As USGTF professionals, we are the ultimate ambassadors for the game of golf, and with that role comes great responsibility. It is important to uphold a high standard of behavior and etiquette, not only to put the organization and the game of golf in a good light, but it’s also important from a personal point of view. And no, that’s not being selfish.

What does it mean to uphold a higher standard of behavior and etiquette that may be different than what is expected of amateurs? First and foremost, it means keeping one’s composure in all circumstances, even if doing so may be difficult. This allows for rational thinking and the ability to solve problems or diffuse tricky situations. Losing composure simply adds to the chaos that may exist.

Personal appearance is another important aspect. Dress codes have been loosened in recent years, but the uniform of the professional remains intact. Female professionals have a little more leeway than do male professionals in this regard, but there are still certain standards that apply to everyone. It also commands an air of respect when the professional’s appearance matches his or her role in the golf industry.

Finally, there are times when we play golf with our members or our students. Sure, it might be tough to hit bad shots and not play our best, but it’s important to remember that we are not playing golf for a living, so in perspective, what we shoot doesn’t affect our lives in any way, shape or form. But how we react to poor play does, and it also sets the example – good or bad – for all to see.

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