Old Palm News

Old Palm’s Golf Etiquette Guide

October 12, 2018

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In addition to luxury real estate, Old Palm Golf Club is home to one of South Florida’s best private golf courses, designed by the famous golf architect, Raymond Floyd.  Here at Old Palm, we believe that etiquette is a principal component of the game of golf. Whether you are an experienced player or just picking up the game, you should remind yourself of the rules of the game.


1. Getting Ready to Golf

Time to Tee Off:

Old Palm recommends arriving at the golf course a minimum of 30 minutes before your tee time; the general rule is around 45 minutes. Planning a round of golf take takes time to schedule, which includes getting your bags ready and carving out time for practice shots. It is inconsiderate to other people when someone arrives late and delays the start of the round. Try to give yourself enough time to warm up your swing properly. Most experienced players practice by hitting with their short irons first, then mid and long irons, and finish with the woods. Check the scorecard to familiarize yourself with any local course rules. Also, make sure you have enough golf balls!


Pace of Play:

Move at a reasonable pace between shots, and mentally plan your next play as you walk up to your ball. That way, all you need to do is check your lie, select your club, take a practice swing, and hit your shot. If you aren't ready to play once you reach your ball, you can offer that someone else hit before you. If you are driving a cart, please carry the club for your immediate shot as well as the following one so you don't delay the game. General rule of thumb is that a round should take no more than 4 hours to play.


Gimme Putts:

If the gimme putt applies to your ball’s proximity to the pin, the decision is up to the people you are playing with. If you are the one making the decision, be certain you aren't being too tightfisted insisting that every close putt needs to be finished through; this contradicts ready golf. However, you shouldn’t be too generous with your gimmes either. As a rule of thumb, give anyone a gimme putt who is out of the hole or if the short putt is for more than par. When playing in a professional tournament, gimmes do not apply.



Your handicap applies to the amount of strokes necessary to perform to the level of a scratch golfer. Unless you are a professional golfer, please play to your handicap and hit off of the appropriate tee box. If you are overambitious about your shot and it goes wrong, it will cost you extra strokes and will affect your end score, as well as slowing down the match.


2. Take Care of the Course


If you hit your ball into the bunker, proper golf etiquette requires you to rake your footprints and any impact you made on the sand to erase noticeable imprints. Take into account that you should always enter the bunker at the lowest angle nearest to your ball and leave the rake on the edge of the bunker once you have finished.


Divots, Ball-marks, and Shoe Damage:

Replace your divots as best as possible; it is okay if you use the front of your shoe to pack in the surrounding grass to fill in the hole. You also have the option of using the soil mixture normally found on the side of the golf cart. For shoe damage or ball marks on the green, use the appropriate tool, such as a tee or repair device to fix any indentations. Don’t forget to smooth the area with your club afterward.


Respect Other Players:

If you ask most golfers, the number one annoyance is when people talk during your backswing. Also, standing behind or directly in front of another player may be distracting and can get in the way of their line of play. Walking through someone's putting line is another big mistake. It’s important to understand that a player's "line" extends two to three feet past the hole, not just the area in front. Whether you believe this might actually hinder someone's golf game or not, this is a staple in golf etiquette rules. Finally, if you are the first to finish the hole, please be ready by grabbing the flagstick and put it back once everyone has finished.


3. Other Rules of Etiquette

Keep Your Distance:

Make sure that you leave a reasonable amount of space between you and the group playing ahead of you. Rushing other golfers can cause irritation, put pressure on them, and become dangerous. If your ball has a chance of hitting another player, make sure you yell "fore."


Positive Attitude:

Old Palm does not tolerate the throwing of clubs. We understand that hitting a bad shot is frustrating, but it is extremely offensive and disrespectful when someone throws a club. It can damage the course, harm another player, and hurt your reputation as a golfer. Keep in mind you are there to have fun, not make a scene.


Relax and Have Fun:

No one enjoys hearing inappropriate language or complaining after each shot. Golf is meant to be a fun and social sport. Remember why you play in the first place: to have a good time, so enjoy yourself!

If you are already a member would like to take a private lesson with one of our experienced instructors, contact our Clubhouse at 561.472.5100 today. If you aren’t yet a member and would like to begin touring our golf club homes in Palm Beach Gardens, contact our sales office at 561.493.7220 to get the process started! 


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