By Colleen Harding
Golf outing season is upon us. It is the time of year when companies and organizations invite customers, clients, potential clients, and vendors to enjoy a day at a golf course.
Sometimes the events are charity driven and sometimes just a nice opportunity to cultivate relationships, do business, and enjoy the outdoors. Although the game of golf is all about etiquette, there are some unwritten rules to remember when attending a golf event. The rules of attending a golf function are just as important as the rules of golf. Besides not speaking during someone’s back swing and keeping the ball in play, here are some additional rules to make sure you are being a courteous guest:
- Always show up at least a half hour to an hour before tee time. Being late and making people wait for you at a golf event is unacceptable.
- Wear appropriate attire for the course or club. If the course requires a collared shirt, wear one. Dress codes are put in place for a reason.
- Be curious to the other players and keep your language to a minimal when someone is hitting or putting the ball.
- Keep your voice low so that you do not disrupt other players on the course.
- Put your cell phone on vibe if you must have it with you. Keep phone calls to a minimal. Your voice will carry on a course more than you know.
- If you are not planning to stay for lunch or dinner, let your host or hostess know in advance so that they are not holding a place for you at the table or paying for your uneaten meal.
- Be curious and careful with alcoholic beverages when playing golf. Alcohol makes everyone speak louder than they realize, many times disrupting others.
- If you are not a good player and continue to hold up the team behind you, pick up your ball and/or allow the group behind you to play through. No one wants to spend a day out of the office while waiting on a beginner player.
- Always keep the ball in play. Hit your ball and move toward it immediately after all players have hit their balls. Most golfers don’t mind playing with a beginner, as long as they don’t hold them up.
- Always thank your host or hostess. Golf outings can be costly and expensive. A phone call or thank-you note is always in good taste.
Golf outings are a great way to cultivate and maintain relationships. They can be the perfect combination of business, friendship, and nature; however, remembering your manners at golf events demonstrates a respect for the game, your relationship with your host or hostess, and yourself.
Colleen Harding is a protocol coach and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. She can be reached at (216) 970-5889 and firstname.lastname@example.org.