Pretty Green

What Actually Is Golf Etiquette?

Unlike almost any other sport, golf is played without an umpire or referee.  As such, it relies on the integrity of its individual players to uphold certain standards that are expected on the course.  There are no official rules, but certain values are anticipated. We look at five of the of the basics.

Upon Arrival

This PGA instructional on golf etiquette describes what is expected of the golfer upon their arrival at the course.  Firstly, if caddies are available on your selected course, they can be a great addition to you golfing experience.  Naturally, they must be treated with respect, as it is an excellent way for young people to earn money and gain exposure to the sport.  When warming up for your round, try to ensure that you allow yourself ample time, working your way through your bag (beginning with short irons, moving onto the mid-and long irons and then the woods).  Don’t hit too many balls that you leave your best on the practice tee.  Before teeing off, check your scorecard to learn any local rules.  If your playing companions suggest a match, it’s is a good idea to ensure everyone is comfortable with the stakes before commencement.

Don’t Be The Slowest Player

 Arnold Palmer recommends that you evaluate your pace of play honestly and often to ensure you are not holding others on the course up.  He suggests that if you’re consistently the slowest player in your group, you’re a slow player in general.  It’s important to walk at a reasonable pace between shots, as well as planning your next shot as you approach the ball by studying the strength and direction of the wind in order to save valuable time.  From the time you select your club until you actually hit you shot, you should take no more than 30 to 45 seconds.  If you aren’t ready to play your shot when it is your turn, encourage one of your fellow players to take their shot instead.

Sartorial Elegance

 The correct clothing is always an important factor in the correct golfing etiquette. Typically, men are required to wear shirts with collars, and courses usually have a ‘no jeans’ policy.  Many facilities do not allow metal spikes on your golf shoes, so it is important to enquire whether or not plastic cleats are required.  Shorts are appropriate as long as they are specifically designed for golf, and should be no shorter than just above your knee.

The Right Equipment

 A mixture of official rules and golfing etiquette, knowing the correct equipment to use on the course is imperative.  The rules put a limit of 14 clubs in each golfer’s bag, but there is no minimum number you should have.  Borrowing clubs from your partners is generally frowned upon and considered bad form, so you should ensure you are suitably equipped with sufficient clubs, balls and tees before arriving at the course.

Golf Buggy Rules

Before you take the buggy onto the course for the first time, make sure you know the course rules and regulations regarding the vehicle.  Never drive the cart within boundary lines, or within 10 yards of water hazards of bunkers.  Also, avoid taking the card within 50 yards of the green, as it especially susceptible to damage from the vehicles.  Each course will have specific rules for the use of carts, so it’s important to educate yourself as completely as possible before teeing off.  Ensure your own peace of mind when using a golf buggy on the course with Golfplan’s Buggy Insurance