Etiquette is a word that’s often heard in relation to golf but it’s not just about manners. It is about the safety of golfers, enjoying the game while maintaining the pace of play and to assist maintaining the quality of the golf course.

If you are new to the game, or just need to brush up on your golf etiquette, here are some basics that will help keep the game enjoyable for you and those around you.

1.   No player shall play until the players in front are out of range.

2.   Any match failing to hold its place on the course and loses more than one clear hole on the players in front shall allow the match following  to pass.

3.   When the play of a hole is completed, players shall move to the next tee before marking their cards. The player with the honour shall play before marking their card.

4.   Players are responsible for repairing their own divot marks and bunker marks and are encouraged to repair others.

5.   No one shall move, talk or stand close to or directly behind the ball or hole when a player is addressing the ball or making a stroke.

6.   The lowest handicapped player in each group is responsible for the observance of the rules of golf and etiquette. This does not however relieve all players of their responsibilities under the rules of golf.

7.   Slow play is contagious – help eliminate it.

Keep It Safe

  • Do not swing your club until you know that others in your group are at a safe distance. Likewise, keep your distance when others are swinging. Be aware to steer clear of trouble.
  • When practicing your swing, never swing in the direction of another player. There may be pebbles or twigs or other matter in the grass that could fly up and injure a playing partner.
  • Do not hit the ball until you are certain that the group ahead of you is out of range.
  • Yell the warning “FORE!” if your ball is heading toward another golfer or group of golfers.
  • Observe the safety suggestions posted in golf carts and drive carefully.
  • Never throw clubs in anger. In addition to being rude and childish, it could also be dangerous.

Prior to Play

  • On competition days arrive at least twenty minutes early to check-in.
  • Be ready to play when it is your time to tee off.
  • Competition players have right of way on the course
  • Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players

On the Tee

  • Mark your ball so that you can identify it.
  • Hit ONLY when golfers ahead of you are out of range.
  • Stand still and quiet while other golfers are hitting.
  • Watch where all balls go to avoid time spent looking for lost balls.
  • Play a provisional ball if there is any question that the ball may be lost, in a hazard or out bounds
  • Repair any divot by chopping in the edges.

The Fairway

  • Walk directly to your ball unless you reach someone else’s ball first.
  • Place your bag or cart near you when hitting.
  • Take no more than one practice swing.
  • Stand still and quiet while other golfers are hitting
  • Player furthest from the hole usually plays first, but golfers out of range of the group in front can play first, if ready.
  • Play a provisional ball if there is any question that the ball may be lost, in a hazard or out bounds
  • Do not spend too much time looking for a lost ball, particularly if there is a group behind you ready to play. If you insist on taking the full five minutes allotted in the rulebook to look for lost balls, golf etiquette says wave up the group behind to allow them to play through
  • Chop in your divot, and others you may see whilst walking the fairways.
  • Walk briskly between shots and be ready to play when it is your turn.
  • Keep Pace with the group in front of you at all times.
  • Assist playing partners when needed by bringing clubs, finding lost balls, etc.
  • Adhere to motorised cart rules at all times.

On the Green

  • Do NOT wheel buggies nor drive carts across the greens and tees.
  • Place your bag or cart between the green and the next tee.
  • Take all clubs that you may need.
  • Repair your own ball marks and others.
  • Avoid stepping on another player’s putting line.
  • Do not let your shadow fall across another players line or the hole when they are putting
  • Players begin putting when all balls are on the green. 
  • The person furthest away from the hole putts first.
  • On long putts, have another player attend the flagstick.
  • Mark your ball if it is in the path of another player’s ball.
  • Move from the green to the next tee box on completion of everyone putting
  • Record all scores on the next tee.
  • The person who is hitting-off 1st should hit then record the score.

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