Proper golf etiquette is very important to not only promote the integrity of the game, but also relates to pace of play, safety concerns, honoring the golf course and honoring your playing partners.

Most new golfers struggle with proper golf etiquette and have to learn it over time.

However, here are some basic golf etiquette rules to incorporate into your overall golf strategy.

Golf Basics – Golf Etiquette and Safety

  • Only swing your club until when others in the group in front of you are at a safe distance away and out of your range. When in doubt, wait. Hitting into another golf group is considered dangerous and extremely bad golf etiquette. Also be mindful of where members of your golf group are standing in relation to your golf swing.
  • If your ball appears headed toward another player or group, warn them by yelling, “Fore!”
  • Drive your golf cart safely especially in crowded areas.

Golf Basics – Golf Etiquette and Pace of Play

  • Always be prepared to hit your shot when it is your turn.
  • The player with the lowest score at the previous hole tees off first at the next hole or simply by decision by the group.
  • If pace of play is unbearably slow in your group, explore playing “ready golf” where each player hits his or her ball when ready. But caution should be used with this approach to ensure that your playing partners do not hit into each other.
  • Do not spend too much time looking for a lost ball, particularly if there is a group behind you ready to play. Remember, USGA Rules allows for five minutes to look for lost balls.
  • Always try to keep pace with the group ahead of you. If significant space opens in front of you, allow a faster group to play through.
  • When walking from your cart to your ball, take a couple clubs with you. Taking only one club, then returning to the cart to retrieve a different club, can waste a significant amount of time.

Golf Basics – Golf Etiquette and Honoring the Golf Course

  • Observe cart golf rules (no carts, 90 degree rule, etc.)
  • Keep carts away from greens and hazards.
  • Repair your divots in the fairway and ball marks on the putting green.
  • Rake sand bunkers after hitting
  • Avoid taking a divot on a practice swing.

Golf Basics – Golf Etiquette and Honoring Your Fellow Players

  • Never talk during another player’s swing.
  • Do not yell out following a golf shot. Even if obnoxious behavior doesn’t bother your partners, there are other people on the course who may be within earshot.
  • Be aware of your shadow on the putting green. Don’t stand in a place that causes your shadow to be cast across a player’s putting line.
  • Never walk through a playing partner’s putting line as your footprints might alter the path of a partner’s putt. Step over the putting line or walk around the partner’s ball.
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