On Course

On the Tee
  • Men generally hit from the white or middle tees. They tee off first before the women, who generally hit from the red or forward tees.
  • Ready golf means that the first person with golf club, tee and ball in hand should step up and tee off, regardless of who won the previous hole. This speeds up play on the course.
  • If you believe your tee shot is out of bounds, hit a provisional ball at the tee box. This saves time later when you discover that the ball is indeed out of bounds. If you end up playing your provisional ball, you are lying 3.

On the Fairway
  • If you hit a shot from the fairway out of bounds, the same out of bounds or lost ball rules apply. Hit a provisional from the original position and then determine which ball is playable. Again - any time you play the provisional ball, it counts as an extra stroke.
  • Another example of ready golf that helps keep the game moving is for a player with a ball in the middle of the fairway to hit ahead of another player who is searching for a ball either in the woods or tall grass.
  • Players lined up similar distances from the green should always make their club selections then proceed directly to their balls. This helps players to get ready to hit when it is their turn

Sand Bunker (Green or Fairway)
  • Take a rake with you and put it near your ball location and outside the bunker so that it is easily available to rake the bunker after your shot.
  • When entering the sand bunker, always enter from the low side, so as not to damage the bunker edges.

In Front of the Green
  • Players on the fringe may hit onto the green while a player analyzes how to hit out of the sand; as long as you are safely out of the other player's way, this keeps play moving.
  • When a player hits toward the green, but the ball goes beyond the green, another player may hit up to the green to get his/her ball onto the putting surface. The first player will then have time to get to his/her ball and prepare to hit again.

On the Putting Green
  • When all players but one are on the green, and the one is on the fringe but closer to the hole than the others - who hits first? Per USGA rules, the person farthest away on the putting surface hits first. In ready golf however, the player on the fringe may prefer to have the flagstick left in the hole. The player on the fringe may therefore go first, after which the flagstick can be removed from the hole for all players. Or the player farthest away may hit first and another player can tend the flag and then replace the flag for the player yet to hit from the fringe. Again in ready golf, if the player farthest from the hole is not ready, another player may putt first to keep the pace moving.
  • Tending the Flag: Stand out of all players' lines of putting and be aware of your shadow. Do not allow it to cover the hole or the line of the putting for the player. Also, hold the flag itself so it does not blow in the wind. Flagsticks must be out of the hole whenever a ball is putted from the green.
  • Marking your ball: When a ball reaches a green, each player should mark his/her ball; the proper place for the marker is directly behind the ball. Be aware of other player's lines and do not walk on those lines. If another player prefers you to move your mark out of their line, then ask them in which direction. First mark the ball where it lies and then move it one putter foot or club length in the direction requested. Remember that you must remark to putt your ball from its original position (it is a penalty if you do not putt from the original position). Use the putter foot or club length to put the mark back to the original position. Once the original position is marked you can place your ball and putt.
  • If a player hits a long putt and the ball stops within four feet of the hole or closer, that player can choose to finish putting out (it can be faster to do this than marking the ball and waiting for another player to get ready to putt). This is however a choice and is completely up to the player as some putts may require more analysis and/or the player may choose to wait.
  • After you finish the hole, leave the green as quickly as possible. Record your score when you reach the next tee box.