You just don’t hop on a golf course and start teeing off. There’s golf course etiquette every golfer should observe. Here’s a comprehensive guide.
Do you want to learn about the dos and don’ts of joining a golf game?
In 2019, golf was one of the most strongest-growing pastimes in the US. Over 107 million Americans people played, watched, or read about golf last year. Thus, it’s not surprising that many young people are getting interested in trying the sport.
Like other sports, golf has a set of rules and game etiquette unique to it. If you want to learn about the various golf course etiquette, keep reading!
1. What to Do When You Arrive
If it’s your first time to see the golf course and the caddies, it’s always a good idea to know about some of the basic golf rules for beginners. Remember that the system is there for a reason. That reason is to help you learn from and enjoy the game as much as you can while giving others that same chance.
For example, if caddies are available, let them help you out in the game. The young people joining the caddie programs use it to earn money. Caddies also join to get exposed to the sport so that they learn from the players as well as enjoy it more.
Show your caddie the same respect you want to receive in return. Be open to the hints and other information your caddie gives you. If you’re only starting to learn the sport, don’t be afraid to talk to your caddie about things you’re unclear with.
2. Warm-Up Etiquette
While golf isn’t a contest of physical strength, like all other sports, you need to warm up too. As part of the golf course etiquette for warming up, you want to arrive with enough time to limber up. However, don’t mistake golf as a sport that needs intense warm-up exercises.
The warm-up exercises in golf often focus on your swings. Start with the short irons in your bag to the mid- and long irons. After that, practice your swings with the woods.
As you come to a finish with your warm-ups, try hitting a few wedge shots. You can also head to the practice green and hit a few putts. Don’t make the mistake of hitting a hundred balls while you’re still on the practice tee.
You want to leave your game for the actual game. Remember, it’s only a warm-up for your game.
3. Golf Course Etiquette for the First Tee
Before you begin the game, you want to know if any local rules apply. To see if it does, check the scorecard. Local rules apply to only this golf course or another specific course you’re playing.
You also want to make sure your ball is identifiable among the balls of the other players. Place an identifying mark on your ball to make sure you know which it is. You also need to inform the other players of the type and number ball you’ll play.
Don’t agree to a match until everyone voices out their agreement regarding the stakes. Make them clear and make sure everyone understands the stakes. It’s only right to ask for others’ consent rather than make a decision by the majority that’ll affect them even if they don’t agree with it.
Remember, it’s acceptable for you to take your time. However, you don’t want to use an entire minute to select your club until you hit your shot. You don’t need to rush, but you also need to avoid a slow pace of play.
4. Being on the Course
The golf course is vast, and you need to imagine lines connecting the ball to the hole. Respect those imaginary lines, which are the putting lines. Don’t step on the putting lines of other players, even when you’re tending to the flagstick.
If you’re holding up the flagstick, hold it at an arm’s length. If your shadow is visible, make sure it doesn’t fall across the hole or a line. Often, the player closest to the hole will tend to the flagstick.
Do you prefer to lay the flagstick down? If you do, make sure to prevent damaging the green.
While you wait for a player to make his shot, be quiet and still. In playing golf, you want to do your best impression of a statue while someone is playing a shot nearby.
Volunteer to mark your ball if it’s on a player’s line. You also need to mark your ball if it isn’t the furthest from the cup. You can use a penny or a plastic marker for this.
If you’re done teeing, wait until the last person finishes teeing as well. It’s very rude to leave the teeing area while someone else is playing a shot. It’s also very important to keep comments about bad shots to yourself unless you’re playing with fun mates.
5. Etiquette for Maintaining the Course
As much as you can, avoid walking on the steep face of a bunker. If you must enter a bunker, leave no trace behind. Bring a rake with you to rake the area with after you’re done shooting the ball.
Before you take your shot, leave the rake in or nearby the bunker and off the green. It’s also basic golf etiquette to fix your pitch marks as soon as possible. Thus, you need to keep a pitch mark repairer or tee peg in your pocket to fix the green.
As a general rule, you must respect the course.
Notice any brown pitch marks and divots that stand out on the green. Those are marks that someone didn’t bother to fix up. Don’t be like them or risk becoming the object of course gossip.
Play and Enjoy Golf
The rules of golf are there to keep you safe and to keep the game interesting. Don’t feel put out if someone reminds you of the rules and try to learn from your mistakes. Be a good sport so everybody gets to enjoy their time playing golf with you.
That covers everything you need to know about golf course etiquette. With that said, we hope you enjoy your games on the course. If you’re a beginner golfer, be sure to check out our other guides as well.