Putting Etiquette – 4 quick rules
There are some unwritten rules of putting etiquette that you need to adhere to when putting. We’ll have a look at some of them here.
Putting Etiquette #1 – Order of play is always a good one. The golfer who’s ball is furthest from the hole is always the first to play. Except for a few occasions. When you have just played a long putt and you leave a tap in, it’s quite acceptable for you to putt out before your playing partners do.
Putting Etiquette sometimes allows for a player to ‘putt out of turn’ if their stance is going to interfere with the area the other players ball is in. For example, if you putt first you may be standing on their line. This is a no-no as often you will leave spike marks or other indents in the surface of the green.
Putting Etiquette #2 – Standing in line, whether in front or behind, of your playing partners putt. This gives you an unfair advantage of seeing the putt and is also very distracting for the player making the putt. You will find as you improve your putting your levels of concentration will increase as well. It is an art in itself to ignore distractions while putting.
Putting Etiquette #3 – Repairing pitch marks on the green. Often when you fly a ball into the green from a distance, the weight of the ball will leave a compression mark, known as a pitch mark on the surface of the green.
You are responsible for the repair of your pitch mark. If you don’t repair the pitch mark, that part of the green will effectively die. There is a tool called a pitch repairer that you should carry when you play golf and some courses will insist that you carry one. You can buy these from all pro shops and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices. I have about thirty different ones and like most golfers I have a favourite.
A good practice to get into is to repair your own pitch mark and any others you see on the green while you are waiting to play or after you’ve putted. This will help to keep the greens in good order and will actually make life easier for you when you are putting. It’s so much easier to putt on a flat green without any bobbles caused by unfixed pitch marks.
Putting Etiquette #4 – Speed of play is another consideration. Always be ready to play your next shot. Get yourself ready to play your own putt, you can be reading the line of your putt while others are playing their shots.
Slow play is a bit of a curse of modern golf and is something that you need to be aware of at all times and one of the main cause of this is golfers not being ready to play their shots when it’s their turn to play.
Another cause of slow play when putting is not leaving your golf bag on the correct side of the green. When you are walking up to the green have a quick thought about where the next tee is and place you bag on the side of the green nearest the next hole. You can then make your putt, pick up your bag and walk straight to the next tee. This will avoid you delaying the players waiting to play their approach shots into the green you are on.
These are just a few examples of Putting Etiquette but they are not the only ones and over time we will put together some videos which make it much easier and probably more interesting to understand.
Happy Golfing – Steve