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Golf etiquette - pace of play

Charles McManus putts during a tournament held in Ferron.

This week we will cover a portion of etiquette with your own team that was neglected in the previous article. On the putting green special manners are required. One player should not stand in the line of another or putt while another is putting. The person who lies furthest from the hole should putt first, then the next closest and so on. When all players from a team are on the green taking their putts, all players should stay on the green until all players have holed out.

For the next part of course etiquette, we will cover playing at a good pace. A group of golfers, such as a two-some, threesome or foursome all play at different paces due to the size of the group. When a group is on the course, the pace of play must be a consideration.

Each golf course also has its special requirements. If you are playing a new course, inquire in the pro shop about the average time it takes to play that course. All members of a team should be aware of the group in front of them. Are you keeping up without pushing, or are they moving further out in front? For two foursomes, the play time should be about the same. Some consideration should be made for the size of each group. A twosome will play much faster than a foursome.

If you are playing in a foursome and a twosome comes up behind you, you should let them play through. Some courses do not give play through rights to a single or a twosome, but it is still the courteous thing to do.

In all cases, if there is room for a group in front of you, no matter the size of your group, and a group comes up from behind, let them play through. Each group is different in speed due to the skill levels of the players. Beginners tend to be a little slower, and although they have just as much right on the course, the courteous thing to do is let the faster players, play through.

When a golfer is playing with a group, no matter the size, it is his responsibility to be ready at all times for play. A player should anticipate his club selection prior to his play. When a player is chipping onto the green, to speed play, he should take his putter also. This will save the time it would take to return to his bag, or the cart, to get the correct club.

Most groups have a tee off rotation, and each player should know his place in that line and be prepared to play when it is his turn. As soon as the tee off at the tee box, or the putting on the green is done, players should move to the next shot as quickly as possible.

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