Golf Etiquette for New Golfers

Golf Etiquette

Etiquette is an important aspect of golf.

For new players, the pressure of learning the intricacies of the sport can seem daunting and stressful. There is no formal rule book that outlines golf etiquette, yet most golfers expect everyone on a course to understand the main principles.

There are many different points, but the basic principle is to be considerate of others. Nonetheless, we have created this short list of golf etiquette basics for new golfers!

1. Arrival at the Course

Golf etiquette begins the moment you set foot on a golf course. There are many small things to be mindful of when you arrive, but here are a few main points

  • Show Up On Time

If you have scheduled a designated tee time, it is expected to arrive at least thirty minutes beforehand. Be sure to check in with either the starter or the golf shop. 

  • Check for Local Rules

Certain courses will have local rules. Many of these rules can be found by reading the back of the scorecard. If you are unsure, feel free to ask the starter or golf shop.

  • Record Golf Ball

Before you tee off, be sure to take note of what golf ball you are using. If multiple people in your group are playing the same ball, be sure to mark or distinguish yours to avoid potential confusion.  

2. Speed of Play

Being considerate of other people’s time is one of the most important aspects of golf. This is readily apparent by the importance of monitoring how fast you are playing.

  • Allow Faster Groups to Play Through

If you find that the group behind you is constantly waiting on you, then allow them to “play through” at the end of a hole. This is a commonly known principle and you can reasonably expect other groups to give the same accommodation to you. 

  • Plan Shots Beforehand 

In order to save time, be sure to plan your next shot as you are walking up. Which club will you use? Where should you aim? Answering these questions saves time and allows more people to enjoy the course. 

  • Maintain Pace of Play

Overall try to keep the pace of play. Being unreasonably slow or uncooperative hinders other players and the golf course itself. It is important to be mindful and self-aware. 

3. Maintain the Course

Golf courses are exquisitely maintained places that a lot of work goes into. Following basic golf, etiquette can help to maintain and protect courses for others to enjoy. 

  • Repair Divots/Pitch Marks

Repairing divots in the fairway and pitch marks on the green protect the golf course. Helping to maintain the course and repair your damage keeps the golf course nice and fun for other players. 

  • Smooth Bunkers

After using a bunker, be sure to rake and smooth the sand to repair your shot and footmarks. This keeps the course looking nice and the bunkers playing correctly for other golfers. 

  • Drive Carts Respectively

Golf carts should be used respectfully. Do not drive in mud or super wet grass. Never drive on a green. Park your cart behind other golfers and be mindful of noises. 

4. Personal Behavior

Individual behavior and appearance can be important for maintaining the culture of golf. As a golfer, you are representing the entire sport and industry. 

  • Dress Nice

Certain courses can have dress code rules. These are often collared shirts and pants requirements. However, even without a dress code, be mindful that how you are dressed reflects on the golf course itself. Also keep in mind, “look good, feel good, play good”… 

  • Be Kind and Respectful

Being kind and nice is one of the most important aspects of golf. Even if you cannot remember all of these etiquette rules, kindness and respect can cover most of them. Your goal on a golf course is to have fun and not detract from other people’s experiences.

  • Be Honest

Lastly, be honest with yourself. Both on keeping score, but also in how much you know. Ask questions and be observant. There are hundreds of little golf etiquette intricacies and if you are honest and open to learning, you can grasp most of them quickly.

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