This section provides guidelines on acceptable behaviour on the course and the manner in which the game should be played. An overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times.

The Spirit of the Game

Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.


Players 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 when they make a stroke or practice swing.

If a player plays a ball in a direction where there is a danger of hitting someone, he should immediately shout a warning. The traditional word of warning in such situations is “fore”.

Consideration for Other Players

No Disturbance or Distraction

Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise.

On the Tee

Players should not stand close to a player who is about to play. Players should be aware of the dangers of a shanked ball or a club slipping from grip on backswing. Players should also be aware of the benefit that can arise from the helpful additional set of eyes following the struck ball. The best position for additional eyes is somewhat close to the line of flight as extended behind the tee. The expressed wishes of players teeing up regarding the position of other players on the tee should respected without any qualification.

On the Putting Green

Players should not stand on another player's line of putt when they are making a stroke, nor cast a shadow over their line of putt.

Players should not stand behind a player, nor directly in front of the player on the far side of the hole, when they are making a stroke, unless they have been asked to attend the flag. Note: There is no penalty at the time as it is a matter of etiquette. It is up to the player to ask them to move. If they refuse, the circumstances should be reported to the Committee to take whatever action they think appropriate.

Note also that when playing doubles, it is a breach of Rule 14–2b for the player's partner to stand behind the player when they are making a stroke, and incurs a 2 stroke penalty for both players. However, it is legal for the player's partner to stand directly opposite on the far side of the hole.

Since we are almost always playing doubles and singles simultaneously, it is up to the player about to make the stroke to decide whether they want their partner to move or not from the far side of the hole.

Care of the Course


Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by them and any nearby made by others. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose. Rake handles should be left lying in the direction of play.

Preventing Unnecessary Damage

Players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.

In order to avoid damaging the hole, players should not stand too close to the hole and should take care during the handling of the flagstick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove a ball from the hole.

Players should not lean on their clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.

The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.

Local notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.

Pace of Play

Justifiable or not, slow play can be a problem. At some clubs the members are apt to complain to the course professional about slow play from visitors.

Play at Good Pace and Keep Up

Generally, you can consider your group to be behind play if, when you arrive at the tee, the group in front of you is already off the green.

It is a group’s responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group. Where a group has not lost a clear hole, but it is apparent that the group behind can play faster, it should invite the faster moving group to play through.

Be Ready to Play

Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. When playing on or near the putting green, they should leave their bags or carts in such a position as will enable quick movement off the green and towards the next tee.

Actions to speed up play

Please do not:

  • mark score cards on the green,
  • take an excessive number of practice swings, or
  • replay putts.

These eleven initiatives are recommended to our players in the interest of permitting all players to concentrate on and enjoy their game.

    1. If you are the lowest marker in the group take control of speed of play by encouraging all players to move quickly between shots.

    2. In a group, the shorter distance hitters may tee off first, provided they can do so safely and without reaching the group in front.

    3. Hit a provisional ball if you are not sure if your first ball is in play.

    4. The normal etiquette as to order of play is that, after your tee shots, the player to play next is the one whose ball comes to rest the furthest distance from the flag. This protocol is modified for our group, such that, if that player is toward the side of the fairway and not ready, a player from the same group whose ball is closer to the flag may hit out of turn provided they are on the other side of the fairway and it is safe for them to do so.

    5. Players in carts can be used as forward scouts to look for balls.

    6. While walking to your ball, use the travel time to begin thinking over your next shot – the distance to the hole, which club you'll use, and so on.

    7. Begin your preparation before you get to your ball.

    8. Call up players, wherever possible, provided it’s safe to do so.
    When arriving at the green, leave buggies on the side of the green nearest the access to the next tee. If your ball has actually gone through the green, choose the club(s) you may need and take them to the ball, not your buggy. Never leave your buggy in front of the green.

    9. When on the greens, try to line up your putts while awaiting your turn, if you're able to do so without distracting a player whose turn to putt is before yours.

    10. To gain speed in a group of four, when the first two players finish putting, they may go straight to the next tee and hit off. The second two follow after they have putted out. You may only pick up three or four minutes, but the average time for a hole should be about 15 minutes (4½ hours divided by 18). Doing this, over three holes you should be able to pick up close to a full hole.

    11. Move off the green as soon as possible after putting out and walk smartly to the next tee. Wait till you get there before updating your scorecard. If you have been sent to the next tee to speed up play, tee off first and then mark your card.