Golf etiquette-part five
Another significant part of golfing etiquette is prevention of damage to the golf course. Each player is responsible to prevent any damage to any part of the course. The rules for divot replacement also apply when taking practice swings. Although, players should avoid causing damage when taking practice swings.
A player should also cause no damage to the putting green when setting down bags or the flagstick. Be sure to place the flagstick and any extra clubs you may have by setting them down gently and not throwing or dropping them.
Avoid damage to the hole itself by standing a short distance away from the hole. Do not step directly on the edge of the hole. When removing the flagstick, be extra careful to do no damage to the surface of the green. Never use a club to remove the ball from the hole. Always bend over and remove the ball with your hand.
Players should never lean on their clubs, especially on the putting surface of the green. When the team has completed putting on a hole, the flagstick should always be replaced in the fully upright position before leaving the green.
If a team or player is walking the golf course, bags should never be placed on the putting surface. Always place them on the grass away from the green.
When a team or player is using a golf cart, the local club rules should be followed for the use of the carts. Many courses do not allow the carts to be taken off the cart paths. At some courses, the 45 degree rule is used. That means, a person is allowed to drive the cart along the path to a point where it is a straight walk to the ball for play. Some courses allow the carts to be used on the grass fairways.
In any case, local rules should be followed and if a person is playing a course for the first time, inquire at the pro shop for any local restrictions. Whether the course allows carts on the fairways or restricts them to the cart paths, a cart should never be driven on the tee box, within 30 feet of the green, in a sand trap, or on the green. Carts are heavy and will do a significant amount of damage to the putting surface and the teeing surface. Damage to the greens is very costly to repair, along with being extremely difficult for everyone who enjoys the game.
Local golf pros and superintendents would always prefer someone to ask about the local restrictions and rules, rather than try to repair damages done to the carts or the course. Carts are very expensive and can easily be damaged by unsuspecting users. Many courses have hazard areas off the fairways and greens. The rule is never to take a motorized cart into the hazard areas. Many are rocky which will do damage to the cart, and the hazards are not an appropriate place to drive a cart.
Failure to comply with the rules and restrictions at any course, may result in loss of playing privileges or use of carts. For those who really enjoy the game of golf, this is unacceptable.
Courtesy in treatment of the course and your teammates, along with others on the course is vital. Courtesy to the staff at each course is also extremely important. Their job is to keep the course playable and they are out there everyday working to ensure a good experience for everyone. Be aware of the their locations and never hit in their direction. They are alert to players and will move out of a golfer's path and wait until play is through to continue their work.
Golf is a game with rules, just as basketball, baseball, football, and any other sport. This series has not been aimed at the rules for play, only the rules for the etiquette of the game. Golf is a gentleman's sport and requires integrity and honesty on the part of each participant.
Golf can be a very enjoyable experience in the outdoors, but it can also be frustrating. A player must realize that no one ever begins the game as an expert. Everyone must learn the rules, the mechanics and the etiquette involved in this sport when they undertake to play the game of golf.