It’s that time of year again. The company email blasts and flyers by the water cooler are reminding you that the annual golf outing is right around the corner. For those true players out there, they have been waiting all winter long for this. Then there are some of you that aren’t as thrilled seeing as the last time you swung a golf club was five years ago…and it was a putter…on a mini golf course.
For those of you who are not as prepared as others, don’t worry. We are here to help. Here’s a quick guide in how to prepare for the events before and during your round.
Before you tee off:
When you find out who is in your foursome, be sure to tell them the truth. If you say you’re a scratch handicap, you better be a scratch handicap. I’ve lost more respect for guys who show up and say they can hit the ball a mile but fail to mention that the ball usually flies in the wrong direction. If you’re not good at golf or have never played before, own up. You’ll get a lot more respect from your fellow coworkers if you do and you’ll find yourself having a better time out on the course.
Proper Dress Code
The golf course isn’t the venue to dress to impress. Having said that, don’t show up without having proper attire. Polo shirt, shorts (pants if required) without cargo pockets is all you’ll need. If you’re not a golfer and don’t have golf shoes, don’t worry. You’ll be okay. As long as your company outing isn’t held at Augusta National, I think you’ll be able to fly under the radar.
Oh before I forget, unless your company is holding some sort of fashion contest, do not show up like this:
There’s only one golfer that can pull this off and that’s the legend himself. If you’re out with your buddies, sure go ahead, rock those pants. But, definitely not a company outing. I know we’re all here to have some fun, but let’s keep it classy.
Control Your Drinking
Nothing golfers love more than free booze. I get it, you want to impress some higher-ups and you’re a little nervous. Sure, sometimes it does help to have a little alcohol and calm your nerves. However, try your best to limit your consumption. This isn’t the annual Christmas party where you can get drunk and dance the night away. This is a golf outing where you are expected to try and participate. Nothing aggravates people more than a drunk golfer. Save it for the 19th hole so you don’t wind up like this guy…
To Gamble or not to Gamble
Sure, it’s fun and maybe you’re only looking to put a couple dollars down for some side action, but be mindful of the players in the group who aren’t golfers. It’s not fair to put that type of pressure on someone who is not as skilled as you are.
While on the Course:
Golf is a FORE letter word:
Unless you want your playing partners to think that you’re totally O.K. with taking a human life, you should always yell FORE when you think your ball is sailing towards another hole. So your shot goes a little awry, it happens. Whether it’s hooked or slice, always be mindful for the safety of the other players that are out on the course. If you see the ball take off, but haven’t a clue where it landed, just yell FORE.
The 3 R’s: Replace, Repair and Rake:
The longevity of a golf course is managed by both the staff and the player. Golf superintendents and their staff work long hours to make sure that this course is in top condition for your arrival. Treat the course with care. To learn how to properly replace divots, repair ball marks and rake the traps, check out this page by the GCSAA.
Pace of Play:
This is a tough one. As a player and a former caddy, I know that this game isn’t easy. One shot you’re down the fairway, the next you’re out of bounds in the woods. If you’re not having the best of luck on the course, it’s okay to pick up your ball to help move things along. Do your best to help your foursome keep up with the group ahead of you.
People tend to forget that a good portion of the country club staff rely on tips alone. While I can’t provide with you an appropriate amount to tip, here’s a list of people to look out for while participating in the event:
Caddies (depends on the course, not all outings will provide a caddy)
Bag Room Attendants
Locker Room Attendants
Beer Cart Attendants
And most importantly…
Have fun. This isn’t the Masters. Relax and enjoy yourself. Even a bad day on the course still beats a good day at the office.