Example of a Code of Conduct Policy




An example of a Golf Club Code of Conduct Policy and How to Grade the Seriousness of Complaints and Impose Penalties, if A Golf Club Wishes to Do So.

[Golf Club] Code of Conduct [Year]

The [Golf Club] is committed to providing an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment and intimidation for members, employees and guests.

Members, guests and visitors are all reminded that an acceptable standard of behaviour is expected in all areas of the Club and course, at all times and that upon payment of membership or green fees, all members, guests and visitors have given their consent to be bound by both the restrictions and penalties which may be imposed for any breach of the club’s standards or serious misconduct in failing to meet the standards set in this Code of Conduct.

Members will be liable for any breach committed whether by themselves or their guests.

R&A Rule 1.2 – Standards of Player Conduct:

All players are expected to play in The Spirit of the Game

R&A Rule 1.2b – Code of Conduct

The [Golf Club} has adopted the following Code of Conduct as a Local Rule

On the course:

All golfers must:

  • Avoid slow play, apply Ready Golf principles and allow other golfers to play through as appropriate, waving the following group through when searching for lost balls and maintaining the speed of play by keeping up with the group in front
  • Adhere to the dress code and R&A and local rules of the course
  • Demonstrate fair play both on and off the course
  • Always follow established golf etiquette respecting the course, such as:
  • Repairing pitch marks, replacing divots, raking bunkers
  • Showing the necessary respect to fellow golfers at all times, which incorporates; no shouting on the course, no misuse of equipment (i.e. throwing clubs in frustration etc.), no aggressive behaviour, or the taking of performance enhancing
  • Conduct yourself in a sportsmanlike manner and do not knowingly cheat, disrespect employees. Officials or fellow players.
  • Mobile phones must be switched to silent on the golf course

In the clubhouse:

Members, guests and visitors are reminded that:

  • Any form of discrimination, harassment or intimidation is regarded as unacceptable behaviour.
  • Consumption of excessive quantities of alcohol is not permitted by law. Please do not be offended if service is
  • The use of foul or abusive language such as swearing has no place in the clubhouse and any member heard using unacceptable or offensive language will be asked to either stop or leave the premises. Where someone is noticed to be consistently using bad language after being warned then their continued membership will be reviewed accordingly
  • Smoking or the use of e-cigarettes is not permitted within any of the club buildings
  • The taking of illegal substances will incur immediate suspension and loss of membership.
  • The smoking of cigarettes or e-cigarettes is not permitted in the clubhouse
  • Be considerate towards others when using your Mobile phone in the clubhouse

Whilst fully acknowledging that adult “banter” contributes to creating a healthy atmosphere among members, these rules are designed to safeguard others who find such banter offensive or intimidating. This Code of Conduct is not intended to create a bureaucratic, regulatory environment, but rather to promote and enhance our Club’s values.

A person engaging in any behaviour that may be detrimental to the game of golf or [Golf Club] is in breach of the code of conduct and should be reported to the Club Captain.

It is in the best interests of the game that such behaviour is reported, and all players, members and members of the public are encouraged and have a duty to report such behaviour.

Disciplinary Committee

The [Golf Club] will appoint a Disciplinary Committee to oversee the complaints procedure set out in Section 4 and to conduct investigation, hearings and impose penalties within the guidelines in Section 7 as may be deemed necessary.

The Committee will be made up of:

  • Men’s, Women’s and Seniors’ Club Captains
  • A Director/Member of the [Golf Club] Board

The Disciplinary Committee will be responsible for implementing this policy in a fair and impartial manner. The Club Captain will act as Convenor.

Complaints and Protests:

Complaints may be made by any person including a competitor, member, visiting guests, other associated golf club members, and members of the public.

Complaints must be made in the first instance to either the [Golf Club] Management or the Club Captain of the [Golf Club], within 3 working days of the matter occurring. These must be then followed up in writing in an acceptable time-frame.

Once received the Club Captain will determine the offence, and grade it in accordance with Section Grading of Complaints below. The Club Captain will then take the following actions;

  1. If the matter is Grade 1, of a minor nature, the Club Captain will discuss the complaint with the person(s) involved and deal with the complaint by either dismissing the complaint or deal with it by way of the first step in Appendix 2 whereupon the matter will be closed;
  2. If the matter is Grade 1, but the person involved has already had step one of Appendix 2, then the Club Captain will discuss the complaint with the person(s) involved and either dismiss the complaint or deal with it by way of the second step in Appendix 2;
  3. If the matter is a Grade 2 or 3 offences, or involves a Grade 1 suspension or expulsion, the Club Captain will carry out a preliminary investigation and gather all the facts of the complaint as is reasonably available within seven days from the receipt of the Complaint notice. This may include speaking to the accused person and getting a written report from that person. The matter will then be referred to The Disciplinary Committee in accordance with paragraph 6.

The Club Captain will be responsible for keeping all parties involved informed about the complaints process.

Grading of Complaints

All complaints and charges are to be graded 1 to 3 with 1 being the lightest grading and 3 the most serious. This is done by reference to Appendix 1 and the following notes.

The Club Captain is required to determine the grading of the offence. The grading allocated will determine the action to be taken and the potential penalty a player may receive. Therefore, consistency of grading across offences is important and it is a requirement that records are kept supporting the grading process.

On some occasions, the Club Captain may not recommend a grading because of the seriousness of an incident and may automatically refer the charge to the Disciplinary Committee.


There is no penalty under the Rules of Golf for failing to act in this way, except that the Committee may disqualify a player for acting contrary to the spirit of the game if it finds that the player has committed a serious misconduct.

However, in adopting this Code of Conduct as a Local Rule the [Golf Club] may impose the following penalties for player misconduct

If a complaint is upheld by the Disciplinary Committee, it shall give its decision in writing, within 5 days, with reasons for the decision and any penalty imposed.

It would be expected that the Disciplinary Committee will deal severely with proven cases of serious misconduct and in some cases the conduct may constitute a criminal offence in which case the matter should be referred to the Police.

Appendix 1

General examples of grading of complaints of conduct likely to bring the game into disrepute (not an exhaustive list)

Grade 1 Offences

  • Bad language
  • Improper treatment of equipment, including throwing of clubs
  • Use of club other than within the intentions of the game e.g. damaging trees with clubs etc
  • Ill-mannered behaviour
  • Failure to complete a round when representing the club in any sanctioned tournament/inter-club match

Grade 2 Offences

  • Behaviour bringing the club into disrepute
  • Theft of minor items
  • Excessive or offensive bad language
  • Verbal abuse or threatening behaviour to another player
  • Breaking clubs

Grade 3 Offences

  • Any serious misuse of alcohol or drugs on the course or club premises
  • Serious theft
  • Assault of a player, official, member, guest or member of the public
  • Sexual or verbal harassment

Appendix 2

Grade 1 Offence

If no previous offences any one of the following process will be adopted:

  1. Verbal warning with notice on file;
  2. Written warning issued to member;
  3. Penalty of suspension imposed by Disciplinary Committee;

If the next incident is a Grade 2 offence, then that process will override the above.

Grade 2 Offence

If no previous offences any one of the following process will be adopted depending on the seriousness of the offence:

  1. Written warning issued to member;
  2. Penalty of suspension imposed by Disciplinary Committee;
  3. Penalty of expulsion as determined by the Disciplinary Committee

If the offence is considered serious, or there are other recent offences, then a step can be passed at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee.

Grade 3 Offence

Depending on the seriousness of the offence any one of the following actions may be adopted;

  1. Written warning issued to member;
  2. Penalty of suspension imposed by Disciplinary Committee;
  3. Penalty of expulsion as determined by the Disciplinary Committee

Step 1 will only be taken if the offence is of a lesser scale otherwise a penalty of suspension will usually be imposed.

A clean slate policy will apply to any offence after a twelve-month period from date of last penalty.

Disciplinary Committee Functions

The disciplinary committee will meet on an as required basis to perform the following functions:

– Review complaints information notices in relation to grade 1 offences and ensure consistency in application

– Consider all grade 2 and 3 complaints and appeals to a grade 1 penalty

– Where necessary hold investigations, including a hearing into the complaint or appeal

Notice of any hearing of the Disciplinary Committee shall be given, in the case of a complaint, to the person or persons the subject of the complaint and the complainant; and in the case of an appeal, to the persons affected by the appeal and the appellant.

The notice will specify the date time and place of any hearing and will be accompanied by copies of all material relevant to the complaint. The notice will also specify if the hearing is to be attended by written submissions or whether the parties are required to attend in person, with the opportunity to have representation attend also. Hearings will be in private with only the accused and his/her representative and the Disciplinary Committee.

No formal legal representative or counsel shall be entitled to attend, provided that the Disciplinary Committee may receive such legal advice as it deems necessary.

Any participant to the hearing will advise if a conflict of interest could be lodged by any party.

You can download a copy of this example code of conduct by clicking on one of the buttons below.

2 Replies to “Example of a Code of Conduct Policy”

    1. Hi,
      There is, in fact, no set or fixed golf dress code, except in professional golf tournaments, e.g.:
      ‘At all PGA Golf Management tournaments, players shall present themselves with a neat and clean appearance. Shorts or denim are not permitted to be worn by male competitors. Khakis or slacks and collared shirts must be worn by all male players. Female competitors may wear shorts or skirts’.
      A golf club’s dress code is whatever the club decides. Some clubs are happy to have none, others can have some highly complicated regulations. However there is some broad consensus among golf clubs which have chosen to have dress codes as to what is and is not acceptable.
      If you are in any doubt as to what to wear, check with the Golf Club beforehand.
      Many golf courses require golfers to wear particular clothing because this instils a sense of professionalism and respectability. It’s important for players to look their best, so they maintain the reputation of the club.
      If in doubt, wear chinos and a collared shirt. No club is going to object to that. Well not if the shirt is tucked into the trousers anyway, as some clubs have prohibitions on untucked shirts.
      What is acceptable on the course and in the clubhouse can be different, too. If you have ever wondered what a spike bar is, this is a bar that players can go into straight off the course without having to change out of your spiked golf shoes.
      Why Do Golfers Have A Dress Code?
      When you start thinking about playing golf, you’ll come across a lot of new rules.
      Not all of them have to do with how you play golf, your swing, choosing a club, playing a stroke, birdies, pars, or eagles. One of the things many of you may feel concerned about is a dress code.
      Many municipal golf courses don’t have any rules about the way you should dress. However, when it comes to private golf clubs, you can face a dress code. Each club may have its own dress code, but the basic points are usually the same.
      Let’s take a look at a few reasons why some golf clubs are strict about maintaining a dress code.
      A Respect for Tradition
      A dress code is steeped in tradition
      The first games of golf as we know them date back to the 15th century. Although there is evidence that golf may have originated much earlier than that; the game has had several centuries to grow and develop and so have the traditions around it.
      Golf, initially, was played by royalty and the elite. Each game being a special event at which the nobility didn’t just have fun. They used it as an opportunity to discuss important matters and arriving at a golf course inappropriately dressed was absolutely out of the question.
      If you were to arrive at the golf course looking less than impeccable, the consequences could be dire, starting from unpleasant rumours and ending with the dissatisfaction of the king.
      That’s why with time, a certain dress code has emerged, and Golf Clubs and players have continued to ensure that they follow it closely.
      As time has passed, and although the game of golf has turned into an entertaining event accessible to more and more people, players haven’t really wanted to change tradition.
      Comfort and Safety
      If you look at old photographs of golfers, it will seem that the comfort of the players was rarely considered, with time however, it has become more and more important. What may at first appear to be a tribute to tradition is, in fact, a sensible way to add comfort and safety to the players.
      • Golf hat or cap – protects the player from the sun while the visor shields the eyes from direct sunlight to help make a good swing.
      • Collared shirt or polo – a collar is an excellent way to protect your neck from the sunshine and avoid sunburn.
      • Special golf shoes – ensure comfort on the course for hours without slipping or damaging the grass.
      • Slacks, pants, trousers, shorts, skirts – provide freedom of movement, protection from the sunrays and undergrowth and proper ventilation.
      So, even if a club doesn’t demand it, it makes sense to follow the common dress code. Wearing clothing made specifically for playing golf, can make your game comfortable and increase your chances of achieving better results.
      Following the Dress Code
      In the 21st century, following the golf club’s dress code is easier than it may seem. If you wear a collared shirt, trousers, tailored shorts, skirts and golf shoes without metal spikes, you are likely to be accepted at most golf clubs.
      Also bear in mind, that besides following the dress code, you must protect your skin from the sun and also dress appropriately in cold or rainy weather. No matter how strict your club is about the dress code, it’s likely to relax its rules when it comes to rain suits or overcoats.
      A Final Comment
      When you are planning for your next game, consider having a change of clothing with you, especially when there is a threat of inclement weather.
      A day at the golf club may entail a dinner or a cup of coffee inside the building. You don’t want to sit at the table sweaty with your clothes dripping wet or stained by grass. That’s why you should have a change of clothing that suits the club’s dress code.
      No matter how well you know the dress code, it’s important to call the club in advance or visit the website to check the details. Each golf club, especially well-established ones. may have its own dress code nuances, which could become the cause of ruined plans.

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