Please, clean up after yourself

Now that the Masters is over and it appears Old Man Winter has finally left the premises (talk about a family member overstaying the welcome), many have begun to hit the golf courses.

I had seen a lot being a club professional for almost 18 years.

One common theme, though, is too many people are really lazy when it comes to taking care of a golf course.

Too many think that others will do it for them.

Too many think the maintenance crew is there only to clean up their messes.

Just remember, after a certain age, you are not at home to clean up your children’s messes (certain age of the child, that is).

If you are at a golf course where sand and seed is provided, either on the carts or in the tee caddy’s on the par 3s, please use what you are given.

A sand-and-seed bottle returned with the cart still full is a waste.

I worked with a superintendent years ago in California who instructed members of the crew to put the tee caddy’s right next to the tee marker so they couldn’t be missed.

They weren’t always used, but you could always find them.

Please leave the golf course better than you found it.

If you hit out of a bunker, please clean up your mess. Even a cat does so in its litter box.

After you rake the bunker, knock the sand off your shoes with the sand wedge once exiting the bunker and BEFORE you get on the green.

If you see a bunker unraked, please rake it.

Be ready to play when it’s your turn. Don’t read the putt after the other four have putted. By the time it gets to you, line it up and hit it.

If you are in a cart and you are going to walk to your ball, take the club you think you need, plus the one above and below. If you think it’s a 7-iron, take the 6 and 8 just in case.

The game of golf is played directly behind the game in front of you, not directly in front of the game behind you. In other words, keep pace with the group in front of you and do not care where the group behind you is on the course.

Proceed to the next tee before recording scores.

The last person to putt should never put the flagstick in the cup.

Please, do not give playing lessons.

Repair any ballmark you see.

Here is a rule of thumb if your group is behind:

Group steps to the tee on a par 3 and group ahead has left the tee on the next hole.

Group steps to the tee on a par 4 and the group ahead has already left the green.

Group steps to the tee on a par 5 and the group ahead is already on the green.

Respect the game.

Don’t be late for your tee time.

Know the dress code of the place where you will be playing.

And, the best of all, you’re not that good to get that mad.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at and can be followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike).