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Let’s talk about one important part of golf etiquette today, disturbing play with noise. Golf is hard. It is harder when you can’t concentrate because there are inconsiderate people making noises during your swing.

At a couple of my home courses are some high traffic areas.  For instance, the first tee at one course has a sidewalk which is the only path to the practice green and practice range from the pro shop.  Many times my partners and I have had to stop mid-swing because some clueless player is driving by in a cart, just a few feet from the tee.  Worse than that, is when they’re talking to their friends too loudly, talking on their cell phone etc.  When they hit the reverse button on the cart right in someone’s back swing, which engages that beep warning, really takes the cake.

It is important that you as a golfer be aware of not only your own group, but others.  Here’s what the USGA has to say about noise and distraction:

Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making any unnecessary noise.

Another example would be the 1st green and 18th tee at another course I frequent.  They’re no more than 20 feet apart.  It is important to pay attention to the group on the tee/green next to you and not disturb them.

Cell Phones

As soon as you get to the course, put your phone in SILENT mode!  It is especially bad when your phone rings in someone’s swing, and worse when your ringtone is a Snoop Dogg song.  The USGA’s suggestion on electronic devices:

Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players.

Pay Attention

Really, you just need to pay attention to what is around you.  If any players are playing their shots, don’t move and don’t make noise.  The golf gods will reward you with some good karma for making the game more enjoyable for everyone.