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What is Golf Etiquette? How to be courteous on the golf course

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The game of golf is different to many other sports due to not having a referee with you during your round. It does have its official rules of good play and also rules of etiquette, which ensures all golfers play with good sportsmanship and consideration throughout the round – not only with your fellow players but other golfers around you. In this article we will walk you through some of these etiquette rules:A man enjoying a game of golf

Firstly be quiet when somebody else is making a shot. Many golfers can loose concentration when there is noise around them. So please ensure that you do not talk or move when another your playing partner is about to take a swing. The best placeĀ for you to stand is behind the player out of their line of vision when your fellow competitor is about to play their shot. Again this is to not cause a distraction. Ensure all electronic devices are on silent there is nothing worse that a mobile phone ringing when you are about to take your shot. We recommend to turn them off completely so you are also not distracted by potential calls or text messages.

When on the green you should remember to again stay out of their peripheral vision and not to walk on the line between the golf ball and the hole. Your footprint can leave a temporary indentation on the green that could knock a putt off line. You must also consider your shadow, (especially when the sun is low) this must not be over the putting line either.

When its your turn to play, make sure you are ready to swing. It is essential to keep up with the group in front to ensure the pace of the game is made without any delay. We accept that some people play faster than others and playing at a faster pace may put you off your game. If this happens to you and you fall more than one complete hole behind, call the group behind you through and allow them to play ahead. This will not only make your round more enjoyable but the other players on the course.

When on the putting green leave your bags off the green towards the next hole, this advice is also true for golf buggies. Be ready to exit quickly once you have finished the hole. Also do not stand on the green and mark your card this can be done whilst walking to the next hole or on the next tee. Remember to keep up the pace of play.

Male golfer sitting on the hole information signLost balls can cause delays on the golf course. If you believe you have lost a ball, best practice is to play a provisional ball. A second shot that you will use if you cannot find your original ball. You now have 5 minutes to look for the ball. All of the golfers in your group should help you. If the ball proves difficult to find after your 5 minute search then you must play your provisional ball. Before doing so look to see if is a group behind you waiting. If so, you should call the group through before playing your shot, you will not be able to continue to play until this group has finished the hole.

Golf courses have grounds staff in place to maintain the golf course, however it is also your responsibility to take care of the course during your round and leave it in the condition that you found it, by completing the following:

– Smoothing out holes and footprints from a bunker when you leave it. Rakes are there for a reason so please use them. As the name suggests a bunker is a hazard and difficult enough without the ball landing in a footprint in the sand.

– Divots should be replaced on the fairway after each shot. If you want to keep your local course in good shape replacing divot will certainly help the green keepers.

– Care must be taken on the greens, any impact damage from a golf ball or shoes should be repaired before leaving the hole. We have discussed repairing pitch marks on earlier posts so please look back and learn how to repair your pitch marks.

– As previously suggested, your golf bags should be laid on the grass of the green when putting. It would be good practice for the flag stick to be put here too, in order to decrease the amount of damage on the green and players should not lean on their putters when retrieving a ball from the hole.

– The flagstick should be replaced in the hole before exiting the green. This sounds pretty obvious, however i’m sure we have all seen flagsticks left at the side of the green where the players have forgotten to put it back in the hole.

Finally the last thing we do before we leave the 18th green is shake hands with our playing partners and thank them for the game and their company.

Etiquette is what sets the great game of golf apart from other sports and dosen’t take any time, just some consideration for other players on the course.

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The Golf Talk team