Golf Course Etiquette
Simple golf course etiquette it is just a matter of common sense, good manners, and consideration for those playing the game around you. It can make your experience on the green pleasant and enjoyable.
As with most sports, there are several unspoken rules one should adhere to when playing the game of golf. Following these rules is often known as good golf etiquette. These unspoken rules do not involve any really complicated procedures; it is just a matter of common sense, good manners, and consideration for those playing the game around you.
In general you must have safety in mind at all times when playing golf. This means you shouldn’t take a swing in the direction of another person, even if it is a practice swing, unless the person is well out of range. Also, do not swing if somebody is walking near to your club. If it is not your shot make sure you are stood well away from the swinging arc of the person taking the shot.
It is obviously good manners to keep quiet on the golf course and not to run or fool around. You might distract someone from their shot.
Golf etiquette dictates that you should try and keep up with the group in front of you, to prevent groups behind you from being slowed up. If you do not spend a long time over each shot this should not be a problem. At the same time be careful not to hit a golf ball at the group in front if they are playing slowly. It is better to walk up to the group and ask politely if you may play through. If they allow you to play through their group, do so quickly and courteously.
Specifically, on the tee you should remain quiet when another person is taking their shot, and remain still out of their field of vision. This golf etiquette also extends to the fairway but over a much vaster area, meaning you must be aware of where everybody’s ball is in your group. It is good manners to replace any divots that you turf up. Don’t take more than a few minutes looking for a lost ball. If you do insist on taking longer than this be aware of groups behind you and allow them to play through if necessary. Enter all bunkers from the low side to avoid damaging the walls of the bunker. After taking your shot use the rake to remove any marks caused by the ball and your footprints. Leave the rake running parallel with the fairway, at the edge of the bunker.
On the green some golf clubs now prefer you to wear soft spikes to prevent damaging the green. Never walk through the putting line of somebody else’s ball. Repair any ball marks caused when your ball lands on the green with an appropriate tool. When marking your golf ball it is good golf etiquette to place the marker behind the ball, before picking it up. The person furthest from the hole putts first, so you might have to wait your turn. When placing your ball for a putt, always put the ball down first and pick the marker up afterwards. If somebody is putting or chipping towards the hole from off the green somebody will have to hold the flag for him. When doing so make sure your shadow is not cast along the line of the putt, and do not walk through anybody else’s putting line. When everybody is putting on the green the flag can be removed and placed at the edge of the green. Always replace it when your group has finished the hole. Mark your cards on the next tee to prevent the next group from being held up unnecessarily.
By adhering to these simple good manners you can help to ensure that everyone has a thoroughly enjoyable day out on the golf course.