Golf etiquette and golf rules are the soul of golf. Golf rules unite golfers of all standards, who play by the rule, and this is reflected in the polite manner and honesty in their golf etiquette. Although golf is all about swings, shots, and putts, the sport would not be what it is without the etiquette and the rules, the essence of golfing success. Golf requires only a few simple rules to guide the players, and these rules are simple and easily understood by anyone who has once sen the game, because the spirit of the game is its own referee.
Golf Etiquette on the Green
Golf has always been regarded as a gentleman’s game. Golf etiquette is the manner, honesty, and sense of politeness with which you play your game.
Here are some of the most basic examples of good golf etiquette on the green, and most of them reflect courtesy and your personality:
Golf etiquette requires you to be properly attired. Clothes may not make the man, but they certainly make the golfer, and no well-established player would come to the links improperly dressed.
Golf etiquette tells you not to bring a cell phone onto a golf course for the obvious reason that it may be disturbing to other players.
Walking on another golfer’s line (the route which the ball will travel from where it stopped to the hole) is not golf etiquette. Don’t step on it. Step over it. Better, walk around it. And that is golf etiquette.
Golf etiquette requires you always to keep a ball marker or coin in your pocket to mark (putting behind your ball) your ball’s spot on the green.
According to golf etiquette, you should pay careful attention to local rules, local notices regulating the movement of golf carts, and you adhere to local dress codes.
You must ensure that no one could be injured by the club, ball or any other object prior to playing a stroke or making a practice swing. Do not play until players in front are out of range. You must always shout “Fore!” when you hit a ball towards other golfers. This is golf etiquette!
You must always play, without delay, by keeping up with the group in front, not just ahead of the group behind. You must allow faster players to play through. If you believe your ball may be lost, to save time, you should play a provisional ball. When searching for a ball, you should signal the players behind to pass as soon as it becomes apparent to you that the ball will not be found easily. This is part of golf etiquette.
You must place your trolley or bag at a point off the green, near to your route to the next tee - before you put. This is another example of golf etiquette.
Golf etiquette requires you not to damage the putting green by putting down objects such as bags, or the flag-stick. You don’t damage the putting green by leaning on your putter. You don’t damage a hole by standing too close to it, when handling the flag-stick or when removing a ball from the hole. These are not examples of golf etiquette.
You must leave the putting green as soon as the play of a hole has been completed. You fill your score when you get to the next tee, not whilst standing on the green. This thoughtful consideration is golf etiquette.
You must properly re-place the flags-tick in the hole before leaving the putting green. This also is golf etiquette.
You don’t talk or move whilst your partners are playing. Stand well back.
You must always rake bunkers after use, repair pitch marks, divots, ball marks and spike damage.
In taking your practice swings, you must avoid causing damage to the course, in particular the tees. This is another example of golf etiquette.
Win or loose, golf etiquette says you must shake hands on the 18th hole, and then head for the 19th hole.
Always be aware of golf etiquette on the course. Golfers are good people, but even good people can have problem behavior at times. If you see flagrant disregard of golf etiquette, the issue become what to say and how to say it. Judgment and tact then become part of golf etiquette too. Remember, golf etiquette is golfing success. Golf etiquette makes the game enjoyable for everyone.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau