Golf Tips: Putting Etiquette

Minding your manners on the golf course is just as important as counting your strokes. Make sure to get familiar with putting etiquette before you step onto the green.

So, you finally made it to the green. With that in mind, there are basic manners to practice on the fairway, such as keeping your voice down during others’ backswings, only driving your cart perpendicular across the fairway and yelling, “FORE!” if your shot is landing close to another player. There’s also a few simple etiquette rules to follow on the green as well. Joey Sindelar, 7-time PGA Tour Champion, demonstrates two tips to keep in mind while putting the next time you’re golfing with company.

MARKING YOUR BALL

Once you’re on the green, you’re entitled to mark your golf ball. While you don’t have to, most golfers like to pick up their ball and either clean it or re-position it so that the markings on the ball are pointed at the direction of the cup.

To mark your ball, simply place an immovable object, such as a coin or designated ball marker, directly behind your ball on the green. In order to replace it, just put it right back in front of the marker, where it was originally, and pick the marker up after you’ve set the ball back down. It is illegal to place the ball anywhere else than where it was before you marked it, so be sure you’re setting it exactly where it was. It’s most appropriate to replace your marked ball only when it is your turn to putt.

STAYING OUT OF PLAYERS’ LINES

A putting line refers to the invisible line between a player’s ball and the hole. Proper golf etiquette suggests that another player should never step on or through another player’s line, as it could cause the line to change due to shoe spike divots or loose blades of grass from that player’s shoe.

In order to avoid stepping in a player’s line, simply walk around it. Be cautious of all players’ lines as well.

If you do accidentally step in a player’s line, apologize, and try to be more mindful on the next hole.