The etiquette rules are a guarantee of the spirit of the game of golf and therefore valid on all the courses of the world. They are more an expression of a code of conduct that uses common sense, but it is because of more and more inappropriate behaviour, that it is necessary to remind and complete them here with certain articles of the internal rules of our club, so as to guarantee safety and pleasure of the game for each player on our fairways.
We invite you to carefully read these few pages, if you are a beginner or a good player, as not respecting the etiquette rules could lead to sanctions.
Priority of play – Internal club rule
The priority on the course is determined by the speed of play of a group. All groups playing a full round have the right to overtake a group playing an incomplete round or having cut in. The term “group” includes a player playing alone. You have to play at a good pace. It is the responsibility of a group of players to maintain the distance with the group preceding them. If a group has a complete hole of delay with the group preceding them and slows down the group following them, it must invite the latter to pass never mind the number of players composing that group.
The match-play rounds that count for an official competition of the club have priority on the course including possible play-offs. The groups who precede and who are caught up have to let the competitors through.
Speed of play
For all the players on a course or who are getting ready to play, it is important that the speed of play is smooth. This allows the rhythm and concentration to be kept from the start until the end of a game.
One can however be slower than others in one’s preparation, but one can also catch up time by using the following very useful advice:
- one is ready to play when it is your turn: to do this, one does hesitate to walk to one’s ball without disturbing the other players. This allows one to anticipate the distance and the club choice, and to already put on one’s glove
- one avoids numerous practice swings just before playing
- one immediately plays a provisional ball if one thinks that the ball will be difficult to find or out of bounds, it will avoid having to walk back to where it originated. Having a spare ball in one’s pocket is recommended…
- one helps one’s playing partners to find a lost ball
- one avoids to leave one’s cart in front of the green, one places it in the direction of the next tee, at the place one will exit the green.
- on the green, one will study one’s putting line at the same time as the other players without disturbing those who are going to put
- one marks the score once you have left the green checking not to be within reach of the following group
- one will not replay a shot that will not count when other players are waiting to play
- in stableford competitions, one picks up as soon as no points can be scored
If after all these efforts one realises that the group behind has to wait to play, one invites them to pass; instead of admonitions and dirty looks, to receive thanks and consideration will enable one to continue one’s game calmly.
Furthermore, if the searching for a ball is difficult, letting the next group through allows one not to loose touch with the preceding group.
Our course being very occupied, it sometime happens that many groups are blocked, without a possibility of letting anyone through. If the group in front is also waiting, use this moment of relaxation to strike up a friendly conversation with your playing partners. Staying in a positive mood enables one to find back one’s concentration more easily.
On and around the greens
The greens and their borders are sensitive areas that are important to protect to offer the best playing conditions to everybody, as the maintenance of these closely shaven areas is delicate and cannot be tended to daily, thus:
- one never rolls one’s cart or buggy on a green, one avoids to even pass too close to a green
- one never passes with one’s cart or buggy between a grass or sand bunker and the green
- if one carries one’s bag, one places it outside of the green
- one repairs pitch marks and any others that one spots
- repairing one’s pitch mark is to lift the impact of one’s ball when it hits or lands on the green
- repairing the pitch mark is done by closing it from the outside to the inside so as to avoid cutting the grassroots of the green and to allow it grow back quickly
- one looks for the markers or the balls of the other players to avoid walking on their lines. In this case, one avoids stepping over a putting line by walking behind it
- one does not remove the ball from the hole with the putter head or any other club so as not to damage the sidewalls of the hole
- one removes, drops and replaces the flag with precaution
- one does not lean on one’s putter to avoid indenting the green
- one does not run on the green, one does not jump either, dragging or twisting one’s feet when putting can damage the green considerably
- during a match, one never stands in line with the player going to put, so neither in front or behind. It is at the same time an infringement of the golf rules and a hindrance for the player going to putt
- one avoids moving when a player is concentrating on his putt to follow
On the tee-offs
As the greens, the tee-offs are the areas that are the most used on the course. It is therefore also important to preserve these areas more:
- trial swings are not allowed on them to limit the amount of divots
- one never rides one’s cart or buggy on them
- when one makes a trial swing away from the tee-off, one pays attention not to be aligned in the direction of another player. Indeed, the club head can break off and cause a serious accident.
In the sand bunkers
When your ball lands in a bunker, the shot that you have to carry out will probably be delicate. It will be even more so if your ball rolls into a footstep or a pile of sand due to bad raking:
- raking a bunker, is to erase all traces of your passage in the obstacle and it is an obligation
- raking a bunker is to flatten the marked surface of sand to the maximum
- when the bunker is raked and flattened, one places the rake outside the bunker, parallel to the obstacle and the handle in the direction of the hole
- there are a sufficient amount of rakes for each bunker, they are evenly spread around for easy access. One puts them back where one found them to avoid the following players any unnecessary steps
- if a bunker is not equipped with stairs, one goes in and exits by the lowest side in the first place to avoid a fall but also a slip of grass patch
- when exiting a bunker, one avoids bringing any sand onto the green…it is sufficient to tap the sole of one’s shoes with a club outside of the green.
One will also avoid to pass through the grass bunkers with one’s cart. Flat grass will not be favourable to execute a shot requiring a good ball contact...
Spirit of the game and behaviour
Contrary to other sports, amateur golf is played without the supervision of a referee (with the exception of some high level championships). One relies on the moral integrity of the player to respect others and to apply all the rules. Each player should show courtesy and sporting spirit at all times, and this in spite of his competitive spirit. That is the spirit of golf.
- Sharing a game with other players starts with being on time at the tee-off, greeting even introducing and wishing one another a good game. And when the game is over, thanks and handshakes are in order, after having left the green
- one does not disturb a player at address and who is ready to play. One stands a distance away, one moves more if one’s shadow interferes with his putting line, one avoids noise and movements
- one observes the shots of each player sharing the game
- one avoids swearing and “tantrums”: a bad golf shot or a lack of good luck do not concern your playing partners
- some have voices that carry, pay attention not to disturb players who are on another spot of the course. In general one avoids being noisy near the playing areas
- one repairs with care the damage made to the course by replacing divots (grass turf) removed when hitting a shot. One avoids making more divots during practice swings
- there are dustbins at each tee-off to dispose of all waste, including cigarette butts
- one must never play until the players in front are out of range
- one shouts FORE or BALL when a shot is fired towards another fairway
Also, playing on a course of international reputation known for its architecture and its level of maintenance does not happen by chance. It is therefore imperative to follow the safety rules to avoid endangering the lives of the gardeners who carry out invaluable work:
- the gardeners have priority on Mondays as the cumbersome work is generally carried out on that day
- waving one’s arm warns the gardeners of one’s intention to play
- one waits until they are out of range or attentive before hitting the ball
- if a gardener has started to mow a green and has taken the flag out, he has priority to finish his task before the player hits any shot
- one carefully follows the indications put in place on the course and one respects the instructions and warnings of the marshal (game supervisor
Other internal rules linked to the game
It is forbidden to cut across or to pass by the 18th hole to go to the driving range or to come back from it, or to return to the clubhouse coming from the 9th hole or also to go from the clubhouse to the tee-off of the 10th hole.
this interdiction is valid in all directions, if there are players or not ending their game. It is therefore imperative to only use the forest path.
It is also formally forbidden to cut in at any point on the course when a competition is being played.
The use of mobile phones to receive or send call is forbidden, except in emergencies. Indeed, one comes to the golf to relax, to sometimes escape from our professional duties to come to this haven of peace where discretion is an essential element of the comfort that one wants to find here. The interdiction answers this need, as well on the course where it is necessary to concentrate as in the clubhouse where the private life of each of us does not have to be shared.
- For “course”, one means all the playing areas. The interdiction thus extends to the practice areas, specifically the driving range, the putting and chipping greens.
- For “club-house”, one means all the public areas, specifically the terraces, the restaurants, the bar and the changing rooms. However, the conference and the bridge rooms may be used with the doors closed.
Walkers, who sometimes do not care too much about golfers, can interfere with your game. Please use patience and politeness, your next shot will only be better, as well as the golfer’s image.
The competitions are appreciated as the club has a good reputation amongst large companies. Thanking those who finance the cocktails and the prizes develops their loyalty, but whatever the competition is one takes part in, honouring those who have performed well is the nicest way of showing a sporting spirit.
Coming to the prize giving is essential for the sport and social life of the club.
Dress code/Internal Rule
To be able to access the course and all the practice areas:
- ladies wear; shirts with collar, blouses with round neck tolerated but only with sleeves and a decent neckline, skirts and shorts near to the knee and no higher than the height of a scorecard, shirts over the waist and without back openings, are in compliance.
- men’s wear; shirts with collar and sleeves, shirts with turtleneck tolerated, shorts near the knees and no higher than the length of one scorecard, golf shorts with prominent pockets allowed, belt obligatory, shirt tucked in to the trouser or the short, are in compliance
- for all players; golf shoes without metal cleats or studs. Jeans, training or leggings and large publicity logos on the polo shirts, sweaters or jackets are not in compliance
For the competition prize giving:
- ladies wear; dresses, blouses et skirts or trousers, decent neckline and town shoes
- men’s wear; shirts with collar and trousers, jacket desirable, town shoes
- for all players; smart casual
Respect of the personnel
Day after day and all along the year, the Committee and its different commissions work to keep the club at the top of the hierarchy of the golf clubs in Switzerland. To stay ranked among the elite European golf clubs, is only possible with a qualified and motivated workforce, whatever function or position they occupy. It is therefore imperative to respect the work of each employee and more so when they participate in the application of the rules of good conduct mentioned above. To note and correct a non-conforming attitude is the role of everybody. With a touch of friendliness, the pleasure of a beautiful day of golf will be fulfilled.