Rules & Etiquette

  • Golf Rules
    • The Rules of Golf as adapted by the USGA together with the Rules of Etiquette as adopted by the USGA shall be the rules of the Club, except when in conflict with local rules or with any of the Rules and Regulations herein.

      All members and guests must register in the Golf Shop before beginning play. Members shall present their cards at registration. "Cutting-in" is not permitted at any time. All players must check in with the starter. Under no circumstances are players permitted to start play from residence.

      Practice is not allowed on the golf course. The practice range and practice putting green should be used for all practice.

      If a foursome or other group of players fails to keep their place on the course and loses more than one clear hole on the players ahead, the group must allow the following group to play through. Do the same when you stop to search for a lost ball. No more than three minutes should be used to search for lost balls.

      All players who stop after playing nine (9) holes for any reason must occupy the next tee before the following players arrive at the tee or they shall lose their position on the golf course and must get permission from the starter to resume play.

      All tournament play must be approved in advance by the Head Golf Professional.

      A group stopping for refreshments during the course of a round will lose their position on the course.

      Enter and leave bunkers at the nearest level point to the green. Smooth sand over with a rake upon leaving.

      Repair all ball marks on the green.

      Ball hawking is not allowed on the course at any time.

      A round of golf is completed in four (4) hours and twenty (20) minutes or four (4) hours and thirty (30) minutes if restricted to the path. Golf rangers may be on duty to help regulate play and enforce golf cart regulations. The golf rangers have full authority on the golf course to enforce all rules and speed of play. Your cooperation is appreciated. The first six (6) tee times to play the course in the morning should play the course in four (4) hours or less.

      Each player must have his or her own set of golf clubs.

      Proper golf attire is required for all players on the course and practice facilities. A description of "proper attire" shall be posted prominently in the men's and women's locker rooms from time to time. Members are expected to ensure that their family members and guests adhere to such rules.

      Improperly dressed golfers shall be asked to change before playing. If you are in doubt concerning your attire, please check with the Golf Shop before starting play. Any misuse or disregard of the rules and regulations may cause privileges to be reviewed or suspended.

      If lightning is in the area, all play must cease.

      The Club may close the golf course to general play during adverse weather conditions, when necessary maintenance of the golf facilities is required, when play or when golf tournaments and promotional events are held at the Club.

      Jogging, bicycling,  skate boarding, sledding, skiing or recreational walking is not permitted on the golf course at any time.

      No beverage coolers are permitted on the course unless provided by the Club.

      "Discounted Play" Policy: less than five (5) holes played - full eighteen (18) hole credit; six (6) to fourteen (14) holes played - nine (9) hole credit, over fourteen (14) holes played - no credit.

      Twosomes may play at the discretion of the Golf Shop and shall be permitted to start after 1:30 p.m. if space is available, unless otherwise permitted by the Golf Shop.  Twosomes should not expect to play through foursomes and should not exert any pressure on the groups ahead. Foursomes shall have the right of way.

      Twosomes and singles shall be grouped with other players, if available, at the discretion of the Golf Shop.

      Singles shall have no priority on the golf course and shall be permitted to play only at the discretion of the Golf Shop.

      Groups of five (5) or more players shall only be permitted on the golf course with the permission of the Golf Shop.

      Walking Policy
      Members can walk while playing NorthStone after 2:00 pm.  If a member should want to walk prior to 2:00 pm they will be charged a cart fee.  Walking times may adjust per daylight savings time.  All guests are required to take a cart.  Any exceptions to this policy are at the discretion of the golf shop staff.

  • Golf Cart Rules
    • Golf carts shall not be used by a member or guest on the Club property and facilities without proper assignment and registration through the Golf Shop. All golf carts must be leased through the Club.

      Golf carts may only be used on the golf course when the course is open for play. Golf carts provided by the Club are not permitted/may not be driven in the parking lots without expressed permission of the Golf Shop and/or Golf Professional on duty.

      One must be at least sixteen (16) years of age with a valid automobile driver's license.

      No more than two (2) persons and two (2) sets of golf clubs are permitted per golf cart unless a caddie, when available, is retained.

      Obey all golf cart traffic rules and signage.

      Always use golf cart paths where provided, especially near tees and greens. Utilize the "fairway only" rule when it is in effect. Players are required to remain on golf cart paths, without exception on Par 3 holes.

      Do not drive a golf cart within thirty (30) feet of a green, tee or bunker, except when on a golf cart path.

      Never drive a golf cart through a hazard.

      Be careful to avoid soft areas on fairways, especially after rains. Use the roughs wherever possible.

      Operation of a golf cart is at the risk of the operator. Cost of repair to a golf cart, which is damaged, shall be charged to the person who is responsible for such damage. All persons using a golf cart shall be held fully responsible for any and all damages, including damages to the golf cart, that are caused by the misuse of the golf cart by the person or their guests and shall reimburse the Club and/or any operator of the Club for any and all damages the Club may sustain by reason of misuse.

      Each person using a golf cart accepts and assumes all responsibility for liability connected with operation of the golf cart. The person also expressly indemnifies and agrees to hold harmless the Club and its affiliates, employees, representatives and agents, from any and all damages, whether direct or consequential, arising from or related to the person's use and operation of the golf cart.

      Handicap flags are available upon request, for a medical condition after receiving verification from a doctor.

      "Course Closed" or "Hole Closed" signs must be adhered to without exception.

      Golf carts will be driven on the golf course, only when the course is open for play.

      Violations of golf cart rules may result in the loss of golf cart privileges and/or loss of playing privileges.

  • Practice Range Rules
      • Golf course dress code rules do apply to the range, putting greens and bunkers at the practice facility.
      • The practice range is open during normal operating hours as posted in the Golf Shop.
      • The practice range may be closed for general maintenance from time to time at the Club's discretion.
      • The range is to be used by your guests before they play.
      • Range balls are for use on the practice range. Range balls may not be used on the golf course.
      • Golf carts are not permitted at the tee areas. Parking of golf carts is allowed in designated areas.
      • Balls must be hit from designated areas. No hitting is permitted from the rough or sides of the practice range.
      • Personal shag bags are not permitted.

  • Etiquette
    • The Spirit of the Game – Unlike many sports, golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.

      Safety – Players should ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when they make a stroke or practice swing.

  • Consideration for Other Players
    • No Disturbance or Distraction – Each player should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking, or making unnecessary noise. Players should ensure that any electronic device on the course does not distract other players. In the tee-off vicinity a player should not tee-up the ball until it is their turn to play. Players should not stand close to or directly behind the ball, or directly behind the hole when a player is about to hit. Essentially, you should stand where you can either see the front or the back (not the side) of a player.  

      On the Putting Green – On the green players should not stand in another player’s putting line or when the player is making a stroke, cast a shadow over the line of a putt. The first person to hole out should get the flag stick to help speed up play. Players should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.

      Scoring – In stroke play, a player who is acting as a marker on the way to the next tee should check the score with the player concerned and record the correct score.

  • Pace of Play
    • Play at a Good Pace and Keep Up – Players should play at a good pace. The committee may establish pace of play guidelines that all players should follow. It is a GROUP’S responsibility to keep up with the group in front even if there is no one behind you.

      Be Ready to Play – Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. Tips for speeding up play:

      • Play ready golf.

      • If playing "cart path only" take more than one club to your ball to eliminate having to walk back to the cart.

      • When you get back to the cart, hold onto your clubs until you stop for the next shot. Then get out, place those clubs in the bag and then get your clubs for the next shot.

      • Read your putt while other players are reading theirs.

      • The first person to hole their putt should pick up the flag stick.

      • Record the scores on the next tee box.
  • Rules of Golf and How to Proceed During the Infraction
    • Lost Ball – Rule 27-1, If a ball is lost or is out of bounds, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.

      Rule 27-2 Provisional Ball:

      1. Procedure – If a ball may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds, to save time the player may play another ball provisionally in accordance with Rule 27-1. The player must inform her opponent she intends to play a provisional ball, and she must play it before she or her partner goes forward to search for the original ball. If you fail to announce that you are playing a provisional ball, and you play another ball, that ball becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance.

      2. When Provisional Ball Becomes Ball in Play – The player may play a provisional ball until she reaches the place where the original ball is likely to be. If she makes a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place, the original ball is lost and the provisional ball becomes the ball in play under penalty of stroke and distance.

      Hazards – Rule 26-1, Relief for Ball in Water Hazard (including Lateral Water Hazard) If a ball is in or is lost in a water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:

      1. Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.

      2. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or

      3. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

      Rule 13-4 Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions. A player may not whether in a bunker or a water hazard:

      1. Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard.

      2. Touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with her hand or a club.

      3. Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard.


      1. There is no penalty if a player touches the ground or water as a result of or to prevent falling, in removing an obstruction, in measuring or in retrieving, lifting, placing or replacing a ball under any rule, or places clubs in a hazard.

      Penalty for Breach of Rule:  Match Play – Loss of Hole, Stroke Play – Two Strokes.

      Rule 19-5 Ball at Rest Moved by Another Ball:

      1. If a player’s ball is in motion after a stroke is deflected or stopped by a ball in play and at rest, the player must play his ball as it lies. In match play, there is no penalty. In stroke play, there is no penalty unless both balls lay on the putting green prior to the stroke, in which case the player incurs a penalty of two strokes.

  • Tournament Formats
    • Low Gross – The player with the lowest score in a stipulated round without using the handicap.

      Low Net – The player with the lowest score in a stipulated round after their handicap has been subtracted.

      Individual Point Quota – This is determined by taking the players handicap and subtracting it from 36 to obtain the players quota. The player then plays the round of golf, obtaining points based on their gross score on each hole.

      Double Bogey or Worse

      0 points
      1  point
      2 points
      4 points
      6 points
      Double Eagle
      8 points

      Add up your points for the round to see if you have met or exceeded your quote.

      Stableford – This is a scoring system where you get points on each hole. This can be a gross and a net game.

      Bogey 1  point
      Par 2 points
      Birdie 4 points
      Eagle 6 points
      Double Eagle 8 points

      In some games double bogey or triple bogey will result in minus points.

      Scramble – In this format, each player will hit the tee shot. The players then decide which shot is the best and all players play from that spot. This process is repeated until the ball is holed.

      Step-aside Scramble – This is similar to the scramble except when the players hit their drives, the person whose drive is selected as the best will not hit the next shot. The other three players will hit the next shot. The best shot is then selected and that person steps aside. Once you get on the green, everyone will putt.

      Texas Scramble (Shamble) – All players will hit the tee shot. The best drive is selected and all four players will play their own ball in from that point.

  • Golf Terms
    • Addressing the Ball – A player has “addressed the ball” when she has taken his stance and has also grounded her club, except that in a hazard a player has addressed the ball when she has taken her stance.

      Advice – “Advise” is any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining her play, the choice of a club, or the method of making a stroke.

      Information on the rules or on matters of public information, such as the position of hazards or the flagstick on the putting green or if a hole doglegs right or left, is not advice.

      Ball in Play – A ball is “in play” as soon as the player has made a stroke on the teeing ground. If you accidentally knock the ball off of the tee, you may re-tee the ball without penalty. The ball is not in play until you make an attempt to strike the ball.

      Casual Water – “Casual Water” is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is visible before or after the player takes her normal stance and is not in a water hazard. Pressing down with the foot to cause water to show up is not considered taking your normal stance.

      Complete Relief – If you are taking a drop from an obstruction, abnormal ground condition, or a wrong putting green, you must take complete relief. Complete relief means that you no long are affected by the situation by your stance or swing.

      Equipment – “Equipment” is anything used, worn, or carried by or for the player except any ball she has played at the hole being played and any small object, such as a coin or a tee, when used to mark the position of a ball or the extent of an area in which a ball is to be dropped. Equipment includes a golf cart, whether or not motorized.

      Lateral Water Hazard – A “Lateral Water Hazard” is a water hazard or that part of a water hazard so situated that it is not possible or is deemed by the Committee to be impracticable to drop a ball behind the water hazard in accordance with Rule 26-1b.

      That part of a water hazard to be played as a lateral water hazard should be distinctively marked. A ball is in a lateral water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the lateral water hazard.

      Loose Impediments – “Loose Impediments” are natural objects including: stones, leaves, twigs, branches, and the like, dung, worms and insects and casts or heaps made by them, providing they are not: fixed or growing, solidly embedded, or adhering to the ball.

      Sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.

      Lost Ball – A ball is deemed “lost” if the ball is not found or identified by the player as their ball within the five minutes after the player’s side, or the player:
      o  Nor their caddie have begun to search for the ball, or
      o  Has made a stroke at a substituted ball, or
      o  Made a stroke at a provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place.

      Move or Moved – A ball is deemed to have “moved” if it leaves its position and comes to rest in another place.

      Nearest Point of Relief – The nearest point of relief is the reference point for taking relief without penalty from interference by an immovable obstruction, and abnormal ground condition, or a wrong putting green. It is the point on the course nearest to where the ball lies that is not nearer the hole and provides complete relief.

      Obstructions – An obstruction is anything artificial, including the artificial surfaces and sides of roads and paths and manufactured ice, EXCEPT:

      Objects defining out of bounds, such as walls, fences, stakes, and railings. Any part of an immovable artificial object that is out of bounds, and Any construction declared by the committee to be an integral part of the course.

      Out of Bounds – “Out of Bounds” is beyond the boundaries o the course or any part of the course so marked by the committee. The ball is out of bounds when all of it lies out of bounds. You are not permitted to move an out of bounds stake in order to play a shot.

      Provisional Ball – A provisional ball is a ball played under Rule 27-2 for a ball that may be lost outside a water hazard or may be out of bounds.

      Water Hazard – A water hazard is any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface drainage ditch, or other open water course, whether or not containing water, and anything similar in nature on the course. A ball is in a water hazard when it lies in or any part of it touches the water hazard.