rules of play
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the real rules of play
Best Ball Rules
IMPORTANT – PLEASE NOTE:
Proper dress is required at all times. No track pants or sweat pants, jeans, cut-offs, halter tops, tennis or short shorts more than 4 inches above the knee are permitted. Only golf or soft-soled shoes may be worn on the course. Golfers in violation of this code will be denied access to, or removed from the course. In case of removal, no refunds will be given.
Bunkers are one of the major hazards on a golf course. There are certain rules of etiquette that apply to bunker play:
Honours refers to the order in which players tee off at any given hole. When a player earns “honours” they earn the right to play their ball before the rest of the players in the group. Generally speaking, the person with the lowest score on the previous hole is the first to tee off at the next hole, followed by the player with the second best score, and so on.
Etiquette dictates that no other golfer in the group should step up to the tee box before the person who holds the honours has shot (or has indicated that another golfer can go before them). In the event of a tie at any given hole, golfers maintain their place in the rotation until someone wins the next hole.
The only exception to the honours rule is when the group has agreed to play “ready golf”, which means any player can “hit when ready”. This style of play is often chosen to speed up the pace of the round, and in itself is considered good golf etiquette when conditions are slow.
While golfers love being out on the course, they don’t want their game to take all day! Slow play is often a bad habit that has been acquired over time, or perhaps simply the result of never having been taught the proper etiquette of maintaining a good pace. Ultimately it is your responsibility to keep up with the group of golfers in front you, not to simply stay in front of the golfers behind you! Pace of play is very important to your playing partners and to everyone else on the course whose play you may be impeding! There are a number of things you can do to speed up your play without rushing your game.
Tips on Picking Up the Pace
pitch marks on the green
A ball hitting the green often leaves an indent or pitch mark where it makes contact with the ground. Golf rules (rule #16-1c) allow you to repair any pitch marks on the green before putting. Players may repair any hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not their ball lies on the putting green. If a ball is moved accidentally during the course of a repair, it can be replaced without penalty.
It is accepted practice to repair any pitch marks you make, as well as common courtesy to fix one or two more while you are at it, to help keep your course in top condition. To repair a pitch mark, insert a turf repair tool into the ground on the high side of the pitch mark, press the tool forward to push the soil back up into place (be sure not to press backwards and pull the roots loose, as this destroys the grass). If required, repeat the process on the other side of the pitch mark. Finish by gently tapping the spot with your putter.
Remember that virtually any shot that hits the green from a fly position will cause some damage, so be sure to find it and repair it.
Golf was originally developed as a “gentleman’s” game, and as such golf clothing reflects the civilized rules of this gentleman’s game. Each golf course may have its own rules and regulations regarding appropriate golf attire, so it’s always best to check first.
In most cases, however, golfers and caddies usually abide by an industry standard that includes slacks, a collared shirt and golf shoes for men, and slacks or knee-length skirt or shorts, collared shirt and golf shoes for women. At virtually all courses, prohibited items of attire include short-shorts, swimwear, denim of any type, t-shirts and tank tops.
Did you know…
In the 1800 and early 1900s, tartan patterns were the style of the day on the course! Even in the 1970s tartan was held in high esteem (think Caddyshack…)
the tee box
The tee box is considered the stage where every golfer has their turn to shine. It is important that golfers choose the correct tee for their skill level, no matter where the other golfers in their party are playing from. The different tee positions help even out the playing field for golfers of different playing abilities.
Etiquette dictates that:
the leaf rule
When the leaves begin to fall in earnest (often starting in mid-September) many golfers consider invoking the “Leaf” Rule. Not an “official” rule under the Rules of Golf, the Leaf Rule was introduced in the United States and is widely considered acceptable in climates where trees lose their leaves and make finding balls difficult.
When considering use of the Leaf Rule it is best that golfers agree to its use before the start of the round. Once agreed to, the Leaf Rule states that if a ball is lost in the leaves, it is not treated as a lost ball, with the subsequent stroke and distance penalty.
The Leaf Rule allows someone who has lost their ball in the fallen leaves to drop a free ball at the approximate spot where the ball was lost rather than spending a lot of time looking for it and delaying the game. If your ball goes off the fairway into a leaf covered area, search the area for 5 minutes, and then drop and place a new ball into play with no penalty stroke.
However, if you are scoring for handicap purposes, until October 31st, you can not invoke the “leaf rule” – you must count all your strokes. After October 31st, go ahead, since scores after this date are not included in handicapping.
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