Five Do's and Don'ts For Golf Players Lighting Up on The Links
Follow these basic rules when consuming on course.
Like many public or semi-public places, golf courses have often operated on a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” basis when it comes to cannabis consumption. Since the days of Caddyshack, a many players and golf course employees have openly admitted to enjoying their favorite strain on the fairway before, during and after the game. Nonetheless, there are plenty players they may join for a round who may not be so comfortable with open cannabis consumption. When golfers are paired with strangers, they can’t always be certain whether their use will be tolerated or not.
For the time being, most public and private courses do not permit smoking of any sort anyway, but that doesn’t stop players from lighting up cigars or cigarettes, either. And just like those up in Canada, American golf courses will eventually confront what they’ve otherwise let slide all of these years. So even if the R&A Rule Book hasn’t updated their golf etiquette terms, we and others have already gotten started, and this is what has been determined so far.
Be Discreet: This is especially important if you’re playing with people you don’t otherwise know. If you’re vaping or eating an edible, you won’t have to worry about this so much, but overly conspicuous consumption may make others uncomfortable.
Don’t Smoke Downwind of a Player Teeing up: This matches up with the R&A’s overriding principle of showing consideration for other golfers at all times. Not everybody appreciates the terpene profile of your favorite bud, and some even get worried about catching a contact high that they think may screw up their par-four.
Don’t Consume in front of the Kids: This, of course, goes without saying. While some golfers understandably chafe at the double-standard afforded the open use of alcohol on the golf course and its public consumption, making a stand on the seventh hole can lead to all sorts of unintended consequences, such as this amusing anecdote.
One senior golfer left a memorable thread on the golf site “The Fairway” about a time when he played with two younger players alongside his younger granddaughter. The poster asked the players to stop doing “the deed” around his granddaughter, since she had no idea of what they were consuming at all. They refused. After pulling away from the players for the rest of the game, the poster’s granddaughter mentioned the incident after the game to the poster’s son-in-law and brother who just so happened to be, wait for it… law enforcement. Needless to say, there was an unpleasant result.
Let Someone Else Do the Driving: Golf course Insurers which works with golf courses dread what might happen when people who are drunk and high might do if they get behind a golf course and decide to drive it into a water hazard. For this reason, we may not see the beverage cart (or drone) selling cannabis products alongside beer, wine or spirits any time soon, even with federal legalization. Even so, the same rule of thumb applies to golf carts and cars alike.
No Obvious Puns: This may not apply so much to the average golfer. But while it may have gotten the course some headlines early on during the early months of Canada’s legalization, Rolling Green Golf Club eventually dialed back their cannabis-friendly rebranding, changing its name back to Lombardy Glen. So while you’re never going to take the green out of golf, it’s always going to be about the game, rather than a gimmick.