Courteney Osborne
Courteney Osborne, CPA, CGA Office Manager, Granite Springs Golf Club

The do’s and don’t of golfing

Now that summer is finally here, it’s time to enjoy some great Nova Scotia golfing. After being stuck inside for several months, golfers are now hitting the fairways across the province. As a new golfer, I was very naïve as to what good etiquette is on the golf course, so I thought I’d share a few pointers with the readers.

1. ARRIVE EARLY: Arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled tee-time. This allows you to get checked in to the pro-shop, change clothing if necessary, gather your golf cart, and stretch/warm up before your play starts. Often times, there may be a short walk to the first tee and the starter’s hut, be sure to give yourself enough time to get there.

2. WAIT FOR THE ‘ALL CLEAR’: Wait until the group ahead of you is out of shot range before teeing off. If you do hit your ball towards another group, be sure to yell ‘FORE’ to warn them of the incoming play.

3. AVOID SLOW PLAY: If you cannot keep up with the group in front of you, or you notice a group always waiting behind you, step aside and let that group play through. This allows the speed of play on the course to remain consistent. There are marshals on most courses who will help monitor this, but use your judgement to help everyone stay happy. On a similar note, never look for a lost ball for more than five minutes. We all like to save that penalty stroke, but donning a snorkel and mask to search for a pond ball is not worth it!

4. HELP MAINTAIN THE COURSE: We’ve all seen the huge divots that can be left when hitting the ball. You can help maintain the course by doing a few simple things:

  • Replace the divot when your shot is complete. 
  • Rake the bunker (that big hole with sand) after you have taken your shot.
  • Keep the golf cart off of soggy fair ways as wheels can get stuck. Do not follow directly behind another cart on the fairway.
  • Repair ball marks on the green from where your ball has hit. You will mostly likely want to do this before you putt.

5. GREEN PLAY: Congratulation’s… you have made it onto the green… the flag stick is in sight. Now what?

  • Don’t step in the line of other player’s putts.
  • Do not stand where you might distract another player.
  • If you are asked to hold the flagstick, hold it at arm’s length and attempt to not let a shadow cast on the player’s line of putt. The flagstick should be removed as soon as the player has completed their stroke.
  • Lay the flagstick off the green so as to not damage the green.
  • Once everyone in your group has putted, quickly walk to the next tee.

6. ENJOY THE GAME: We all get frustrated from time to time, but throwing clubs, using profanity, and sulking ruin the game for everyone and can cause some awkward silence. Remember to take time and enjoy the beauty around you! Photo: