Course Care

Pace of Play / Course Care & Etiquette

There are four main areas of etiquette, which are:


Pace of Play is becoming increasingly important and further information can be found by clicking here.


The overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on the course at all times.
You must keep up with the group in front. (i.e. have them in your sight and be approximately one shot behind them). Be mindful of the time you are taking (approximately two hours for nine holes for a group of four, and four hours for 18 holes for a group of four). For a group of three players, the time taken for 18 holes should be approximately 3 ¾ hours).

  • Arrive at tee 15 minutes prior to tee off.
  • Ensure you have a sand bucket.
  • Swap scorecards (make sure name, date and handicap are recorded).
  • Tee off as ready.
  • Do not talk or make unnecessary noise whilst player is about to tee off.
  • If you have hit your ball and think it may be either “out of bounds” (white and black stakes) or “lost outside of a water hazard”, then declare that you will hit a “provisional” ball. A provisional ball cannot be played if the first ball played is definitely in a water hazard. If the original ball is found, it must be played, whether desired or not, and the provisional ball ceases to exist (with no penalty). If the original ball is not found, the provisional ball is the ball in play and results in the player recording three strokes (one for original ball, penalty for loss of ball, and one for next stroke).

Note: You are allowed only 5 minutes to search for a missing ball.

  • Walk quickly to your ball and use that time to assess your next shot.
  • Place your golf bag beside you, so after you hit you can grab and walk off.
  • Limit yourself to one practice swing only. (If you feel the need to have more, do so whilst you are waiting your turn to hit).
  • Usually person furthest from green hits first, however if you get to your ball first and the others are still walking/looking for their ball, providing it is safe, hit your ball and then helps look for other ball.
  • After you hit, and when safe, start walking to your ball.
  • Keep count of your score and the person whose card you are marking.
  • Repair divot
  • After bunker shots, rake sand.
  • Pick up your ball if you are out of shots eg. Stableford and Par competitions.
  • Position your buggy at the side/back of green for a quick exit (at no time are you to leave your buggy at the front of the green).
  • Once everyone is on the green, the furthest from the hole putts first.
  • Person closest to the hole, tends the flag. Check if other player wants the flag held or taken out.
  • Do not talk or make unnecessary noise whilst player is putting.
  • Do not walk across other people’s putting line.
  • Do not stand directly behind or in front of the person who is putting.
  • Line up your putt before it is your turn to putt to save some time.
  • Putt out (start walking towards your ball once you have putted, do not stand there and watch the ball).
  • Once that person putts out, they take the flag so the rest can putt out.
  • Pick up your ball if you are out of shots eg. Stableford and Par competitions.
  • Exit the green quickly and start moving to the next tee.
  • As you are walking, check both scores with the person whose card you are marking.
  • First person arriving at the next tee, tees off, whilst others mark their cards.
Please Note:

If you lose a fairway from the group in front, try catching up by:

  • Walking faster between shots.
  • Limiting practice swings to one only.
  • At the green, have two people putt out. They can then move onto the next tee and tee off, whilst the others finish putting, before joining them.

Remember: Golf is for everyone to enjoy, so PLEASE learn some good habits now, keep up a good pace, practice good etiquette, look after our


A very important part of etiquette is the care of the golf course. A few moments of courtesy during a round will assist the club significantly in the way of ground staff time and costs and ensure a more pleasant round for all golfers.

Greens Care - Including the Repair of Pitch Marks:

The condition of greens can have a major impact on players’ scores, so careful attention must be given to the putting surface. The most important aspect is the repair of pitch marks – the longer a mark stays unrepaired, the longer it takes to mend.

A pitch mark should be repaired as follows:

  • Commence at the back of the pitch mark and push forward with a pitch mark fork or tee.
  • Attend to each side of the pitch mark, easing the turf forward to replace the damaged area.
  • When undertaking the repair, turn the pitch mark fork towards the damaged area.
  • Do not lift the pitch mark fork or tee upward bringing soil to the surface.
  • Complete the repair by tapping down with a putter.

Poster: Care of the Course – Putting Greens (including how to repair a pitch mark)

Repairing Divots:

Some clubs will require divots to be repaired differently, however at the majority of clubs, sand buckets are available at the starting tees and divots should be repaired as follows:

  • Use the sand to fill the divot hole (and any others nearby).
  • Use a foot or a club to level the sand so that a reasonably flat lie remains for following players.
  • If buckets are not available or you have run out of sand, replace the divot in its hole if it is intact, or otherwise knock in the sides of the divot hole with a club so that a level lie is maintained.

A careless repair may provide an unfair lie for other players and may also damage course equipment and will result in the divot taking longer to repair.

Smoothing Bunkers:

It is important to leave bunkers in good condition for following players. Bunkers should be smoothed in the following manner:

  • Enter and leave the bunker from the lowest point.
  • After playing, smooth the area and any footprints using a rake, if available.
  • If a rake is not available, glide a shoe is a half circular motion until the area is smooth.
  • After use, return the rake in accordance with club policy (either in the bunker or outside the bunker ) in the direction of play.
  • Do not place the rake against the inside edge of the bunker as this may cause difficult lies for others and potentially awkward rules situations.

Poster: Care of the Course – Repairing Divots and Smoothing Bunkers

Golf Carts:

Golf carts can be damaging to the course if not used carefully:

  • Keep away from green surrounds and teeing grounds.
  • Do not drive through damaged or wet areas.
  • Drive only where directed.
  • Check with the Pro Shop regarding any other course rules.
  • Do not place the rake against the inside edge of the bunker as this may cause difficult lies for others and potentially awkward rules situations.

Poster: Care of the Course – Golf Buggies & Carts and Rubbish


Safety and consideration are common sense, but take note of the following:

  • Before playing a stroke or taking a practice swing, always ensure that no-one is in your line of play or near your swing path.
  • If your ball is headed towards someone else, shout “FORE”, golf’s universal warning, as loudly as possible.
  • When grounds staff are working ahead, wait until they acknowledge your intentions before hitting towards them.
  • Try not to move, talk or create any disturbance or noise while another person is about to play.
  • Ensure mobile phones or pagers are turned off, or on silent.
  • Do not stand close to or directly behind the ball, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to play.
  • Be careful not to stand on or damage other players’ lines of putt and that your shadow does not distract others.
  • Remain near the putting green until all players in your group have holed out, unless your group is a long way behind the group in front.
  • In stroke play, confirm the score of the player for whom you are marking on the way to the next tee.

Poster: Courtesy on the Course