Guidelines for Visitors

The things that most matter on the course are:

  1. You don’t hurt yourself, or endanger other golfers
  2. You don’t hold up play, annoy other games or damage the playing surface
  3. You have an enjoyable day.

If you follow a few basic guidelines, your golf will go better, and no-one will get cross with you on the course.

Dress and footwear

Typical holiday gear is fine – we won’t throw you off the course for wearing tee-shirt and shorts, or even insist that you tuck the shirt in! But please try to look as tidy as you can, and be aware that 18 holes of golf exposes a lot of you to the sun, so have some sun-block handy on summer days.

Golf shoes have spikes for a reason – courses have steep grassy slopes and if you slip (with a bag on your shoulder) you can turn an ankle very easily. So if you wear trainers they should have good grips and you still need to be very careful if the grass is damp. Shoes and sandals sold as ‘Light Hikers’ are also very good around the course. Anything with blocky heels is a definite no-no as heels make permanent dents in the greens which will spoil the course for everyone else.

Clubs and bags

Sharing a bag of clubs is bad for two reasons:

  1. It slows up play terribly as you have to go and fetch every club you need
  2. You do a lot of calling backwards and forwards across fairways which upsets other games nearby.

So if you only have one set available, please borrow a bag (which comes with a putter) from the clubroom and split the set between you. Any member can get the bag out for you, or drop an email to the club manager who will meet you at the clubhouse. You can hire a set of clubs at £5 for the day if you let the manager know in advance.

Care of the course

Try and leave it as you find it, taking time to make what minor repairs you can. Take your litter home with you, or leave it in the bins which are strapped to the ball-washers at most of the tees. You may take your dog with you, as long as it is kept under firm control – please check the guidelines in the clubhouse.

Divots on fairways

A chunk of turf that is instantly replaced will grow back in a day, and no-one will ever know. If it is left to dry out until someone else finds it, then the chances are it won’t recover, and the quality of the turf will gradually deteriorate. So please take the time to put your divots back. Tees are different – these get sand-filled once or twice a week, so by all means put big slabs of turf back (and stamp them down well) but best not to replace anything small.

Footprints in bunkers

If you ever had to hit a sand-shot from a footprint, you’ll know why every bunker has a rake in it. Please scruff out your footmarks, and then cover your tracks as you exit the bunker. Try to end by pushing the sand back into the bunker, away from the lip, as you leave. Please return the rake to the fork when you are done – it keeps the handles dry in damp weather, and stops them from warping and eventually breaking.

Pitchmarks on greens

When the greens are soft, an incoming ball usually makes a small dent where it first lands. Prise these out with a pitchmark repairer (or a tee if you don’t have one handy) and tap them level with your putter. If you see one that you didn’t make, fix that as well. Next time you play the course, the greens will be that little bit fairer, and the game will be more enjoyable as a result.

We hope you have a good time, and thank you for helping us take care of the course. We only have one full-time greenkeeper and two part-time assistants, so the more support they get from the players, the better the course will be.

     © Copyright Ampleforth College Golf Club 2012