GOLFING ETIQUETTE FOR ALL
A brief and practical overview of good behaviour on the golf course, for those just starting the game and a reminder to others, to help avoid embarrassment and conflict!
First, some basic instructions on care of our course
Maximise enjoyment for all players:
Ensure safety of all people on the Course
Spirit of the Game
Pace of play
Care of the Course
Spirit of the Game – unlike many sports golf is played without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the players, to show consideration for all on the Course and, to abide by the rules.
Thus Courtesy, Discipline and Sportsmanship are the key drivers of behaviour.
TIP – GET A RULE BOOK AND READ IT. (see later)
TIP – ENSURE YOUR MOBILE PHONE IS OFF
TIP – when other players are about to play KEEP STILL AND QUIET.
TIP – On the putting green DO NOT STAND BEHIND PLAYER OR HOLE.
TIP – On putting green DO NOT WALK ON OTHER PLAYER'S LINE OF PUTT.
TIP – On putting green TAKE PARTICULAR CARE AROUND THE HOLE
TIP – On sunny days BE AWARE OF YOUR SHADOW
TIP – THE PLAYER FURTHEST FROM THE HOLE PLAYS FIRST.
Safety – ensure no one is close by or in a position to be hit by clubs, ball, stones etc. when playing a stroke or practice swing. This includes ensuring players in front are out of range and alerting greenstaff, working on the Course, of your intentions.
TIP - if you mishit a ball and it is in danger of hitting someone then a warning shout of “FORE” with arm raised pointing at the ball is good practice.
Pace of Play – keep up with the group in front. If you are a clear hole behind and are holding up the group behind then you should invite them to play through. Be ready to play when it is your turn.
Rule Book Page 27. "Pace of play - Be ready to play".
Rules Page 62. "Undue Delay; Slow Play".
TIP – as you walk towards your ball on the fairway DECIDE YOUR NEXT SHOT AND REMOVE THAT CLUB FROM YOUR BAG.
TIP – as you approach the green DETERMINE THE EXIT TO THE NEXT TEE AND PLACE YOUR BAG ON THAT SIDE.
(Social golf) If partners agree you may leave flag unattended to putt out
(Social golf) During Stableford or team games if you cannot score then pick up and move on
TIP – as soon as the play of the hole has been completed VACATE THE GREEN AND SURROUNDING AREA IMMEDIATELY (complete score card at the next tee).
Often the biggest loser of time is LOST BALLS.
Rule Book Page 28 Lost ball.
"If a player believes his ball may be lost out side a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time,he should play a provisional ball.
Players searching for a ball should signal the players in the group behind them to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found. They should not search for three minutes before doing so. Having allowed the group behind to play through they should not continue play until that group has passed and is out of range."
TIP – ACT AS “SPOTTER” FOR ALL BALLS PLAYED BY YOUR GROUP.
TIP – if any ball played heads away from the fairway WATCH THE BALL UNTIL IT COMES TO REST.
TIP – as the ball comes to rest PICK A REFERENCE POINT BEHIND YOU AND ONE BEHIND THE BALL AND PLOT THE LINE. If all in the group do likewise then the ball should be found quickly.
TIP – if you have played a ball into the rough PLAY A PROVISIONAL BALL FROM THE SAME SPOT.
Care of the Course -
Teeing Ground –
TIP - DO NOT REPAIR DIVOTS other than filling hole with loose earth and seed from tee box if provided.
TIP – DO NOT TAKE PRACTICE SWINGS WITHIN THE TEE AREA (2 Club Lengths back from tee markers)
TIP – REPLACE ANY DIVOTS YOU MAKE and press them in with your heel.
TIP – whilst walking the fairway REPAIR ANY DIVOTS LIKEWISE.
TIP – before leaving bunkers SMOOTH OVER ANY HOLES ETC. leave the rake just inside the bunker.
On the Green -
Repair your own pitch marks and any others near your ball. The rules state you may repair any marks and remove loose impediments on the green.
TIP – take care when standing near the hole DO NOT PRESS DOWN WITH A CLUB (ie LEAN ON PUTTER) OR FLAG OR SCUFF WITH YOUR SHOES.
TIP – when removing ball from hole DO NOT USE YOUR PUTTER BLADE or wrench the flag from the hole. TIP – before leaving the green QUICKLY TAP DOWN ANY MARKS ETC NEAR THE HOLE.
Rules of Golf (where the majority of these notes may be found)
The Rules of Golf are based on common sense and pragmatism. They can in fact help you in many instances IF YOU KNOW THEM. Like most things in life there is an 80:20 rule – 20 per cent of the rules apply 80 per cent of the time. So, the trick is to ascertain which are the 20 per cent to learn. The other 80 per cent will be picked up through experience if you take the trouble to learn. Rule books are free from the Pro Shop and other members will be happy to lend their copies to you.