Beginners Golf Etiquette
Most players are familiar with the rules of golf before beginning a round. However, knowing the rules is one thing but good etiquette on the golf course will not be found in the rule book. As a newcomer to the golf course, it can be an intimidating experience but knowing a few of the basic golf etiquette procedures will get you a long way.
Perhaps the most important thing when playing golf is to arrive at the golf club in plenty of time to start your round. If you have a tee time booked for 10am, it is a mistake to turn up at 9:55am in the hope you will be ready to start on time. There will be other golfers who are waiting to play and they will not want to be held up. So, to make a good impression at the golf club, it is best to turn up at least 30 minutes in advance of your tee time. This will give you chance to prepare in the locker room before heading out for your round.
Another great way to endear yourself to your fellow golfers is by dressing appropriately. This does not mean you need to go out and purchase the most expensive golf clothes and shoes you can find. However, simply making an effort to look smart on the golf course will be appreciated and will earn the respect of your fellow golfers.
During your round of golf, you will expect the course to be in perfect condition. The golfers who are playing behind you will be expecting the same and it is your responsibility to repair pitch marks and rake bunkers. You should always repair the ground you play on whether it be the fairway, greens or bunkers. Ask yourself before you move away having played your shot if you would be happy to find your ball on the ground you are leaving behind. If players behind you can see bunkers are being left untidy, they will soon figure out who is responsible.
While it can be fun to watch other players making their putts on the green, you should not be wasting time doing this, especially on a day when the course is busy. As other players in your group are making their putts, it is the perfect time for you to be looking at your own and judging how you are going to play the shot. In addition, always pay attention to who is playing their shot and when you are expected to play your shot. You should never leave yourself in a position where you need to ask if it is your turn to play. If there is a brief pause and you are unsure, do not be afraid to take the initiative and hit your shot.
Speed of play is one of the most important pieces of golf etiquette. Keeping up the pace and not slowing other players down is important, especially if you are using a golf cart with a playing partner. How you manage the cart with your partner can speed up or slow down play. To keep things ticking along nicely, you should always drop your partner off at their ball and then drive on to find yours or vice versa. Do not wait in the cart next to them while they play their shot. Having hit their shot, you should be in a position to play yours without having to drive the cart.
Mobile phones have become one of the most annoying items on the golf course. If you are not expecting an urgent call it is best to leave your mobile phone in your locker. If you do need to take your mobile phone onto the course with you and it rings, move away from the area where players are taking their shots to talk. Imagine you were about to make a putt for birdie and someone else's phone started ringing, it is a nuisance and will put you off your shot. If you need to keep your phone on you during a round of golf, let everyone in your group know beforehand so it will not come as a surprise if it does ring.
Always pay attention to what is happening on the golf course during a round. This will help you learn how to react in specific situations and the best etiquette for various circumstances. For example, if you are playing in a group of three golfers and there is a group of two golfers waiting to play behind you, you should let them play through. This means waiting at the next tee for them to finish on the previous green so they can play their tee shot before you.
Another example of good golf etiquette is to congratulate fellow players when they hit a good shot. You do not have to do this every time they find the fairway or make a simple putt. However, when someone makes a long putt, plays an approach shot close to the hole or escapes from a tricky position in a bunker, saying ‘nice shot’ or ‘well played’ is considered good etiquette and other players will do the same for you.