Golf is a sport that prides itself on proper etiquette and conduct. Everyone who participates in a round of golf, no matter the standard, is expected to adhere to this etiquette from when they arrive and leave the course.
A lot of the etiquette in golf revolves around fair play and respect. For example, you aren’t to talk or move while a fellow player is lining up their shot and you should always arrive at the course in plenty of time before your allotted tee slot.
Most golf etiquette rules are universal whether you are walking or taking a cart to play. However, there are some additional rules that you should stick to when it comes to walking. Lets take a look.
- Walk at a steady, quick pace to ensure you aren’t holding up any groups behind you.
- Don’t walk ahead of players in your group when they are lining up their shots. You should never be in between a ball and the hole.
- Never drag your bag. If you’re carrying a bag, ensure that it is securely connected to you
- Move quickly off the green when you’re finished with the hole and walk straight to the next tee box.
- Never place your bag on the green. Waking across the green with the bag on your back is OK, but we would suggest avoiding this.
- Never walk past the group in front of you unless you are waved through by them.
- Don’t spend too long looking for lost balls. If you hit your ball out of bounds, take a drop and move on.
Walking ahead of another player is almost always a no-no. It is proper etiquette to wait for players to hit their shots before walking to your next shot. While this is typically true, there are certain instances where it might make sense for you to walk ahead of another player.
If you are for away from the other players in your group, it is OK to head towards your ball before and while they are hitting. The rule of thumb is as long as you wont distract your fellow golfer, it is ok to walk forward.
Another time it is OK is when if you are playing with someone who is struggling. In the interests of time, it might make more sense for you to go on ahead. This way, you can get straight to your ball and start lining up your next shot while they continue to hack around.
Similarly, if you’ve hit a booming drive into some thick rough 300 yards down the fairway then it probably makes sense for you to go ahead of everyone else. By doing this you can start looking for your ball while the rest of your group play their shots from further back.
Pace Of Play Golf Etiquette When Walking
While it’s nice to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and conversation with your playing partners, you have to consider the groups behind you when you’re making your way around the course. If there is a group immediately behind, you then it’s important that you walk at a decent pace between shots and holes.
However, if you notice that there isn’t a group directly behind you then you can probably afford to take things at a more leisurely pace. If there happens to be a backlog in front of you, then it might even be worth going out of your way to take as much time as possible.
Generally speaking you should keep the pace up.
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a situation where the people you play with want to use a golf cart instead of walking. If you still decide to walk, then don’t worry, this isn’t considered bad etiquette.
If you do find yourself in this situation, then just be aware that you are going to be slower around the course than the other people in your group. Perhaps for logistics, take a cart as well on this occasion and reach a compromise so that the next time you all play together, everyone walks.
If you insist on walking while they take all take buggies then make the most of it and put your clubs in one of the buggies at the very least!
When all members of your group are on the green, you should all stay on it until the last person has putted their ball into the hole. Once they have, you should place the flag back into the hole and all head off to the next tee box together.
Leaving the green before everyone has finished the hole is considered bad etiquette because it shows a lack of respect for your playing partners and also confuses the group behind you. The last thing you want is for the group behind to think you have all finished with the hole because then they will start hitting their approach shots to the green which is going to cause chaos.
Walking on the golf course is a great way to play the game while getting some steps in for exercise. Follow the tips above for the proper etiquette while walking the course.
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