Whether you have been playing golf for a while or are new to the game, good golf etiquette is important to know, to facilitate a good time on the course. Proper etiquette can make or break a round and you only get one chance at a first impression so make it a good one.
Here are some basic etiquette rules that we ask our golfers to follow while on the course to assist with play and maintaining the health of the course.
Arrive Early and Consider Others
Please try to show up at least 20 minutes before your tee time. This allows you to check in, get loose, and be ready to tee off when it’s your turn. Consideration for others goes a long way on the golf course. Whenever you play think of other golfers. Try not to do things that will hurt their shots or annoy them.
Pace of Play
Keep a steady and consistent pace. You don’t need to play fast but keep up with everyone else. If other golfers behind you catch up, let them play through. When your turn arrives, always be ready.
One of the most frustrating things in a round of golf is waiting for the people in front of you. If a group comes up behind you, let them play through. It lets you relax and enjoy the game more. Try to speed up the play as much as possible, but if you wander into the rough, allow about three minutes to find the ball, then take a drop and a penalty to keep the game moving forward.
A careful reading of the ‘priority on the course’ paragraph in today’s Rule book shows: “Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, priority on the course is determined by a group’s pace of play. Any group playing a whole round is entitled to pass a group playing a shorter round. The term ‘group’ includes a single player.”
It is a group’s responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If the group loses a clear hole and is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group.
When the course is crowded a simple rule of thumb for when to let a faster group play through is as follows:
- For holes that are par 3’s, if the group ahead of you is on the next green and a faster group arrives at the tee box before you have teed off you should consider letting the faster group play through.
- For all other holes, if the group ahead of you is on the next tee box and a faster group arrives at the tee box before you have teed off you should consider letting the faster group play through.
When you are already waiting on the group in front of you and a faster group arrives, use your own judgment on whether overall play would “improve” if you let the faster group play through. If it is your determination that it would then please let the faster group play through.
The Play-Through in Golf
If your approach shot is likely to reach the four ball in front of you, wait for them to clear the area before playing. Should your shot be a bit wayward, shout “Fore!” at the top of your lungs if it is heading toward other players on the course. When you get there, apologize, and make sure nobody got hurt.
Care of the Course
This follows the principle of “Leave No Trace.” Take care of the golf course; fill it in even if you didn’t create a divot. If you enter a bunker, rake it afterward. Leave no trace on the green.
Replace your divots.
Turf tends to explode on impact, making it difficult, if not impossible, to replace the divot. In this case, you have two options:
- You can use the toe of your shoe to kick in the turf around the edges of the divot.
- Each cart should have containers of a soil/seed mixture, simply fill in the divot with the mixture.
Ball Marks on the Green
Using a tee, knife, key, or repair tool, repair the mark by working the edges towards the center, without lifting the center of the mark. Don’t tear the grass. Finish by smoothing the area with a club or your foot. Try to get the area smooth enough to putt over.
Obey the Cart Path Rules
Make sure to check with the Pro Shop/Course staff before driving all through the course. Depending on the season and conditions there could be areas where carts are not welcome so as not to damage the course.
Keep carts 30 feet from the tees and greens. Please stay on the cart paths provided.