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Limit the Negative Effects of Smoking On and Off the Golf Course

Posted by Peter Post  November 18, 2013 07:00 AM

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I was driving down the fairway at my local golf course last week when I noticed something that didn’t belong there. One of the things about golf courses in general is they tend to be relatively litter-free. The closer I got the more it became apparent that the object was a cigar butt.


I have been known to smoke an occasional cigar and I have even tried smoking one on the golf course. Frankly, I found it disruptive to my concentration on the course so I’ve stopped. But when I did smoke one, I, as well as the others in my group who smoked, took great pains 1. to extinguish it completely, and 2. to deposit it in an appropriate receptacle. Cigar butts, and for that matter cigarette butts, should not litter the golf course.

If you do want to enjoy a cigar or cigarette on the course here are seven tips to make sure your enjoyment doesn’t come at other peoples’ expense.

  1. Before lighting up, ask the others in your foursome if they will mind you smoking. It is especially important if you are sharing a golf cart to ask your fellow rider if he or she minds.
  2. If you are sharing a cart, you might consider walking while you indulge yourself.
  3. Pay attention to where your smoke is blowing. Try to position yourself downwind of others so your smoke doesn’t waft across them as you puff away. In particular, puffing away while standing upwind of someone who is about to make a shot is the height of discourtesy.
  4. If you decide to hold a cigar or cigarette in your mouth while you make a swing, be careful that you don’t inadvertently end up burning a hole in your shirt or sweater.
  5. Take care with where you deposit ashes. Special attention should be taken to avoid dropping them on the green.
  6. Don’t drop your lit cigar or cigarette on the green, either.
  7. Always dispose of butts safely and in an appropriate receptacle.

By the way, the advice for on the course is a good starting point for any time you light up a smoke: Ask first, position yourself so as not to bother to others, take care with your ashes, and extinguish and dispose of it appropriately.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."

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