Golfing Ettiquette

Golf New Zealand - Golf Etiquette

Golf etiquette refers to a set of practices designed to make the playing of golf safer and more enjoyable for golfers plus minimise possible damage to golf equipment and courses. Although many of these practices are not part of the formal rules of golf, golfers are expected to observe the basic principles of:

  • Being Considerate of Others;
  • Playing at a Reasonable Pace; and
  • Caring for the Course.

For beginners, we encourage play to be under the above principles however when learning, the playing of golf should only be about having fun. Our 'It's OK' rules are therefore the best guide:

  • To not keep score.
  • To tee the ball up wherever you like.
  • To forget about a lost ball and just hit a new one.
  • To pick up in the middle of a hole and just enjoy the walk.
  • To only count swings when a connection is made.
  • To share a set of clubs amongst friends.
  • To use the same club for the whole round and a putter on the green.


General Golfing Etiquette

Consideration for Others
You should always show consideration for other players on the course and take care not to not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise. You should also ensure that any electronic devices taken onto the course don't distract other players. Only tee your ball up when it's your turn to play and remember not to stand close to the ball, directly behind it, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to swing. On the putting green, you should be careful not stand on another player’s line of play or, when he or she is putting, cast a shadow over his or her line. And you should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.

Pace of Play
You should play at a prompt pace throughout the round, including the time taken to:

  • Prepare for and make each stroke;
  • Move from one place to another between strokes; and
  • Move to the next teeing area after completing a hole.

You should prepare in advance for your next stroke and be ready to play when it is your turn. If you think your ball may be lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time, play a provisional ball.

Care for The Course
Players should avoid causing unnecessary damage to the course whereever possible.

Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose.

Divots and Ball-Marks
Players should carefully repair any divot holes and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player).