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Golf Tips and Rules

Serious Breach of Etiquette

Please keep in mind that the committee can disqualify a player, who continuously disregards the etiquette rules and knowingly causes discomfort to other players with his actions.

Introduction

Golf etiquette which encompasses etiquette, safety and maintaining the course needs to be known and practiced by all players on the course.  Basically the game relies upon each golfer to be considerate of their fellow players and to abide by the "Rules".  The rules are in place to make the game more enjoyable.

The Essence of the Game is Respect.

  • Respect of the course - leave course as you would like to find it
  • Respect of fellow players - be sportsmanlike
  • Respect of the game - know the "Rules"

Only in Golf

Contrary to most other sports, golf is played without guidance, supervision, or control by a referee on the golf course and it is based on mutual trust. Players should practice discipline, good sportsmanship and show respect to fellow players.  This is what separates golf from other sports.  


General Etiquette Rules

All golfers whether on the course or on club premises should behave impeccably.  Here are some basic rules:

  • Respect local dress codes
  • Find out if there is a restriction on spikes and observe those restrictions.
  • Before heading to the first tee box, talk to the club pro or the starter and find out about local rules. 
  • Act respectfully to all personnel.
  • Keep your temper in check and never toss your clubs or damage the course. 
  • No littering or spitting on the course please. 

Before Tee Time

  • Arrive at the course well in advance.
  • Know your exact handicap.
  • Know the game format.
  • Know the tee priority within your group.  The player with the lower handicap has honors and tees of first.
  • Mark your ball with distinctive dots, lines or visuals so there can be no dispute that it is your ball.
  • Listen to the Starter's instructions carefully.

On the Tee Box

  • Arrive at the tee box at least five minutes prior to your tee time.
  • Introduce yourself to your fellow golfers and wish everybody a good game.
  • The player with the lowest score on the previous hole has honors and tees of first.  If you tie on a hole, honors usually is given to the player that scored higher on the previous hole.
  • When standing on the teeing ground, be sure to stand to the side that faces the player who is hitting on the tee. Standing behind the player can be very distracting.
  • Show the other players which ball you're playing and its markings.

Pace of Play

It is important to maintain a reasonably fast pace of play as no one enjoys golf when they are stuck behind a slower group meandering down the course.   It is good golf etiquette for the Slow Group to invite the Fast Group to "play through."  Use the groups ahead of you and behind you to gauge your pace.  If the group that teed off in front of you is putting a full hole's distance ahead of your group, then your group needs to speed up.  If there's no one in front of you holding you up, but you are holding up those behind you, either speed up or allow the group behind you to play through.

  • Avoid multiple practice swings before shots.
  • Prepare yourself to take your shot without wasting time. For example if you take your glove off between shots, put on your glove before you approach your ball.
  • Approach your ball as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Plan your shot prior to arriving at your ball.  When you are walking up to your ball plan how you want to play your shot and determine which club you will want to use.
  • When arriving at a green, leave the cart or your golf bag on the side of the putting green closest to the path leading to the next tee box.
  • You can determine your line of putt while other players are putting however please be mindful not to disturb the player that is putting.
  • Quickly leave the putting green as soon as the last player has holed out.
  • Mark your score card while approaching the next tee box.
  • If you think your original ball could be lost or out of bounds, play a provisional ball to save time.
  • If you need time to look for your ball you are required to allow the group behind to play through.
  • When you allow a group to play through, you should not play until the group in front is clearly out of range.

Respect of Fellow Players

  • Don't talk prior to or during another players turn to address their ball.  Avoid any unnecessary noise or movement that will distract or disturb fellow players.
  • At the Tee Box, do not tee your ball if it is not your turn to play.
  • Do not stand directly behind a player, who is about to play.  Stay out of their vision to avoid distracting them.
  • Do not walk or stand on fellow player's putting line and do not cast your shadow on a fellow player's putting line.
  • Do not leave the putting area until all other players in the group have holed out.
  • Mark and verify score when marking the other player's score card at the end of each hole.
  • Try not to use electronic devices on the course.  If you must carry a cell phone for emergency purposes, try not to disturb other players.

Maintaining the Course

Each  player is responsible for avoiding actions that would damage the course. Players should pay attention to leave the course as it was before their round and should avoid any action that can damage the course, such as slamming their clubs on the ground in anger. 

At the Tee
  • Please take care in not hitting the ground and making divots during your practice swing.  If possible, make your practice swing outside the tee box.
  • Divots at the tee should not be replaced.  They should be repaired along the specifications by the greenkeeper.
  • If sand is provided in the tee box, please use it to repair divots.
  • Please keep trolleys off the tee box. 

Fairways
  • Avoid making divots during your practice swing.  Don't forget to replace your divots.

Bunkers

  • Do not jump into the bunkers.  Use the lowest point in the bunker for entry to and exit from the bunkers.
  • While exiting the bunker, do not forget to fix your or others' footprints.
  • If there is a rake near the bunker, use that to repair the surface.
  • After using the rake, place it at its designated place.  If no such place exists, place it in a spot where the possibility of the rake being hit by a ball is the lowest.

Putting Green

  • Leave your bag off the green.
  • Check to see if your ball has left a pitchmark on the green.  If it has, fix it.
  • On each green, make sure to fix two pitchmarks, one other than your own.
  • Take care not to leave scuff marks with your shoes on the green. 
  • Pay attention not to step on other players' putting lines.
  • Avoid standing too close to the hole.
  • Do not use your putter to get your ball out of the cup.
  • Do not lean on your putter while taking your ball out of the cup.
  • ​Handle the flagstick with care and place it in the cup before you leave the green.        

Fixing Pitchmarks

It is imperative that the pitchmarks are properly and quickly fixed on the greens.  If fixed within 5 minutes, the damaged part returns to normal in 24 hours.  After 10 minutes, it might take up to 15 days to return to normal. 

Right method: Stick the pitchmark repair tool in the side of the ball mark and push the top part towards the middle.  Use your putter or your feet to flatten its surface.

Wrong Method: Do not pull the bottom of the mark to the surface .  That damages the roots and pushes the sand underneath to the surface.

Push/Pull-Carts (Trolley) and Golf Carts (Buggy)

  • With all carts, obey the local rules set by the club.
  • Do not leave your carts on or near the green.
  • While driving a buggy, pay close attention to safety, especially on descends and turns. 
  • Push the parking pedal everytime you leave your buggy.
  • Do not carry more people than allowed on the buggies.