Wicklow Golf Club

.... a great coastal challenge

Wicklow Golf Club

.... a great coastal challenge

Etiquette & Pace of Play

Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players, care for the course and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.

Etiquette is an integral and inextricable part of the game, which has come to define golf's values worldwide.

Put simply, it is a series of guidelines that exist to show other players, a degree of fairness which you would expect to receive in return.

In terms of golf's environment, etiquette is about showing respect for the course on which you are playing and the work that has been put in to create it. It's about making sure that the game is played safely and that others on the course are able to enjoy the round as much as you.

The Principal areas to be aware of are

  • Pace of Play
  • Care of the Course
  • Consideration for Others

In short: it's about showing consideration to all others on the golf course at all times.

There are differing views on what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable pace of play, but the fact is that slow play detracts from the enjoyment of the game for many players. Few golfers are heard to complain about play being too quick! There is a responsibility, therefore, on everybody at Wicklow Golf Club to ensure that golf is played at a good pace.

"As a general rule, try to keep up with the group in front."

Be on time

You should always check in at the Professionals Shop at least 15 minutes before your tee time and be on the tee, ready to play, 5 minutes before your tee time

Play at a Good Pace and Keep Up

You should always play at a good pace. The committee has established pace of play guidelines (listed below) that all players should follow. It's a group's responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If they lose a clear hole and delay the group behind, they should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group. Where a group has not lost a clear hole, but it is apparent that the group behind can play faster, they should also invite the faster moving group to overtake them.

Be Ready to Play

You should be ready to play as soon as it's your turn to play. You should check yardages, select your club and put your glove on whilst others are playing. You may play out of turn provided it is safe to do so. When on or near the putting green, leave your bags or caddy cars just off the green on the way to the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, replace the flag and leave the putting green quickly. Scorecards should be marked at the next Tee.

Lost Ball

If you think your ball may be lost outside a water hazard, or may be out of bounds, to save time, play a provisional ball. Players searching for a ball should signal the players in the group behind them to play through as soon as it becomes apparent that the ball will not easily be found. They shouldn't search for five minutes before doing so. Having allowed the group behind to play through, they shouldn't continue play until the group coming through has passed and is out of range.

Pace of Play Guidelines

As a rule of thumb no round of golf at Wicklow Golf Club should take more than 3 hours and 45 minutes.
This time is for an 18 hole round with each player playing his own ball. Times for Better Ball rounds (including Team Events) should be slightly quicker and times for Foursomes rounds significantly quicker.

Before leaving a bunker, you should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints you have made and any holes or footprints nearby made by others. The rake should be used for this purpose. Rakes should be left in the centre of the bunker.
Repair of Divots, Ball-Marks and Damage by Shoes

You should carefully repair any divot holes and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by you). On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.

Preventing Unnecessary Damage

You should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.

You should ensure that no damage is done to the putting green when putting down bags or the flagstick.

In order to avoid damaging the hole, you should not stand too close to the hole and you should take care during the handling of the flagstick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove a ball from the hole.

You should not lean on your club when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.

The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before the players leave the putting green.

Local notices regulating the movement of Buggies and Caddy Cars should be strictly observed at all times.

No Disturbance or Distraction

You should always show consideration for other players on the course and take care not to not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise.

You should also ensure that any electronic devices taken onto the course don't distract other players.

Only tee your ball up when it's your turn to play and remember not to stand close to the ball, directly behind it, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to swing.

On the Putting Green

On the putting green, you should be careful not to stand on another player's line of putt or, when he is putting, cast a shadow over his line.

You should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have completed play of the hole.


In stroke play, if you're acting as a marker, on the way to the next tee you should, if necessary, check the score with the player concerned and record it.


Ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by your club, your ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when you make a stroke or practice swing.

Wait until the players in front are out of range. You should always give way to Course Staff during working hours.

If your ball is heading in a direction where there is a danger of it hitting someone, shout a warning immediately. The traditional word of warning is 'fore'.

The active support of all members in applying the guidelines outlined above will have the benefit of enabling everybody to enjoy their golf at Wicklow Golf Club.

Your support in this matter would be greatly appreciated.