Basic Rules of Golf Etiquette
In golf, proper swing technique is essential, but the game is more nuanced than that. There is on-course behavior, also known as etiquette.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, golf boomed as people sought to participate in safe outdoor activities. The influx of new players has been great for the game, but the need for basic golf etiquette education is at an all-time high.
While golf is a well-regulated sport, much of the game’s etiquette is unwritten. Based on traditions passed down over the centuries, golfers have developed a code of conduct that sets the game apart from all other sports. Proper etiquette takes time to learn and understand, but adhering to the game’s tacit rules will increase your enjoyment—and permit you to join the society of true golfers.
Be the player everyone wants to play with. Be considerate, be a good sport, and you’ll never be short of a game.
Here are a few guidelines to ensure that you and everyone else on the golf course has a pleasant outing.
1. Maintain Pace of Play
There are no bad golfers, only slow golfers. The biggest pet peeve of seasoned players is a slowpoke or dawdler who detains the group behind them, resulting in excessively long rounds that exceed the target completion time.
If the hole ahead of your group is open and there’s a group constantly waiting behind you, proper etiquette dictates that your group speed up the pace–or let the group behind you play through.
2. Ready Golf
The best way to improve your pace is to play “ready golf.” Generally, the player farthest away from the hole is next in line to hit his or her shot. However, nearly all rounds at TPC Danzante Bay are casual (vs. competitive). It’s best to let the player who is ready to hit first do so. Just be sure that everyone in your group agrees with this policy before swinging away.
3. Don’t Spend Too Much Time Looking for Balls
USGA rules permit a 3-minute search for a lost ball. Don’t exceed it. And be careful. The vegetation off the fairways at TPC Danzante Bay is thorny.
If you’re keeping score for handicap purposes and don’t think you’ll be able to find your tee shot, hit a provisional so you don’t have to drive back to the tee.
All others, especially beginners and high handicappers, should play by their own drop rules. After a stray tee shot or approach shot, play the “desert rule.” Drop a ball within two club lengths of where the ball exited the course, penalty of one stroke.
4. Help Others Find Their Ball
Copy what experienced caddies do: “Mark” the line that other players’ shots travel when they hit them, and visually “mark” the area where the ball comes to rest. Two pairs of eyes are better than one.
5. Take Care of the Course
Surfaced from tee to green in paspalum, an emerald-green, eco-friendly grass, TPC Danzante Bay is one of the best-groomed courses in Mexico. Do your part to maintain this beautiful layout so that all golfers will have a better experience.
· Repair Ball Marks on the Greens
Find and fix your ball marks on the putting surfaces. It’s easy to do, and all golfers benefit when everyone maintains the greens. To repair a ball mark, insert a ball mark repair tool or tee behind the raised turf. Push from the rear and sides to stretch the turf back over the ball mark.
· Fill Divots
When you tear into the turf and gouge a divot on the tee box or fairway, use the sand mix on the side of the golf cart to fill the divot. Irrigation and sunshine will take care of the rest.
· Maintain Sand Bunkers
You should always, always rake the sand after playing out of a bunker to smooth out footprints and other imprints you made in it. Enter a bunker from the shortest line to your ball. Leave the rake outside the bunker when you’re done. NOTE: Not all sand-filled areas at TPC Danzante Bay are classified as formal bunkers. Designated waste areas need not be raked following play.
6. General On-Course Etiquette
· Be pleasant
Be friendly, courteous and polite to other golfers. Observe the golden rule: think about how you’d want other golfers to behave around you.
· Maintain your composure
Keep your composure at all times, even if you’re not having your best day. Do not slam, throw or otherwise abuse your clubs after a poor shot. Avoid using foul language.
· Be motionless and silent while others are making a stroke
Golfers are prone to distraction. Talking, jingling of coins, standing or walking in the line of play or sight—these are actions that can break a player’s concentration. Turn off your mobile phone or place it in silent mode.
· Follow Golf Cart Rules
Do not drive the cart on or near tee boxes, greens, bunkers, water hazards and, at TPC Danzante Bay, the desert, dunes and arroyos.
· Don’t Hit a Ball Into the Group Ahead of You
Never hit a ball when there’s a group ahead of you within your distance. It’s not only poor etiquette, it’s dangerous. Err on the side of caution.
· Always Yell “Fore” When an Errant Ball is Hit Towards Other People
“Fore” is a golf term that essentially means “duck and cover.” If you or someone in your group hits a shot that could potentially hit another golfer, always yell “Fore!” at the top of your lungs.
· Wear Appropriate Attire
Proper attire is a sign of respect to other players, the course and the game. For men, a collared polo shirt, tucked in. Knee-length tailored shorts are acceptable in Loreto’s subtropical climate. Wear shoes made for golf, and socks. Women have a little more fashion leeway, but polo shirts, slacks, shorts, skorts and dresses are the norm.
· Shake Hands at the End of the Round
Doff your hat and offer a handshake and a thank you at the end of the round.