Rules of Etiquette in Golf

They are Rules of Etiquette and are an important part of anyone’s game. Have you ever wondered why they are stressed so much in the game of golf? There is just as much importance on the etiquette of golf as on the rules of play.

Etiquette is stressed in golf more than any other game one will ever participate in. There are some very important reasons for golfers to abide by the “Rules” of Etiquette, we are talking about rules for the safety of the golfer and the proverbial phrase we know as the “pace of play” and the care of the course.

I wish I could say that this section is only for the newcomers. Over the years, I have noticed that there are plenty of golfers who have been around long enough to know the “Rules of Etiquette” but either don’t know them or just choose to ignore them. They cannot be called golfers if they are not willing to abide by all the rules. Stated in the “Spirit of Golf” is the “Golden Rule of Golf” and needs to be reiterated here, if you can remember it, the etiquette of golf will be that much easier to follow:

”That every golfer, regardless of skill, age or gender be treated as you would be treated.” Second golden rule-”Influence and affect nothing on the golf course except your own ball.” I will add my two cents worth and say “DO NO HARM”.

The USGA would not waste their time on this booklet, which provides guidelines on the manner in which the game of golf should be played. If they are followed, all players will gain maximum enjoyment from the game. The overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times. (USGA)

I suggest that everyone familiarize themselves with the Rules of Etiquette, please visit the USGA for other pamphlets and booklets relating to the Rules of Etiquette.

I have listed some below and hope you will take the time to read them and become accustomed to playing by these rules as you would play by the rules of play. A breach of the Etiquette rules can disqualify a player in any tournament (the 2 stroke penalty for delay of game), so they should not be taken lightly.

Some Rules of Etiquette:

  1. Do not move, talk or stand close to a player making a stroke.
  2. Do not step on another player’s line of putt.
  3. Never walk through a playing partner's putting line. Your footprints might alter the path of a partner's putt.
  4. Do not step over the putting line, do walk around (behind) the partner's ball. What I have noticed with those who try to avoid stepping on the line, they will take a long stride to avoid the straight line of a putt, but they have no idea where the true putting line is, so one should always walk behind the putter.
  5. Always play without delay and keep up with the group in front of you.
  6. Do not play until the group in front is out of the way, usually after their 2nd stroke.
  7. Shout a warning if your ball may hit someone.
  8. Always invite faster groups to play through: A foursome to a threesome and a threesome to a twosome-get your pride out of the way and if they happen to be women who are faster get out of their way.
  9. Repair divot holes and ball marks. Smooth footprints in bunkers.
  10. Do not drop or through your clubs on the green or lean on your putter leaving an indentation and please pick up your feet when walking on the green, do not scuff the green with your cleats.
  11. Replace the flagstick carefully and in an upright position.
  12. When practicing your swing, never swing in the direction of another player. There may be pebbles or twigs or other matter in the grass that could fly up and injure a playing partner.
  13. Observe the safety suggestions posted in golf carts and drive carefully. Golf etiquette requires keeping your cart off the grass as much as possible.
  14. Never throw clubs in anger. In addition to being rude and childish, it could also be dangerous and a serious breach of the Rules of Etiquette.
  15. When walking the course, never carry your bag up onto the green.
  16. When finished putting, players should immediately leave the green, and mark your scores at the next tee box, never linger around the green and delay the forward motion and the rhythm of the people behind you.
  17. The most players to play a hole at one time is a foursome
  18. Do not yell out following a shot, there are other people on the course who may be within earshot.
  19. Be aware of your shadow on the putting green. Don't stand in a place that may cause your shadow to be cast across another player or that player's putting line.
  20. Keep carts away from greens and hazards.
  21. Try not to take a divot on a practice swing.

When we are all playing by the Rules of Etiquette everyone will find the confidence level of any golfer increase, etiquette will help a golfer develop their game and will improve their score.






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