A MESSAGE FROM ARNOLD PALMER (Information from USGA.ORG web site)
This code of conduct is a big part of what makes golf the greatest game of all. True golfers help protect the game by observing golf etiquette. This is especially important for new golfers. If you're new to the game, you'll be a lot more comfortable on the golf course when you know what to do and how to behave.
The First Tee
q Always be on time and prepared to play.
q Choose the teeing ground that best matches your ability.
q Always be aware of your safety and the safety of others
q Safety - wait until the group ahead is out of range of your best shot.
q Safety - be sure you are well away from others before taking practice swings.
q Safety - stand on the same side as the ball when watching someone hit.
q Stay silent and still while others in your group are teeing off.
q Avoid taking divots with practice swings on the teeing ground.
Pace of Play
q Plan your shot while walking to your ball or while others are playing.
q Be ready to play when it is your turn to play, particularly on the putting green.
q Walk briskly between shots.
q Walk directly to your golf ball; don't follow other players to theirs unless assisting in a search.
q If riding, take several clubs with you to your ball so you won't have to walk back to the cart.
q Be efficient with pre-shot routines.
q Don't step off yardage for every single golf shot, develop an "eye" for distance (especially if you are playing the same golf course every day/week).
q Take only one look at the line of play/putt from behind the ball.
q Take only one practice swing.
q Play a provisional ball if you think the original may be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds.
q Record scores on the next teeing ground while others are
q playing or after you have played your tee shot.
q Replace your divots or fill divots with soil/seed mixture, if available.
q Repair other golfer’s divots.
q Avoid taking divots with practice swings.
q Smooth footprints and irregularities in sand after playing from bunkers.
q Know how to repair a ball-mark. Insert a repair tool or tee at the edges of the ball mark and bring the edges to the center. Do not lift the center of the ball mark. Try not to tear the grass.
q Repair your ball mark and others on the putting green.
q A repaired ball mark will heal in two to three days, an unrepaired ball mark will take three weeks to heal.
q Place golf bags well off the putting surface.
q Take care with flagsticks, when removing and replacing them in the hole and when placing them on the green.
q Mark your golf ball with a small coin or similar object.
q Stay off the line of putt of other players.
q Study your line of putt ahead of time and be ready to putt when it is your turn.
q Remove golf balls from the hole with your hand, not the head of your putter.
q On completion of the hole by all players in the group, repair damage to the putting green caused by spikes.
Golf Carts and Walking
q Always obey the "Rules of the Road."
q Check with the golf shop to see what cart rules are in effect for that day and follow all regulations.
q Have a sense of where you are on the golf course.
q You don't have a "right" to drive a cart over every area of the course, so estimate the yardage and select several golf clubs before walking to your ball.
q Be aware of the damage carts can cause.
q Keep the cart at least 30 yards away from a green or bunker and park in the direction of the next hole.
q If walking, leave the golf bag next to the green facing in the direction of the next hole.
Honesty and Integrity
q Play the course as you find it.
q Play the ball as it lies: When that is not possible do what is fair.
q Be responsible for applying the Rules of Golf.
q Treat others with respect.
Behavior and Manners
q Leave the course in better condition than you found it.
q Treat other players the way you would like to be treated.
q Before playing, check to be sure the way ahead is clear.
q No mulligans. Use the practice tee prior to the round. No mulligans.
q Golf is played best when emotions are under control.
q Pets and very young children are at risk on the golf course. It is not appropriate to take non-playing children or pets on a golf outing.
Remember to always play by the Rules of Golf, play quickly, and observe golf etiquette and you'll be an integral part of the greatest game of all!
In 1982, GOLF Magazine teamed with the USGA to produce "The Golden Rules of Golf." These 10 fundamental guidelines, which still hold today with slight modifications due to Rules changes, summarize most situations you are likely to encounter on the course. If you learn them well (and keep a Rules book in your bag in case something really weird happens), you'll be ready for anything.
I Play the ball as it lies.
II Don't move, bend, or break anything growing or fixed, except in fairly taking your stance or swing. Don't press anything down.
III You may lift natural objects not fixed or growing, except in a water hazard or bunker. (No penalty.)
IV You may move man-made objects even in a bunker or water hazard. If they are immovable, you may drop within one clublength of the nearest point of relief (unless your ball is in a water hazard), no nearer the hole. In a bunker, you must drop in the bunker. (No penalty.)
V Unless your ball is in a water hazard, you may drop away from casual water, ground under repair, or burrowing animal holes or their casts. On the putting green, place at the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole; otherwise drop within one clublength of the nearest point of relief, except that in a bunker the ball must be dropped in the bunker. If complete relief is impossible within the bunker, drop in the bunker at the point of maximum available relief. (In each case, there is no penalty.)
VI In a water hazard or bunker, don't touch the water or ground with your hand or club before the stroke.
VII If you hit your ball into a water hazard and cannot play it, either drop behind the hazard or at the place you played the shot. (One penalty stroke.) If you hit into a lateral hazard you may also drop within two clublengths of the point where the ball last crossed the hazard margin, or a point equidistant from the hole on the opposite margin. (One penalty stroke.)
VIII When you hit your ball out of bounds or lose it, add a penalty stroke, go back and drop a ball at the place you played the shot. (On the tee, you may tee the ball.) If you think you have hit your ball out of bounds or lost it outside a water hazard, play a provisional ball before searching for the first one.
IX When you have an unplayable lie, you may drop a ball at the place where you played the previous shot, adding a penalty stroke. (On the tee, you may tee the ball.) Alternatively, drop within two clublengths, no nearer the hole, or any distance behind the unplayable spot, keeping it between you and the hole. If the ball is in a bunker, you must drop in the bunker, under either of the alternative options.
X On the putting green, you may repair ball marks and old hole plugs on the line of the putt, but not spike marks.