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I've decided to combine Management with Etiquette. The reason is I see the worst etiquette usually on the second/third shot into the green, and especially right after putting out. What follows are ideas and suggestions that I hope will help you and make the game a little more pleasant and enjoyable to you and all the golfers out there.

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So, when approaching the Tee Off area, always be aware of the wind, and the type of shot you usually hit. (Draw or Fade) If your shot is left to right (fade), then setup on the right side of the Tee box. If you Draw then setup on the left side to use the most you can of what's out there. Now the rule with the Tee Box is you could tee up your golf ball anywhere within that box. What is that box you say? The box is from the front edge of both markers, back two-club lengths (usually the Driver), and across the back. That's your box. You can tee up the ball anywhere within that box and you can also stand outside of the box to hit it, but the ball must always be within that box. If not, it's a two-stoke penalty and tee off again within the proper area.

Here's a little rule for you. If on any hole an infraction has occurred and indicated/noted before the conclusion of the hole, it's usually a one-stroke penalty. If on the other hand, nothing is said prior to hitting the next tee shot, the one-stroke penalty now becomes a two-stroke penalty. This always applies but more so in competition, if found out, it's over, DISQUALIFIED!!! So in competition or fun, the question remains, do you have the integrity to call a stroke on yourself??? Just some food for thought.

The Etiquette is to always stand perpendicular to the player, either in-front with the players chest facing you or behind with the players back facing you with no talking or noise making during the swing. Never stand behind the players back shoulder or inline with the players target, the slightest movement can and will be picked up and you'll have the player looking back at you with absolutely NO love in the eyes after the shot goes terribly awry. The object here is to not be in the players peripheral vision, basically if you can see the players eyes they can see you too. So please no standing inline with the players target, if that's the case be very very still/quiet and no playing with one's change, tees & ball markers during any swing. Shhhhhhh....... mum's the word.

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Now, if the second shot is going to get to the green, try to play smart. Going at the pin is sometimes the worst thing you can do. You must look at the risk reward factor. The higher the risk usually the higher the reward. But I think the safe play is to shape your shot, considering the wind of course, using the fat part of the green and working the ball in from there.

As far as etiquette goes, the same will always be true, shhhhhhh........! The most annoying thing is when a playing partner isn't aware of what's happening, and yells 'Hey, has anybody seen my ball??????' just as your going to hit. Talk about a real pain in the butt. So please, when hitting always keep an eye on the ball till the end, even if it means watching it go right into the woods..... hey, that's Golf. The etiquette for when playing partners lose a ball is if you've hit, or closer to the hole then the next player to hit, lend a helping hand looking for the ball, what goes around comes around.

If the shot is a lay-up shot, there are a few things to think about. One is to find out where's the best place to leave your second shot so you eliminate all or most of the hazards between you and the pin, and two is to leave yourself with a yardage that you know you can hit consistently and with accuracy. I like 100 yards to the flag which for me, it's a nice full sand wedge depending on wind.

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The first thing you should do once you get to the green and your ball, is to fix the ball mark if the ball hit the green on the fly, and while you're down there fix a second, a little will go a long way. Now to the putts...

The main concern once on the green is efficiency. As the rules state, the furthest from the hole goes first. During that time, it's a great idea to start looking at your putt and making decisions as to how hard or soft to hit the putt, uphill or downhill, any break(s) to the putt etc... So that when it's your turn you've already studied the putt and made most of you decisions. All you have to do is line it up and putt. If you are one of the first ones to finish putting, take it upon yourself to take care of the flagstick.

Once everybody has holed out, get the flag in the hole, get off the green and get going to the next Tee. That's where and when you ask your playing partners what they shot and all that fun stuff. Please, PLEASE, don't stay around the green or worst yet on the green marking your card, you'll annoy everyone behind you and you'll slow the game down. Don't ever forget... YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE OUT THERE PLAYING GOLF. A LITTLE CONSIDERATION GOES A VERY LONG WAY.

Here's some great advice for all the beginners out there. When playing and you hit double digits, pick-up and keep the game going. Once around the green drop the ball and keep playing or simply take care of the flag until everybody has finished, period!!!!!! Object of the game is to keep it going and not to slowdown play for your group or everybody that's behind you. I have not yet met anybody who likes playing a round of Golf in 6 hours, not one.

Just to reiterate. Don't stand directly behind the players back shoulder and inline with the players target, always perpendicular either in-front (players chest facing you) or behind (players back facing you). Don't play with anything during the swing/putt, and mum's the word until the ball is well on its way. Be aware of where your ball went, what's happening around you, and don't let your ego get the best of you, pick-up after hitting double digits. Trust me, your playing partners will enjoy playing with you and you won't be holding anyone back and slowing down the pace of play.

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