The Rules of Golf begin not with Rule 1, but with a section on etiquette. Of course, those who most need to learn the etiquette of the game aren't likely to put their cell phones down long enough to read the rule book, but it's nice that the United States Golf Association and the R&A give them the option. The first set of such principles was appended to the Rules in 1899, and while the current section is more extensive, the list (in its original form here) provides most of the guidance a player needs.

  1. A single player has no standing, and must always give way to a properly constituted match.

  2. No player, caddie or onlooker should move or talk during a stroke.

  3. No player should play from the tee until the party in front have played their second strokes and are out of range, nor play up to the putting-green till the party in front have holed out and moved away.

  4. The player who has the honour should be allowed to play before his opponent tees his ball.

  5. Players who have holed out should not try their putts over again when other players are following them.

  6. Players looking for a lost ball must allow other matches coming up to pass them.

  7. On request being made, a three-ball match must allow a single, threesome, or foursome to pass. Any match playing a whole round may claim the right to pass a match playing a shorter round.

  8. If a match fail to keep its place on the green, and lose in distance more than one clear hole on those in front, it may be passed, on request being made.

  9. Turf cut or displaced by a stroke should be at once replaced.

  10. A player should carefully fill up all holes made by himself in a bunker.

-- All text excerpted from "A Disorderly Compendium of Golf," by Lorne Rubenstein and Jeff Neuman (Workman, $13.95)


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