FJT Etiquette Tips
Etiquette Tips for Playing Tournament Golf
Warming Up Before the Round
This is a warm up session, not a practice session. You should not be hitting 100 balls on the range. You should be courteous of the other people around you by not taking up a lot of space, and not using all of the golf balls. If space is limited on the range and you see people waiting to hit, ask them if they want to share a spot. Alternating every five shots is a good way to give others a chance to hit if space is limited. The same thing goes for the putting green. Don't take up an entire hole doing a drill that makes it impossible for others to putt to the same hole. Everyone should be able to putt to 2-3 different holes on the putting green.
Starting the Round
At the starting tee, before starting your round, you should introduce yourself and shake hands with the starter and the other players in your group. You should also identify your golf ball to those players before teeing off.
Rules of Golf
Knowing the basic rules to the game of golf will make playing in tournaments a lot easier. Knowing what you can and cannot do in a bunker, what to do if your ball is lost or out of bounds, and how to take relief from a cart path and penalty area are some of the most common situations that happen during a round. Understanding these rules and how to proceed will help you during the round when you need to apply them.
If you are unsure what to do in a certain situation on the course, you should call for a Rules Official. If a Rules Official is not within sight, you can call the Golf Shop and they will notify the Committee. The golf shop's phone number is on your Notice to Players. If either of those options are not feasible, you can always play two balls. Be sure to announce which golf ball you wish to count towards your score, keep track of your score with both balls, and make sure you tell the Committee at scoring that you played two balls. Even is you scored the same number with both balls. The Committee will then decide which ball will count.
Pace of Play
The typical pace of play at a Florida Junior Tour event hovers around four hours & thirty minutes, so why make it longer than it has to be? Nobody likes playing with someone who is a slow player, especially if that player causes the group to miss their checkpoint. To help with your pace of play, you should be preparing for your next shot while another player is playing theirs. For instance, while Player A is taking practice swings and about to hit, you should have your range finder out, getting your yardage, and making your club selection. By doing this, you will be ready to take your practice swings and hit your shot as soon as Player A's ball has landed. The Rules of Golf suggest that you take no more than 40 seconds to hit your shot from the time you approach your ball. Keep that in mind as you are getting ready to hit your shot.
Walking to the Next Shot
After you hit your shot, the player should fill their divot, clean their club, and then proceed to the next shot. This should be done in a reasonable time, and the player should walk briskly to their ball in a way that is not distracting to other players (stay out of other player's sight lines and stop walking when another player is making a stroke). Running, jogging, or skipping to your ball is not encouraged.
Talking & Yelling
Players are encouraged to get to know the players in his/her group and it is encouraged to have fun while on the course. However, talking should not be a distraction. Walk and talk. Yelling across fairways and greens to other players or spectators is not proper etiquette as it can distract other players on different holes or the people you are playing with. Cheering after a great shot, or yelling "FORE!" after a bad shot that may land near someone is acceptable and encouraged.
Care for the Course
Fixing ball marks, filling divots, and raking bunkers are all part of having good golf course etiquette. Doing these simple actions help keep golf courses in great shape and it helps out the people playing behind you. You should leave the course in better shape than how you found it.
Putting Green Etiquette
While on the putting green, make sure you are not stepping on another person's line of play. Although you can fix spike marks on the putting green, it is still not proper etiquette to step on another player's line. If you are the first person to hole out, you should be the one who puts the flagstick back in the hole if needed. You should also be aware of your shadow when standing on the green. As a courtesy to the other players in your group, make sure your shadow is not on their line of play, or covering the hole.
Finishing the Round
After holing out on the last hole of the round, gentlemen should remove their hats and shake hands with the players in their group. Ladies should also shake hands with each other. After you walk off the green, the entire group should make their way to the scoring area immediately. You can talk with your friends and family and grab a snack after you have returned your scorecard.
After the round is completed and all players are in the scoring area, players should go over their scores with each other. If a player is unsure about their score on a hole, they should discuss it with their group and the Committee. It is the player's responsibility to make sure their scorecard is correct before leaving the scoring area. Players should always wait until everyone in the group has turned in their card and the scores have been verified by the Committee before leaving the scoring area.
Departing the Course
Before leaving the course, you should check to make sure you aren't leaving any trash behind and you have all of your belongings. You should also say thank you to any club staff and FSGA volunteers you encounter. Saying "thank you" can go a long way in helping ensure that we are invited back to that facility for another event.