The Masters Golf Tournament

Golf Etiquette: The Rules of Playing and Watching Golf

Victoria Barnett

By Victoria Barnett

August 4, 2015

Masters TournamentWhether you are playing golf or simply watching, there are several unwritten rules you are typically expected to abide by. These rules are put in place to ensure that everyone is respected and has the best experience possible. So before you head out to the golf course, learn the following rules below so that you can practice proper etiquette while watching and playing golf.

Rules While Playing

Avoid Slow Play

Pace of play is heavily talked about nowadays. I’m not saying you need to speed your way through the course, but you need to be considerate of the people behind you. A good rule of thumb is to keep up with the group in front. You should be ready to play as soon as it’s your turn. Keep in mind, from the time you select your club to when you actually hit your shot should take no more than about 30-45 seconds.

Maintain the Course

Before you leave a bunker, make sure you fill up and smooth over any holes or footprints. Most of the time there is a rake you can use for this purpose. You should also repair any divots, ball-marks or damage by shoes. It’s especially important to repair any pitch marks or indentations caused by the ball hitting the green.

Rules of the Green

Don’t step on your fellow players putting lines, which are the imaginary lines that connect the ball to the hole. If your ball happens to be on another player’s line, offer to mark your ball. You can mark your ball with a plastic marker or thin coin such as a penny.

Be careful to not move or make noise when someone is preparing to putt. Also, the player closest to the hole should typically tend the flagstick. Hold the flagstick at arm’s length and make sure your shadow does not fall across the hole or the player’s line. Remove it right after the player makes contact with the ball.

Masters Tournament

Be Respectful

Most of all, be respectful to those around you. Golf is a challenging sport no doubt, but there’s a difference between displays of frustration and obnoxious bursts of anger. Don’t make a fool of yourself by screaming and throwing clubs. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s unacceptable.

Also, don’t laugh at others’ mishaps. Missing a short putt or just outright missing the ball is embarrassing enough so don’t make it worse for them. It’s okay to joke around and have a good time, but be considerate of other players. Even if you are a pro at golf and others in your group are beginners, don’t act like you know everything. Don’t criticize, but instead offer to teach!

Rules While Watching

Be Quiet

Don’t be the person that yells while a golfer is about to hit the ball. Any sound can be a distraction because golf requires complete and total concentration, even to make what seems like a simple two-foot putt. Whereas most sporting events rely on your energetic spirit and constant yelling, golf simply does not. Believe it or not, golfers don’t need your vocal accompaniment to perform well. In fact, they need the exact opposite: silence!

Down in Front

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At a golf tournament, you have two ways you can see the action. You can follow a group (or groups) throughout the course or you can see a number of groups by sitting or standing in the same spot at one of the more exciting holes.

A number of people choose option 2. They set up their chairs, bring a picnic basket and watch the whole day’s play pass them by. With that being said, if you are not one of the people who chooses option 2, you need to be mindful of those who do.

This means you should not go stand in front of them and obstruct their view. Sometimes you can sit on the ground in front of them or simply stand behind them. Don’t make them try to look over you and run the risk of missing their favorite golfer that they’ve been patiently waiting to see all day. 

Stay Still

Even the slightest movements can catch a golfer’s attention at the wrong time. Try your hardest not to move when a player is addressing the ball. You might think no one can see you scratching your nose, but golfers have an extraordinary range of vision, and the last thing you want is to be glared at for making any movement.

Hands to Yourself

This should go without saying, but do not touch a player’s ball…EVER. Players’ shots don’t always land inside the ropes, but that doesn’t mean you can move it, kick it or stop it. Keep your eye on the ball and stay out of its way. Also, don’t touch or move another person’s chair. At the Masters, it’s a tradition that a folding chair reserves the owner’s spot when he or she isn’t there. So let it be!

Be Positive

Be aware of your choice of words. In particular, make sure to watch your language. Be mindful that children do attend these events, and it’s not like they can exactly move away from you in this scenario.

Also, don’t make negative comments about the players. Sportsmanship is a great quality to have, and even if you aren’t a fan of a particular golfer, you should still be respectful. Plus, you never know if a golfer’s family members or friends are in the crowd, so be considerate of the impact your words might have on them. 

Attend the 2016 Masters®

1SatMasters1crop t640 resized 600It’s time to put these rules to good use at the 2016 Masters Tournament! Now that you know golf etiquette, you’re ready to head to Augusta. 

With a 2016 Masters Ticket Package through QuintEvents, you can experience all the action and see your favorite golfers compete for the Masters Green Jacket. 

A 2016 Masters Package from QuintEvents can be customized based on your preferences and requirements. 2016 Masters tickets and badges can be purchased for individual days, two-day blocks or the entire week. Choose to attend Practice Rounds, Tournament Rounds or both! You can also add hotel, The Garden City Club access, and other incredible concierge services.


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