At most courses, marshals are volunteers who ride in marked golf carts, and their primary value is in their visibility. If golfers know a course has marshals, they are more likely to police themselves. Slow play is a primary concern for marshals, and some courses allow marshals to force slow groups to move up, skipping part or all of a hole in order to speed up play.
If disputes arise between groups of golfers or issues relating to pace of play or etiquette, those groups should seek out a course marshal to mediate.
Golf course marshals have no legal authority; as noted, they are typically volunteers (many golf courses provide free golf to volunteer marshals). However, golfers should follow the requests and instructions of marshals, if a marshal offers such.
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