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What happened to etiquette in golf?


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Greetings all,  I'm new member but have spent some time digging threw the boards.  I thought I would introduce myself with a good old rant.  First I'm still young at 26 and have been playing on and off for 15 years.  I played more at private clubs that friends worked at in CA. then didn't play for a while when I moved back here to MN.  I'm not the best but have a lot of fun and enjoy the game and play it as a gentleman's game the way I was taught.  I have been playing a lot this year and am really improving my game but have dealt with a surprising amount of jerks on the links. I thought Id post this to see if others are having the same type of behavior on courses or if I just seem to attract flies.  Note this is long winded and not all that constructive so If you are looking for a read and a chuckle please move forward.  If not,  sorry for chewing up the bandwidth.

Part 1-

I played three rounds this weekend and was surprised at what poor etiquette players have these days.  All the game play was a little slow but not too bad,  one hole we were waiting to tee off and single comes up behind us and asked "Are you selling those puppies?"  Honestly I didn't see what he was getting at so I asked and again, "you selling those puppies?...Because your F-ing the dog".  Now I see he is being a jerk when we were just waiting to be able to safely hit.  I told him I'm selling if he's buying but if he wants to just play first that's fine too.  He mumbles something so I tee up and smack 275 yards dead bullet on the fairway.  I'm not a bad golfer.  Not great but when the game is slow its not because of me.  So the guy makes a smart remark and I brush it off and tell him have a good round.

The guy was a jerk for no reason, I obviously am not the issue and when you are a single on a Saturday you know you are going to wait for all the groups that are playing a 4 hour pace.  Why not just relax for a minuet or ask if you can play with us?

Part 2,

Sunday, Tee time of 5:15 so you know its not the best folks out at the end of the day and it's going to be slow.  I'm fine with that and understand I'm may not get a full 18 before dark.  Husband and wife in front of our 3.  They play slower but not bad or frustrating.  I'm a group of 3 with one beginner but hes playing best ball with us so we are not too slow.  The front 9 we have two rushing us and running around in a cart trying to jump a hole or two to pass but that's the pace of the course and its all the same and everyone is playing that pace.  Annoying but hey, you must have started at 5:30,  You aren't going to get in 18 holes so relax.  They brake off and call it on 13 when we have plenty of sun so i don't see what the rush was.

Part 3,

The last of my rant here was the worst.  This almost escalated to a ugly point.  We tee off and 2 of our 3 have good shots but not too long at about 230.  Our beginner clips it into deep rough in front of the tee and says he will look for it, pick it up and come drop where I'm at.  So I go to spot my ball.  I hear a ping! Thwack!  I look back and guys are hitting at us.  Now I'm only out 230-240 and visible but I have another player that's only 60 yards off the tee by a tree and that thwack was a ball hitting the tree he was at.  So my buddy sprints out of the place just not to get hit by these guys.  I'm just trying to put this all together as to whats happening out here.  My friend gets to me and he says they are hitting balls at him!  I hear another PING! and a ball comes flying by us within 10 feet at waist level.   I yell and throw my hands up.  My group gets together and were pissed.  They play the hole close behind us so when we finish we left the pin out of the hole. If your going to hit balls at me I'm not going to make it a nice hole for you.

Part 3.5,

Next hole, 18.  We are on the fairway,  they were well behind now probably because they couldn't find the pin.  Then loudly comes a guy on a cart yelling on a phone straight up the fairway.  It was one of the four behind us.  He is all fired up about the pin and we were fired up about having balls hit at us.  He says that they did it intentionally because they thought we had cut in front of them.  We sorted out that we did not cut them off and he was still mad at us.  We were polite and just told the guy that there is no reason to rush the game and if it's getting late for him he should just go in.  Beyond whatever he thought we did there is never a reason to intentional hit balls at someone.  The guy explodes about how hes got kids older than us and that he would hit into us again if he could and all this trash.  We told him to just get off our hole and go home, he barks back about he will be waiting at his car to settle this in the lot.  We are all a little confused because he is an out of shape older gent and we are three 26 year old guys 6-2 plus and in good shape so why a guy would want to fight us for something he did wrong?

We play the hole and get to the lot,  his friends show up and he is still talking trash.  His friends try to calm him down and I remind him that he is mad all because we left the flag out of the hole and we should be ready to rip his eyes out for hitting balls at us but we wanted to let it go.

Anyway, my friend is sick of this so he asked him calmly if what he ultimately wants here is to fight someone because that is just ridiculous.  The man barks back that he is going to whop us all etc. etc. So again, my fried states it,  "you mean to tell me that the only way you are going to get in your car and leave is after you fight one of us?"

"YES!"

So Tim unwillingly takes his shirt off ( built like brick sh*t house ) and says, "I sorry but you got one last shot to get in your car and go or I'm going to brake your nose. I'm not going to fight an old man but I WILL punch you once and I WILL brake your nose.  If you want a broken nose come get it."

So the guy realizes hes an idiot and his friends all bail on him telling him he needs to apologize and go home.  He figures out he is picking a fight with people who don't want to fight but if it happens hes going to get hurt and that's an ugly reality.  He calms down and says he sorry for hitting balls at us.  I told him to just go home and never do that to anyone again and hes gone.

I'm just amazed that any of this is happening on the golf course?  last night I was really upset because I like the game and all but I'm not going to go play if every round you have someone trying to make a mess of the game.  So what do I do here?  Do I just call it a wrap and quit because stuff like this is happening more and more or do you think this is just an isolated incident?  I ask because I haven't been playing public courses a lot in the last 6 years or so because I played free at clubs but now that's not an option I'm playing at decent public places and its just a mess. Sorry for the rant but is it like this everywhere?

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If one assumes that a golf course has tee times set 10 minutes apart and they send foursomes out from 7am-4pm, on any given day they've sent about 216 golfers out on the course, and there are about 11

It seems like things only got out of hand once you stooped to their level by leaving the pin out. There is no doubt that they were wrong, but the only difference between all three of your stories is t

Are you kidding me? Did you ask to play through? Is poor etiquette going to be your defense in a court room when you hit some *60+* in the head? Hitting into anyone is inexcusable and something

In my experience, things like this are definetly the exception, not the rule.  You do run into the occasional jerk but 99% of the people are out there just to have a good time, not to cause trouble.

If this ever happens again, just call the clubhouse, report the problem and let them sort it all out.

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It seems like things only got out of hand once you stooped to their level by leaving the pin out. There is no doubt that they were wrong, but the only difference between all three of your stories is that only one included a strong possibility of physical altercation and it was the one where you decided to fight poor golf etiquette with poor golf etiquette.

Hands down you were in the right to confront them about hitting up on you guys. That is an extremely dangerous situation and people take it too lightly sometimes because the chance of hitting someone is rather small, but it is a very serious risk for a simple game. Like others said already: public golf can be ugly.. but it doesn't have to be if you catch these situations early and don't let them escalate.

Patience grasshopper!

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Part I - Some people are just rude. (Puppies....) Often they have controlling spouses or a lousy workplace life, and act out on the golf course. Reminds me of the old ESPN spoof ads about "full contact' golf.

Part II - Playing well into twilight time, people who want to "move out" should skip some holes and go where others aren't. By late July, I don't think anyone will get in a sequential 18 holes after 5:30 p.m. unless you're in Manitoba, Norway or Central Russia.

Part III - Here's where you report them to the Marshall for a safety violation. If the Marshall ignores you, play another course next time.

Part III.5: I run into this guy's illegitimate half-brother every other time I play. I'm 60 years old, and guys like this come after me too, and anyone who is not part of their "inner circle." These guys think because they've played at Oak Acres for 20 years, they own the place.

I think your pal handled it well - the non-violent "brick wall" approach.

I started playing regularly in the late 1960s, and even then you had spot instances of rudeness . I don't know if it's gotten worse recently due to a general decline in manners, or if people are just grouchier because of the recession.

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From my experiences on public golf courses the people with the worst etiquette have been older guys age 60+.  Just today I had 3 old guys in front of me (I was playing as a single).  I waited for them before every drive and approach shot.  Not a single group ahead of them.  Hell, on one of the par 3's I WATCHED them all tee off because they were that slow.  Still, they did not let me go through.  So after 6 holes I started hitting into them when they were about 250 out.  Still nothing.  I know it was poor etiquette on my part but if you think you are that high and mighty not to let anyone through, you are going to have a little white ball come as close to you as I can possibly get it.

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Originally Posted by funkyfred72

From my experiences on public golf courses the people with the worst etiquette have been older guys age 60+.  Just today I had 3 old guys in front of me (I was playing as a single).  I waited for them before every drive and approach shot.  Not a single group ahead of them.  Hell, on one of the par 3's I WATCHED them all tee off because they were that slow.  Still, they did not let me go through.  So after 6 holes I started hitting into them when they were about 250 out.  Still nothing.  I know it was poor etiquette on my part but if you think you are that high and mighty not to let anyone through, you are going to have a little white ball come as close to you as I can possibly get it.



Are you kidding me? Did you ask to play through? Is poor etiquette going to be your defense in a court room when you hit some *60+* in the head?

Hitting into anyone is inexcusable and something that I would not expect on a public or private course.

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I'd say you were more guilty of poor etiquette than they were.  No where in your post do you mention asking to play through, so not sure if you did and they refused or if you were waiting for them to roll a red carpet out there for you.  In either case they are guilty of slow play and poor golf etiquette you're guilty of attempted assault.

Originally Posted by funkyfred72

From my experiences on public golf courses the people with the worst etiquette have been older guys age 60+.  Just today I had 3 old guys in front of me (I was playing as a single).  I waited for them before every drive and approach shot.  Not a single group ahead of them.  Hell, on one of the par 3's I WATCHED them all tee off because they were that slow.  Still, they did not let me go through.  So after 6 holes I started hitting into them when they were about 250 out.  Still nothing.  I know it was poor etiquette on my part but if you think you are that high and mighty not to let anyone through, you are going to have a little white ball come as close to you as I can possibly get it.



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Then I understand your frustration, but would have just dealt with it or skipped a hole.  It's never justified to hit into someone, you can hurt someone badly and end up paying their medical bills for the rest of your life.  Public courses aren't fun sometimes, especially if your unlucky enough to get stuck behind or in front of a 4-some of idiots.  I'd probably not play as much if I didn't have access to private courses.

Originally Posted by funkyfred72

Yes I asked to play through, I also notified the marshall.  The marshall could have cared less.  It turned out he was friends with that 3some ahead of me.



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Yeah I should have thought about that.  I wouldn't have put it past those guys to fake some sort of injury

Originally Posted by newtogolf

It's never justified to hit into someone, you can hurt someone badly and end up paying their medical bills for the rest of your life.



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Originally Posted by funkyfred72   I know it was poor etiquette on my part but if you think you are that high and mighty not to let anyone through, you are going to have a little white ball come as close to you as I can possibly get it.

Wow, thats classy behavior.  Youre going to risk sitting in jail or prison due to an assault charge due to someone not letting your play through?  Grow up!

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Originally Posted by DaSportsGuy

In my 2 1/2 years of golf I've never seen anything remotely close to this happen and I've played every round at courses open to the public.



I've played public courses for 30 years and never had the sort of incidents the OP writes about.

There is NEVER an excuse for hitting into someone........ NEVER.

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Quote:

... I WATCHED them all tee off because they were that slow.  Still, they did not let me go through.  So after 6 holes I started hitting into them when they were about 250 out.  Still nothing. ...

Check and see what the priority rules are on that course. Some courses have it in their conduct guidelines that threesomes and foursomes have priority for play. Often, there's a ban on fivesomes included. See if the guidelines say anything like "Singles have no standing on the course." This means, don't expect express routing if you're solo.

Now, a larger group can certainly volunteer to let you go through, but may not be required to. Not saying I agree with this, but the course might have such a "no standing" category for singles.

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Note: This thread is 3622 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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