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Proper etiquette for stopping at the turn?


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#1 g8tor20

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

First off, I spend waaaay too much time reading past threads on this forum.  This section seems to be my favorite and always enjoy reading fun debatable topics from the past.

One question I have always wondered is what is the proper etiquette for stopping at the turn?

When I play private, it's never an issue as the courses are lightly played.

When I play public, the rounds can go for a long time (which doesn't bother me too much because I have a good time with my buddies no matter the speed of play).

Anyways, a few months ago, we were playing a semi-private course on a typically packed weekend.  After a 2.5 hour front side, we decided to stop at the turn and grab some food and drink.  We ordered our food and drink to go and headed back to the carts.  Then we get berated by the Members behind us for slowing play down.  The problem stemmed because even though it was packed, the group in front of us did not stop and we did.  This created the "visual" sense that we were slowing play down.  In actuality, we could have caught up with them within 1-2 holes.

We politely apologized and told the grouchy old guys that they can go ahead and play through.  They still yelled at us but it gave us the opportunity to eat while waiting on the 10th tee anyways. We thought everything was back to normal until the group who was behind them got to the 10th tee and wondered who the hell we were.  We explained what happened and they too got verbally upset that we stopped and ate.

Soooooo...whats the proper etiquette for eating at the turn?  What happens if the group in front doesn't stop?  What happens if you don't want to stop and the group in front is still getting their food? I assume when you stop you lose your spot in line but thought getting back in line was acceptable.

Is it better to just pack a sandwich in the bag and don't worry about the halfway house?  Never realized that stopping would create a mess to the folks behind us.

Just a confused golfer wanting to hear other opinions

Edited by g8tor20, 02 January 2013 - 02:13 PM.


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#2 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

My theory is always to stop if you feel like it. But not to complain if someone behind does not stop and therefore gets ahead of you at the 10th tee.

The guys behind you should have just "played through" the turn and left off with the yelling and general d-bagginess.

P.S. I am assuming you're talking about a significant detour/stop of five minutes or more. For instance a brief stop by the clubhouse men's room to drain the lizard, so to speak, is hardly reason for anyone to complain or jump ahead.

#3 jaskanski

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

I would think the same etiquette applies if there no no halfway house there. In other words, faster groups are invited to play through (eg those not stopping). However, the consent to playing through cannot be assumed and must be given. A simple "do you mind if we play through?" is sufficient. Likewise, the current playing order is maintained until something dictates otherwise - a simple "here's what happened" to the following group should suffice. The following group were two groups behind, they'll still be two groups behind. What's the big deal?

#4 Troyefl

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Courses encourage stopping at the turn to purchase food/drink, so OP did nothing wrong. But a 5hr pace of play would get anyone agitated and the group behind probably took out unwarranted frustration on your group. Don’t worry about it. But if it is a significantly long stop, groups behind should be allowed to play through.

#5 Johnny Biarritz

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

Stop if you want, but if you lose you place, you must wait until there is a gap. I remember we had some guys stop once at my club (where I worked) and lost position on the tee. They were about 1/2 hole ahead, lost position, and there were 16 or 17 groups stacked behind them. Hope those hot dogs were worth the 2 hour wait they had on the putting green.

But basically, stop and get whatever you want so long as you can keep your spot on the 10th tee. If you can't, don't expect groups behind to wait.


#6 TKD24

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

Personally, I don't like to stop longer than it takes to make a quick stop at the bathroom and grab some snacks to bring back to the cart.

As far as others who stop for longer, I don't care as long as they don't mind that we play through. I've run into a situation, though, where the group sat in the carts on 10 and ate, drank, and smoked while expecting us to wait for them to finish. That was a 5+ hour round to forget...
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#7 jnradioactive

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:35 PM

never understood how people cant go 4-5 hours without the need for a meal...

Keep a Cliff bar or something in your bag and if course is crowded don't stop, letting a group play through doesn't magically erase a 5-10 minute delay, you and everyone behind you is pushed back regardless of letting one or two groups go through.

My course has a sign on starters shack that reads to the effect of  "Anyone leaving the course after 9 holes forfeits their place on the course and will need to see the starter to be placed back into play" Which i think is right as he will make you wait until there is a lull to put you back in.

The whole course should not have to suffer because some people cant go a couple hours without stuffing their gullet

#8 Troyefl

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:35 PM

View PostTKD24, on 02 January 2013 - 02:31 PM, said:

Personally, I don't like to stop longer than it takes to make a quick stop at the bathroom and grab some snacks to bring back to the cart.

As far as others who stop for longer, I don't care as long as they don't mind that we play through. I've run into a situation, though, where the group sat in the carts on 10 and ate, drank, and smoked while expecting us to wait for them to finish. That was a 5+ hour round to forget...

There is no way I would sit and wait behind those JackA**es

#9 Pepperturbo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

First, stopping was the result of the course not providing a phone on the 9th tee, where you could phone in your order, and pick it up as you pass to #10.  No way should the OP lose his place in play because of that situation.  While waiting for the food, the OP should have went into the pro shop and informed them of what happened, so maybe they could fix it.  Still, the OP did the right thing.

If those behind you were polite, offering them the opportunity to play through was polite.  I've been in a like situation, but never offered those behind me to play through, especially if they were grouchy.  People need to learn some level of patience, as that situation was created by course management.
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#10 ABgolfer2

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

View Postg8tor20, on 02 January 2013 - 02:13 PM, said:

First off, I spend waaaay too much time reading past threads on this forum.  This section seems to be my favorite and always enjoy reading fun debatable topics from the past.

One question I have always wondered is what is the proper etiquette for stopping at the turn?

When I play private, it's never an issue as the courses are lightly played.

When I play public, the rounds can go for a long time (which doesn't bother me too much because I have a good time with my buddies no matter the speed of play).

Anyways, a few months ago, we were playing a semi-private course on a typically packed weekend.  After a 2.5 hour front side, we decided to stop at the turn and grab some food and drink.  We ordered our food and drink to go and headed back to the carts.  Then we get berated by the Members behind us for slowing play down.  The problem stemmed because even though it was packed, the group in front of us did not stop and we did.  This created the "visual" sense that we were slowing play down.  In actuality, we could have caught up with them within 1-2 holes.

We politely apologized and told the grouchy old guys that they can go ahead and play through.  They still yelled at us but it gave us the opportunity to eat while waiting on the 10th tee anyways. We thought everything was back to normal until the group who was behind them got to the 10th tee and wondered who the hell we were.  We explained what happened and they too got verbally upset that we stopped and ate.

Soooooo...whats the proper etiquette for eating at the turn?  What happens if the group in front doesn't stop?  What happens if you don't want to stop and the group in front is still getting their food? I assume when you stop you lose your spot in line but thought getting back in line was acceptable.

Is it better to just pack a sandwich in the bag and don't worry about the halfway house?  Never realized that stopping would create a mess to the folks behind us.

Just a confused golfer wanting to hear other opinions

It sounds like the proper etiquette at that course is to not stop at the turn. Personally stopping for a washroom break and some premade snacks (or sandwiches - whatever is quicker) is okay if you were keeping pace already. The group behind you shouldn't even be at the 10th tee yet by the time you're ready to tee off. IF you're not keeping pace then stopping should not even be considered unless it's an emergency.

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#11 jnradioactive

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

View PostPepperturbo, on 02 January 2013 - 02:43 PM, said:

First, stopping was the result of the course not providing a phone on the 9th tee, where you could phone in your order, and pick it up as you pass to #10.  No way should the OP lose his place in play because of that situation.  While waiting for the food, the OP should have went into the pro shop and informed them of what happened, so maybe they could fix it.  Still, the OP did the right thing.

If those behind you were polite, offering them the opportunity to play through was polite.  I've been in a like situation, but never offered those behind me to play through, especially if they were grouchy.  People need to learn some level of patience, as that situation was created by course management.

So the world should wait on you, regardless of how long it takes?

#12 Pepperturbo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

View Postjnradioactive, on 02 January 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

View PostPepperturbo, on 02 January 2013 - 02:43 PM, said:

First, stopping was the result of the course not providing a phone on the 9th tee, where you could phone in your order, and pick it up as you pass to #10.  No way should the OP lose his place in play because of that situation.  While waiting for the food, the OP should have went into the pro shop and informed them of what happened, so maybe they could fix it.  Still, the OP did the right thing.

If those behind you were polite, offering them the opportunity to play through was polite.  I've been in a like situation, but never offered those behind me to play through, especially if they were grouchy.  People need to learn some level of patience, as that situation was created by course management.

So the world should wait on you, regardless of how long it takes?

:lol: comprehension is a difficult task for some kiddies..
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#13 jnradioactive

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:57 PM

View PostPepperturbo, on 02 January 2013 - 02:53 PM, said:

View Postjnradioactive, on 02 January 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

View PostPepperturbo, on 02 January 2013 - 02:43 PM, said:

First, stopping was the result of the course not providing a phone on the 9th tee, where you could phone in your order, and pick it up as you pass to #10.  No way should the OP lose his place in play because of that situation.  While waiting for the food, the OP should have went into the pro shop and informed them of what happened, so maybe they could fix it.  Still, the OP did the right thing.

If those behind you were polite, offering them the opportunity to play through was polite. I've been in a like situation, but never offered those behind me to play through, especially if they were grouchy.  People need to learn some level of patience, as that situation was created by course management.

So the world should wait on you, regardless of how long it takes?

:lol: comprehension is a difficult task for some kiddies..

I comprehended just fine

#14 g8tor20

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

Haha.  Love the responses.

The course obviously has a snack bar to earn more revenue.  When I am at a golf course from 10am to 3pm, yes...i like to have lunch and  few beers halfway through and will gladly give up $10 for some food....especially with all the damn waiting for each shot.  I wasn't ordering hot food like chicken sandwiches.  Usually a chicken salad or a premade turkey sandwich.  Rules of golf do not state that you cannot eat while playing.  In fact, most pros have a sandwich and some fruit during each round.  From what I'm reading on this thread, it may be better to break the rules of the course and stuff your bag with food and drinks.

For what its worth, the reason it took long was because the snack bar was also taking orders of guys who finished 18.  So, it took 5+ minutes to get our food and pay (we each paid separately which slowed it down as well).  I guess you are always going to piss off somebody no matter what.  Such is the frustration of a 5+ hour round.  Damn public courses...if only their was a thread where I can vent about public courses...hmmm

#15 atlanta golfer

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

I think stopping (quickly) at the turn for a drink and a hot dog or ready made sandwich is fine.  The problem comes in when people don't have any urgency about it.  Did you look at the menu, ask several questions, and then order something made from scratch, then figure out how to apply all the condiments, check the news on CNN, go to the bathroom, tell a few jokes, etc?  OR, did you walk right up to the counter and order a turkey sandwich already made, wrapped, sitting under glass in the fridge and a can of miller lite, then hop in your cart and keep moving ...

edited .... reading what is immediately above, just posted ..... it can also be the fault of the snack bar if things take too long .... sounds like that is what happened in this case.

Edited by atlanta golfer, 02 January 2013 - 03:15 PM.


#16 avgjoe

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

it's often dictated by the group ahead.  if they are backed up on 10, sure, stop.  but if there is a gap, if you were behind/being slow, get back in position... don't stop.  slow play might not bother you, but it annoys a lot of people.  you might have been able to catch up in a couple of holes, but meanwhile everyone else behind got slowed down as well

#17 g8tor20

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

We didn't mind letting the group play thru but though the 2nd group behind was being stupid in their arguments against us.  No way am I sitting off to the side "waiting for a gap" as some previous poster said.  What ever happened to being polite and classy to fellow golfers?

#18 kevcarter

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

View Postg8tor20, on 02 January 2013 - 03:12 PM, said:

Haha.  Love the responses.

The course obviously has a snack bar to earn more revenue.  When I am at a golf course from 10am to 3pm, yes...i like to have lunch and  few beers halfway through and will gladly give up $10 for some food....especially with all the damn waiting for each shot.  I wasn't ordering hot food like chicken sandwiches.  Usually a chicken salad or a premade turkey sandwich.  Rules of golf do not state that you cannot eat while playing.  In fact, most pros have a sandwich and some fruit during each round.  From what I'm reading on this thread, it may be better to break the rules of the course and stuff your bag with food and drinks.

For what its worth, the reason it took long was because the snack bar was also taking orders of guys who finished 18.  So, it took 5+ minutes to get our food and pay (we each paid separately which slowed it down as well).  I guess you are always going to piss off somebody no matter what.  Such is the frustration of a 5+ hour round.  Damn public courses...if only their was a thread where I can vent about public courses...hmmm

It sounded to me as though you handled the situation perfectly. You didn't need to let the group behind you through, but it was the gentlemanly thing to do. I'm sure the group behind them could see you were all caught up in a couple of holes, and should have felt foolish for their little tantrum.
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#19 RookieBlue7

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

At our course, the grille is slow.  If you don't call from the 10th tee (or better yet, you're better off calling from the 7th tee), your food won't be ready.

#20 g8tor20

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

View Postavgjoe, on 02 January 2013 - 03:14 PM, said:

it's often dictated by the group ahead.  if they are backed up on 10, sure, stop.  but if there is a gap, if you were behind/being slow, get back in position... don't stop.  slow play might not bother you, but it annoys a lot of people.  you might have been able to catch up in a couple of holes, but meanwhile everyone else behind got slowed down as well


So I have to base my food intake abilities on whether the group in front of me stopped?  Come on.  The course is jammed packed and we all will get slammed back together within 10 minutes and we can go back to the routine of waiting 5 minutes for each shot.  I don't think this affects anyone on final round time


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#21 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

If getting something to eat is worth the time it takes to get served, then by all means endure the wait and get the food. It's just not a problem for someone who isn't hungry to go ahead and tee of "in your place" if the 10th tee is available. No different than if you unexpectedly had to deal with a flat tire on your cart or an extended emergency bathroom-related situation. If you gotta stop you gotta stop but no, the 100 guys behind you on the course are not obliged to wait for you to resume play.

#22 jnradioactive

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

View Postg8tor20, on 02 January 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

We didn't mind letting the group play thru but though the 2nd group behind was being stupid in their arguments against us.  No way am I sitting off to the side "waiting for a gap" as some previous poster said.  What ever happened to being polite and classy to fellow golfers?

Expecting the whole course to wait on you falls into that category as well

#23 g8tor20

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

View PostRookieBlue7, on 02 January 2013 - 03:17 PM, said:

At our course, the grille is slow.  If you don't call from the 10th tee (or better yet, you're better off calling from the 7th tee), your food won't be ready.

That's usually the case although most public courses don't have phones or the phone number written on the card / cart.

It's usually one person in the kitchen doing all the work.  Looking back...we probably shouldn't have paid separately and just figured out who owes what on the 10th.

#24 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

Several years ago I played at a "walk-up" Open competition at a club in the UK. My first time visiting there and I was lucky to arrive on a day they were having a one-day medal event as part of their annual "Golf Week". I paid my ten quid and was paired up with two members. It was a fun day.

This club's halfway house was actually between the 10th green and 11th tee (non-returning nines). We were buzzing along at a brisk pace and finished the 10th hole about 90 minutes after teeing off. Each group seemed to be stopping at the halfway house and we did the same. Had a bacon roll and cup of hot tea while sitting around and shooting the breeze for 20-25 minutes. Then we resumed our round and played the final seven holes.

I rather enjoyed the change of pace. Instead of a typical Tournament at USA clubs, usually a 4:30 to 4:45 death slog with "no time" to stop at the turn, we played the actual golf quickly but nobody would consider not stopping for an extended snack break/bull session just because there was a competition on. My kind of club!

#25 g8tor20

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

View Postjnradioactive, on 02 January 2013 - 03:19 PM, said:

View Postg8tor20, on 02 January 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

We didn't mind letting the group play thru but though the 2nd group behind was being stupid in their arguments against us.  No way am I sitting off to the side "waiting for a gap" as some previous poster said.  What ever happened to being polite and classy to fellow golfers?

Expecting the whole course to wait on you falls into that category as well

Is it a bad assumption that if the course has a halfway house with food that stopping is allowable and should be assumed by all golfers?

I know when I play, I always let the folks in front stop if they want.  I have always assumed its part of the day of golf.  Guess some just want to speed through and think of only themselves


#26 Sean2

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

We never stop at the turn. We just keep going. It's never been a problem.
Hey...be nice.

#27 avgjoe

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

View Postg8tor20, on 02 January 2013 - 03:18 PM, said:

View Postavgjoe, on 02 January 2013 - 03:14 PM, said:

it's often dictated by the group ahead.  if they are backed up on 10, sure, stop.  but if there is a gap, if you were behind/being slow, get back in position... don't stop.  slow play might not bother you, but it annoys a lot of people.  you might have been able to catch up in a couple of holes, but meanwhile everyone else behind got slowed down as well


So I have to base my food intake abilities on whether the group in front of me stopped?  Come on.  The course is jammed packed and we all will get slammed back together within 10 minutes and we can go back to the routine of waiting 5 minutes for each shot.  I don't think this affects anyone on final round time



read more than the first sentence... if there is a gap, don't stop and slow things down even more for everyone else behind you.  polite and classy works both ways

#28 Kaysquare

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

I think anyone taking more than ten minutes max at the turn to do "whatever" should expect to let the group behind them play through......and it shouldn't be negotiable.

#29 g8tor20

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

View Postavgjoe, on 02 January 2013 - 03:27 PM, said:

View Postg8tor20, on 02 January 2013 - 03:18 PM, said:

View Postavgjoe, on 02 January 2013 - 03:14 PM, said:

it's often dictated by the group ahead.  if they are backed up on 10, sure, stop.  but if there is a gap, if you were behind/being slow, get back in position... don't stop.  slow play might not bother you, but it annoys a lot of people.  you might have been able to catch up in a couple of holes, but meanwhile everyone else behind got slowed down as well


So I have to base my food intake abilities on whether the group in front of me stopped?  Come on.  The course is jammed packed and we all will get slammed back together within 10 minutes and we can go back to the routine of waiting 5 minutes for each shot.  I don't think this affects anyone on final round time



read more than the first sentence... if there is a gap, don't stop and slow things down even more for everyone else behind you.  polite and classy works both ways

Again...I don't see how having a gap influences my decision to eat or not.  I'll gladly let the group behind to play through.  I just don't feel like i have to wait 2 hours to get back on as someone mentioned.

That's why I posted this question.  I wanted to see different responses and thank everyone who has responded.

#30 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

View Postg8tor20, on 02 January 2013 - 03:26 PM, said:

Is it a bad assumption that if the course has a halfway house with food that stopping is allowable and should be assumed by all golfers?

I know when I play, I always let the folks in front stop if they want.  I have always assumed its part of the day of golf.  Guess some just want to speed through and think of only themselves

At most such courses I've seen, it's a pretty good assumption that most groups will stop for something to eat and drink. The bad assumption is that anyone who isn't stopping will wait instead of proceeding directly to the 10th tee.

That way everyone wins and nobody is imposing upon others their own version of just what constitutes a "day of golf". If your day includes a meal, that's probably the normative expectation. But it's not universal and it does you no harm to let them play golf without waiting.


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