Golf etiquette is an integral part of the game

Sports Thursday, May 20, 2021

New players are visiting Don Shula’s Golf Club in Miami Lakes. Below are a few of the rules of etiquette to follow, with tips from club staff as well as PGA.com.

First Tee Ask staff about local rules for the course. On busy days, don’t hit a mulligan (a do- over) on the first tee.

Avoid Slow Play When your group is not keeping up with the group ahead, play ready golf, which means hit your shot even if you are not the farthest away. Don’t talk on your cell phone. Plan your next shot as you approach the ball. From choosing the club to hitting the ball should take 40 seconds or less. If you aren’t ready when it’s your turn, have a friend in your group play. As a courtesy to those behind you, drive the cart around the back of the green before putting, or at least before entering scores.

Maintain the Course If the turf explodes after your shot, use the toe of your shoe to kick in turf around the edges of the divot or fill it with soil/seed mix if pro- vided. Don’t walk on the steep face of a bunker. Repair pitch marks or indentations caused
by the ball hitting the green and use a tee or repair tool to fix the mark by working the edges to- wards the center, without lifting the center of the mark. Don’t tear the grass. Smooth it with a club or your foot so that you could putt over it.


On the Green Don’t step on your fellow players’ putting
lines -- the imaginary line that connects the ball to the hole. If your ball is in the way, volunteer to mark it. If your ball is not farthest from the cup, mark its location with a plastic marker or a coin. Don’t stand where you might distract a fellow player, or move or make noise when others are preparing to putt. Generally, the player closest to the hole tends the flagstick. If you are asked to do so, make sure you aren’t standing on anyone’s line. If you lay down the flagstick, place it off the green to prevent damage. After everyone has putted, immediately walk/drive to the next tee.


Miscellaneous Never hit when there’s a chance your ball might reach the group ahead of you.
 If a shot has a remote chance
 of hitting other players, call out fore” and apologize to anyone your ball lands near. Outbursts or throwing clubs is unacceptable and may be dangerous to yourself and others. Learn and understand the Rules of Golf.

Cart Safety When you pay greens fees, find out which cart rules are in effect. Limit the
cart to two passengers and keep arms and legs inside. The driver should wait until the passenger is seated before accelerating. Drive carefully around the clubhouse and at intersections. Never drink and drive.


Steering Clear Keep your
cart away from tee boxes, and about 30 feet from the greens. Obey signs that advise “No
carts beyond this point” and follow arrows that point to the cart path. Do not drive close to water hazards, grassy mounds or bunkers. Water can damage the cart, and the cart can damage the mounds and bunkers. Sharp turns or speeding and sudden stops can damage turf grass. Keep the cart away from naturalized areas to protect foliage and wildlife.

Be Aware of Other Players

Do not drive the cart in front of players in your group or another group. Do not drive forward
 or back up when a player is addressing the ball.

Cart Path Only When the course requires you only use the cart path, keep the cart off the grass. Drive to a point where you are even with the ball and walk to it. Take along several clubs since you won’t be able to read conditions.
Carts should not be driven off paths near tee boxes where golfers are hitting or around greens where the pin is a target. Carts should always be visible to players in the group following yours. Know where your foursome is at all times. Never drive into another player’s target line, between their ball and the flag. When holes are adjacent to each other, look around for golfers hitting on a nearby fairway so you don’t drive into or park in a dangerous spot.

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