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Tournament Handbook - Etiqeutte

Courtesy on the Course

Safety: Prior to playing a stroke or making a practice swing, the player should ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs, or the like which may be moved by the stroke or swing.

Consideration for Other Players: The player who has the honor should be allowed to play before his opponent or fellow-competitor tees his ball. No one should move, talk or stand close to or directly behind the ball or the hole when a player is addressing the ball or making a stroke. In the interest of all, players should play without delay. No player should play until the players in front are out of range. Players searching for a ball should signal the players behind them to pass as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found. They should not search for five minutes before doing so; they should not continue play until the players following them have passed and are out of range. When the play of hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green.

Golf Carts: Local notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed. The basic do's and don'ts of operating a golf cart are: Do's Remain on the cart path (when provided). Some exceptions are remitted however check with pro staff if in doubt. Park the cart behind the tee box but remain on the cart path. Secure all bags and belongings to the cart. Operate at safe speeds; use appropriate braking when descending down a steep incline. Keep all hands and feet inside the cart while the cart is moving. This is the "No. 1" cause of injuries in the game of golf. Park behind and /or in the rear of the player's field of vision while they are making a shot. When not in the cart and /or parking, always set the brake. Don't Drive, park, or operate a cart "on or near" (within 20 yards) of a public street, tee box, bunker, water hazard, out-of-bounds area, grounds under repair, nature hazards, or putting green (including the skirt of the green); unless instructed by a course marshal and/or posted sign by the course. Turn sharply. Carts will roll on steep hills given the suspension and its high-center of gravity. Operate a cart and/or pass golfers while they are in the process of making a shot. (This includes not only your group of players but also the group ahead of yours that you have caught up to at the next hole's tee box.) Permit anyone under the age of 16 or without a valid driver's license to operate a cart. Abandon a cart; if inoperable or you suspect a problem, summon a course marshal for assistance.

Priority on the Course: In the absence of special rules, two-ball matches should have precedence over and be entitled to pass any three or four ball match, which should invite them through. A single player has no standing and should give way to a match of any kind.

Care of the Course

Bunkers, divots, and ball marks: Before leaving a bunker, a player should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by him. Replace divots; repair ball marks and damage by spikes. Through the green, a player should ensure that any turf cut or displaces by him is replaced at once and pressed down and then any damage to the putting green made by a ball is carefully repaired. Damage to the putting green caused by golf shoe spikes should be repaired on completion of the hole.

Damage to Greens - Flagsticks, Bags, etc.: Players should ensure that, when putting down bags or the flagstick, no damage is done to the putting green and that neither they nor their caddies damage the hole by standing close to it, in handling the flagstick or in removing the ball from the hole. The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green. Players should not damage the putting green by leaning on their putters, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.

Damage Through Practice Swings: In taking practice swings, players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing the turf (divots). Repair all divots, particularly the tees, every time. Most courses now prohibit a "sand & seed" mixture at either the tee box and/or attached to the golf cart for players to repair divots.

Courtesy off the Course Safety: At the completion of your round, make certain to return your power cart to the cart attendant. Set the parking brake and turn the ignition key to "off". When removing your clubs from the cart and /or clubhouse, ensure that all property and belongings are secure and taken with you.

Consideration for Other Players: Refrain from making loud noises at the completion of your round. You may be finished, but there are certain to be other golfers wishing to practice or complete a shot (or putt) with the same quiet and calm that you experienced. Prior to entering the clubhouse, remove all shoes with spikes. It is proper to remove shoes and/or golfing apparel in the locker room only. Many clubs (both private and resort) have strict dress codes that prohibit changing shoes and /or clothing other than the locker room. If in doubt, ask the pro staff for assistance. Remove all food and beverage items from the cart and place them in a proper trash bin. When putting on the practice green, observe the play and rotation of the holes before entering the practice green. Ask permission of the neighboring player for your turn; and keep conscience of the pace of play and other arriving players wishing to practice. Do not practice your chipping or bunker shots on a practice green unless noted properly by the course that it is a designated "chipping" green or "practice bunker" green. Nothing will irritate a neighboring player more than to have you blasting sand and chipping balls on a practice green without permission.

"Golf For Dummies"
By: Gary McCord

Etiquette: What You Need to Know
Golf, unlike almost any of the trash-talking sports you can watch on TV nowadays, is a game where sportsmanship us paramount. Golf is an easy game to cheat at, so every player is on his honor. But thereís more to it than that. Golf has its own code of etiquette; semi-official "rules" of courtesy that every player is expected to follow. Here are the main things you need to know.

Donít talk while someone is playing a stroke.
Give your partners time and silence while they are analyzing the situation, their practice swings, and actually making their swing for real. Donít stand near them or move about either, especially when youíre on the greens. Stay out of their peripheral vision while they are putting. Donít stand near the hole or walk between your partnerís ball and the hole. Even be mindful of your shadow. The line of a putt Ė the path it must follow to the hole Ė is holy ground.

The key is being aware of your companionsí Ė and their golf ballís Ė whereabouts and temperament. Easygoing types may not mind that you gab away while they are choosing a club, but that isnít true for everyone. If in doubt, stand still and shut up. If youíre a problem more than once, youíll be told about it.

Be ready to play when it is your turn.
Make your decisions while you are walking to your ball or while waiting for someone else to play. Be ready to play. And when it is your turn to hit, do so without any undue delay. You donít have to rush, just get on with it.

The honor (that is, the first shot) on a given tee goes to the player with the lowest score on the previous hole.
If that hole was tied, the player with the lowest score on the hole before that is said to be up and retains the honor. In other words, you have the honor until you lose it.

Make sure everyone in your foursome is behind you when you hit.
Youíre not going to hit every shot where youíre aimed. If in doubt, wait for your playing partners to get out of your line of play. The same is true for the group in front; wait until they are well out of range before you hit. Even if it would take a career shot for you to reach them, wait. Lawyers love golfers who ignore that rule of thumb.

Pay attention to group behind you, too.
Do they have to wait for you on every shot? Is there a gap between you and the group ahead of you? If the answer to either or both is yes, step aside and invite the group behind you to play through. This is no reflection on your ability as golfers. All it means is that the group behind plays faster than you do. The best and most time-efficient place to let a group behind play through is at a par-3 (itís the shortest hole and therefore the quickest way of playing through). After hitting your ball onto the green, mark it, and wave to them to play. Stand off to the side of the green as they do so. After they have all hit, replace your ball and putt out. Then let them go. Simple, isnít it?

Sadly, you likely to see this piece of basic good manners abused time and again by players who donít know any better and have no place on a golf course. Ignore them. Do whatís right. Stepping aside makes your round more enjoyable. Think about it. Who likes to ruin someone elseís day? Give your ego a rest and let them through.

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