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Play Ready Golf

Whether you’re playing competitively or not, following golf etiquette whenever you’re on the course will help minimize the possibility of personal injury, speed up play and sustain the enjoyment of the game for all members.

Upon Arrival
At the tee
On the fairway
In the sand bunker
In the bush
Approaching and on the green
In general
Dress code
Scoring terms

Upon arrival:

  • All players should arrive and register at the Pro Shop/first tee 15 minutes prior to their tee-off time.

At the tee:

  • Always maintain silence while waiting for others to hit.
  • Sit or stand quietly when anyone is hitting.
  • Never swing a club when anyone is hitting.
  • Refrain from hitting until those ahead of you are out of range.
  • Tee off as quickly as possible.
  • Always replace divots.
  • “PLAY READY GOLF” – the first player ready to tee off should do so.

On the fairway:

  • Always play in turn. This means that the ball furthest from the green or “away” is played first, even though it might mean several shots in succession for the same player.
  • Always replace divots.
  • Call “fore” loudly whenever there is any danger of hitting another player.
  • Maximum time for searching for a lost ball is 3 minutes.
  • Keep pace with the group ahead.
  • Never stand between a player and the green.
  • Never approach a green until the players ahead have left it.
  • Take a maximum of 5 strokes before picking up your ball and proceeding to the green on a par 5.
  • Take a maximum of 4 strokes before picking up your ball and proceeding to the green on a par 4.
  • Take a maximum of 3 strokes before picking up your ball and proceeding to the green on a par 3.

In the sand bunker:

  • Leave golf bags at the edge of the bunker.
  • Take the most direct or easiest route to the ball. This will avoid unnecessary footprints in the sand.
  • Bring a rake with you into the sand bunker, and deposit it out of the line of play when you’re done with it.
  • Always rake the sand when leaving the sand bunker.

In the bush:

You can either:

  • Play it as it lies;
  • Take two club lengths from the edge of the ball (1 penalty stroke); or
  • Go back to where the ball was last played from (1penalty stroke). GAL HOUSE RULES are one of the two above options. Please never go back. This simply slows up play.

Approaching and on the green:

  • Place golf bags and carts a minimum of 15 feet away from the green, toward the next tee.
  • Never place golf bags on the green.
  • Mark behind your ball with a ball marker. Ensure your shadow is not interfering with a putter.
  • Always putt the ball farthest from the cup first.
  • Replace the flag immediately after the last person has putted.
  • Leave the green as quickly as possible to avoid delaying players waiting to approach.
  • Record the scores on the next tee, while others are teeing off.
  • Avoid stepping closely around the hole or marking the green in any way.
  • Repair any damage caused by a ball hit directly onto the green before leaving the green.
  • Take a maximum of 3 putts before picking up your ball and proceeding to the next tee, and putt continuously until you hole out, unless restricted by another golfer’s line.

In general:

  • Always be ready to play your shot.
  • Mentally select your club while approaching your ball.
  • When in doubt about a stray ball, play a provisional.
  • Give instructions at the driving range – not on the golf course.
  • Walk briskly to the next shot.
  • Be aware of the other player’s shot to help them locate it.

Dress code:

  • Most courses state a shirt with sleeves and/or a collar.
  • Any logos must be small and discreet.
  • Slacks, Capri pants, shorts, skorts, skirts and a golf dress.
  • Length of shorts and skirts: just above the knee.
  • Denim is not acceptable at any course. It is well worth asking what the dress code is when you book a tee time.

Scoring terms:

  • Par: The defined number of strokes on a hole.
  • Birdie: Par minus 1 stroke.
  • Eagle: Par minus 2 strokes.
  • Bogey: Par plus 1 stroke.
  • Double Bogey: Par plus 2 strokes.
  • Triple Bogey: Par plus 3 strokes.
  • A Miracle: Hole-in-one.


Further to our visit at the Golf Show ” I am a Players Assistant at Greensmere Golf Course.”  When we see the “GAL” group show up on our Tee Sheets, w…