The greens at The Golf Club at La Quinta

This week marks the end of our series on golf etiquette. You can read the last two entries on general rules and course care here and here.  The short game can be one of the most complicated parts of golf, and the green has its own special set of rules and guidelines. That is why it gets its own entry in our series. Let’s get started!

  1. Practice proper parking. Don’t drive your cart onto the green. This rule might seem a little obvious, but occasionally people do make this mistake. Make sure to park outside the edge of the green, so that you don’t cause any major damage to the putting area.
  2. Travel light. The green is a pretty delicate area, so it’s best to leave your bag outside of the area. Just take your putter with you when you step onto it – it’s really all that you need.
  3. Don’t lean in. It can be tempting to lean on your putter when you’re waiting to take your shot or removing your ball from the hole, but this can actually leave a dent on the putting surface, affecting future putts.
  4. Repair your ball mark. Your ball will sometimes leave a deep indentation when it lands on the putting green – this is called a ball mark and golf etiquette requires the golfer who hit the ball to repair the indentation. The ball mark can easily be fixed by using a tee or repair tool to manipulate and tap down the area around the mark until the ground is level again.
  5. Don’t forget your lines. A putting line is the imaginary line drawn between a player’s ball and the hole – make sure never to step on one. If your ball happens to be on another player’s putting line, golf etiquette says that you should mark your ball. This can be done by laying down a plastic marker or a coin. Once you’ve laid it down, place your putter at a 90-degree angle with one end touching your marker. Move the marker to the other end of your putter. Once the other player has taken their shot, you can reverse the process to replace your ball.
  6. Don’t distract. Another obvious one, but also very important – if another player is taking or preparing to take a shot, don’t speak. Don’t move. Don’t cast a shadow on their putting line. As you know, putting can take a huge amount of concentration, and it’s bad etiquette to take another player out of their zone.
  7. Stay until the end. Wait until the rest of your party has finished with the hole, before leaving the putting area and moving on.

We’ve finally reached the end of our 3-part series on golf etiquette! We hope that it has been a useful guide for beginners and veterans alike. If you’d like to point out another important piece of etiquette advice, feel free to let us know in the comments.


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