These are the five things you should always keep in mind when golfing, whether you’re new or experienced.
Putting green is the part of the course that can make or break a golfer’s score. It is essential to follow established rules and procedures to maintain a cohesive foursome. The next time you find yourself on the putting green, make sure to remember these five commandments.
Repair Pitch Marks
If the green is soft and your ball hit the ground with enough speed and from a high enough height, you will most likely see a small dent in the grass where your ball landed. This damage to the putting green is called a pitch mark or ball mark, and it should be repaired quickly to prevent long-term damage.
If you don’t have a divot repair tool in your golf bag, no problem! You can use a tee as an effective replacement. If you don’t know how to fix a pitch mark, ask one of your playing companions or look up a quick video tutorial.
If you see more than one pitch mark from another player, repair that one as quickly as possible so long as doing so will not cause a delay or affect the pace of play.
Mark Your Ball
Golfers are often allowed to lift their ball and clean it while on the green, or if it’s in another player’s way. Before you golfers out there pick up your ball, make sure to put down a marker. After you finish your stroke on the green, pick up your ball and place your marker behind it.
It is now your turn to putt. Replace your ball on the green where it was sitting before you lifted it, slightly in front of your ball marker so that its Original Position is unchanged. Never leave your marker down on the green after making a putt, or you’ll be penalized! Be sure to pick it up and return it to your pocket or hat. You can make a personalized marker from online with your own design.
Clear the Way
It’s always important to have good golf etiquette, but it is extra critical on the putting green. In order to improve our focus and give ourselves the best chance to make a putt, we should minimize distractions by remaining silent and still while others take their turn. Keep an eye on where the other golfers’ balls are positioned on the green, and be mindful of your shadow as well! Your shadow can extend over another player’s line-of-sight between their ball and the hole. This is especially important to remember in the later afternoon when shadows are the longest.
Ready golf is playing when it’s your turn and you are ready, rather than waiting for the player farthest from the hole to putt first. If no one is in a hurry and you aren’t playing competitively, go ahead and play ready golf. Just be sure not to walk on anyone’s line while they are putting.
Wait for others to putt it so you can use that time to check the green for changes in grass color. This will help you understand the terrain better. Also, watch what happens to other players’ balls on the green when they putts–take note of how hard they seem to have hit the ball and which line they took.
Although this information can help you develop a plan, realistically we aren’t going to be able to make 40-foot putts no matter how much time we spend studying the green. So do all of this as quickly as possible.
Obstacles on the Green
When you examine your putt, you may spot things on the line that will interfere with the ball’s roll. You can ask the other player to “span their marker” if their ball marker is on your line. This means moving the marker a putter club-head’s distance to the right or left. Before placing your ball and making your own putt, be sure to span it back to the original spot.
When you reach the green, there are three options for what to do with the flagstick: attend it, remove it, or leave it in. We’ve grown accustomed to virtual learning during the pandemic, but once safety guidelines relax, we will have the option to attend class in person or continue remotely.
If the majority of players want the flagstick removed, then the player whose ball is closest to the hole might be responsible for removing it. Be careful not to damage the grass around the hole as you place your golf ball down on the green in an empty spot. If a ball-in-motion is heading towards the flagstick or anyone’s equipment, it is okay to quickly move those objects out of the way. If you’re a bit late and the ball hits items on the green, there’s no need to worry–there’s no penalty. You’ll simply play the ball from where it lies.
The person who finishes the hole first should stand near the flagstick and be ready to put it back in the hole when everyone is done putting.
Although it is not as common, if you are asked to attend the flagstick, keep your hand on it and be ready to lift it out fast when the ball is getting close to the hole.
By following a few simple golf course etiquette rules, you and your friends can take care of the course, play faster, and make those putts!