The Florida State Golf Association takes great pride in the conduct of its players and the relationships that it has with the golf clubs in Florida.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Our players, their parents, spouses, friends and relatives are expected to act as ladies and gentlemen at all FSGA events including practice rounds, competitive rounds, dinners and other functions.
Spectators must observe the same golf etiquette and respect to the golf course, facilities, and policies of the host club as the players.
Watching an FSGA event as a spectator is a privilege. Whether you are a parent, spouse or a friend of a player, your spectator privileges may be suspended if you fail to follow the spectator guidelines.
Spectators are always welcome and may either walk or rent a spectator cart if they are available at the club. Your friend, spouse, parent or child is attempting to play top-level competitive golf and this is NOT the time for any coaching. Quietly follow players and keep your expressions of joy and/or disappointment to a minimum. Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept at a minimum at all events - cigarette butts look horrible on the golf course and smoking sets a poor example for the players - enjoy the fresh air and exercise!
All spectators must dress in appropriate golf attire or clothing of a similar nature. Blue jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, short-shorts, flip-flops and other overly casual attire should NOT be worn at any FSGA function. Gentlemen should remove hats when entering the clubhouse, pro shop or grill. All attire must also meet club guidelines.
Spectator Cart Policy
(Failure to follow these policies can result in your cart being taken away at any time and may result in your privileges being suspended for future events.)
Carts may be rented by spectators based on course availability - the daily fee is determined by each individual club.
- Spectator carts must stay on the cart path at ALL times. If the course or a particular hole doesn't have cart paths, then the cart must stay in the rough at all times.
- Carts may only move forward on the golf course (from tee to green) except in case of a weather evacuation.
- Carts may not move while competitors are playing a stroke.
- Only 2 spectators per cart are allowed; except during evacuation.
- Spectator carts will NOT be used for shuttling of players from green to tee unless stated on the Notice to Players (Local Rules sheet) that is given to each player.
- Spectator carts will be used to assist with evacuation of players and spectators and may leave the cart path as necessary during an evacuation.
- Spectator carts may carry water for players but no golf equipment and may also carry any other spectator's items such as umbrellas etc..
How to Properly Follow a Group
(Where you should stand, walk or follow)
- Follow your players from a distance (at least 25 yards) and stay in the rough or on the cart paths.
- You should NOT be in the fairway. Stay to the side of the action and remain still and quite while all players play.
- Do not lag behind the participants as this often delays the group behind.
- Move forward to the putting green when all shots have been completed.
Putting Green - Spectators must never be on the putting surface and should observe the putting green from a reasonable distance that will not interfere with the players
Looking for Balls - Please help spot balls for all players. Spectators are encouraged to watch each player's shot closely and may assist searching for a lost ball during the three-minute search period.
Cell phones should not be used on the course. Please turn off all electronic devices or set them to silent. Calls may be returned at the clubhouse by cell phone at a later time (if the club permits). Some host clubs do not allow cell phones on their property.
Communicating with Players
Spectators who need to talk with a player (for health reasons and handing them sunscreen, food or beverages) should do so in front of other spectators and/or players.
Advice and the Rules of Golf
Rule 1.3b states "Players are responsible for applying the Rules to themselves."
Rules Officials are stationed on the course to assist players when they are unsure how they should proceed, to monitor pace of play, and for emergency situations. Players and spectators should notify an Official when a someone needs assistance.
Most Officials are volunteers and the number of Officials per event will vary. When there is no Official nearby to assist, players in stroke play should play a second ball under Rule 20.1c (3). Remember - it is the player's responsibility to know the Rules!
When an Official is assisting a player all spectators should stay at least 25 yards away and should not get involved in the conversation. Spectators will be brought into a situation only if asked by the Official.
Spectators should not confront Officials. If a spectator has a question, or information, for an Official it should be done away from the players and in a calmly manner.
Advice (Rule 10.2 Advice and Other Help)
"Advice is any verbal comment or action (such as showing what club was just used to make a stroke) that is intended to influence a player in choosing a club, making a stroke, or deciding how to play during a hole or round. Advice does not include public information, such as the location of things on the course such as the hole, the putting green, the fairway, penalty areas, bunkers, or another player's ball, the distance from one point to another, or the Rules."
Spectators are NOT encouraged to give information on the Rules to players because frequently the information is incorrect and/or Rule 8 (Advice) is breached. Violation of the Rules will typically lead to a penalty for the player(s) involved. For additional information please carefully read Rule 10.2, and the Interpretations on the Rules of Golf under Rule 10.2.
General Penalty for a breach of Rule 10.2 is: loss of hole in Match Play; or two strokes in Stoke Play.
Appreciation of Club Staff and Officials
It is appropriate to express your appreciation to the host club, its staff and the FSGA officials conducting the event. Please recognize that your actions may influence the future ability of other organizations to use the club and it is your responsibility to be a gracious ambassador of golf. Set a great example for your child and all the people present:
- Say thank you to the golf professional, club staff and members
- Be patient with staff and officials
- Write a thank you note to the club
- Express your thanks to the volunteer officials
- Be courteous at all times
- Do not wear hats indoors
Please contact the FSGA office, 813-632-3742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions concerning the Spectator Policies.