To the fore

Okay, this isn’t about piping. It’s about golf. It’s friendly advice to the many pipers and drummers who partake in the world’s second-most-frustrating Scottish pastime:

  1. Before you ever set foot on a golf course, please read the first page of the rule book.
  2. Don’t take more than one practice swing. It isn’t the freakin’ Open Championship. One swing to get the feel of the club; another to hit the ball.
  3. If your ball is within a foot of the hole, just pick it up. It’s a gimme.
  4. Power-carts slow the game down and are for the frail. If you’re able, walk the course. If you’re too out of shape to walk the course, get in shape.
  5. Watch your ball. When you hit a shot into the hay or the woods, keep watching it, and walk straight to it. You should be embarrassed making your playing partners spend time looking for your ball more than once a round.
  6. Wave through faster groups. This concept is well understood in Scotland, but I can count on one finger the number of times that I’ve been waved through in North America.
  7. Unless you’re a single-digit handicapper, play from the front tees. No one is impressed that you want to play from the tips.
  8. Leave the rake in the bunker (not a “sand trap,” by the way). Having your ball hit a rake outside of the bunker is really annoying, and often makes the ball go in the bunker. The rake goes in the bunker.
  9. Fix your pitch-marks. Leaving them on the green is completely antisocial.
  10. If you have to swear, do it under your breath. Golfers yellings F’s and C’s should just go home.

There, I just needed to say all that. Have good round.

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