Welcome to our Etiquette & Rules section!  The Pitman Golf Course will update this section based on special news, time of year and golfer requests.  Please check in often to see what is being talked about!

Etiquette Discussion

PATIENCE IS KEY!:  Nobody likes when the course is closed including golfers and staff.  However, there are times when the course needs to be protected from potential damage.  This time of year (winter/off-season) can present a variety of issues as to why the course may be kept closed or have delayed openings such as frost, when the course is coming out of snow cover or a deep freeze/thaw.  Please be patient as each course will be different and must address their own turf issues.  A little patience now will go a long way to ensure the course will be in the best possible condition for when the season truly begins.

WINTER GOLF IS HERE!:  The winter season is here and that means the turf can no longer recover from typical golfer damage such as ball marks, divots and cart traffic.  This time of year is critical to setting up next season so please remember to be extra mindful of repairing your damage.  As an example, ANY ball mark that is made during the winter will kill the turf and it won't repair itself until next spring when the grass begins to grow.  A green littered with unrepaired ball marks when the ground is frozen would be virtually "un-puttable".  Repair your ball marks so they are leveled off and we can all enjoy the winter golf season!

ALL 4 TIRES:  So, you play a lot of golf and know your etiquette right?  Make sure you think about keeping "all 4 tires" of your riding cart on the path.  This one thing can help any course you play maintain better conditions around the greens and tees.  Next time you play, take notice to where everyone parks their cart around greens and tees and check out the wear spots because they park 2 tires on the path and 2 tires on the grass - or dirt since it's worn out!

BALL MARKS:  If you play golf, you have made a ball mark - remember to find it and repair it!  Ball marks are one of the biggest problems in golf for the reason that eveyrone makes them but rarely does everyone repair them.  This leads to bumpy greens, greens with weeds in them and generally poor conditions - so the question is why doesn't everyone repair them?  There is Golf Karma to think about as an incentive - repair your ball marks plus some others and the "golf gods" will reward you down the line!  And for those who say I never hit a green - even though your ball isn't laying on the green surface, maybe it hit the green and ran off the back - find your mark and repair it!

HOW TO SHARE A CART:  Lots of time is wasted by players who share a cart and don't understand proper ettiquette.  If you are driving, drop off your cart partner at their ball and then drive to your ball and play.  After you hit, go back and pick up your partner and repeat this as you play the round.  This will help your group avoid falling behind and causing slow play.

GOLF SHOE CLEANING:  This etiquette tip might make you think a bit but it relates to the core principles of course etiquette - Respect the Course/Staff, your Fellow Golfers and the Game!  When it comes to cleaning your shoes at the course - please DO NOT clean your spikes in the middle of the parking lot, especially by banging them together to knock off the mud and grass.  This leaves piles of debris all over the parking lot which looks unsightly and create a mess for other visitors to the facility.  If it's a muddy or "grassy" day and your shoes are dirty, use our spike cleaner right by the pro shop entrance and we will clean up this area at the end of the day or as needed.  OR, if you must bang your shoes please do it a grass area around the parking lot edges so our mowers will go through and mulch the debris.  

PACE OF PLAY TIP:  Yes, it is this easy and it’s called “Basic Golf Etiquette”!  If you enjoy playing the game then you should know and implement this 1-2-3 system;

1.   While on a putting green, always look back at the group behind yours and see if they are waiting on you to finish out.

2.   If they are and nobody is in front of your group, alert the players in your group that you need to play faster OR wave them through.

3.   Talk is cheap – follow through with what you already know;  play faster or wave them through.  Remember, you would want the same if you were stuck behind a slower group.

Rules of Golf Discussion

A golfer had a question the other day about moving a fallen tree branch (loose impediment) near his ball.  The issue was the branch was in the margin of a hazard but his ball was not - can he move the branch?  Rule 23-1 (Loose Impediments, Relief) covers this and since his ball was not in the hazard he would be entitled to move the branch out of the way.  However, if his ball was in the hazard and the branch was in the same hazard or touching the hazard then he would not be permitted to move the branch.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a NEW local rule that can be adopted starting January 1st, 2017 and we will certainly adopt it for our 2017 Local Rules here at Pitman;

Basically, the rule will address the accidental movement of a player’s ball or ball marker when on the putting green.  Moving forward, there will be no penalty incurred by the player.  This is a fairly big change from previous years and many are pointing to last year’s US Open Championship and the Dustin Johnson penalty as the tipping point.

Click on this link for a complete description of the new Local Rule;  NEW LOCAL RULE FOR 2017