“Playing Through” Etiquette Explained
Clarke from Glasgow asked:
“What is the correct etiquette regarding ‘playing through’?”
There have been many a time a golfer has become offended when another golfer – or group – has passed by them on the course with a quick wave and the announcement that they are playing through. For those who are unaware what this means, it is time to understand the golf etiquette that comes with playing through.
There is a lot to understand about the etiquette of playing through in a round of golf. Those who want to pass another group of golfers risk offending them by insinuating that they are simply not playing quickly enough for their tastes. This could cause the group being passed to feel guilty that they are not playing quickly enough and to feel that they are being incorrectly judged as slow, inept or even that they are being viewed as golfers who do not take the game seriously enough to play at a more rapid pace. Additionally, those who want to play through and ask to do so will be offended and potentially upset if they are denied permission to play through. Before any golfer asks to play through, they should understand the etiquette of such a request.
Perhaps you are short on time and want to get in as many holes as possible or perhaps you have a twosome whereas the group before you has a foursome. You are naturally playing more quickly as a twosome than a foursome, and the request to play through is not one that is uncommon in this situation. However, before you ask to play through, you need to do some quick research. Look to see if there is another group golfing in front of the group you wish to pass. If there is another group directly ahead of them, they will not allow you to play through, so do not request to do so. It may be then that you realise that the reason for this group’s slow rate of play is due to a back up on the course.
Furthermore, when you ask to play through, do so in a courteous manner. Do not assume you can play through; ask with manners and politeness. If you are granted permission to play through, ensure that you are doing so quickly. This means you must hurry when it is your turn to tee off. Do not take any Mulligans and do not stand for an inappropriate amount of time deciding your shots, as you did just slow down the group behind you. If you hit poorly, simply drop a ball near where yours was last seen and keep playing through as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, it is perfectly acceptable to offer the opportunity to the group behind you to play through. If you are golfing slowly, perhaps you have a foursome and the group behind you has a twosome, it is perfectly fine to offer them the opportunity to play through to be polite. Additionally, if you are a beginner who is unfamiliar with the game and play slowly or if you feel as if though you should rush to keep the people behind you happy, offer them the opportunity to play through. It is commonly thought to be good manners and they will be grateful.
There are many types of golfers and many rules of golf that require plenty of etiquette. Knowing the proper golf etiquette in any situation will help you to enjoy the game any time you play, without offending any other golfers.