the most high-energy event on Tour with its party-like atmosphere), the highest attended tournament on the PGA TOUR. During the current 2013-14 season, 18 PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Tour tournaments will be held at TPC facilities so you've got lots of choices.
TPC Louisiana

For more information, visit www.TPC and follow TPC Network on Twitter @PlayTPC, Instagram @PlayTPC, and Facebook at
TPC San Antonio

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