Book Offers Etiquette Rules for Golfers
BY KAY GRISMER
Special to The Pilot
Jim Corbett, nationally-known as "Mr. Golf Etiquette," will be at The Country Bookshop on Tuesday, June 15, at 4 p.m. to discuss his book, "The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Golf Rules and Etiquette."
"There are no real rules of etiquette," Corbett admits. "There are no sanctions or penalties if you don't extend these courtesies. But golf etiquette is one of the most important parts of the game of golf."
According to Corbett, slow play is the most violated etiquette rule.
"There are just too many golfers with the attitude of 'I paid my money and I'm going to get my money's worth,'" he says. "The golf etiquette (or the lack of it) that you display on the course will say more about you as a golfer and as a person than anything you ever do with your clubs. It doesn't matter if you went to Harvard or never graduated from high school. It doesn't matter if you're a scratch golfer or a weekend hacker. Every golfer can respect the course, respect the golfers around them and respect the traditions of the game. If you accomplish nothing else as a golfer, become an expert at golf etiquette - the game will be better for your efforts."
For almost five years beginning in the late 1990s, Corbett was a weekly guest on the Monterey, Calif., radio program, "The Golf Guys," broadcast nationwide and to Armed Services Radio around the world.
He co-hosted another golf talk radio show, "Tee It Up: Golf is Good Business," out of Seattle from 2002 until 2006. Tour player John Daly was a regular guest.
Fifteen years ago he developed his website, "Mr. Golf Etiquette" (www.mrgolf.com), which features his advice column, "Ask Mr. Golf Etiquette," and the popular and frequently humorous "Golf Etiquette Confessional," where golfers share their "faux pas" on the course.
"I confess that when I first started playing golf religiously," one man wrote, "I had much to learn with regards to etiquette. I had a habit of taking my practice swings while my partner was getting ready to tee off. One time I took a practice swing and sent the divot right into his face and some of it went into his mouth. He barely spoke to me the rest of the round."
In response to the question whether it is a breach of etiquette to pull the ball from the hole using the head of the putter, Corbett replied, "That is one of those practices that looks cool when it is being done, but is very bad form. The only exception to the rule is if you are over 90 years old, and you have one of those suction things on the end of your grip to take the ball out because you cannot bend over and pick it up, and everyone in your group is older than you so they can't get it out either."
The main reason to remove the ball, he says, is that "every golfer is entitled to hear that magnificent sound that a golf ball makes when, after all of the mulligans, OBs, hazards and foozled shots, it finally falls into the hole. Don't take that away from any deserving golfer."
Jim Corbett lives in the Seattle area with his wife and their two children.
For information, call The Country Bookshop at (910) 692-3211.
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