Rules shouldn’t be frowned upon.
They help to make a game fair for everyone, and ensure all players know what’s expected of them. A huge aspect of golf is how people present themselves in their appearance and attitude. Keep with the theme of the game by wearing appropriate attire and following golf etiquette to respect the history of the game.
Important Rules of Golf Etiquette You Should Follow
Poor golf etiquette is the most complained about aspect of golf. Behaving irresponsibly and disrespectfully towards other players doesn’t express yourself in a positive light. Rather than make a fool of yourself on the tee, we’re sharing the most important do’s and don’t’s when playing and maneuvering around the course. Not all of these are so obvious, so it’s important to review them before playing on the course with others.
1. Know These Brief Golf Do’s and Don’ts
Before we go into detail about the main golf etiquette points, here are some important do’s and don’ts. Golf’s unwritten rules can be confusing and subjective, but here are a few rules to follow.
- Leave the course as you found it. Repair any ball marks on the green, rake the bunkers and replace divots.
- Be quiet and patient when others are taking their shot. Leave your phone at home. Don’t mess with your golf glove or bag as it will make noise and can distract other players.
- Play in the order you previously discussed with your group. If you want to play by honors, inform the person who scored the lowest on the previous hole tee.
- Ensure you check before every shot that you’re hitting the right ball. Mistakes can’t always be forgiven.
- Allow other players to finish their shot before leaving the green. It’s disrespectful to begin walking to the next hole as someone is taking their shot.
- Be conscious of your shadow on someone else’s ball. Are you standing in someone’s light? If so, move out of their way and sight so they can concentrate. Putting off another player is poor golf etiquette with severe consequences.
- You only have five minutes to search for a loss ball. Any additional time implies that you’re wasting valuable time.
2. Avoid Playing The Game Slow
Playing your shot unnecessarily slow is poor golf etiquette as it puts a delay on the game. This also ruins the energy and fun by dramatically reducing the pace of the game. Golfers are typically allowed between 40 and 60 seconds to play a shot, depending on the order of the holes they hit. Taking any longer than this time limit will result in a one-shot penalty.
3. Chatting on the Green When Other Golfers Are Playing Is Forbidden
Chatting on the green whilst other players are taking their shot isn’t allowed. No matter the conversation, this can be very distracting for golfers. Good golf etiquette requires respecting everyone else in the game. Avoid idly chatting on the green and take your conversation somewhere else if you’re not playing.
4. Don’t Take Multiple Practice Swings on The Tee
As a beginner golfer, you’ll likely take practice swings before hitting the ball. As you develop your skills over time, you’ll fall into a routine and require less practice shots. However, serious players consider their stance, grip and angle to judge hitting the ball, without moving the club. If every player on the tee did practice swings, it’d create a slow game which would be in accordance to the first rule.
5. Leave Your Phone at Home
Talking on the phone is very distracting for golfers. Therefore, it’s good golf etiquette to leave them at home – including beepers and any other noisy device you have. You’re technically allowed them on the tee. However, it can be easy to forget to switch it on silent, resulting in a major distraction for other players. Why not take time away from the screen and enjoy the beautiful outdoors? Leave work at home.
6. Only Shout “Fore” When It’s Necessary
If you’re a beginner or regularly play golf, you might have heard the term “fore” shouted on the tee a few times. This acts as a warning to watchers and other golfers that a ball is heading towards them. Others can then duck to avoid being hit by the ball. If you feel others are in danger of the ball, shout to warn others. Only use when necessary and not as a golfer is taking a shot.
7. Fairly Deciding Who Starts
In a friendly game, you can decide amongst yourself who starts. If ladies are a part of a mixed gender group, you should always ask them to play first. However, in serious plays, golfers will draw straws or flip a coin or tee. You may wish to proceed with this more serious style of deciding. However, good golf etiquette means that you don’t create an argument with the final decision.
8. Wait For Autographs After The Game
It’s rude and inconsiderate to ask golfers for their autograph whilst they’re in the middle of a game. It’s good golf etiquette to allow golfers to have their chance to play and relax. Any distraction or diversion from their focus is frowned upon. Use personal judgement to decide when the right time is. For example, not when a player has just finished or is having a drink after a long-winded game. Many organizations, such as the PGA or the LPGA, allow you to write to them for signed autographs.
9. Remain Calm and Collected
More than anything, golf should be fun for everyone involved. Players can become competitive – especially in the professional field – which isn’t necessarily a bad quality. On the other hand, if you become agitated, frustrated and create a scene, you’ll be asked to leave. Don’t let a bad swing put you off the game and change people’s opinions of you.
We also recommend remaining professional when playing, and not saying any rude remarks if other players perform poorly. For example, if your opponent misses a shot, you’ll likely be happy about it. But don’t celebrate aloud as that displays a bad sense of character in yourself.
10. Be Considerate With The Golf Cart
If you’re navigating the cart on the course, don’t play games by creeping up behind the player. Park alongside the golfer at a respectable distance which won’t cause any distractions for them. Whether you choose to use your own car or rent one, ensure your belongings are stable inside to not distracting other players. You might not think it’s your responsibility, but it’s good golf etiquette to check the cart wheels before leaving the shop. Is it in good shape? Is there an annoying squeak? Do the wheels look loose? If you don’t perform these checks before leaving the shop, the responsibility lies on you on the tee.
11. Never Hurl Your Club
The most competitive people easily get upset when a game of golf doesn’t go their way. However, you can’t allow a bad temper to affect your golf etiquette. Flinging your club can seriously hurt someone, as well as give you penalty points. You’re held responsible if you accidentally throw the club when taking a shot. Keep a strong grip and wear golf gloves if it makes you feel more comfortable and supported.
What Other Golf Etiquette Rules Do You Know?
Golf is a fun sport which should be taken seriously. As with other games, poor etiquette during can ruin the experience for other players. We hope the above 11 tips helped to clear up any confusion. The main things to consider are being a respectful player and remaining away of others and your surroundings.
What other rules do you know which aren’t listed here? Let us know your knowledge in the comments to share with others.
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