Etiquette and integrity are at the very heart of golf.
Golf etiquette refers to a set of rules and practices designed to make the game of golf safer and more enjoyable for golfers and to minimize possible damage to golf equipment and courses. Although many of these practices are not part of the formal rules of golf, golfers are customarily expected to observe them.
PRIOR TO PLAY
- Arrive at least fifteen minutes before your tee-off time.
- Have no more than four in a group.
- Be prepared to have others join you if have less than 4 in your group.
- Be ready to play when it is your time to tee off.
- Use course scorecard for reference on yardage, hole layout and local rules.
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 facing other golfers while they are hitting.
- Watch where all balls go to avoid time spent looking for lost balls.
- Yell the warning “FORE!” if your ball is heading toward another golfer.
- Walk directly to your ball unless you reach someone else’s ball first.
- Take no more than one practice swing.
- Player furthest from the hole usually plays first but golfers out of range of the group in front can play first, if ready.
- Walk briskly between shots and be ready to play when it is your turn.
- Always keep pace with the group in front of you.
- Assist playing partners when needed by helping to find lost balls.
ON THE GREEN
- Repair your own ball marks and one other.
- Avoid stepping on another player’s putting line.
- Players begin putting when all balls are on the green.
- The person furthest away from the hole putts first.
- Mark your ball if it is in the path of another player’s ball.
- Record all scores on the next tee.
Tips to avoid slow play
The number one problem in golf today, as evidenced by the overwhelming golfer complaint, is Slow Play. The following tips can help you always keep pace with the group in front of you.
- Be ready to hit when it is your turn.
- Limit practice swings to one or none.
- Take plenty of clubs with you to your ball when leaving your bag.
- Consider all options as you approach your ball to make decisions quickly.
- Watch all balls until they stop rolling to avoid lengthy searches.
- Use a fixed object as a reference point.
- All players should go directly to their own ball and play when ready.
- If you do fall behind, let faster groups play through.
- Continue putting until holed out unless you would be standing on someone’s putting line.
- Remember, by keeping pace you make the game more enjoyable for everyone!!
The golf course, clubhouse, practice green and driving range are subject to the regulations below and it is expected that members and guests will utilize the facilities with a well-groomed appearance.
ACCEPTABLE ITEMS OF DRESS
- Shirts should be collared, of neat appearance and tucked in.
- Tailored shorts may be worn by men or ladies.
- Men’s shorts must be above the knee.
- Anklet socks are also acceptable.
- Slacks must not be worn tucked into socks.
- Golf shoes with soft spikes must be worn on the course and practice areas.
UNACCEPTABLE ITEMS OF DRESS
- Football or sporting type shorts.
- Shirts without collars (an exception applies to women’s attire and shirts that are specifically designed for golf).
- Denim of any description
- Cargo trousers/shorts, draw string trousers/shorts.
- Track suit pants/tops or any type of gymnasium attire.
- Ladies are advised not to have bare midriffs
- Sandals, or bare feet.
- Caps and visors should not be worn in the clubhouse and mobile phones must be switched to silent.
- Metal spikes are not permitted.
- Members are at all times responsible for the attire of their guests.
Guests must be informed of dress requirements in advance to avoid embarrassment. All staff are advised to strictly enforce the above dress regulations and their judgement as to the suitability of attire shall be considered final.
Before leaving a bunker, a player should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by him, and then leave the rake with the handle pointing toward the tee of the hole being played.
- Always enter the bunker at the lowest point.
- Pull rake toward you as you exit the bunker.
- If required rake other affected areas.
- Do not pile sand at the edge of the bunker. Push back excess sand.
- Always start at the back of the mark and push forward with the repairer.
- Use repairer around all sides and slowly ease turf toward the centre of the mark. Do not lift the soil upwards.
- Lightly tap down with putter.
- Remove any loose turf from the affected area.
- Knock in all sides of the edge of the divot with your club.
- Fill divot with sand.
Flagsticks, Bags etc. Players should ensure that neither they nor their caddies damage the hole by standing close to it in handling the flagstick or in removing the ball from the hole. The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.
Removing the Ball
Players are requested to NOT to use their putter to remove their golf ball from the hole.
Speed of play
All players should take responsibility for the speed of play in their group, not just the low marker. Your position should always be immediately behind the team ahead and not immediately Infront of the team behind. Please consider the following when on the course
- Mark your card on the next tee whilst other players are hitting.
- Play a provisional ball whenever your ball may be lost. (It saves on considerable time to play a second shot that is not needed than to walk back three minutes later).
- Make your club selection and complete your practice swings before it is your turn to hit.
- Stop searching for a lost ball after three minutes.
- Call the following group through when you feel your search for the ball is likely to delay them.
- Leave the player with the lost ball to look on their own after one or two minutes (when the chance of finding it is remote) so as you can prepare for your own shot.
- After putting, quickly declare whether marking or continuing. Immediate warning for the next person putting allows for early preparation for the other player.
- Pick up immediately when you can no longer score for that hole.
- Ask your guests in social golf to pick up if they are delaying the following group.
- Politely ask the group in front to call you through if it is obvious they are delaying the field.
- Keep track of the time taken for the round. (e.g. playing in threes;1 hour and 10 minutes for 6 holes, 1 hour 55 minutes for 9 holes) and so on to ensure you are on track to comfortable golf and maximum enjoyment to those following.
Numerous practice swings, lengthy delays in lining up putts, pacing out distances prior to club selection, and viewing putts from all points of the compass are not sensible practices for the average golfer. If you are concerned about your ability to keep up in a field, consider playing at the end of the field.