What’s the right way to behave on a golf course?

Bob Barker didn't say "Fore!" before taking a swing at Happy Gilmore. (Universal)

Bob Barker didn't say "Fore!" before he took a swing at Happy Gilmore. (Universal)

It’s not every day that an argument on the golf course escalates to Happy Gilmore vs. Bob Barker proportions. (If you get the movie reference, then you know what we mean.)

But for those of you who may not have heard, such a disruption took place on a Douglas County golf course Sunday evening.

According to the course general manager, a foursome cut in front of a couple, which then proceeded to hit into the foursome. A heated exchange followed and the police were called.

Tiger Woods’ storied rivalry with Phil Mickelson hasn’t produced any outbursts on the green. The pair even played the final round of the Masters together.

So with the golf world turning its attention to Bethpage Black, site of this week’s U.S. Open and Sunday’s raucous play on the greens, we ask: What are the things that other golfers do that upset you most?

Do you observe course etiquette? How do you prevent confrontations, or would you have reacted the same way as the pair in Douglas County?

20 comments Add your comment


June 16th, 2009
5:55 pm

First of all, you should never cut in front of anybody without asking them if it is okay. Having said that, hitting the ball into the foursome was probably not the right way to handle the situation. I have been upset enough to hit into some folks in the past, but you have to know that it will end up in a confrontation. I think the best way to handle that situation is to politely let them know that you did not appreciate them cutting in front of you and move on.

Monroe Dawg

June 16th, 2009
6:28 pm

Slow play is my biggest complaint followed by fits of temper displayed on the course. Slow play is usually caused by inexperienced players that just haven’t played enough to have learned how to play faster. Temper tantrums are usually displayed by golfers that aren’t very good players – they just have short fuses.

Bobby Cox is DONE!!!!!!

June 16th, 2009
7:45 pm

I was playing as a pair one Wednesday afternoon at Wolf Creek. There were 4 holes open in front of us. We were 5 minutes early for tee time, but got permission from the starter to go. Then the 4 yankees whose actual time it was came up and tried to fight us to go ahead.

Nevermind the fact that my buddy and I were both 6-8 handicaps and would quickly be out of the way. The idiots were just too stupid to figure out that we would be pressing their foursome all day. It almost came to fisticuffs until the starter finally intervened and let us go ahead.

I hate stupid golfers who play slowly, yet refuse to let faster groups behind them play through. They are probably the same dumbasses going 60 on I-75 in the far left lane.

Trophy Club @ Apalachee

June 16th, 2009
8:35 pm

“Golfers” who drive the golf cart onto the fairway of a Par 3. The Asian community appears to be the worst offender followed by those who simply do not know any better.


June 16th, 2009
9:15 pm

I think everyone that wants to play golf should have to take a written exam in golf etiquette before they are allowed to go onto the course. There are clearly people on the golf courses that just don’t know any better. I come to a lot of greens and fix 5 or 6 ball marks on each green. After they’ve taken the exam, give the person a card or something letting the club know they have taken the exam. At least if a Ranger has to get involved at least he knows that they know better.


June 16th, 2009
10:33 pm

I hate people who think they are Tiger Woods and take 10 minutes to line up a putt. Guess what, Tyquan, it’s not Sunday at the Masters, so take a look and putt the dang thing. It took you 7 strokes to get there, so what’s another stroke or two.

Political Man

June 17th, 2009
4:32 am

All sports and activities have their etiquettes. Socially-inclined people try to learn it. The arrogant just forge ahead. My pet peeve involves runners and walkers at local HS tracks. Walkers always are confined to the outside lanes, except for the stupid, which apparently there are a lot of.

Mr. Skynyrd

June 17th, 2009
7:24 am

Guys who think they’re good enough to play from the back tees.

If you can’t break 80 from there, you shouldn’t be back there.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 17th, 2009
7:31 am

Being fired into while on the green by saturday softball bombers who on sunday think that skill translates to the course.

That’s why I leave the weekends to the duffers.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 17th, 2009
7:35 am

Oh, and don’t let me forget those who believe golf is a drinking game.

5 hour rounds then operate a motor vehicle, just outstanding.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 17th, 2009
7:35 am

Enter your comments here

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 17th, 2009
7:37 am

Oops, not to be left out of the discussion, the dreaded 5-some.


June 17th, 2009
8:46 am

When your playing with a large group and they keep telling you to hurry up play literally while you are waiting for someone in front of you.

Know your exact ball; almost got in a fight with a guy who accused me of hitting his Top Flight ball; I then asked him why is sorry arse is hitting his ball in my fairway.

Ugly beer cart girls; come on, get a hottie and you sell more.


Tom Brown

June 18th, 2009
12:35 am

People who say they shoot mid 80s when if they counted their actual shots would be shooting 105. I’ve shot 79 twice in my lifetime and there were special occasions surounding both. Fact is only 10% of golfers break 100 on a regular basis. Makes my +16 handicap look much better! And I play tennis!?!

The Sarge

June 18th, 2009
1:34 am

Golf etiquette transcends to sports etequette and throughout every fiber of the social fabric. We have become a Nation bulging in personal rights, and completely devoid of the responsibilities of citizenship. I’m not sure when this started, or what events may have lead to this state of the “personalized license plate”…the society which cares only for “ones’ backyard”, and to heck with everyone else. I have my own take on the matter; some/many may disagree.

It goes without saying that all adults start life as children. Many years ago, before the “self esteem” movement, that is, before we, as a society, insisted on placing the little ones on pedestals normaly reserved for kings, queens, and little lords, children were expected to actualy produce, in terms of household chores (washing/waxing the bike/car, etc, etc); failure to make half-decent grades in school did not result in everyone from Santa, the school system, and the Pope receiving blame. We have become a society in which absolutely no one is responsible for a thing…it’s someone elses responsibility. The kids become the “butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers” of society; they still have that expectation of self-esteem at any-and-all costs.

And that’s why some people behave like spoiled brats on life’s golf course.


June 18th, 2009
4:51 am

I have a feeling that the “threatened” two some were just a couple of arrogant rude yuppies who were slower than the 4-some. Of course they couldn’t be bothered to wait a few minutes to let the real golfers play through. On TV (and why was this on the news ANYWAYS) they both had the look of that person who runs the light to make a right turn on red when they have no room causing you to lock up the brakes to keep from hitting them and then flips YOU the bird.

Road Scholar

June 18th, 2009
5:49 am

Please rake the sand traps, even if you do not land and hit from there. I’ve seen “golfers” step over rakes as they enter, hit, and leave the trap. I’ve also seen people leave a trail behind them. Who do you think raked the trap before you got there?

This is analogous to people throwing butts and trash on the highway and streets. People, it does not magically disappear! Then they insult the maintenance workers!

Dave The Wave

June 18th, 2009
6:17 am

Duffers, beer, stupidity, hot weather, jerks, stupidity, rudeness, redneckery and stupidity. Ahhh, weekend golf on a daily fee course …

Sanjaya and Rosie O'Donell Love Georgia Tech

June 25th, 2009
4:47 pm

1. Singles should not play on weekends unless they are the first off the tee in the am or last off the tee in the evening.
2. If you cannot break 100 you do not ever need to take more than 1 practice swing
3. Replace divots, even if they are not yours
4. Drinking beer is ok, just throw out your cans
5. Yell 4 if you hit a bad shot. I would rather yell 4 and look like a jack@%% than hit someone in the head to save myself embarrassment.
6. Play at a “good pace.” I hate slow golfer!

Harlan W

August 4th, 2009
8:00 pm

Most amateur golfers are plain stupid about the game. Read the damn rules and use common sense for Christ sake. How hard can that be? Above all, show some consideration towards others on the course. Keep that FAT mouth quieter. Its not a football or a hockey game idiot