Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Review: The Ten Commandments of Golf Etiquette

While reading The Ten Commandments of Golf Etiquette: How to Make the Game More Enjoyable for Yourself and for Everyone Else on the Course by Roland Merullo, I was taken back to my beginning in the game.

When I was a kid, I learned the game of golf from my grandfather, Mike Halas, who was a terrific player before my time - winning many local tournaments. By the time I picked up the game, a series of strokes had forced him off the course, but they couldn’t dampen his love of the sport.

My grandfather was my etiquette guide.
My earliest memory of golf - aside from hitting Wiffle balls in my grandparents’ backyard - was watching the 1982 Masters with my grandfather. Craig Stadler won in a playoff over Dan Pohl. Seve Ballesteros and Jerry Pate finished one stroke back. I remember thinking how differently their swings looked. My grandfather told me they all had two things in common - they kept their heads down and eyes on the ball. My first - and best - golf tip!

My early swing wasn’t the only thing for which I can credit my grandfather. He also taught me the most basic - and important - rules of etiquette. “Let faster players play through” was on every scorecard and should have been stitched on a pillow in his family room. It was very important to him that I respect the game and the course. Replacing divots and repairing ball marks were also high on his must-do list.

As “Gramps” was lying in the hospital following a heart attack, only days before he passed, I was able to present him with the scorecard from my first sub-40 round. I’ve played a lot of golf and carded a lot of low scores since then, but I’ve never felt as much pride as I did at that moment - showing him that our shared love of the game was strong.

My stroll down Memory Lane complete ... Back to the book.

An enjoyable and quick read (only 52 pages, including three appendices), The Ten Commandments of Golf Etiquette should be on every golfer’s reading list. Merullo breaks his book into 10(ish) chapters. Picture Moses as the starter:
1. Thou Shalt Be Quiet
2. Thou Shalt Be Safe
3. Thou Shalt Play at a Good Pace
4. Thou Shalt Respect the Course
5. Thou Shalt Be a Good Driver
6. Thou Shalt Be Courteous
7. Thou Shalt Manage Your Mood
8. Thou Shalt Be Generous
9. Thou Shalt Learn the Rules
10. Thou Shalt No Cheat
10a. Though Shalt Have Fun

Commandments 3 and 4 have my grandfather written all over them. And No. 5 has nothing to do with your tee shot.

Thank you, Roland Merullo, for writing this book and giving me a reason to share my passion for the game and love of my grandfather with those who read this review.

Order a copy of the book HERE.

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