Golf course safety and etiquette

Golf course safety

Maintenance equipment and workers have the right-of-way. A maintenance worker may not be aware of your location or may be wearing hearing protection. Make every effort to get the worker’s acknowledgment prior to making your shot. Yelling fore or waving will usually get the worker’s attention. When maintenance equipment or workers are in range of your next shot, these are the procedures you need to know.

Safety is a priority on our golf courses. We need to ensure a safe environment for players and golf course employees. Golfers may be held responsible for any injury or damage to equipment, people and property as a result of not following safety procedures.

Personal safety tips for golfers

  • If at any time you or another member of your group loses control or sight of a shot, warn others by shouting, fore.
  • If you hear someone yell fore, take appropriate steps to protect yourself as quickly as possible.
  • Always stand well behind the person hitting their ball.
  • Know your clubs. Take the time to know how far you tend to hit a ball with each club in your bag.
  • Do not hit until the group ahead is safely out of range.

Maintenance equipment and workers

Maintenance equipment and workers have the right-of-way. A worker may not be aware of your location or may be wearing hearing protection. Make every effort to get the worker’s acknowledgment prior to making your shot. Yelling fore or waving will usually get the worker’s attention. When maintenance equipment or workers are in range of your next shot, these are the procedures you need to know.

Fairways, sand traps and apron immediately surrounding greens

  • Maintenance equipment and workers have the rightof- way.
  • The equipment operator will stop the machine and wait for your shot. If there seems to be a delay or confusion, the worker will wave for play to continue. (This does not apply to rough mowers or tee box maintenance.)

On the green

  • Do not hit onto the green if the flagstick is out. The mower will cut half the green and return the flagstick. Once the worker is out of the way, it is then safe to hit on to the green.

Golf etiquette

These golf etiquette tips are standards of conduct for all golfers while on any course, and also will help to speed up play.


Pace of play

  • Keep within one stroke of the group directly in front of you.
  • Always hit a provisional ball if there is a chance that your ball is lost or out of bounds.
  • No more than 4 playing golfers in a group.

On the tee

  • Keep carts and golf bags off the tee box and greens.
  • Warm up with practice swings before stepping onto the tee.
  • Have your club selection ready.
  • Limit yourself to two practice swings.
  • Short distance hitters should tee off first.
  • Replace all divots (from practice swings also).
  • Clean the tee deck of broken tees.

On the fairways

  • Move to your ball quickly.
  • Decide on your shot and make your club selection as you approach your ball.
  • Limit yourself to two practice swings.
  • Assist fellow players by watching where their ball goes to avoid losing golf balls.
  • Once you reach double par on any hole, pick up your ball and proceed to the green.

On the green

  • Park pull carts and power carts to the side or back of the green in the direction of next tee before putting.
  • Repair your own and someone else’s ball mark.
  • Do not step in someone else’s line (their ball’s path to the hole).
  • Lay the flagstick on the green away from the putting area.
  • Line up your putt while others are putting out.
  • To speed up play on the green, try continuous putting. Once you start, continue until you hole out.
  • Take your ball out of the cup immediately after sinking your putt.
  • Do not use your putter to remove the ball from the cup.
  • Replace the flag and move quickly off the green. Record your score at the next tee.

On the course

  • Do not hunt for golf balls that are not your own.
  • Replace divots, rake sand traps and repair ball marks.
  • Abide by directional signs and the requests of golf course staff.
  • Limit practicing on tee boxes or putting surfaces.
  • Do not hit a ball out of areas marked “ground under repair.” Move your ball out of the area, without penalty and then make your shot.
  • Limit your search for lost golf balls to two minutes.

Power and pull carts

  • Keep all pull carts and power carts off tee boxes, out of sand traps.
  • Power carts should be kept 30 feet from the edge of greens.
  • Keep power carts on paths or in the rough where possible.
  • Stay out of wet areas.
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Golf Marshals

Golf Marshals are available to assist you with golf etiquette and safety awareness. Marshals and golf course staff have the authority to enforce golf pace of play, facility policies and procedures. Individuals may be held responsible for any personal injury, damage to equipment and property (City owned or privately owned) when using City of Calgary golf facilities.