Preparing to play golf

Golf is a sport that challenges both mind and body. If you want to play at your best, then it’s vital that you should prepare properly. As the great Arnold Palmer once said:

“Success in this game depends less on strength of body than strength of mind and character.”

When we consider the preparations needed prior to a round of golf, or entry into a tournament, we generally like to focus on a number of core areas:

  1. Preparing your body
  2. Getting the mental approach right
  3. Ensuring that you have the right equipment
  4. Understanding the rules

We’re going to take each of these elements in turn, starting with the importance of preparing your body.

Preparing the body

One of the attractions of golf is that it can be played at a slower pace than some other sports. This means that it’s a game that’s open to a wider range of ages and abilities. But, as you may already have noticed, this doesn’t mean that there is no physical exertion involved.

While it can be tempting to jump in the gulf buggy between holes, you’ll find that you benefit more from taking a walk: it helps to maintain your fitness levels and keep joints loose. Prior to playing, you’ll want to ensure that your general levels of fitness are appropriate. Although we are separately dealing with the physical and mental challenges of the game, you’ll be amazed by how much one impacts upon the other. If you look good and feel healthy, then it’s likely that you’ll take a more positive mental approach too.

Fortunately, your exercise regime needn’t be too extreme. Something as simple as hopping on to a treadmill every few days can assist with ensuring that you’re ready to play. If you don’t like the thought of heading to the gym, then you can always choose to use a home treadmill. Shop Farinellis treadmill reviews provide a good starting point, allowing you to see exactly what’s on the market.

Train to succeed in golf

One of the key advantages of using a treadmill is that helps to get you into a regular pattern of exercise. You can start at a fairly simple level and then move on up through the programs, if you feel the need to face a tougher challenge. Of course, if the weather allows, then getting out and walking (or even jogging) can have a similar impact. Better Health Channel explains the benefits of walking in more detail.

Keeping in a good physical state will ensure that you are ready for the game, but you should also do a proper warm-up prior to play. The golf swing places some strain on your muscles and overall physique, so it’s important that you get your muscles ready for the challenge ahead. There are a number of golf warm-up regimes available online, which provide a good starting point.

Getting the mental approach right

Assuming that you are fit and ready to go, how about the mental approach? Firstly, it’s so important to try and free your mind of distractions. If you arrive for your round at the last minute, distracted by thoughts of work or home, then it’s unlikely that you’ll play at your best.

Of course, one of the reasons why you may be playing golf in the first place is through a desire to escape from the daily grind.

A great approach that many golfers (both amateur and professional) find works for them is to visualize success. So, in the final hour before your round, you should start to imagine yourself playing the ideal tee shot from the first tee. Think about your perfect swim, ideal contact with the ball and hitting the middle of that fairway. Visualizing success is something that has been shown to work in a number of realms, from business to sports. If you get your mindset right, then you’ll put yourself into a better position to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Ensuring that you have the right equipment

Dressing for golf is all about looking your best, right? Well, partly. Most clubs will have dress codes in place that cover both the course and the clubhouse, so it’s obviously important to wear the right clothes for the club. You may well also want to look great, setting a stylish trend.

But, when it comes to clothes and footwear, you shouldn’t overlook the priority here: you need to be comfortable, in order to ensure the best level of performance. This means choosing shoes, for example, that are both practical and comfortable. If they happen to look great too, then that’s all the better.

What about your clubs? These are surely the most important pieces of equipment. Golfweek published an excellent article on how to go about choosing golf clubs and that’s well worth a read. Essentially, you need clubs that work well for you. This won’t necessarily mean spending huge sums on the best-known brand of golf clubs that you can find. Instead, focus on clubs that will suit your game and always take the time to try them out.

You might already be thinking about buying clubs online (which can allow you to save money). Even if you are determined to do so, you really must find a local store that allows you to try out your intended purchases first. Getting the right clubs can transform your game for the better, but poorly suited clubs can make life difficult for you.

Understanding the rules

It’s likely that you already have an understanding of the laws of the game. If you need a refresher, then check out the R&A website for details.

You also need to be aware, however, of any local variations. Be clear on the setup and don’t be embarrassed by a lack of knowledge.

By following the advice given above, you can put yourself in a great position to succeed. Whether that means reaching your goals in a friendly round, or seeking to excel in tournament play, you’ll gain the satisfaction of knowing that you will have done your best.

Top 10 Golf Courses In the US 2018

What Are The Top 10 Golf Courses in the US

If you are a fan of playing golf, and you will be traveling across the United States, you might wonder where some of the best golf courses are. You have probably heard of several famous golf courses including the Pine Valley Golf Club, or Merion Golf Club, but there are many others that are better than these.

If you have several weeks to travel around, and your goal is to play the top golf courses in the United States, here is a list of the top 10 golf courses that you should visit and play during your travels. You may not be able to play on all of them because some are very exclusive, but at least you will know which ones are considered to be the best. Let’s begin with a golf club that has not one but two of the best golf courses in New York, one of which was considered by many to be one of the top 10 golf courses in the United States.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

When people start learning about golf when they are younger, the name Pebble Beach often comes up. It is considered to be either the top golf course in the world or the top three on virtually every list. It is located in Pebble Beach in the state of California; just a stone’s throw away from Cypress Point Club.

This is a golf course that is known for its incredible aesthetics, beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and Carmel Bay. This golf course started back in 1919 and is a total of 18 holes. It has hosted a multitude of different tournaments including the U.S. Open, the PGA championship, and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It has the highest green fees in the world, coming in at $495.

It is a public golf course, unlike many of the others that have been presented. There are additional golf courses that are part of this coastal community, and to the Pebble Beach Company which owns all of them. This includes other famous courses including Del Monte Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay, and the world-famous Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Pebble Beach has a par of 72, a slope rating of 138, and a high course rating of just under 78. If you get a chance to play this golf course, it might very well be the best experience you ever have if you love the game of golf. There is just one more golf course on this list, one that is considered by many to be the best in the world.

Winged Foot Golf Club

This is a 36 hole golf course. It is located in a unique town of about 30,000 people called Mamaroneck, New York. This golf course consists of two separate 18-hole golf courses designed by Tillinghast, an architect that has done many other golf courses nationwide. The East Course is a par 72, measuring 6750 yards, with a slope of 141 and a course rating of nearly 74.

The West Course, which was ranked eighth in the United States at one point by Golf Digest, is a par 72 course that is about 7300 yards. If you can get an invitation, you will be able to play on these two beautiful golf courses. The next golf course that you visit is less than 100 miles away, taking you south, and then east, on Long Island. You will know that you have arrived when you drive into Southhampton, one of the best areas in New York State.

National Golf Links Of America

This is another private golf course, located in Southhampton in the state of New York. It has hosted amateur competitions but has not been part of a major championship to date. Designed by Charles MacDonald, this links-style golf course on Long Island is considered to be one of the most exclusive golf courses in the US. It has been open since the early 1900s and has names for many of the holes including Sarah, St. Andrews, and Eden.

It is a challenging golf course, one that was designed to mimic golf courses that can be found in the British Isles. National Golf Links Of America is a par 72 course, with a slope rating of 141 and a course rating of just under 76. The next golf course will take you across the country to the beautiful state of Oregon to another golf course that is relatively new in comparison to all of the others.

Pacific Dunes Golf Course

This golf course is located on the other side of the United States, almost directly opposite the previous two. It is located in a band and, Oregon, and is a golf course that is relatively new. It opened just after the turn of the millennium, a golf course designed by Tom Doak. It has a slope rating of 142, and a course rating of just over 72, and has hosted amateur championships in the past.

Located right on the Pacific Ocean, it is positioned like many of the most famous golf courses in the world. Its proximity to the water, and this beautiful region of southern Oregon makes this one of the best golf courses you could ever play. If you are planning your trip, you can go to the website where they will give you information about the golf course, lodging options, and different restaurants in the area. They even have an online store where you can purchase golf equipment and clothing that is related to this beautiful golf destination in Oregon. To get to your next golf course, you are going to have to fly back over to the East Coast, but not to New York. You are going to head to the coast of Florida right on the Atlantic Ocean.

Seminole Golf Course

Heading back over to the East Coast, you can travel into the state of Florida to experience the Seminole Golf Course. Located in Juno Beach, just south of Jupiter Florida, is positioned near many of the best golf courses in the state. Designed back in 1962 by an individual called Donald Ross, it is a challenging course with a par of 73. It has a slope rating of 131 and a course rating of just over 74, and it will impress because of its location and how challenging the golf course is. This is a favorite with many people that are in Florida and might become one of yours. You will now need to head back up the East Coast, heading into New York State again, to see one of the best golf courses on this side of the US. By the way, there are two golf courses in Florida that use a similar name. This one is in southern Florida, whereas the other is located in the capital of Florida up in Tallahassee. From this location near all of the popular beaches on the East Coast of Florida, you are going to head north up into New York again on beautiful Long Island.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Located in Southhampton, this golf course is hosted the US Open a total of four times. In 2018, it will host this event once again. This is one of the older golf courses, founded in the 1890s, and is the oldest golf course that is incorporated. It is also known as one of the few golf courses at this period that also allowed women to play. They were granted full membership, something that was unheard of long ago, a practice that is still in effect today. It has a par of 70, slope rating of 138, and is just with a course rating of 74. It is one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association and is an excellent place to play golf. Despite the incredible history of this golf course, it may not be the one that you like the most if you are lucky enough to play. The next golf course might impress you even more. To get there, you need to head up to the state of Pennsylvania.

Oakmont Country Club

Although this is one of the best golf courses in the United States, it is located in a suburb of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. It is an older golf course, founded in 1903, and was designed by an individual named Henry Fownes. This golf course has also entertained players on the U.S. Open circuit. It has a par of 72, slope rating of 138, and has a very impressive course rating of 78. One of the most challenging aspects of this course are the greens. Some of them pitch away from the grass of the fairway, making this very difficult to land. It has deep bunkers, including the Church Pews bunker, one of the more difficult hazards found on golf courses today. The next golf course will take you to the West Coast in sunny California.

Cypress Point Club

Located in one of the most beautiful cities in California, the Cypress Point Club is located on the Monterey Peninsula. It is not as long as many of the top golf courses, coming in at just 6536 yards. It is simply an 18 hole golf course. It is famous for the 16th hole. This is the famous hole that requires golfers to hit the ball over the Pacific. Designed by a person by the name of Alister Mackenzie, it has been operating since 1928. This is a par of 72 courses, with the slope rating of 136, and a course rating of just over 72. The primary reason that this golf course is so popular is that of its complexity, and also where it is located. In the same way, the next golf course is 2 miles away and is one of the most famous golf courses in the world.

Augusta National Golf Club

Located in the city of Augusta in the state of Georgia, this is a very famous golf course, the place where the Masters Tournament occurs. Unlike Pebble Beach, this is not a public golf course. There are only a few ways that you can play. First of all, you need to be a member which can cost as much as $30,000, and there are also annual dues of about $10,000 a year. By comparison to many of the other golf courses in the United States such as the Pelican Bay Golf Club in Naples, Florida, that costs $100,000 to join and over $11,000 in dues every year, it is quite a bargain. It is also the prestige of being able to play on this golf course which hosts the Masters that motivates people to try to play the course. The other ways that you can play Augusta is to be part of the Masters Invitational, an employee of the golf course, or a college student.

You can also play as a guest of one of the people that has a membership there, and the cost of doing so likely has no charge, but these rates are not disclosed to anyone but current members. Augusta is a par of 72 golf course, with a slope rating of 135 and a course rating of just over 76. If you can find a way to play this incredible golf course, this might impress you more than playing Pebble Beach or Cypress Point. Either way, it would simply be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play the actual golf course that hosts the Masters.

Now that you know what the top 10 golf courses in the United States are, you might want to consider taking a vacation for several weeks to try a few of them out. Some of them are not available to the general public, yet others are accessible if you are a friend of a member, or if you simply pay the green fees if they allow the general public. If golf is something that you enjoy, you now know exactly where to go to experience the best golf courses in the US.

Golf Lessons

Royal Oak’s C.P.G.A. Head professional is BILL WAKEHAM.

Bill was born in Victoria and learned his golf at Uplands and Gorge Vale Golf Club.

He won the B.C. Junior and Canadian Jr. at age 16. After winning the B.C. Amateur twice, Bill turned professional in 1964. He went on the Canadian tour where he won the Ontario Open, 2 B.C. Opens, Washington State and Northwest Opens. He played the U.S. Tour in 1969. Bill joined the staff at Royal Oak in 1999.

Golf Lessons (one student)

1 student 1/2 hour lesson-$45
3 1/2 lessons-$135
2 Students 1 1/2 hour lesson – $40 pp
3 lessons $100 pp


Lesson One (putting and chipping)

Grip, stance, posture, ball position, distance and direction

Lesson Two (pitching)

Alignment, grip, ball position, distance control, posture, what creates a great shot

Lesson Three (irons)

Full swing (different clubs for different distances

Lesson Four (woods)

All major fundamentals


Men’s Night

April – September

Every 3rd Thursday of the month

9 Holes – Dinner & Prizes

Ladies’ Night Out

Monday Nights

April – September

Starting Time 4:30

9 Holes – Dinner & Prizes


Royal Oak Golf Club Specials
The Royal Oak’s Famous Nine ‘N Dine

April 3 – October 15

(golf nine holes then enjoy a choice of one of three delicious dinner entrees)

Steak, Chicken, or Salmon

Available Every Day After 3 PM

ONLY $26.00

Winter Pass

“Golf Every Day”

Royal Oak Golf Club is a very challenging and picturesque nine hole course.

The Royal Oak is just 10 minutes from Victoria and an ideal place to spend an hour and 40 minutes for a fun round of golf.

Royal Oak Golf Club: Course Description

Course Description

Royal Oak Golf Club is a beautiful, and challenging 9 Hole Golf Course with a great location, (10 minutes from the downtown core, 15 minutes from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal). Great golf and great food are only a short drive away.

Comprised of five par 4 holes and four par 3s, Royal Oak caters to all levels of player ability.


To see the professional tips and course layout, click on any hole number

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine


Hole #1

Par 4   White Tee – 324 Red Tee – 296

Hole #1 Map

Hole #1 Photo 1 Hole #1 Photo 2 Hole #1 Photo 3
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  • A straight away par 4 with a generous landing area
  • Water hazard comes into play on the tee shot
  • Fairway narrows to approximately 25 yards wide, and is heavily guarded by 80 foot fir trees on either side.
  • Approach shot is played to a 2 tier green


  • Keep the tee shot back in the fairway as the percentages drop off finding the fairway as you approach the green
  • A shot of 180 yards from the white tee leaves approximately a 150-130 yard approach shot
  • The premium is on accuracy, not length
  • Try to keep the ball below the pin as the green slopes from back to front

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Hole #2

Par 4   Slight Dog Leg Right   White Tee – 324 Red Tee – 258

Hole #2 Map

Hole #2 Photo 1 Hole #2 Photo 2 Hole #2 Photo 3
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  • Royal Oak Golf Club’s signature hole
  • Beautiful par 4, tree-lined down the entire left side (red stake)
  • Two tier fairway with a water hazard on the right lower tier
  • Very quick, subtle green


Option A

  • If you are hitting it well, “let the big dog eat!”
  • A drive of approximately 250 yards will leave a short iron into the hole
  • Be careful as to which side of the hole you leave your approach shot as the green slopes from right to left and can leave a ticklish put if you are above the hole

Option B

  • A mid iron will leave you on the top tier of the fairway and gives you a good look at the green
  • The approach shot is approximately 150-130 yards in

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Hole #3

Par 3   White Tee – 124 Red Tee – 104

Hole #3 Map

Hole #3 Photo 1 Hole #3 Photo 2 Hole #3 Photo 3
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  • The first of the par 3s
  • Playing up to 140 yards this uphill over water hole is Royal Oak’s most challenging par 3
  • The green is narrow, but deep with a swale running through the center of it
  • Out of bounds down the left side, and a steep bank on the right of the green makes club selection of paramount importance


  • It is better to be short of the pin rather than long as it can lead to a ticklish chip

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Hole #4

Par 3   White Tee – 87 Red Tee – 75

Hole #4 Map

Hole #4 Photo 1 Hole #4 Photo 2 Hole #4 Photo 3
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  • Short par 3 to a sloped green with many tricky pin placements
  • a definite birdie opportunity


  • try to keep the ball below the hole as the green slopes from back to front

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Hole #5

Par 3   White Tee -101 Red Tee – 74

Hole #5 Map

Hole #5 Photo 1 Hole #5 Photo 2 Hole #5 Photo 3
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  • Downhhill par 3 to a very small green
  • It is very difficult to keep the ball on the green as it slopes away from you


  • Keep the ball short of the green as there is an out of bounds over the back
  • Try to land the shot as softly as possible, i.e. high with lots of back spin
  • Although quite short, 3 is a good score on this tricky hole

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Hole #6

Par 3   White Tee – 106 Red Tee – 91

Hole #6 Map

Hole #6 Photo 1 Hole #6 Photo 2 Hole #6 Photo 3
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  • downhill shot that is deceptive to the eye in length
  • be careful not to overshoot as there is an out of bounds over the back of the green
  • Two large bunkers and a water hazard guard this green


  • The middle of the green is the best shot as this will set up the best birdie opportunity

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Hole #7

Par 4   Dog Leg Left   White Tee – 287 Red Tee – 231

Hole #7 Map

Hole #7 Photo 1 Hole #7 Photo 2 Hole #7 Photo 3
  • A beautiful par 4 which can be played in two different ways

Option A

  • Safe route to a generous landing area- High percentage play
  • A mid iron leaves wedge, 9 iron into the green

Option B

  • Heroic option – Low percentage play
  • hit driver over two water hazards and 50-60 foot oak trees by cutting the corner
  • Try to hit the green in one shot
  • You need to carry the ball 240-250 yards in the air and very high to clear the trees and hazards
  • The green is narrow in depth, but wide from side to side, making club selection very important

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Hole #8

Par 4   Slight Dog Leg Left   White Tee – 312 Red Tee – 234

Hole #8 Map

Hole #8 Photo 1 Hole #8 Photo 2 Hole #8 Photo 3
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  • A very difficult par 4 as the drive must be played perfectly
  • There is an elevated, narrow landing area guarded by red stake on the left and an out of bounds on the right
  • Green is heavily guarded by red stakes on the left, out of bounds on the right and over the back, as well as a pot bunker on the front right.


  • Aim the tee shot to go directly over the knoll situated in the center of the fairway
  • A drive of no longer than 210 yards is perfect
  • This leaves a short iron into the heavily defended green
  • This is an easy hole to make a big number on as stray shots often end in penalty strokes.
  • 5 is a good score on this tricky par 4

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Hole #9

Par 4   Straight Away   White Tee – 250 Red Tee – 192

Hole #9 Map

Hole #9 Photo 1 Hole #9 Photo 2 Hole #9 Photo 3
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  • This is another two option par 4
  • Out of bounds down the left side with a water hazard directly in front of the green and a bunker behind the green to catch over shots

Option A

  • High Percentage Play
  • Short to mid iron to landing area, wedge, 9 iron onto green.

Option B

  • Heroic Play
  • A drive of approximately 230 yards to carry the water hazard
  • This hole has a small green which is hard to hold with your driver
  • If you take the risk and execute this shot the reward is great with a possible eagle or at least a birdie

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Other Features

Royal Oak offers a putting green on which to fine tune your putting stroke, as well as a hitting net to loosen up with before the round.

Our golf course is maintained with mother nature in mind. Deer, hawks, migratory eagles, otter, mink and numberous songbirds inhabit the course.

As many of the birds nest near our pond edges, we ask our members and guest to respect these animals by not disturbing them when looking for golf balls.

Advantages to playing Royal Oak:

  1. Challenging layout
  2. Affordable
  3. Quick playing time – 1 hour 40 minutes (you do not have to tie up the whole day)
  4. Full service facility i.e. fully stocked pro shop, CPGA certified teaching professional, 7 day a week restaurant and food and beverage department
  5. Beautiful and relaxing location only minutes from downtown or the ferries/airport
  6. Brand new hotel (Howard Johnson) only a stone’s throw away. Optimum in quality, service and convenience
  7. Friendly, fast and efficient service
Course Information
April 1, 2006 – October 31, 2006
Location 10 Minutes From Downtown Victoria
Next Door to the Commonwealth Pool
540 Marsett Place, Victoria
PAR PAR 32 Course
Holes 9 Hole Course
Length 1915 Yards
Course Description Five Par 4’s and Four Par 3’s
Water On 5 Holes


Pro Shop Hours 7:30 a.m. – 1.5 hour before dark
Booking Tee Times Public – 2 days in advance
Members – 4 days in advance
Pro Shop Info Fully stocked, Excellent Variety of Merchandise

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Greens and Fairways Information


  • Annual bluegrass, bentgrass mix
  • Average stimp meter reading of 8.5-9.0 in peak season
  • Royal Oak’s greens are not heavily undulated, but very subtle and somewhat tricky.

Tees & Fairways

  • Cut at 5/8 inch
  • A mix of annual bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and bentgrass.


  • Maintained at 1 1/2 to 2 inches
  • A blend of annual bluegrass, native grasses, and fescues

2006 Tournament Package

Welcome to the Royal Oak Golf Club where our service makes your golf tournament an enjoyable experience.

The Royal Oak Golf Club offers an exciting and picturesque nine-hole course. The atmosphere is relaxed, fun and friendly throughout our unique clubhouse where you may enjoy a fine restaurant, relaxing licensed lounge, barbecue, patio area and private meeting facilities.

The ROYAL OAK is just 10 minutes from downtown Victoria and is the ideal location to cater your banquet, meeting, special event, celebration and GOLF TOURNAMENT

Tournaments booked with us receive a 15% discount on any regular-priced merchandise for sale in the fully-stocked Pro Shop. This is a convenient place to purchase prizes for your post-game presentation.

This package is designed to assist you in organizing your group’s event. To reserve the date and time preferred, please complete and return the tournament request form included in this package at your earliest convenience.

We thank you for your interest and we look forward to hosting event.

If you have any questions, please call, fax or email

Telephone: (250) 658-1433/658-4330   Fax: (250) 658-4220



Tournament Requirements

A minimum of 16 players is required

Please present payment to the Pro Shop before play begins

A non-refundable deposit of two hundred dollars ($200) is required to book the date and time.

Your tournament coordinator must collect fees from each individual and a final group total has to be given to the proshop 48 hours prior to the event.(This will be the number of participants you will be billed for.)

All players are to be made aware of course rules and regulations. These are listed on the back of each scorecard.

Each player must check in with the pro shop at least 15 minutes before scheduled tee off time.

Shot Gun start tournaments require a minimum of 60 players and an early morning start time.

Slow play will not be tolerated.

Course Etiquette

  • Players must abide by the rules listed on the back of the scorecard.
  • Proper golf footwear (golf or running shoes) is required (soft spikes are recommended)
  • Shorts and jeans in good condition are permitted
  • Tank tops, short shorts and bathing suits are not permitted.
  • Powercarts and pullcarts are not allowed wthin 30 feet of teeing ground and greens.
  • Maintenance staff has the right of way
  • Please replace divots and repair ballmarks.
  • Golfers are liable for any damage to property on and adjacent to the course.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the course unless purchased at the clubhouse. Other food and drink items must be approved by the food & beverage department 48 hours before the tournament
  • No back packs or coolers are to be brought to the golf course
  • We suggest a scramble format for novice golfers
  • Golfers are reminded that they play at their own risk

Please Note: The Marshall reserves the right to restrict play or request that a patron cease play for any violation.