7 golf etiquette tips for nervous newbies

Golf’s unwritten rules intimidate new players. Here’s how to translate them into good manners.

Image of women puttingQ: Golf has so many unwritten rules, generally known as “golf etiquette,” that I’m intimidated about playing with strangers. What are the good manners that won’t give me away as a newbie – and might even get me an invitation or two for a future round?

The good news and the bad news about golf etiquette: It’s just like learning social etiquette. Bad news: Have you tried to lift any of the social etiquette books? Ow! Good news: Once you learn etiquette, it requires little thought as long as you offer grace and a smile.

In the interest of positive imagery – always advised in swing thoughts and etiquette – here are a few key do’s: Continue reading

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Hula for a better golf game

These three fun moves with the right-size hula hoop might help your golf swing. They’ll most definitely help your golf fitness.

Image of hula exerciseThe hula hoop might be just the toy for the well-rounded golfer looking to improve golf fitness.

Kaye Anderson’s Hoop Power classes draw exercisers of all ages and fitness levels because they’re fun, low impact and accessible to all. Here she shares a few ideas for golfers who can’t make it to her Berkeley, Calif., studio.

“I’ve taught all ages and sizes, and this is accessible even to the person with a knee injury or a bad back,” Anderson said. “The most important thing is to have the right size hoop. A larger, heavier person needs a bigger hoop. And the one thing I would not recommend are the cheap plastic hoops kids use.”

Here are three moves she recommends, with the proper hoop: Continue reading

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Golf glossary: Caddy or caddie?

Is Bones a caddy or a caddie? What about Fanny? Could it be that he’s a caddy and she’s a caddie? We had to go to the dictionary, and then some, but now we’ve got the answer.

Image of dictionaryWhich is it, caddy or caddie? Is one masculine and one feminine, like Bobby and Bobbie?

GottaGoGolf has been using the “Rules of Golf” spelling of caddie, but between the resurgance of vintage golf movie Caddyshack and the rise of new golf mobile app Who’s Your Caddy, we finally looked it up.

According to Grammarist.com, “caddie” (from the French cadet) refers to the golf assistant and “caddy” (from the Malay kati) means a small holder for tea. It says, however, that “caddy” is used about a quarter of the time as a synonym for “caddie” and is not too terribly wrong.

Further dictionary research revealed, however, that “caddy” is not at all correct when applied to the person carrying your golf bag. Blame the confusion on the fact that two words with different meanings and spellings have the same sound – just like bear and bare. But that doesn’t mean Phil Mickelson will ever ask a question of a caddy.

OK, allow artistic license when it comes to titles for movies and mobile apps. But put your money on a CADDIE, whether it’s a he or a she.


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Why women hate the long putter

Long putters have such a PGA Tour fan club that they caught the USGA’s eye and inspired a ban on “anchoring.” Women, however, hardly care. Equipment Editor Emily Kay found out why.

Image of woman using belly putter


Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley and Fred Couples pledge allegiance to the long putters that make traditionalists gag on their 9-irons.

Women, however, are not joining the stampede of golfers rushing to swap their beloved flat sticks for the unconventional option. Their gut reaction: Get that belly putter outta my breadbasket.

GottaGoGolf set out to find out why – and ended up opening the eyes of some vendors who learned a little something about the women’s equipment market. Continue reading

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Are women tired of watching Tiger Woods?

Reaction to the Cauldron story “Stuck In An Endless Loop” indicated that men still like to watch Tiger Woods, so maybe this is a woman thing.

Image of The CauldronI wasn’t thinking about this when I wrote “Stuck In An Endless Loop” for the cool new sportswriting collection called The Cauldron. But it occurred to me later when a few men put forth the opinion that golf is dull but Tiger Woods is interesting.

So I wonder: Could it be that women are more interested in watching the likes of Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, and even pudgy Miguel Angel Jimenez, while male viewers are still into Tiger? Continue reading

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Golf glossary: Gimme

You can’t miss a putt if you don’t hit it, which might be the secret of the term “gimme.” The women and ladies of golf will want to know what to do when the magic words “that’s good” are uttered.

Image of a short puttAlthough a common term in life and a common practice in golf, the gimme – a putt so close that it is deemed unnecessary to hole – has no place in the Rules of Golf.

Yes, it is true that in match play a putt may be conceded. But the player whose responsibility it is to make that putt has the obligation to refrain from batting her eyelashes, putting her hands together in prayer or taking any other action that could be construed as begging or asking “Gimme?” Continue reading

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How long does a golf ball last? 4 tips

Women who hit the ball straight but not long can form a long-term relationship with one ball. But what is the lifespan of a golf a ball? Check out these 4 tips.

Image of worn golf ball

Use it or lose it?

Q: I hit the ball pretty straight and not very far, so I don’t lose many. How do I know when it’s time to feed a golf ball to the fishies – and do all those roadtrips in my hot trunk take a toll on wear and tear?

Good news, GottaGoGolfers, the experts say that the average woman golfer doesn’t do much damage to the golf ball or notice slight differences in aerodynamic performance due to wear. Meaning, we can travel light and play that ball for as long as it’s looking good.

According to Brandon Sowell, Director of Marketing for Bridgestone Golf: “With advanced technology and constructions today, really the primary way it would get tired is through visible abrasions from use.  Evaluate the cover for any abrasions from cart paths, trees, rocks/pebbles, etc., and remove from play as needed.” Continue reading

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