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Dino's Golf Rules

Rules of Etiquette

Hopefully, this section of the Rules of Golf will be seen as a simple introduction to the concepts of Dino's Golf Club Etiquette not only for the new member but also a good review for the experienced member too.


Golf Etiquette

Golf etiquette is one of the most important parts of the game of golf. The golf etiquette (or the lack of it) that you display on the course will say more about you as a golfer and a person that anything you ever do with your clubs.

The love of the game, the understanding of the traditions and the respect for those with whom you play, all come together in the golf etiquette you exhibit on the course.

Etiquette has to do with manners. Golf is a game that requires a lot of concentration. If your are trying to make a putt or hit your tee shot into a narrow fairway, it will be much more difficult if someone is laughing, rattling their clubs, or running around the tee or green.

There are few rules of etiquette that apply in all situations on the golf course and there are other rules of etiquette that are particular to certain circumstances, especially on the green. Here, we will review the general applications of golf etiquette.



The first and foremost rule of golf and golf etiquette is safety.

Without some good common sense and a notion of how hard golf balls and clubs are, a golf course can be a very dangerous place.

Don't take a practice swings toward another person.

Don't swing your clubs when someone is walking around you and don't walk next to someone who is swinging golf clubs.



Quiet is required on the golf course. Golf requires lots of concentration, and even if the people in your immediate group don't seem bothered, there are other groups all around you.

Walk, don't run. Running around is annoying, distracting.


Pace of Play

As much as people enjoy playing golf, they don't want their round to take all day. Here are some things you can do to maintain a good pace of play:

Take only one practice swing for each shot or practice while waiting for others.

Plan your shot before your turn-be ready in advance

As you approach the green determine in which direction the next tee is located and park your cart on that side of the green.

If one player is on one side of the fairway and the other player on the opposite side, drop one player off at his ball with a choice of a few clubs, then drive to the next player's ball and meet farther down the fairway, after both have hit their shots.

Keep up with the group ahead of you.

Play ready golf whenever it is appropriate. Ready golf can really speed things along, but before you hit be sure that everyone in your group knows that you are going to hit and that you are aware of where everyone in your group is.


Golf Carts

Depending on weather conditions and other variables courses will post different rules relating to the use of carts. Be sure to obey the course rules such as:

Keep carts on paths at all times or the 90 degree rule.

Always, under all circumstances, keep all carts away from greens and off the teeing ground. Often the course will post signs giving directions as to where they want you to park your cart; follow the directions.


On the Teeing Ground

The teeing ground is technically the area between the markers and two club lengths behind the markers. But when we refer to the tee, we are really referring to the entire tee box.

When you are on the tee the most important thing to keep in mind is to respect the person hitting.

Stand behind the player who is hitting or, when it is not possible to be behind, at least be out of the peripheral vision of the one who is hitting. Be sure to be out of range of the golf club.

Watch the shots of everyone in your group. This will save a lot of time.

Remember to be quiet-don't talk, or giggle about their bad swing or rattle through your bag for your clubs.


In the Fairway

Once again, it is important to be aware of where the other members of your group are located and the group ahead of you before you hit. You want to be sure that you are not hitting your ball near where someone is standing or looking for their ball.

Divots - It is quite normal to "take a divot". If the divots are replaced from which they were hit, they have an excellent chance of growing back without leaving a trace. So if your shot causes a divot walk over, pick it up and put it back into the spot from which it came. ·

Losing a ball - One of the least fun parts of playing golf is losing a ball. It's frustrating, it's expensive, and guess what! It's going to happen to YOU eventually. You can look for the ball for a few minutes but don't hold up the entire course because you lost a ball. ·

Bunkers - If your ball lands in the bunker there are a few "rules if golf" and a few "rules of etiquette". Here are the main things to know:

  • Enter the bunker from the low side of the bunker nearest your ball.

  • Since the rules of golf forbid "testing the conditions" before a shot, don't pick up or kick around the sand to determine the condition. Also to avoid "testing" don't touch the head of your club in the sand.

  • When finished with the shot, use the rake to rake out all evidence of your ball your shot, and footprints.

  • Leave the rake outside the bunker with rake handle running parallel to the fairway.


On the Green

The putting green is a very special place to golfers. Putting is one of the most important parts of the game. Because the green is such a special place and because putting is so important to your game, there are lots of etiquette rules to know about when you are on the green.

Stepping over the ball path - Notice as soon as you step out onto the green the location of everyone's ball. The reason you should carefully note where all the other balls are is so you don't step on the path on which someone else will momentarily putt. The best route to your own ball is to walk behind any other balls laying on the green.

Repairing your ball marks - Depending on how hard and fast the ball was traveling, how hard the greens are and how wet, your ball dent may vary from a little bump to a great big gash. When your ball makes a mark on the green you should take out your repair tool and fix it.

Marking your ball - When you are on the green the Rule of Golf allow you to mark and clean your ball. Place a coin or ball marker behind your golf ball, on the opposite side of the ball hole. If your ball is in the in direct path of another golfer' shot, you may move your mark up to a club length to either side. Removing/Tending the Flagstick - The Rules of Golf tell us that the ball may not hit strike the flagstick, in the hole when the ball has been played from on the green. Sometimes, however, due to a long putt or an odd angle or the sunshine/shadows, or who knows what the person putting may not be able to see the hole very well. In this instance another golfer in the group can tend the flagstick for the golfer.

Tending the flagstick is a courtesy you extend to the other golfers in your group whenever they need that service. Here is the proper way to tend the pin for another golfer:

Stand to the side of the cup, right or left, depending on which side your shadow falls.

Stand about an arm's length distance from the cup with your feet away from the hole. And be sure you are not standing on anyone else's putting line in the process.

With your arm nearest the flagstick reach out and hold the flag against the flagstick to keep it from flapping in the wind.

Now as the ball is rolling toward the hole, lift the flagstick straight our, walk quietly to the side of the green and lay down the flagstick.

Going to School - Going to school on a putt can save your valuable strokes, but one thing you cannot do is put your education ahead of someone else's opportunity to make a putt. So that means that even though you are studying hard to see where the putt goes, you may not choose a vantage point that is with in peripheral vision of the golfer who is putting or, that will be, in any way, distracting to the putter.

When your group is finished putting out, carefully replace the flagstick without damaging the sides of the hole, move off the green quickly and proceed to the next tee.

Mark your scores on the next tee, not on the green-this will allow the next group to begin their shots to the green as soon as you are done and benefits all the groups behind you.


Dino's Tournament Rules

RULE NO.1: USGA rules will apply at all times. EXCEPTION: when local course rules or Dino’s Club rules prevail.

RULE NO. 2: Common sense should prevail. REMEMBER – We do not have any officials or spotters on the course.

RULE NO. 3: Provisional Ball Relief – If a player hits their ball and thinks it may be LOST, OUT OF BOUNDS or UNPLAYABLE, the player shall hit a PROVISIONAL BALL!!!

If the player cannot find either the original ball or the provisional ball, the player is to use the PROVISIONAL BALL RELIEF as defined below:

Provisional Ball Relief – this is taking a drop between point of entry (of provisional ball) and the fairway. The player would incur a two stroke penalty. (amended 4/17/2014)
NOTE: At no times will the ball be dropped in the fairway.

If the player does not hit a provisional ball, he will not be allowed to return to the original hitting ground, and will be required to drop between point of entry and the fairway. The player will incur a two stroke penalty.

RULE NO. 4: Lost ball in Your Fairway – If in the event a player’s ball cannot be found; and in the opinion of the foursome the ball was in the fairway, another ball may be played from the agreed upon area. No penalty will be incurred. REMEMBER RULE NO. 2

RULE NO. 5: Maximum strokes to be taken:

A. Par three’s: 8 stroke maximum.
B. Par four’s and five’s: 10 stroke maximum.

RULE NO. 6: Bad Weather – If in the event the bad weather exists, the tournament chairman and/or committee will make the final decision on tournament status. If the course closes, there will be no tournament.

RULE NO. 7: Speeding Up Play:

A. Ready Rule – regardless of protocol, either on the tee, in the fairway, or on the green hit your shot when ready. Certainly, courtesy with respect to your fellow golfers should be practiced.
B. Breaks between 9’s should be limited to 5 minutes.
C. Searching for golf balls should be limited to a reasonable amount of time (USGA rules allow five minutes). “We do not carry stop watches, so be considerate of those golfers following your group.

RULE NO. 8: Foursome Captain – The member with the lowest handicap within a foursome will be considered the “Captain”. His responsibilities will be:

a. Required to maintain the foursome’s score card.
b. Required to interpret the golf rules.
c. Required to maintain a reasonable pace of play.

RULE NO. 9: Players older 63 and older have the option to play from the set of tees immediately in front of the tees being played from by the remaining members. The intent to play from the “up tees” must be made at the beginning of the year and must be played from throughout the round.

RULE NO. 10: Sand Traps – If it is found that the course has not prepared the sand traps prior to our first tee time, players may lift, rake and place their ball without penalty.

RULE NO. 11: Rules Disputes – The Rules Committee will act as arbiter for any disputes concerning violations of any golfing rules during tournament play. Any disputes must be brought to the attention of a committee member or officer prior to the conclusion of the tournament.

RULE NO. 12: It is the responsibility of each member to adhere with local golf course rules. For example; most local courses require collared shirts, many do not allow "jeans" and you may be required to wear "soft spikes" in your shoes.

RULE NO. 13: When the course conditions warrant the implementation of the “lift, clean and place (LCP)” provision, the following protocol will be adhered to:

1. Prior to the start of a tournament, the Rules Chairman (or a current board member in the event of the Rules Chairs absent) will make the decision to allow for the participants to use the “lift, clean and place” provision. The decision to use the LCP provision will not be arbitrary and these factors are to be taken into consideration: precipitation from the last 24 hours, opinions of the Club’s board members and information provided by course personnel as to the course conditions.

2. If the LCP provision is implemented, a flag/marker will be placed on the first tee stating such. This

marker will be placed by the first group and picked up by the last group.

3. Procedures: the player should mark the place where the ball is at rest and proceed to lift, clean and

place the ball within one club length of the original spot and no closer to the hole. Preferred lies are allowed and recommended. Note: Once the ball is placed it cannot be re-lifted without penalty. The

LCP is allowed throughout the course, but excludes areas designated as hazards, i.e.; water hazards

(lateral and front), tall grass areas designated as a Dino’s hazard, woods and sand traps.

4. In the event that it begins to rain after the start of a tournament, the LCP provision will be allowed if these conditions prevail:

   a. the players are called off the course for lightning and when allowed to resume, the LCP

   provision will be permitted. Note: a rainfall must accompany the lightning.

   b. the course changes the cart rules from allowing driving on the course to cart path only due to the precipitation.

RULE NO. 14: Tall Grass Played as a Hazard.

Definition: The following is a descriptive list to provide a uniform definition of tall grass:

1. A homogenous collection of grass or grasses greater than one foot in height and not defined as a

hazard by red or yellow stakes, or a local rule.

2. It does not border tree line, and it extends more than 5 yards outside a tree line.

At all times let “Common Sense” dictate the decision and review the scorecard for local rules.

Play and Penalty: The ball will be played as entering either a lateral hazard or front hazard. The penalty

will be one stroke. Please remember when determining where to drop, it is based on the point where

the ball entered the hazard and not its final resting place.


USGA Rules of Play


The Game

The game of Golf consists in playing a ball from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the rules.

Players shall not agree to exclude the operation of any Rule or to waive any penalty incurred.


Match Play

In match play the game is played by holes. Except as otherwise provided in the Rules, a hole is won by the side, which holes its ball in the fewer strokes. In a handicap match the lower net score wins the hole.

The reckoning of holes is kept by the terms: so many "holes up" or "all square" and so many "to play". A halved hole is if each side holes out in the same number of strokes.

The winner of the match is the side which is leading by a number of holes greater than the number of holes remaining to be played.


Stroke Play 

The competitor who plays the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest strokes is the winner.

If a competitor fails to hole out at any hole and does not correct his mistake before he plays o stroke from the next teeing ground or, in the case of the last hole of the round, before he leaves the putting green, he shall be disqualified.


Water Ball

Most courses that we play have designated drop areas. Some of them will keep the hazard between the player and the hole. However some will allow you to place your ball beyond the hazard. These course rules will apply with a one-stroke penalty.

However, if no course rule exists- you are required to keep the hazard between you and the hole. The exception is, if your ball lands beyond the water hazard and happens to roll back into the water. You will be allowed to place your ball beyond the hazard. A one-stroke penalty will apply.


Out of Bounds Defined by white stakes or lines.


Water Hazards Defined by yellow stakes or lines.


Lateral Water Defined by red stakes or lines.


Ball Lost or Out of Bounds If a ball is lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, the player should play a ball, under a one-stroke penalty, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.


Provisional Ball If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds to save time the player may play another ball provisionally as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was played. The player should inform his fellow competitor that he intends to play a provisional ball.


Ball Unplayable The player may declare his ball unplayable at any place on the course except when the ball is in a water hazard. The player is the sole judge as to whether his ball is unplayable. If the player deems his ball unplayable, he should under the penalty of one stroke:

  • Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was lasted played.

  • Drop a ball within two club-lengths of the spot where the ball lay, but nor nearer the hole.

  • Drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit how far behind that point the ball may be dropped.

Note- If an unplayable ball is in a BUNKER, the player may proceed Under clause 1, 2 or 3. If he elects to proceed under clause 1, 2 or 3, the ball must be dropped in the bunker. The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this rule.

Remember- A player may declare his ball unplayable anywhere EXCEPT when the ball lies in or touches a water hazard.


Grounding Clubs (hazards) A one stroke penalty will be imposed for grounding your club in any bunker or hazard…i.e. sand traps, bunkers, lateral hazards, water hazards.


Last Verified: 4/16/2016

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