Chapter Education
  • TIPS FOR BEGINNERS thanks to

  • Five Rules of Golf Etiquette from Tee to Green - thanks to Golf Sidekick.

    1. Etiquette before the game
    No golf bags in the clubhouse
    Respect peoples time
    Introduce yourself
    Dress Appropriately
    2. Etiquette for general play
    Silence is golden!
    Take your time BUT don't be slow
    Don't lose your temper
    Watch where you stand
    Respect the course and other players
    Help others look for their balls
    3. Etiquette on the tee
    Stand still and sshhh
    Respect 'honor' unless playing 'ready golf'
    Wait until everyone has teed off
    4. Etiquette on the green
    Don't stand on other players' lines
    Mark your ball
    Watch your shadow
           5. Etiquette after the round
           Say goodbyes to everyone

Clinics and golf education:

Dave Bove
at Tashua Knolls email: or go to

Jordan Lintz, LPGA Golf Professional, Oronoque Country Club, Stratford, CT -

Liz Gentile, LPGA Teaching Professional, Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course, Bridgeport, CT 203-767-8058 - 

                                                   Why a Handicap?
Benefits of Having a Handicap:  

  • Handicaps are a gauge of the golfers skill level.
  • Handicaps allow a player to compete on a level playing field with players at other levels.
  • Handicaps provide a barometer of a golfers progress of improvement over time.
  • Handicaps challenge a golfer to give it her best when playing.
  • Handicaps become a personal badge of accomplishment.
  • Handicaps allow players to compete in EWGA championship events.
  • Handicaps can be established using scores from 9-hole or 18-hole play.


What is an Index?

An index represents a player's potential scoring ability and is expressed as a number taken to one decimal place.

What is a Handicap?

A handicap is the specific number of strokes you need to play on a specific set of tees to adjust your score back to the level of scratch (i.e. Course Rating).

What is a Course Handicap? 

A course handicap is the number of handicap strokes a player receives at the course being played. A course handicap is determined by applying her index number to a Slope Conversion Table.

What is a Slope Rating? 

A slope rating reflects the relative playing difficulty of a course for a non-scratch golfer compared to a scratch golfer. The higher the Slope Rating, the greater the gap in expected scores between the scratch golf and the bogey golfer. A general rule is, the higher the course slope, the more difficult the course is to play.

What is a Gross Score?

A players actual score, stroke for stroke.

What is an Adjusted Score?

A player's gross score minus adjustments. This is using the maximum number of strokes a person with a handicap can post on any hole by using the Equitable Stroke Control table (see below). For example, if a person with a course handicap of 20 actually shoots a 10 on any one hole, after the round is completed, the person must adjust their score by -2 strokes when posting it for their handicap.

Adjusting Scores:

If you start but do not complete a hole (or are conceded a stroke), record the score you most likely would have made. This most likely score should be preceded by an "X" and should not exceed your Equitable Stroke Control limit (described later in this section). If you do not play a hole, your score for that hole will be par plus any handicap strokes which you are entitled to receive on that hole. When recording this hole score, precede the score with an "X". Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) sets a maximum number that you can post on any hole depending on your Course Handicap. ESC is only used when the actual or most likely score exceeds the maximum number based on the table below.

Equitable Stroke Control Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) sets a maximum number that you can post on any hole depending on your Course Handicap. ESC is only used when the actual or most likely score exceeds the maximum number based on the table below.  


Your Handicap

Max Strokes Per Hole

9 or Less

Double Bogey

10 through 19


20 through 29


30 through 39


40 or More




If you have any questions, please email Jean at

                                                       Rules & Etiquette

The game of golf is unique in the sports world because there are no umpires, referees, or linesman watching to ensure the rules and courtesies are being followed by every player. Each golfer is her own referee and scorekeeper. We assess our own penalties, which makes that out of bounds ball twice as painful. It becomes our responsibility to know and follow the rules and etiquette of the game. The two elements of self-policing and etiquette make golf very different from other athletic events.

This can be quite a challenge especially for those that are also learning the mechanics such as the golf swing or how to putt. However, learning the etiquette is just as important for enjoying the game as learning the skills and rules. Common courtesies like who tees off first, where to place your bag when putting, and when to be quiet are an integral part of play. Only through understanding and concern for others can we be alert to all the situations that unfold on the course which affect ours and others enjoyment of the game.

The complete rules of golf can be found at The USGA web site has complete online listings of the Rules & Decisions as well as an online Rules Quiz and Rules FAQ.

The LPGA Amateur Golf Association also provides Pace of Play Guidelines that can be found on the LPGA Amateur Golf Association website.

The following is basic golf etiquette. Because etiquette is based on player's safety and consideration for others, situations not mentioned here can be handled well if both of these aspects are kept in mind.

Before you Play

  • Arrive early for your tee time so you have ample time to check-in and get ready.
  • Each player must have her own set of clubs and a bag. Most facilities rent clubs.

General 'On the Course' Etiquette

  • Be quiet and still while others are hitting.
  • Do not stand directly behind players that are hitting. Stand off to the side instead.
  • Be sure that your equipment and your cart are out of the way when others are hitting.
  • Do not expect your partners to execute perfect shots every time. Position yourself such that you are out of the way of potential errant shots.
  • Be aware of and follow all Pace of Play Guidelines.

On the Tee and in the Fairway

  • Do not hit into the group ahead of you. If you are unsure as to whether the group ahead of you is out of range, it's better to wait.
  • If your shot is straying near other golfers, yell 'fore' early and loudly so that the players in danger have a chance to react and protect themselves. If you are uncertain whether your ball is going to land near other golfers, play it safe and yell 'fore' anyway.
  • If you hit your ball into another fairway, do not disrupt the play of the group on that hole. If you need to wait to hit out of another fairway, others in your group should go ahead and hit while you are waiting.
  • Always replace your divots. Some nicer courses prefer that you fill divots with seed that they provide on each golf cart. 

In Bunkers

  • Enter the bunker such that you will have to walk across the least amount of sand to play your shot. Enter the bunker from the low side.
  • Avoid walking down the deep slope of bunkers so that you do not shift large amounts of sand.
  • Always rake the bunker when you are done. Fill and smooth out footprints and stroke marks. Leave the rake outside the bunker where it is least likely to affect play, unless otherwise requested by the course.
  • For large bunkers, be sure the rakes are left spaced so that those that come after you won't have to walk far to find a rake.

On and Around the Green

  • Do not bring golf bags or pull-carts onto the green.
  • Avoid stepping on other people's putting 'line'. The 'line' is the likely path the ball will take on its way to the hole. This is not always a straight line, since greens have contour.
  • Do not leave scrape marks or drag your spikes on the green. The rules do not permit players that come after you to repair these marks if it might assist in their subsequent play of the hole.
  • Repair ball marks on the green. Do so with a ball mark repair tool by inserting the ball mark around the edges of the mark and pulling your hand toward the center of the mark. Then tap it down flat with the bottom of your putter. Do not pull your hand away such that the center of the mark lifts up. This dislodges the roots of the grass and kills it. Try to repair your ball mark plus one other on every green.
  • When tending the flagstick, stand on the side of the hole away from where the curve of the green will take the putt. Be sure that your shadow is not over the line of the putt or the hole. On windy days, grasp the flag to keep it from flapping.

Golf Cart Etiquette

Know cart rules before you play. Depending on the conditions and the weather, a course may not allow power carts on the fairway or may be enforcing the 90 degree rule. The 90 degree rule means that you should drive on the cart path until you are even with your ball. You should then drive straight out to your ball, hit, and then drive straight back to the cart path.
  • Do not park your cart such that other vehicles cannot pass it.
  • Golf carts should always be kept at least 30 feet, often further as marked by the course, from the greens.