A Guide to Golf Etiquette
Golf is an ancient sport with many rules and regulations especially regarding etiquette. Historically golf is known as a gentlemen’s sport, but more recently has been accepted as a gentlewoman’s sport as well. The game of golf is one for those who can maintain a calm, cool and collected manner. Maximum enjoyment for all can be achieved when players adhere to a high standard of rules and etiquette.
The Spirit of the Game
Individual integrity and good sportsmanship are expected of each player. There are no referees or supervisors so each player must monitor himself. Conducting oneself in a disciplined manner is expected on the course and off.
The proximity of fellow players should be considered at all times to ensure the utmost safety. Before swinging a club the location of other players should be determined. In addition, one should look to the course to make sure everyone is out of range. Shout warning (fore) if a ball may hit someone.
Consideration for Other Players
Looking out for fellow players is considered good manners, this means keeping quiet, staying clear of the another’s line when putting on the green, and being honest when keeping score. Treat others as you want to be treated.
No Disturbances or Distraction—maintaining quiet and staying still is a must when others are playing, make sure cell phones are off and do not converse with others. Do not tee until it is your turn and make sure not to stand behind the ball or near a hole.
Putting on the Green—do not stand in another player’s line or cast a shadow.
Scoring—there are no official scorekeepers in golf, each player is responsible for himself. Scoring fairly and accurately will earn other’s respect. Check with other players concerning your score on the way to the next tee.
Pace of Play
Keeping up a steady pace is a must when playing within the standards of good etiquette.
Play and Keep Up at Good Pace—consider other groups at play. If a group catches up to you then it is expected to let them play through regardless of size.
Be Ready to Play—paying attention to the game at hand will ensure that you are ready to play when it is your turn.
Lost Ball—if a ball is lost in a hazard or out of bounds the player should signal for others to play through while his ball is located.
Priority on the Course
Precedence is given according to pace of play. Those playing a shorter round will acquiescence to those playing a full round.
Care of the Course
Be aware of damage caused by you or one of your group while playing. Leave the course as you found it with no signs you were there.
Bunkers—fill in all holes or gouges to the course, use a rake if necessary
Repair of Divots—repair any divots made, marks made by ball impact or damage from golf shoes.
Preventing Unnecessary Damage—do not throw down your club in anger, avoid damage caused by practice swings, handle the flag stick as not to damage the green, do not use your club to remove a ball from a hole, and follow all golf cart rules, abiding by the 90-degree rule (keep cart on the designated path until you are even with the ball on fairway.)
Penalties for Breach
Golf is an affable sport when all players follow the rules and practice good golf etiquette. Those who handle themselves in an unsportsmanlike manner with little or no regard to the course or others will be penalized. Golf courses reserve the right to take away a player's privileges for a period of time.