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The Golden Rule

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Golf Tip Of The Week, by PGA professional Shawn Kelly of The Ridge Golf Club Section 1 in the USGA Rules of Golf deals with etiquette as it applies to the courtesies, and priorities of the game as well as care of the course. For beginners this is an important part of the game to be learned early and will make you more comfortable on the golf course. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Safety is always our first concern. Never swing a club in close proximity of another person or at anything other than a golf ball. Rocks, twigs or other objects can possibly shatter and injure you or strike another person. No player should play a shot until the players ahead are out of range. If an errant shot is struck in the direction of other players, sound the warning by yelling FORE! It benefits everyone on the golf course to maintain a reasonable pace of play. All players should play without delay and play ?ready golf.? When play has been completed on a hole, move on immediately to the next tee. If you have hit a shot that may be lost or out of bounds it will save time to hit a provisional ball. If you have hit a ball into a water hazard and see that it can be retrieved, by all means go ahead and get your ball. However, this is not the time to go fishing for other lost balls in that same hazard. If you do happen to fall behind the group in front of you and the group behind has to wait for you, invite them to play through. If you are not involved in a serious match, your other option here might be to simply pick up and move on to the next hole. You will be welcome to play with any group if you?ll remember to stand quietly and out of the line of sight of players executing a shot on the tee or putting green. Quietly includes no talking, jiggling pocket change, coughing, belching or causing any other distraction that may affect a player?s concentration. This brings me to the bane of modern day golf. Cell phones! The golf course is just no place for a cell phone, unless you happen to be an open-heart surgeon on call. Just have one of these annoying conveniences chime it?s merry little tune in the middle of your putting stroke for a two dollar Nassau and you?ll fully appreciate this tip. Be kind to the golf course. Remember to replace your divots in the fairway, or if you are riding in a cart that has a seed dispenser, sprinkle a little sand and seed in your divot. Repair your pitch marks on the greens. When riding in a golf cart, observe local rules for cart paths and 90-degree rules and avoid driving through soft wet areas. In short, simply use common sense and apply the Golden Rule on the golf course. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. If you do that and not walk on the line of other player?s putts, you?ll be invited to enjoy many pleasant days on the golf course. Shawn Kelly can be reached for lessons at The Ridge G.C (530) 888-7888.