Game etiquette come before fairway lessons

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 July, 1996, 12:00am

Wee Peng Siong, resident professional at Lakewood, says novices need to learn golf etiquette before mastering the game.

'I'm one who firmly believes in tradition and etiquette, and if you don't follow those rules then you are playing a different game,' Mr Wee said.

Many people in Hong Kong tended to imitate professionals for the wrong reasons, he said. They were widely influenced by tournament golf on television.

'The professionals are meticulous and they have the benefit of taking their time because of the limited playing field. You can't do that at your country club as it holds up play so the rules must be taught to benefit everyone,' he said.

'People must also learn to respect the actual course, learn to fix your ball [impact] marks and so forth. I've trained my staff that this is vital to maintaining the condition of the course.' Mr Wee, a three handicapper, said lessons were a large part of his job, mainly working with beginners to low-handicappers. He said a typical lesson looked at a person's driving, short game and mental attitude towards the sport.

'I tell people: 'When you are learning something new, don't worry about your score because it takes a while to get comfortable with a new way of thinking. After practising a while it will all come together'.' He said lessons were $500 per hour or $1,600 for a round of golf. Half-hour lessons were also available.

'I always emphasise at least three months of lessons, say a lesson per week,' he said.

Mr Wee has already trained 40 caddies in proper course maintenance, game etiquette and their role in serving golfers.