Tournament Journal


  • Be prepared: The player farthest from the hole plays first. The player with the shortest putt takes care of the pin. Also, when tending the pin, cusp the flag in your hand to keep it from flapping. Stand so that your shadow doesn’t fall across the line of a putt and stand to the side opposite of where the curve of the green is taking the putt.
  • Cardinal sins: Never step in a golfer’s lie. And be quiet when they’re attempting a shot.
  • No bags allowed: Golf bags aren’t allowed on the green. When playing without a cart, take your clubs to the spot off the green where you would naturally walk in, going from one green to the next tee.
  • Mr. Fix It: Take heed to repair your ball marks and other stray ball marks that you may find. If you’re wearing spikes, don’t drag your feet (scrape marks can be hazardous to putts).
  • Dress the part: You don’t have to go out and buy designer labels, but take the effort to find out the dress code for the course you’re going to be playing on. A collared shirt and shorts is the norm, but some courses don’t allow shorts.
  • Don’t leave home without them: Even experienced golfers expect to lose a ball or two. Carry some extra ones in your pocket. For those rare occasions when you have to play a provisional, it helps the pace if you don’t have to scurry back to the cart.
  • Name, rank and serial number: Be able to identify your ball. Know its brand, number and any other telltale features. When others are helping search for your ball, it’s helpful if you can tell them what they’re looking for.
    People who know tennis
    etiquette expect to get it in return, especially in those matches without an official on hand to resolve disputes. And if you’ve ever seen John McEnroe throw a tantrum, you know that tennis players aren’t shy about expressing their feelings. Before someone takes you to task over etiquette during a changeover, or even worse, during a match, take a look at these do’s and don’ts.
    On a ball that lands so close to the line that you can’t tell if it was in or out, you’ve got to give the benefit of the doubt to your opponent and play the shot. “Show your opponent this one courtesy,” says Rich Kaufman, director of officials for the United States Tennis Association, “and it’ll get you through a match.”

    Unless situations dictate otherwise, you should provide your opponent 10 minutes of practice time (five minutes if there are ball persons on hand). Courtesy dictates that you make a special effort to hit shots directly to your opponent and that you not practice your service return when your opponent practices his serve. If playing doubles, partners are allowed to warm each other up at the same time that their opponents are warming up.

    Once you have indicated to the server that you are ready, you cannot change your mind and

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