Rules of Play

The real rules of play, here


  1. Teams may be two, three, or four players.
  2. Each player plays their own ball, the best score on the hole
    is the team score. Note: If you cannot be the low score on the hole
    you may pick up.
  3. This format follows on every hole.
  4. If the event is net scores, using the players handicap record the appropriate net score for each hole.
  5. A team captain should be designated. The team captain is responsible for keeping the score and making sure net scores are correct if applicable.


  1. Teams are made up of four (4) players.
  2. Each player tees off from each hole. The team captain decides which drive is the best.
  3. After selecting the best drive, the other players must pick up their ball and proceed to the selected drive.
  4. From this point, each player plays a second shot.
  5. The team captain again selects the best shot and the remaining three (3) golfers pick up their balls.
  6. This proceeds, including putting, until the hole is completed.


  1. Putt out all holes – no “gimmies”.
  2. Each team must use at least three (3) tee shots from each team member. (optional rule)
  3. The team captain is responsible for keeping the score and making sure each player accounts for a minimum of three (3) tee shots. This should be marked on the score card using player’s initials.
  4. If playing a 3-some, a minimum of four (4) tee shots is required from each player.


Proper dress is required at all times. No track pants or sweat pants, jeans, cut-offs, halter tops, tennis or short shorts more than 4 inches above the knee are permitted. Only golf or soft-soled shoes may be worn on the course. Golfers in violation of this code will be denied access to, or removed from the course. In case of removal, no refunds will be given.

Bunker Play

Bunkers are one of the major hazards on a golf course. There are certain rules of etiquette that apply to bunker play:

  • A player should always enter and leave a bunker at its lowest point (the face of a bunker takes years to develop and should be avoided).
  • According to the Rules of Golf, you may never ground your club (allowing your club to touch the ground, sand, water, or anything else, during a practic swing). Doing so will incur a two-stroke penalty.
  • You may not remove any loose impediments from the bunker. This includes stones, twigs or leaves.
  • You may not test the condition of the mud or sand in the bunker by touching it.
  • Be aware of the pace of play. For amateur golfers, after two or three failed attempts to get the ball out of the bunker, you should surrender to the hazard by picking up the ball and dropping it outside the bunker for further play. Obviously this is not allowed for tournament play, but for informal rounds, this is an acceptable way to move the game along.
  • Always rake the bunker after use — and not just your footprints, but anything else that needs raking, as well. Leave the rake outside the bunker after use.


  • Don’t step in the path of a ball lying on the green — your foot may make a depression and cause a ball to roll off path.
  • When marking your ball on a green, place a coin or marker behind your ball, on the opposite side of the ball as the hole. Rules of Golf also allow you to clean your ball at this time!
  • The Rules of Golf say that a ball can not strike a flagstick when it is hit from the green (though it’s okay if you’ve hit the flagstick from a shot off the green).
  • Players should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.
  • Players should not stand on another players putting line and when he is taking his stroke they should stand far enough away so as not to cast a shadow.
  • When tending the pin for another golfer stand at least an arms length away, ensuring that you don’t cast a shadow, and with your free hand, hold the flag so it doesn’t flap in the breeze.


Honours refers to the order in which players tee off at any given hole. When a player earns “honours” they earn the right to play their ball before the rest of the players in the group. Generally speaking, the person with the lowest score on the previous hole is the first to tee off at the next hole, followed by the player with the second best score, and so on.

Etiquette dictates that no other golfer in the group should step up to the tee box before the person who holds the honours has shot (or has indicated that another golfer can go before them). In the event of a tie at any given hole, golfers maintain their place in the rotation until someone wins the next hole.

The only exception to the honours rule is when the group has agreed to play “ready golf”, which means any player can “hit when ready”. This style of play is often chosen to speed up the pace of the round, and in itself is considered good golf etiquette when conditions are slow.

Slow Play

While golfers love being out on the course, they don’t want their game to take all day! Slow play is often a bad habit that has been acquired over time, or perhaps simply the result of never having been taught the proper etiquette of maintaining a good pace. Ultimately it is your responsibility to keep up with the group of golfers in front you, not to simply stay in front of the golfers behind you! Pace of play is very important to your playing partners and to everyone else on the course whose play you may be impeding! There are a number of things you can do to speed up your play without rushing your game.

Tips on Picking Up the Pace

  • Be ready to play: plan your shot before it’s your turn.
  • Have a pre-shot routine. Taking one practice swing before each shot (rather than multiple) will shave considerable time off your game.
  • Choose the correct set of tees from which to play.
  • High handicappers can play with low handicappers, as long as they keep up!
  • Put your conversation on hold when it’s your turn to hit the ball.
  • Try to keep an eye on everyone’s drives, so as not to lose sight of balls.
  • Don’t be too strict about order of play — let the short-hitter hit first off the tee if the group ahead hasn’t cleared the green yet.
  • Carry extra tees, an extra ball and ball markers in your pocket.
  • Don’t spend too much time looking for a lost ball. If you insist on looking for a ball, golf etiquette says to wave through the group behind you.
  • When chipping near the green, carry your putter with you so you don’t have to return to your bag.
  • Mark your score after reaching the next tee, not while lingering on the green.

Pitch Marks on the Green

A ball hitting the green often leaves an indent or pitch mark where it makes contact with the ground. Golf rules (rule #16-1c) allow you to repair any pitch marks on the green before putting. Players may repair any hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not their ball lies on the putting green. If a ball is moved accidentally during the course of a repair, it can be replaced without penalty.

It is accepted practice to repair any pitch marks you make, as well as common courtesy to fix one or two more while you are at it, to help keep your course in top condition. To repair a pitch mark, insert a turf repair tool into the ground on the high side of the pitch mark, press the tool forward to push the soil back up into place (be sure not to press backwards and pull the roots loose, as this destroys the grass). If required, repeat the process on the other side of the pitch mark. Finish by gently tapping the spot with your putter.

Remember that virtually any shot that hits the green from a fly position will cause some damage, so be sure to find it and repair it.

Proper Attire

Golf was originally developed as a “gentleman’s” game, and as such golf clothing reflects the civilized rules of this gentleman’s game. Each golf course may have its own rules and regulations regarding appropriate golf attire, so it’s always best to check first.

In most cases, however, golfers and caddies usually abide by an industry standard that includes slacks, a collared shirt and golf shoes for men, and slacks or knee-length skirt or shorts, collared shirt and golf shoes for women. At virtually all courses, prohibited items of attire include short-shorts, swimwear, denim of any type, t-shirts and tank tops.

Did you know…

In the 1800 and early 1900s, tartan patterns were the style of the day on the course! Even in the 1970s tartan was held in high esteem (think Caddyshack…)

The Tee Box

The tee box is considered the stage where every golfer has their turn to shine. It is important that golfers choose the correct tee for their skill level, no matter where the other golfers in their party are playing from. The different tee positions help even out the playing field for golfers of different playing abilities.

Etiquette dictates that:

  • all other golfers remain quiet when a golfer is in the tee box
  • tee your ball evenly with or behind the two markers in the tee box
  • if you swing and miss, it counts as one stroke
  • if you knock the ball off the tee during a practice swing, you are allowed to re-tee without incurring a penalty
  • other golfers should stand out of the golfer’s line of vision (and that includes your shadow)
  • all golfers in the party should watch the shot as it leaves the tee-box (not all golfers like to watch their balls land, especially if it’s a bad shot).

The Leaf Rule

When the leaves begin to fall in earnest (often starting in mid-September) many golfers consider invoking the “Leaf” Rule. Not an “official” rule under the Rules of Golf, the Leaf Rule was introduced in the United States and is widely considered acceptable in climates where trees lose their leaves and make finding balls difficult.

When considering use of the Leaf Rule it is best that golfers agree to its use before the start of the round. Once agreed to, the Leaf Rule states that if a ball is lost in the leaves, it is not treated as a lost ball, with the subsequent stroke and distance penalty.

The Leaf Rule allows someone who has lost their ball in the fallen leaves to drop a free ball at the approximate spot where the ball was lost rather than spending a lot of time looking for it and delaying the game. If your ball goes off the fairway into a leaf covered area, search the area for 5 minutes, and then drop and place a new ball into play with no penalty stroke.

However, if you are scoring for handicap purposes, until October 31st, you can not invoke the “leaf rule” – you must count all your strokes. After October 31st, go ahead, since scores after this date are not included in handicapping.

Articles and Golf Information

Golf Dictionary

“Bump and Run”

A “bump and run” is a chip shot that includes the ball running after it has landed. The ideal “bump and run” is a shot that lands over the fringe, less than a third away from the hole, and then “runs” the rest of the way to the hole. It’s ideal to use when it’s windy, when there are no bunkers guarding the green, or when the conditions are firm.


A “collar” (or fringe) is the area surrounding a putting green. These often overlooked parts of the course provide an intermediary between the putting green and the surrounding rough and provide a buffer for shots that barely miss or roll through the green. There is no standard width or height of these fringes, and each is dependent on individual course maintenance.

“Fat Shot”

A “fat shot” is considered one of the worst shots in golf! It refers to a shot where the golf club hits the ground before making contact with the ball, resulting in high or low shots and a considerable loss of distance. In fact, the ball often ends up just a few yards in front of you, with a lot of turf dug up in the process. Fat shots usually occur when a club swings down on too steep an angle.

“Grand Slam”

Grand Slam refers to winning the four major golf championships in one calendar year:

  • The Masters

  • The US Open

  • The Open Championship (British Open)

  • PGA Championship

For all the details and history read up on the Grand Slam of Golf on Wikipedia.


On the PGA Tour “sand save percentage” is a statistical category that refers to getting up-and-down of out of a green side bunker. In this case score doesn’t matter, but rather if a player is in a green side bunker and gets out of the hole in two strokes (up and down), it’s considered a “sandy” (or “sandie”).

There are actually two common definitions for “sandy”. One definition for “sandy” is as making par on a hole in which you were in a bunker. The other definition for “sandy” is when a player hits a shot out of the sand and sinks the following put (ie getting out of the bunker and into the hole in two strokes). This second definition is more in keeping with the PGA Tour definition of “sandy”.


“Waggle” refers to the movement of the club head prior to swinging. While not a necessity for a correct swing, many consider it an option that helps start the back-swing momentum and use it as a means to promote a relaxed swing! Experiment with it a little and see if it works for you!


“Yips” is a term used in golf to describe shakiness or nervousness when making a shot. The yips are most commonly associated with putting but can also be evidenced in chipping and full swings. The Mayo Clinic estimates that 33% to 48% of serious golfers have experienced the yips!

Anatomy of a Golf Ball

There are three main classes of golf balls:
Distance Balls – Usually made with hard, durable covers and solid cores, these balls are often made of two-piece construction with a core designed for maximum velocity off the club face. These balls tend to eliminate the side spin on your shot, reducing the chances of a big hook or slice. Due to the limited spin on the ball, these balls tend to roll further once they hit the ground.
Spin Balls – These balls are designed to produce spin when hit in the air. Usually made of three-piece construction, these balls have a central core (often liquid in the highest spinning balls), surrounded by rubber windings and covered by a soft, thin material called balata. Because of their softer feel they don’t travel as far as distance balls, but because of their spin they tend to hold the green. The added spin on the green allows a player more control if they know how to use it properly.
Total Performance Balls – This type of ball is designed to balance spin, distance and control. These balls are often multilayered, multi-construction balls and tend to be preferred by advanced players.

Golf Ball Construction
Golf Ball AnatomyThe construction of a ball is indeed quite a science. Golf balls with a harder core (called a high compression ratio) tend to travel further because they hold their shape upon impact and produce a greater transfer of energy between the club and the ball.
Two piece balls feature dual construction with a large, solid inner core that is surrounded by a strong outer cover, allowing for maximum energy transfer to the ball upon contact. Multi-layer balls have large synthetic cores wrapped in multiple covers (usually several mantle layers and then an outer cover). In multi-layer balls, technology allows manufacturers to combine various materials, degrees of hardness and specific gravity to enhance overall performance.

The Effect of Dimples – Dimples on a golf ball allow the air to travel over the surface of the ball, providing less drag. Golf ball dimples play a key role in determining the distance travelled by the ball and help provide increased stability in the trajectory of the shot. While most of us may not realize it, golf ball dimples are strategically placed in both alignment and depth, with an ideal pattern including one shallow and then one deep depression.

Hitting the Distance

The distance a golf ball will travel is affected by a number of factors, including:

  • The initial speed of the ball
  • The angle the ball is hit into the air
  • The spin on the golf ball

These factors are impacted by a number of external factors, including:

  • The level of contact between the club and the ball
  • The speed of the golf head upon impact
  • The swing path
  • The weather/wind conditions

Customized Golf Balls & Golf Accessories From Caledon Country Club

Never have trouble finding your own golf ball again. Caledon CC can customize your personal golf balls starting at just $5.95/sleeve. Or for your next company event, tournament or promotional campaign, consider customized balls, golf shirts or hats in your choice of colour and style. We offer highly competitive pricing, and will take care of all the work for you. Talk to our Pro Shop staff for all the details.

Proshop & Tee-Offs: 905-838-0200 ext 1

The Challenge of Fast Greens

Watching this year’s Masters tournament I couldn’t help but notice how gingerly the pros were putting. Even the eventual winner, Zack Johnson, 3 putted from two and a half feet on the 16th hole in the 3rd round. Time and time again we witnessed seemingly simple two and three-foot putts break sharply and trickle on by the hole.

Super fast, undulating greens are meant to challenge the world’s best!
As a result, the players spent considerable time seriously studying and calculating the precise placement of every drive, approach shot and putt. Those magnificent greens presented an extreme challenge to the world’s best and most skillful golfers – and that’s what they were meant to do!

To the majority of people who play this wonderful sport however, golf is entertainment, and entertainment is meant to be a fun and enjoyable experience. Golf played on super fast greens may be entertaining to watch but not so entertaining to play.

Super Fast Greens Effect Every Aspect of Every Shot

From the drives to the approach shots, super fast greens effect every aspect of every shot in a round, not just the putting. It could be as subtle as simply landing the ball on the wrong side of the fairway or the pin thereby assuring extra strokes to the scorecard. That’s not entertaining; it’s exhausting, frustrating, draining and extremely time consuming.

How Green Speeds Effect Play

Increased green speeds lead to reduced pin locations and increased scrutiny of the acceptability of the limited pin locations. Reduced pin locations lead to more concentrated traffic and extreme wear and thinning of the greens. Frustration increases as a result from slower play.
Shorter greens mean increased maintenance. Shorter grass has less leaf surface for photosynthesis and the storage of carbohydrate reserves thereby stressing the plant and leaving it susceptible to diseases, heat stress, drought stress, insects, compaction and wear. All of these can be addressed with more aerification, more fungicides, more overseeding, more fertilizer, more verticutting, more topdressing and thus more labour – all of which cause more disruptions that cost more time and money.

New State-of-the-Art Irrigation System

Water is an essential element in the game of golf – it’s what keeps our fairways and our greens lush. Since golf courses can’t always rely on Mother Nature delivering water when it’s needed, supplemental irrigation is often required to keep the courses in tip-top shape!

New technologies Improve Irrigation
New technologies are constantly being developed to make it easier and more efficient to apply water to golf courses when and where it is needed. New technology means that water, a precious natural resource, can now be used and managed with greater efficiency, and can make a dramatic difference in turfgrass health and playability!

Irrigation Systems Should be Evaluated for Efficiency
Most Canadian golf courses are fortunate to have access to good and ample sources of water. However, as a precious resource, we must ensure that water is applied only when and where it is required. Irrigation technologies will vary with the course design, grass types, soil types and climates. All irrigation systems are evaluated periodically for efficiency. Just because a course is wet does not mean it necessarily has a good irrigation system – in fact, over-watering can result in poor root development and disease susceptibility. A good drainage and irrigation system helps create a successful turfgrass program.

Caledon Country Club Introduces New Irrigation system
In an effort to be proactive and water efficient, Caledon Country Club is currently in the process of upgrading their irrigation system to include a water reservoir and computerized double row irrigation system. These upgrades will allow Course Superintendent, Leo Daigle, to manage and operate the entire irrigation system through a PC-based central control system and specialized software. With this system, Leo will be able to optimize Caledon Country Club’s water distribution system in as much detail as possible (in fact right down to a single sprinkler head) and review and catalogue all the details for future assessment.

Currently the new reservoir, pump station, transfer pump station and irrigation main lines have all been installed. The balance of the irrigation system will be seamlessly installed between now and the end of the season.

Caledon Country Club Yardage to Increase to 6500
At the same time, the Club will commence lengthening the 17th and 18th holes to increase total course yardage to 6500. These improvements to Caledon Country Club confirm to our golfers the continuing commitment to provide them with the best golf experience possible!