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Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Golf course etiquette is something every golfer should know, but most don’t!  My number one rule on the golf course is consideration!  Consideration for the players behind you (play faster), the players in front of you (don’t crowd) and all the players on the course (take care of divots, rake bunkers and don’t throw trash on the course.)   of Golf Digest gives you his list of Golf Course Etiquette.

Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

Good golf course etiquette is not hard to follow!


Years ago during a high school rules clinic, one of my fellow juniors asked an instructor what constitutes proper golf courtesy. “If I have to define it, you don’t get it,” the official replied. It’s that type of systemic vagueness that makes golf decorum so maddening.

Until now, that is. Below we tackle the most frequent questions we receive about common courtesy on the course, and how to conduct yourself in such situations.

I’m a beginning golfer paired with a good player. How do I survive the round?

Don’t get overwhelmed. It can be intimidating to be paired with a better player, and possibly amplify insecurities regarding your game. Use this opportunity as a learning experience. Take note of the player’s swing, his technique around the green, pre-shot routine, even something as simple as his demeanor and etiquette. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most golfers are happy to pass knowledge to beginners. You do have a responsibility, however, to keep things moving. It’s OK to struggle, but “struggle” and “slow play” don’t have to correlate. Four over par should be the max score on any hole; once you reach the limit, pick up. Moreover, don’t let your labors drain your attitude or outlook. Golfers can deal with newbies. They have no tolerance for ********.

I’m paired with a beginning golfer who is really struggling. How do I survive the round?

Compassion is key. That slow, flailing greenhorn was once you. Without belittling, let them know it’s OK to be liberal with the rules by improving lies, placing their penalty shots on the other side of the hazard and conceding less-than-automatic putts. Unless they ask, avoid giving tips and advice; they’re already overwhelmed, and don’t need more thoughts running through their head (more on this in a moment). Do feel free to pass on general etiquette or rules, however, and try to keep things light so they enjoy themselves. And if it’s really bad? Perhaps call it a day at the turn and hit the range instead.

How do I tell someone to pick up the pace?

When informing a partner to get their butt moving, avoid a singular accusation. Instead, use “we” as in, “Looks like we better get going, think we’re holding groups up.” If it’s a family member or friend, feel free to be more direct. Even in this circumstance, don’t deliver the “speed it up” edict in emotional or confrontational terms. It will only exacerbate the situation.

When am I supposed to let groups play through?

For whatever reason, most golfers view letting others ahead as a shot to their manhood. Which is absurd: If you’re in a foursome, it stands to reason that you’ll play slower than the single or twosome behind you. If there are no groups immediately in front of you and you’re holding up individuals or a pairing, give them the greenlight with a wave, then proceed to move to the side of the hole. If this happens more than once in a round — especially if the groups behind are multiple players — take it as a hint that you need to pick up the pace.

To see the rest of Joel Beall’s Etiquette Rules, go here!

Souce:   Golf Digest

Pictures: Peter Arkle   Ken Mattison

Thanks for reading – Rules of Golf Course Etiquette for Everyone!

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