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Minding your Ps & Qs

What you need to know before 

hitting the links!

In golf, there are rules and then there are RULES. Every woman should know the difference before she puts a single soft spike on the fairway. If you're new to the game, thumb through a copy of the Royal Canadian Golf Association rules of play first. Then ask around about the nitty-gritty. Proper behavior on the course is crucial.

Let's start from the beginning:

  • Make sure you arrive 15-30 minutes before your tee-time. This way you can make sure your clubs are clean, you have enough balls, you've paid your green fees and you aren't holding anybody up. If you're late, you may miss your round entirely. 

  • Yacking while someone else is teeing off is another no-no. Save the chit-chat for the 19th hole -- or the long stride down a par five. 

  • And, don't fiddle while someone is hovering over the tee, trying to muster up their inner driving power. Clubs being pulled in and out of bags, balls being washed, and carts revving can be unbearably distracting.

  • Keep your attitude positive and avoid complaining. If someone asks your opinion on their stance, give it, but don't deluge your companions with advice. Save that for the driving range. 

  • Your ball went deep into the heart of the forest. Take a quick look for it, but don't go for a two-day camping trip. You can afford to drop another one. Take your penalty strokes with dignity. Don't cheat. 

  • If you're a beginner and scoring gets you down, let your colleagues know you're not counting. This tones down any uncomfortable competitive edge. 

  • If you are marking your score and have stacked up a double par before even getting to the green, just pick up your ball and move on. Nobody wants to play an eight-hour game, (especially the guys behind you).

Regarding dress code, it's better to err on the side of conservatism when playing a new course. Leave the hot pants at home and opt for shorts that are a safe one-inch above the knee. Tank tops are also out. If you're wearing a sleeveless shirt, make sure it has a collar. If it's a collarless shirt, make sure it has sleeves.

Sarah Moore, editor of Canadian Woman Golfer magazine has a few good tips for business women who want to treat a client to a game. "Don't pick a tough course if your client is a novice," she says. Moore also believes it's best to stay away from boardroom banter. "Playing golf is a good opportunity to get to know a client in a non-business setting," she says. "Don't discuss business unless they bring it up."

Remember, golf is a game.

Play by the rules, challenge yourself, be considerate of others and have FUN.


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