To enjoy the game of golf, we should know and abide by the rules of the game. However, there are also “rules” for behaviour expected before, during and after our round of golf. This guide is to assist you in understanding the unwritten rules of golf etiquette.
- Before Tee Time
- The First Tee
- Pace of Play
- The Course
- Fairways, Roughs and Fringes
- Lost Ball
- Golf Carts
- Lightning and Thunder
- Course Marshalls
Good golf etiquette should be practiced on the course, in the clubhouse and at all other areas of the facility.
- Assure others are out of range before hitting the ball.
- Yell “fore” if there is the slightest chance your shot will hit someone.
- Observe and respect any dress code.
- Check to see if “soft spikes” are required for your golf shoes.
- Learn the rules and play by them.
- Be courteous to other golfers and the staff.
- Never offer instructions or tips unless they are specifically asked for.
- Play only one ball and leave experimentation for the practice range.
- Always stand still and be quiet when another player is ready to hit.
- Control your temper! Golf clubs are not helicopters.
- Arriving early will allow plenty of time for changing shoes, changing clothes and checking in with registration or at the pro shop.
- Allow plenty of time for your warm up and practice on the driving range.
- Decide the format of golf you are playing before you are scheduled to tee off.
- Decide the order of play among your group.
- Be on time. Arrive at your starting hole 5 minutes in advance of your scheduled tee time.
- Be ready to hit when it is your turn.
Slow play affects everyone playing behind you. A conscious effort to play in a timely manner will make golf more enjoyable for everyone.
- Minimise your practice swings.
- Take your practice swings in advance of your turn to hit the ball.
- Be ready to hit when it is your turn.
- Proceed to your ball as soon as it is safe to do so.
- Study the line of your putt while others are putting.
- Mark your score after arriving at the next tee.
- Be aware that if there is a hole open in front of you, you may be playing too slow.
Penalties for Slow Play (CGS Rule)
If groups follow these guidelines, it will make the game more enjoyable for everyone. If a group consistently disregards these guidelines during their round resulting in major delays to groups behind the Committee will take appropriate action in the form of a 3 point penalty to all players in the offending group. That is, 3 stableford points will be deducted from every player in the group at the end of their round.
- Leave the course as you found it..
- Do not spend an unreasonable amount of time to determine the yardage.
- Try to visualise your next shot and how you are going to play it before you get to your ball.
- Minimise the damage you do to the course with your practice shots.
- Replace any divots you have made.
- Respect the property of others. Balls hit out of bounds and landing on someone else’s property should stay there.
- Report any damage that you may have caused.
- Allow any golfer who may have hit into your fairway to take their next shot before you do.
- Observe the rules designated for golf carts.
- Never use a golf cart to search for a lost ball. This will minimise cart damage to fairways and roughs.
- If a player hits’ a good tee shot and then is unable to find the ball, he can deem the ball lost and incur a 2 shot penalty and drop another ball, nearest point of relief to the area where the ball was deemed lost, as greed by playing partners but no nearer the hole.
- If player decides not to deem the ball lost he should signal the players in the group behind to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not be easily found. They should not search for five minutes before doing so. Having allowed the group behind to play through, they should not continue play until that group has passed and is out of range.
Please Note: this 2 shot penalty rule is a CGS local and does not apply to a tee shot hit out-of-bounds. The player must replay their tee shot from the tee. Also a ball hit into a hazard is not a lost ball (i.e. in water).
- Do not jump into bunkers – enter from the low side.
- Take only one club into the bunker and rake your footsteps upon leaving.
- Leave the rake behind, beside or in the bunker – but never in front of it.
- The player whose ball is closest to the pin should tend it while others putt.
- The player whose ball is furtherest from the pin playes first regardless if the ball is on the green or not.
- Fix your ball mark.
- Do not drag your feet – spike marks can cause damage to the greens.
- Do not walk on the line of other players’ putts.
- Bags should never be placed onthe green.
- Leave the green once you have holed the putt and mark your score at the next tee.
- Without interfering with other players, attempt to align your putt while others are aligning theirs.
- Remain as still and quiet as possible while other players are putting.
- Become familiar with the warning and instruction labels on the cart.
- No more than two people on any cart at any time.
- Do not allow minors to drive a cart.
- Never drive a cart on or near a putting green.
- Use extreme caution and proceed slowly on severe hills and turns.
- Always set the parking brake when leaving the cart.
- Only fools believe lightning cannot strike them.
- The Rules of Golf give you the right to stop play and seek shelter at any time you think lightning threatens you.
Course Marshalls are there to assure your round of golf is playing safely and in a timely manner.
- Respect their decisions.
- Don’t argue with them.
- Register any complaints about groups with the marshall, not the other players.