Course Permission - The Licence to play Golf

Basically “the licence to play golf courses” or “course permission” aims to make a golf-newcomer to an officially accepted golf player who proved that he is rule-consistent in playing golf. For the most private golf courses the special licence is used as an access requirement to become member of the golfclub. To obtain it, a lot of golf clubs offer classes followed by a final test.

“Course Permission” Valid for Germany, Austria and Swtzerland

In German the licence is called “Platzreife” or “Platzerlaubnis” and all in all it is applicable for the most German-speaking areas like Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In addition it is also valid for Luxemburg and a few other countries. But many european countries provide similar systems. On the other hand for instance in the USA, nothing like that exists, their strategy is to hire payed Marshalls whose exercise it is to relegate disturbing players.

Traditional Route to the Course Permission

A golf-beginner normally gains experience at first classes or in private lessons. Thus in fact he is never alone at the golf course, but always escorted by an experienced golfer or golf teacher.Afterwards the newcomer takes part in an course permission class and there gets in shape for the practical and theoretical parts of the final test as well as the “etiquette” of golfing.

According to the trained skills, there will be a final test which requests practical and theoretical golf-knowledge.

Standardised “Licence to play Golf Courses” of the German Golf Club

In previous times every golf club had his own course permission conditions, but other golf clubs were not forced to accept the passed test. That made it difficult for golfers to play on another golf course than their “home-club”.

That’s the reason why the national German Golf Club (“Deutscher Golf Verband”,DGV) invented 2006 the so called “DGV-Platzreife” in Germany. That is a normalized licence to play golf courses which should ensure the equal standard on national level and simplify the acceptance of the course permission in other golfclubs.

The Examination of the Course Permission

In principle the test is structured in two parts: One for theoretical, one for practical know-how. Therefore it is often compared with the driving licence. In the first instance there is the practical section. In this part the candidate first needs to prove his behaviour with regard to safety and protection of the golf course. Afterwards he needs to play golf. The candidate plays nine holes with handicap of -54 and his six best holes get graded. The other three holes count as bonus points. With this conditions the examinee needs to achieve twelve Stableford-Netpoints.

In the second step, there is a multiple-choice-test with 30 questions as theoretical part. 15 of the questions are about rules in golfsports, twelve of the rest ask about the “etiquette” of golfing and the which are left are questions about golf in general. To pass the test a golfer is only allowed to have six mistakes in total. With regard to the golf rules there are just four mistakes permissable and the other two mistakes can be made in the section the “etiquette”or in general questions part.

Highway to the “Licence to play Golf Courses”

Because of the fast pace in the present time some golfclubs have the special offer to get the course permission in three or five days. Sometimes golf newcomers even do that in their holidays. As a tip one should inform oneself exactly before doing it, under what conditions you can get the licence to play golf courses there, because sometimes surprisingly high costs or bad education are part of the package of the tempting offer.

Test passed – Benefits of the “Licence to play Golf Courses”

After the positive conclusion of the course permission one receives a “golfer’s certification” – an important legitimation to be allowed to become member on private golfclubs who accept the DGV-licence in Austria, Switzerland and Germany and thereby have the permission to play golf on their golf course. In those countries it is reglemented that if a golfer obtains the licence to play golf courses and becomes afterwards member of a golf club he achieved having a handicap of -54 which will be noted in his membership card. In addition a golf player who has a course permission in combination with a membership in a golfclub also profits of a “DGV-Ausweis”.

Examination failed: The Quickgame Card

If a golf player did not pass the test for the licence, but is still a fast and save golfer, he can receive a so-called “QuikGame Card” after the classes from his golf-teacher. With this card, the golfer can play at many golf courses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well. If the golf player passed one part of the test he has the possibility to only retry the failed part within one year. Afterwards the passed section expires. For the failed test the golf player can only raise an objection on the day of the test at the responsible golf-teacher.