Etiquette

Tee Times

Making a tee time with a golf course is a serious commitment. Make sure that you get there with enough time to start play at the scheduled time. A tee time is not the time when you are supposed to arrive at the Golf Course. It is the time when you are supposed to start playing.

Cell Phones

It is better not to have them on the course. If you must, please set it to silent mode.

Divots

Repair or replace divots. Some courses have a preference between replacing divots over filling them in with sand. Find out what the preference is on your local course.

Repair Ball Marks

On the green, repair your ball mark and one other ball mark. If you don’t see your ball mark, repair two others. Repairing ball marks makes you a better putter; and makes the grounds crew look good.

Cart Rules

  • Every course has different cart Rules. Some allow only cart path driving. Some allow only 90 degree driving. Some allow driving anywhere on the fairways.

  • Most courses do not allow driving around the tee boxes, greens and in native areas. They will allow some exceptions for handicapped players - ask at the clubhouse if you need an exception.

  • Check the cart rules for your golf course. But most importantly, remember that golf carts are powerful moving vehicles; drive carefully. Don’t let kids drive (wink wink)

The Golf Routine

This is the time when a player actually plays golf. It starts when you start planning your shot and ends after you swing the club. It is customary to respect this time by making no noise, not moving and not standing too close or within the range of view of the player. The player should not take too long on their golf routine. Try to limit this time to less than one minute.

Pace of Play

On most courses, place of play is important. Thus, the Golf Course usually expects their guests to play the course in a specified amount of time. Find out what this is and try your best to play to the expected pace. Play without delay and be ready to hit when it is your turn.

Playing Through

  • On a par 3: All players hit from the tee box. The faster group putts first, and then moves on.

  • On the tee box: Let the faster group tee off first. Wait until they are out of the way before your group tees off.

  • On the course: Let faster group play through, before you hit. Please stand in a safe place. Wait for them to get out of range before you continue play

Hitting a House or Other Private Property

While playing golf, you invariably will hit a house, a car, or some other form of private property. In some courses you will find that it is your responsibility to pay for the damages. The right thing to do is make an attempt to contact the owners or the club house regarding the damages.

In other courses, it is not your responsibility to pay for any damages. You are safe of any monetary expenditure for damages if this is the case, though it is still polite to check that there are no personal injuries and apologize for your errant shot.

Hitting into Another Group

If you hit a shot into groups in front of you apologize and make sure that this does not happen again. If you deem it necessary, ask the group to let you play through before taking your next shot. When someone hits into you, accept any apology given. If necessary offer that the group plays through. Any disputes regarding this matter should be taken to a designated golf course representative, like a player assistant or course marshal, or even the golf pro.

Slow Play

Playing golf takes a long time and sometimes, especially on the weekends when courses are full, it takes longer than usual to play a round of golf.

Most courses have Players Assistants or Course Marshals to check on the pace of play of the course; if you are concerned with the pace of play, or with a slow group in front of you, talk to the course marshal and let them resolve the issue. In the meantime, be patient.

Littering

While playing golf, you will find yourself with some extra items that might not be needed anymore. For example, paper, wrappers, seeds or other items generally known as garbage.

Please put all garbage in one of the many containers that can be found around the course, normally around the Tee box or in the golf carts. If you see garbage around the course please take the time to pick it up and place it where it belongs. If you like to eat seeds of any kind, don’t leave your seed casings around the greens.

Kids on the course

It is wonderful to see kids on a golf course learning and playing the game and generally enjoying the course.

For my eight year old daughter, golf is all about raking the sand, hitting the ball in the water, making divots and occasionally swinging a club. Don’t spoil their fun at the golf course by trying to teach them how to play the game. They will ask when they are ready.

The guardians of the kids on the course must be made aware of the implicit danger, and liability of having kids on a golf course. Every course has different rules about allowing kids on their course. Please inquire before you take them.

Learning the game

If you are learning the game, please take a lesson from a golf professional first; it will be worth it!

It is better to take new players of the game to a course that suits their ability. A full size course can be a daunting task to all kids and most adults. Go to a Par 3 course, you will be surprised how much fun it can be and believe me, it is still playing golf.

In a full size course, play the tees that best suit your playing ability. Generally speaking according to your handicap, you should play: (0-4) Black; (14-15) Blues; (15-25) Whites; (25 or more) Red.