Etiquette has been the subject of several messages from previous Secretary’s over the years and yet it remains one of those areas we either forget or choose to ignore. Whichever it is, the consequential impact a lack of observation has on others enjoyment of the game can be very upsetting.
If I could respectfully remind you that the Rules of Etiquette CMGC observe are those that have been laid down by the R&A and can be found in their Rules of Golf booklet and on the R&A website. Our membership have chosen to fully adopt those rules in their entirety as they are for the benefit of all our members. These rules can be found at Section 10 in our Members Guide booklet.
Play at Good Pace and Keep Up
Players should play at a good pace. The Committee may establish pace of play guidelines that all players should follow.
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.
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. Players should not play until the players in front are out of range.
Players should always alert greenstaff nearby or ahead when they are about to make a stroke that might endanger them.
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”.
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.
Repair of Divots, Ball-Marks and Damage by Shoes
Players should carefully repair any divot holes made by them and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player himself). On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.
Etiquette covers many aspects of participation in golf. I have specifically selected the points above as they seem to be the issues most consistently raised by your fellow members. A failure to observe any aspect of etiquette can be very damaging to our brand, other people’s perception of our golf club and most importantly people’s perception of you.
Please, let’s make a positive effort to observe good etiquette.