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Why Is Standing Behind Someone When They Tee Off Bad Etiquette?


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I think this is one of the first things I was told by my friend when I started golfing.  He picked up the game from his uncle and then passed on that knowledge to me.

In my opinion you are doing your playing partner a service by standing right behind them because you are getting the best view of where their ball was hit too.  So if they are unsure where their ball flew to you can help out.  It is much harder to pick up the ball from a side view.

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When I was trained to caddy back in the 60s, one of the first thing they told us was never stand behind somewhen when they're addressing the ball, on tee, fairway or green. Standing parallel to their

I often ask people to stand behind me. It ensures I won't hit them and it provides a second set of eyes to find a tee shot.

i'm talking 4 yards behind me on the tee box - it wasn't the noise that was off putting, it was the fact that the club fell in my peripheral vision. Obviously if he was standing behind me I wouldn't h

I'll disagree with that.  If you head is down and on the ball then you should not be able to see them.

The established etiquette of golf (such as walking in someones line, or standing behind them when they play a shot) seems to me to be built off of an excuse you could make for why you made a poor shot.  Heck Pro Golfers have a horse shoe formation around them when they tee off.

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Its just an excuse for their bad shot. I played with some dude who couldn't hit the ball more than 230 with his driver and we were playing the tips on a 7100 course. His friend stood behind him on the first tee and he hit it badly and he was furious at his friend. I thought a fight was about to go down he way over reacted.

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I can't site the exact rule but it is actually illegal for a caddy to stand behind a player during the player's shot. I'll look in the decisions book tomorrow and see if I can find out why.

I believe it is bad etiquette [during any shot/chip/putt], some people who stand behind a player simply do not hold still, perhaps to use this method during a match to play mind games or throw off an opponent or just pure ignorance. I have the good fortune of having good eyesight, both seeing something in front of me, long distances, as well as my peripheral. The latter sometimes getting the better of me. Blocking out my peripheral is something I've been working on. I remember watching a PGA event earlier in the year, and one of the players got bent out of shape because of a fan that was following the group, a small group of spectators, had a bright red sweater. The guy was right there feet away, noticeable in each shot.

When I'm on the course I make sure to stand at least 10 feet behind my playing partner or competitor's back. No way they'll see me. I very cautious with my shadow, noise level on the course. Do unto others as I'd have them do unto me.

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Well put, will be interesting to hear the rules though

Me and my buddies always spot for each other, if anything else in an attempt for the shot taker to concentrate on the shot and not trying to follow it with his eyes down the course, and as you we stand a distance back, are mindful shadows, and keep quite.

I have never noticed any of them in my peripheral off the tee,

all other shots we stand at the side as distances usually arent that far

Originally Posted by Ben

I can't site the exact rule but it is actually illegal for a caddy to stand behind a player during the player's shot. I'll look in the decisions book tomorrow and see if I can find out why.

I believe it is bad etiquette [during any shot/chip/putt], some people who stand behind a player simply do not hold still, perhaps to use this method during a match to play mind games or throw off an opponent or just pure ignorance. I have the good fortune of having good eyesight, both seeing something in front of me, long distances, as well as my peripheral. The latter sometimes getting the better of me. Blocking out my peripheral is something I've been working on. I remember watching a PGA event earlier in the year, and one of the players got bent out of shape because of a fan that was following the group, a small group of spectators, had a bright red sweater. The guy was right there feet away, noticeable in each shot.

When I'm on the course I make sure to stand at least 10 feet behind my playing partner or competitor's back. No way they'll see me. I very cautious with my shadow, noise level on the course. Do unto others as I'd have them do unto me.



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For me I have no problem with someone standing in front, behind or to the back of me providing they're standing still (or 20 or so yards away if they're moving around) and not casting shadows across where I'm addressing the ball.

My mind needs to see my setup as the same each time so when there's someone moving around in my peripheral view it throws my process out of sequence and I have to start again or just hit the ball and hope. Same goes for people talking on the tee box; I have no problem with it right up until I'm addressing the ball but at that point STFU and let me process my swing.

Oh and it's a similar thing for other poeple; I make sure I'm not in their vicinity, I'm not talking and not casting any shadows. I also tend to slow down or stop if I'm walking my trolley past a green or tee where someone's playing the ball so that my noise doesn't disturb their shot. It's amazing the amount of people who say thanks when you stop for them and it shows that you're aware of everyone else on the course and not just yourself.

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Whenever someone's teeing off i'm either directly behind them (not in their peripherals, say, on the left side of the tee box), or infront of them on the right side of the box...i don't like people standing behind me...i keep quiet when i'm supposed to and think etiquette is highly underrated...hardly anyone fixes marks...(that's a whole other thread) or taps down spike marks they leave. it's the little things that could make someone else having a good round into a great round. it's not 'giving them an excuse' it's just a way of allowing the person who's hittin the shot to be without distraction and have solitude to make the shot at hand. the best feeling is when yo'ure in a group of 4 and it still feels like when yo'ure taking your shots there's no one there. IMO of course.

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Depends on the person, i can't stand if there is something behind the ball and to my back a bit. I feel like i might hit someone with a golf club, because i can't see were the club goes in the backswing. I don't mind if there behind the ball, if they are like 10 yards away from the ball, but very close to the ball is annoying, as well as if there shadow is moving around were the ball is at. You should always be conceous of your shadow.

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Eh it dont bother me when no one moves.  Sometimes I'll have a friend stand behind me on the tee hit my shot and then after the shot asked how my alignment was and get an idea.  They dont move or say anything prior to or during my swing though

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It's called peripherial (sp) vision. I don't have to look at you to see you. The brain is wired to detect movement (the old Flight or Fight reflex) and it can be distracting, as it was intended to be. If you can't see someone standing right on your ball line, out of the corner of your eye, get your eyes checked. There's something wrong.

Oh, and I don't need any help tracking my ball flight, thank you.

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I don't mind when some one stands behind me, I actually prefer it.  If they stand behind me and watch the ball then I can concentrate on keeping my head down on the swing, which is one of my most basic flaws, and not worry about trying to pick the ball up in flight.

As I have gotten older it is much harder for me to see the ball, my brother and I actually joke that the best playing partner is one that can see the ball for us.  I have played with people who don't like you standing behind them, I have no problem with that and honor it. However, I have problems picking a ball up when I am not behind them so a lot of the time I am not much help when trying to see where a ball has gone.

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Originally Posted by tx_basser

I think it is bad etiquette and I have asked lots of people to please move and do not stand behind me.



Ditto. I'm not a professional so I'll probably never have a crowd around the box, but at least a crowd is consistent. One or two people is like a random noise in your downswing. It shouldn't piss me off, but it does, so I ask them to stand somewhere else. I've had people run up onto the teebox just as I was starting my backswing - that didn't go well. The "hey, I'm just trying to watch your ball for you" claim is pure bullshit.  The same guys who insist on standing there, never seem to spot my ball, so basically they're a useless irritant.

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I think most golfers don't care on the tee box or other "full" shots, but some do so I try to never stand behind any golfer.  But if ask to help "watch my ball" I will tell them the only way I can do that is to stand behind you while you make the shot (old eyes) and most say OK.  But to me the etiquette should be, stay still and quite while the other player is executing his shot regardless of where you are standing.  On the green, as you probably know, the rules don't permit you to stand behind another player while he putts.

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is this really "etiquette" related or "personal preference" related?

i think its personal preference, i havent got 100 of supporters to spot my ball into the rough, so id prefer my buddies do it, it was actually ingrained into me when starting the sport of "spot the ball for him so he can concentrate on the shot"

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