(For the season that’s in it, with the first Major of the year under way)
1. On the first tee, make sure your phone is switched ON. Find an annoying ringtone here
2. When playing a shot, never let go of the club.
3. Keep out of the line of fire at all times, and expect the unexpected shank or flying club.
4. On the greens, you may repair plug marks, potholes, divots, major excavations and meteorite craters, but not spike-marks.
5. Psychedelic clothing is mandatory. Matching colours are the mark of the amateur.
6. Sand traps are sometimes called bunkers. Don’t be fooled by this.
7. Never show surprise when you sink a putt; it’s a sign of weakness.
8. Petulant displays are inevitable, but remember to repair all divots on the greens.
9. For Amateurs, one curse-word per hole is the accepted norm. The Professional may swear at his caddy after every shot.
10. Never play a shot over water. Avoid courses with lakes or rivers.
11. Experienced golfers know how to cough or sneeze just as the other guy is starting his downswing. You should practice this.
12. Try not to laugh at the other guy’s efforts. If the other guy laughs at you, use a seven iron.
13. If your ball goes into the rough, declare it lost immediately and reload. You don’t want to go in there; if you found the ball, chances are you’d never be able to get it out.
14. The guys behind are always faster. The guys in front are always slower.
15. One good shot per round is all any reasonable golfer can hope for.
16. If it rains, call it a day. Who needs the extra aggravation?
17. Stay out of lateral water hazards. You never know what might be lurking in there.
18. Know your Plausible Excuses. Always carry a copy in your bag.
Tomorrow: The Plausible Excuses.