The Spirit of the Game of Golf

Golf is a game played, for the most part, without a referee or umpire.  The integrity of the individual to abide by the Rules of Golf and demonstrate courtesy and sportsmanship at all times is what makes this sport so popular.

ARNOLD PALMER:  “From the time I first stepped on a golf course I was taught to observe golf etiquette.  What that meant to me then, and what it means now, is being considerate of other golfers, taking care of the course, playing quickly, and controlling my temper.”

Following Arnold’s lead, here are the three keys to proper CTGA Golf Etiquette:


    Golf is played best when your emotions are under control and pleasant.  It’s also better for your playing partner and/or competitors.
    • Treat other players the way you would like to be treated
    • When others in your 4-some are preparing to take their shot from the teeing ground, in the fairway or on the green, avoid disturbances or distractions to them by moving, talking or making unnecessary noises
    • Once a player has teed the ball and is preparing to address it to take his/her shot, you should avoid moving your cart, handling your clubs, etc;
    • When a player hits his/her tee shot, your task is to help watch the ball flight until it lands and stops moving.
    • Avoid throwing club, profanity and other negative emotionally blatant actions.
    Think of how you’d like other golfers to leave the course for you and how you should leave it for those who follow. These simple steps will help us all enjoy a better round of golf:
    • Always leave the course in better condition than you found it
    • If you take a divot (of any size) with your swing, replace it. If the course provides sand on carts, use it to fill your divot, then fill at least one more”
    • Avoid taking divots with your practice swing(s)
    • Enter and exit Sand Traps from the lowest point to ensure you don’t damage high lips and edges, and make sure you rake the trap smooth
    • Repair your pitch mark, accidental cleat scrapes, etc, on the Green, then look for another pitch mark to repair
    • Remove the ball from the cup with your hand; never scoop it out with your putter head
    • Remove and replace the Flagstick carefully so not to damage the edge of the cup
    • Use the “90 Degree” rule at all times with golf carts
    • Keep your carts completely on the cart path when within 30’ of Tees and Greens
    • Dispose of your refreshment containers and wrappers in appropriate waste bins
    • If you eat sunflower seeds, smoke or use snuff, please don’t leave remnants of these pleasures on Tees or Greens.
    Your place on the golf course is immediately behind the group in front, NOT immediately in front of the group behind.
    • Plan your next shot while approaching your ball or while others are playing;
    • Be ready to hit when it’s your turn, particularly on the putting green;
    • Walk briskly between shots…Golf is a sport and demands “PEP IN YOUR STEP.”
    • Go directly to your ball with club(s) in hand; don’t follow other players to their ball unless assisting in a ball search;If driving the cart, drop your partner at his ball then go to yours;  if passenger, get to your ball immediately with club(s) and be ready to hit when it’s your turn;
    • Use a good, short pre-shot routine…. don’t abuse with a lengthy pre-shot routine;
    • Don’t step off yardage for every shot…develop an “eye” for distance;
    • Read your putts while others are putting to minimize time when it’s your turn to putt;
    • Play a provisional ball if you think your shot may be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds;
    • Record score(s) on the next teeing ground while others are hitting.

CTGA Directors