Most of the following is actually common sense, or at least it should be. However, you will meet quite a few golfers who just don't care. Here's how it should be:
[Click HERE to download a printable version of the Golf Etiquette. Print it and take it to the Golf Course, bring some extra copies for your buddies!]
Etiquette on the golf course
- Be sure to be patient and respect other players on the course as you wish to be respected.
- Don't produce any loud noise. Normal speaking or conversation is ok; shouting or loud laughing is not!
- Be prepared to arrive at your scheduled tee-off in time.
- Always check your marker and your ball number in order to avoid confusion (and possible stroke-penalties!) during the game.
- Don't make practice swings on the teeoff zone.
- Do not stand too close behind, near or in front of any other player.
- Be absolutely quiet while any other player wants to make his shot.
- On the first tee usually the player with the lowest handicap has the right to start the game by doing his first shot. On all other tees the player with the best score out of the previous hole has "the honor", meaning he has the right to play his ball first.
- Always be prepared to play your ball in order to avoid any delay in the game.
- Leave tee immediately after you made your shot.
- Take care for a flowing game! Don't stand or wait if not necessary.
- Don't play your stroke if other players intend to do their puts on any green in the neighbourhood.
- Don't play your shot as long as any player in front of you may be in hit distance to you.
- Replace divots and step it into place, repair any damage caused e.g. by your spikes, pitch marks etc. immediately. After any bunker play be sure to use the rake and leave the bunker in perfect condition.
- Don't drive your buggy or trolley over teeoff areas, greens or through sand bunker.
- Before putting be sure to leave your trolley somewhere beside the green, preferably in an area beside the next teeoff zone.
- Adapt your walking speed to that of your flight partners. Neither walk too fast nor to slow, try to stand somewhere beside the player who has to do the next shot.
- While walking to your ball, try to consider how to play it best.
- If possible, try to observe not only your own but also the balls of the other players in your flight. This will help to save time in case one of your partners may not be able to find his ball immediately after his shot.
- In case you or your flight is forced to search after any lost ball, invite the following flight to follow through before continuing your search.
Etiquette on the Green
- The ball with the longest distance to the hole has to be played first.
- Don't step on putting lines of your flight partners.
- Mark your ball as soon as it lies on the green.
- When holding the flagstick, don't stand too close to the hole. Watch for any shadow your body may produce in the sun because this may interfere other players in their game.
- Don't stay too close to your flight partners when they want to take their puts.
- Don't move or speak as long as your flight partners play their balls.
- Don't pull the ball out of the hole with your putter as this may damage the hole. Bend down and pick it up.
- Avoid any damage of the green! (flag hole, spikes, pitching holes!). Remove all traces before leaving the green.
- Replace flagstick carefully. Do not damage the hole!
- Leave the green as soon as possible. There is time to note your score while waiting for tee-off on the next tee.
As a guest on external golf courses
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- Call the club secretary for any available schedule. Ask for local clothing requirements and/or local rules.
- Stay away from an external clubs in case of any internal event, such as an internal tournament.
- Pay your green fee in advance. Ask club secretary for details.
- Get a score card and inform yourself about specific rules which may exist for this club. If in doubt, ask the club secretary.
- If you made any schedule, be sure to arrive on time!
- Remember: Even if you paid your green fee, your are still a green fee player, NOT a club member! Please behave as you would expect from your guests!