Rules & Etiquette

If you’re a keen student of the game, the Royal and Ancient Club of St Andrews together with the United States Golf Association review the Rules of Golf every four years, with the most recent update released in January 2023. View the updates here.


You can conduct yourself as a good golfing citizen by respecting the game and your fellow golfers. Here are some basics to stick to.

Prior to play

  • Arrive at least fifteen minutes before tee-time to check in at the Pro Shop.
  • If you cannot meet your tee-time, contact the Pro Shop to cancel.
  • Subject to other cancellations, you may be asked to change playing groups.
  • Always drive your motorised cart within the rules.
  • Be ready to play when it is your time to tee off.

Keep pace

  • This underpins many of the other aspects of golf etiquette, which are designed to help play your round as efficiently as possible, especially in competition.
  • Keep up with the group ahead and don’t hold up the group behind.
  • The lowest marker of the group is responsible for the group’s pace of play.
  • A playing group of four should aim to complete a round of 18 in four hours.

On the tee

  • Do not wheel your buggy on to the tee area.
  • Mark your ball so you can identify it.
  • Hit ONLY when golfers ahead of you are out of range.
  • Stand still and facing other golfers while they are hitting.
  • Watch where all balls go to avoid time spent looking for lost balls.
  • Yell the warning “FORE!” if your ball is heading towards another golfer.
  • Repair your divot.

On the fairway

  • Walk directly to your ball unless you reach someone else’s ball first.
  • Assist playing partners when needed by bringing clubs or finding lost balls.
  • Place your bag or cart near you when hitting.
  • Take no more than one practice swing.
  • Player furthest from the hole usually plays first, but golfers out of range in front of the group can play first if ready.
  • Repair your divot and others you might see while walking the fairways.

On the green

  • Do not wheel your buggy across the green.
  • Place your bag or cart between the green and the next tee.
  • Take all clubs you may need.
  • Repair your own ball marks and others.
  • Avoid stepping on another player’s putting line.
  • Players begin putting when all balls are on the green.
  • The player furthest away from the hole putts first.
  • On long putts, ask another player to attend the flagstick.
  • Mark your ball position if it is in the path of another player’s putting line.
  • Record all scores on the next tee.


The local rules that apply on a general basis are below. These can also be found on the Mi-Score App. Details are as follows:


To be read in conjunction with the Rules of Golf.

  1. Out of Bounds (Rule 18-2a,b)

Any fence bounding the Course, or beyond the area marked with white posts and black tops on the RHS of the 9th Fairway (inside 150m).

  1. Ground Under Repair (Rule 16-1)
    • All garden beds surrounded by manmade/artificial borders and/or white stakes are to be treated as GUR.
    • If a player’s ball lies in a wash away in a bunker or the wash away interferes with a player’s stance or area of intended swing, the player may take relief.
    • Those areas marked with white stakes or white lines are to be treated as GUR and relief may be taken.
  1. Staked Trees (Rules 16-1)

If a staked tree or shrub interferes with a player’s stance or intended swing, the ball MUST be lifted without penalty and dropped in accordance with Rule 14 (Immovable Obstruction).

  1. Fixed Sprinkler Heads and Valve Boxes (Rule 16-1)

All sprinkler heads and valve boxes are immovable obstructions and relief from interference from them may be taken.  In addition, if such an obstruction lies on or within two club lengths of the putting green of the hole being played, and causes interference on the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may take relief without penalty as follows:

  • If the ball lies off the putting green and but is not in a hazard and is within two club lengths of the intervening obstruction, it may be lifted, cleaned dropped at the nearest point to where the ball lay which is (a) not nearer the hole, (b) avoids such intervention and (c) is not in a hazard or on the putting green.
  1. Distance Indicators (Rule 16-1)

Metal disc’s in the fairways or any marker indicating 100, 150 and 200 metre distances (to the centre of the green) are immovable obstructions and relief may be taken.

  1. Relief may be taken from all artificial surfaced pathways (Rule 16-1)
  2. Temporary or other Local Rules

These are displayed from time to time on the Local Rules & Greens Notice Board.


Stroke play – two strokes.  Match play – loss of hole.

– Slow play is defined as one clear hole between groups;
– Play when “ready” and the fairway or green is clear; and
– Ready golf speeds up play and assists groups to catch up if they fall behind the group in front.