Good Golf Etiquette – 9 Rules You Don’t Want To Break

Good Golf Etiquette - 9 Rules You Don't Want To Break

If you’ve been playing golf for a while,  it’s easy to spot poor golf etiquette. New players can be forgiven for making the occasional faux-par (see what I did there!) but when playing with someone who really should know better, it can leave a sour taste. 

I believe that good golf etiquette can have a big impact on how much you enjoy the game, in some cases it can actually make or break a round.

Read on to learn my top 9 tips for being a polite, respectful player.

#1. First Impressions Count

When you arrive at the golf course, the best way to make a good first impression is to dress the part. A well turned-out golfer is smart & tidy. Some golf clubs have a strict dress code… but even if they don’t it’s worth remembering that when you make an effort, it says a lot about how you treat the game.

#2. Don’t Be Tardy

Show that you are respectful of other people’s time by arriving on schedule (or preferably a bit early) for your games and/or lessons. Tee times are strictly enforced for a reason and golfers are required to tee off at the exact time of their allotted tee time, no earlier or no later.

#3. Turn Off Your Phone

It’s basic good manners to turn off, or at least mute, your mobile when playing golf. There is nothing more annoying when setting up for your shot than hearing a phone ring or someone having a loud conversation within earshot. Also, if your phone is on silent, you won’t get distracting notifications coming through.

#4. Be Courteous To Other Players

Consider others around you and try to stand still when your partner is taking their shot. Never walk in someone’s line of play - this is considered sacrilege in golf! Take note of where each player’s ball is and steer clear of the lines to their holes. A respectful silence is also appreciated when others are setting up.

#5. Watch Your Temper

Golf can be frustrating, for sure. Missed putts, landing in the bunker… it’s easy to get annoyed. If you must vent, try to do it in a way that does not offend others. Cussing, blinding & shouting on the course won’t win you any points and it may make your partners less inclined to invite you next time.

#6. Respect The Course

Golf courses are a thing of beauty. Do your part in keeping them that way! Fix up any ball marks & divots as best you can & never leave your empty water bottles or discarded score sheets on the ground. Treat the course the way you treat your own garden - or better!

#7. Don’t Be The Slowest Player

Play “ready golf”; meaning that you think ahead so you’re ready when it’s your turn. Don’t hold up the game unnecessarily with random chit chat or searching for a lost ball for more than 5 minutes. Try to take no more than one practice swing, then set up to the ball and play your shot.

#8. Ghost Your Golf Cart

Try to make your cart invisible & leave no trace it was there. Avoid playing “follow the leader” driving down the middle of the fairways & adhere to golf cart paths when they are provided. Keep carts away from the greens & their surrounds & teeing grounds as well. Drive only where directed & never through wet or damaged areas.

#9. Be Helpful

It’s easy to be nice on the golf course and kindness goes a long way. Help to look for lost balls, watch errant shots and pick up extra clubs left on the fringe. A well placed “nice shot” comment can really make the game more enjoyable for all and remember to smile when you’re having fun. Is that the whole point of the game?

At the end of the day, we play golf for ourselves but that doesn’t mean we have to be selfish. The simple things are often the sweetest and having good etiquette will definitely increase the chances of others wanting to play with you again - even if your scores aren’t the greatest!

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