Guest Post Contributed by Michael Weinhaus of Haus Rules Golf Engagement
A role model is looked up to and revered by everyone else. That should be the goal of every junior golfer, but what does it take besides knowing the rules? Check out how your junior golf experience can translate into becoming a role model.
All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manor, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times. To be specific, control your temper by not throwing clubs or using foul language. It ruins your game and your fellow competitors or opponents game too. In stroke-play it is your duty to protect the field. Be aware of possible penalty situations. If one occurs, find a rules official to handle it to prevent arguments. Always report all rules situations at the scorer’s table before signing your scorecard.
Along that note, if you see a fellow competitor or opponent about to commit a rules violation, stop them as you would want them to do the same for you. Make sure to say thank you to the tournament administrators, rules officials, teachers, and most of all your parents.
Become a Golf Rules Expert
Learn the rules and use them to your advantage. You will be admired by rules officials, fellow competitors, and opponents. They are difficult to learn, but the reward might make the difference between winning a tournament or finishing in second place. Know your options as you may receive more relief than you think from hazards, immovable obstructions, and so many other situations.
Never be afraid to ask questions to make sure you know how to do the right thing.
Integrity means doing the right thing when no one is watching. It’s a personality trait that we admire by doing the right thing. Not too long-ago Ernie Els thought his ball was embedded behind a green. He followed the proper procedure to see if it was. It was determined his ball was not embedded. He replaced his ball and chipped in. Ernie called a two-stroke penalty on himself for playing from a wrong place. He said, “the ball came out too good, so I felt I didn’t quite probably put it back exactly where it should have.” When asked why he called the penalty, he responded by saying “I know deep down the ball wasn’t quite where it should be and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.” This exemplifies how Ernie Els is a role model, just by always doing the right thing.
Inspire others to achieve their goals by example. Be passionate, it is contagious and the fastest way to earn respect. Raise your hand first to volunteer. If your schedule permits, be the first one to practice and the last to leave. Take charge to help others in need by becoming their mentor. You will make a difference in people’s lives, and there is nothing more rewarding in life. As a leader, others will come to you for advice and help. The comradery you create will lead to life-long friendships. The doors you open as a leader are endless, and so are the opportunities you create to accomplish your goals.
Reputation is what others think of you based on your character and actions. A positive reputation is everything, you earn it and no one can take it away. It will last a lifetime. However, if you damage it, you can never get it back. That too will last a lifetime. Do not put yourself in a position where someone can question if you violate a rule on the golf course. Off the golf course, be courteous. Treat others the same way as you wish to be treated. Do not take anything for granted, rather be grateful for the opportunities you have in front of you. Always think ahead and the consequences of your actions to maintain the positive reputation you worked so hard to achieve.
If you already follow these principles you are a role model, if not become one. Knowing the rules, Etiquette, Integrity, Leadership and Reputation, are the key ingredients to a life of success on and off the golf course.