For a new golfer, getting into the game of golf can be intimidating. There are all these unwritten rules, different things you should and shouldn’t do on the course. But getting started shouldn’t intimidate you too much. There are a few key golf etiquette do’s and don’ts that will have you feeling more comfortable being on the course in no time. Here is your golf etiquette cheat sheet:
Respect the rules of the golf course you are playing.
- This ranges from dress code to keeping your cart on the path when instructed.
Be aware of other golfers on the course.
- Yell “Fore,” when your shot is heading toward other golfers.
- Even if your ball probably won’t be near the other golfers, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Leave the course in the same condition that you found it, if not in better.
- Repair ball marks on greens (yours and others), replace divots, and rake the bunkers.
Play at a reasonable pace.
- 9 holes should take between 2 and 2-and-a-half hours (and 4 to 4-and-a-half hours for 18 holes).
- Be ready to hit when it is your turn!
Be quiet while someone is preparing to hit and hitting their shot.
- Don’t open your golf glove, pull a club from your bag, or talk while others are hitting.
Play in the order you discuss with your group.
- If they want to play by honors, let the person who scored the lowest on the previous hole tee off first. Otherwise, play ready golf – whoever is ready to play can do so.
Putt in the appropriate order.
- If you are furthest from the hole, you are the next person to play.
Make sure you are playing the correct ball.
- Check before every shot that the ball you are about to hit is really yours.
Make sure the flag is all the way in the hole before leaving the green.
- Nobody likes hitting to a flag stick that is barely standing upright.
Walk across the line of another player’s putt on the green.
- The line is the green directly between the player’s ball and the hole.
Hold up other players.
- If someone is playing right behind you and there is nobody in front of you, offer to let them play through.
Throw your clubs.
- Everyone hits bad shots. Not only does throwing your clubs make you look bad but it can be dangerous to others in the group (and expensive when the club breaks).
Walk off the green before everybody has finished putting.
- Let everyone finish before heading to the next hole.
Leave your shadow over someone’s ball when they are hitting.
- Be sure to move your shadow before someone hits as it can be quite distracting.
Use your cell phone during the round.
- Make sure your phone is turned off or on silent so it doesn’t disrupt your playing partners and other golfers on the course.
Stand behind someone while they are hitting.
- It is courteous to stand out of the line of vision of other golfers when they are playing their shot.
Spend too much time looking for a lost ball.
- The rules allow up to 5 minutes to look for a missing ball but be aware of other groups on the golf course.
Show up late.
- Make sure you are ready to play when it is your tee time.
Drive the golf cart wildly.
- Everyone is tempted to. Don’t do it.
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