Golf Etiquette on the Course
Safety: You should make sure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by a club, a ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when they make a stroke or practice swings. You should not play until the players in front are out of range. You should also alert green staff nearby or ahead when they are about to make a stroke that might endanger them. If you play a ball in a direction where there is a danger of hitting someone, you should immediately shout a warning. The traditional word of warning in such situation is "fore".
Consideration for Other Players
Always show consideration for other players on the course and do not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise. You should also make sure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players. On the teeing ground, you should not tee your ball until it is your turn to play. When a player is about to play, you should not stand close to or directly behind the ball, or directly behind the hole.
On the Putting Green
Do not stand on another player's line of putt or cast a shadow over his line of putt when he is making a stroke. You should also remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.
Pace of Play
Play at good pace and keep up. 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.
Be Ready to Play
When it is your turn, you should be ready to play. When playing on or near the putting green, you should leave yours bags or carts in a position that will enable quick movement off the green and towards the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, you should immediately leave the putting green.
If you believe that your ball may be lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time, you should play a provisional ball. If you are searching for a ball, you should signal the players in the group behind you to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found. You should not search for five minutes before doing so. You should not continue to play until that group has passed through and is out of range.
Priority on the Course
Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, priority on the course is determined by a group's pace of play. Any group playing a whole round is entitled to pass a group playing a shorter round.
Care of the Course
Bunkers Before leaving a bunker, you should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by you 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
You should carefully repair any divot holes made by you 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 also be repaired.
Preventing Unnecessary Damage
You 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, you and caddies 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.
You should not lean on clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole. The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before you leave the putting green. Local notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.
Conclusion, Penalties for Breach
In general, if you follow the guidelines in this section, it will make the game more enjoyable for you and everyone. If a player consistently disregards these guidelines during a round or over a period of time to the detriment of others, it is recommended that the Committee considers taking appropriate disciplinary action against the offending player. Such action may, for example, include prohibiting play for a limited time on the course or in a certain number of competitions. This is considered to be justifiable in terms of protecting the interest of the majority of golfers who wish to play in accordance with these guidelines.