When it comes to the “Game of Kings,” etiquette has been an integral part of golf since its inception. The game of golf requires a certain civility because it involves rules and penalties to be enforced through a personal honor system. There are no referees or officials to enforce the rules and keep track of the score.
The three words that describe golf etiquette are honesty, integrity, and courtesy. These three words have come to represent the spirit in which the game of golf is played. In short, it’s all about respect. Respect for the game, respect for the course, and respect for your fellow players.
At Pine Ridge Golf Club, we expect all visitors to our course to hold themselves to a certain standard and to follow the basic golf etiquette guidelines.
It is proper golf etiquette to respect other people’s time and arrive at the course early. At the bare minimum 15 minutes early is acceptable; however, at least 30 minutes early is what we recommend. This will give you plenty of time to hit a few range balls and spend some time warming up on the practice green.
Avoid Being the Slowest Player or Group
Valuing your time and others means keeping mindful of your pace-of-play and not slowing everyone else down. Try to keep up your pace so that your group is directly following the group ahead of you multiple times throughout the course.
To speed up your pace, in friendly matches (as opposed to traditional tournament play) you can opt for “ready play” which means players hit as they are ready, rather than in order of who is away.
Once you are off the tee, it is important to plan your shot ahead of time. Determine your distance and select your club before it is your turn to play. Very often, you can do this while others are playing without disrupting them. From club selection to pre-shot routine to execution, the USGA recommends that you strive to hit your shot in 20 seconds when it is your turn to play.
If you lose a ball, it is golf etiquette to spend no longer than five minutes searching for it.
Don’t be a Distraction
Always be respectful of other players and take care not to be a distraction while they are taking their practice swings as well as when they take their shot. This involves knowing where to stand and when to keep quiet. Before walking on the green, note the location of all players’ balls and stay out of their lines. When another player is setting up, keep quiet and still until the ball is in the air.
Care for the Course
It’s golf etiquette to leave the course as you would like to find it. Repair divots and ball marks you make, as well as others you find. Repair divots by replacing the dislodged sod or turf, or fill them with the sand/seed mixture provided by the golf course.
For bunkers, enter and exit from the low side. Enter the bunker with the rake in hand place it out of the way of your shot but still within reach. After your shot, use the rake to smooth over the sand as you back out of the bunker. Push and pull the sand to make it even as possible and to make sure not too much sand accumulates to one side.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
Among the worst things you can do to violate golf etiquette is lose your temper. Never throw a club, use profanity, or sulk when things don’t go your way on a golf course. These actions make everyone uneasy when the point of the game is to relax and have a good time.
Come and enjoy the beautiful course at Pine Ridge Golf Club and don’t forget to bring your best golf etiquette with you.