Despite all the new golf rules that have been instituted by the USGA this year, one thing remains constant and that is that golf is a game built around rules of etiquette. Learning golf etiquette is one of the most important things a young player can do and it’s why etiquette is usually one of the first things discussed in beginner golf clinics. While some golf etiquette rules are likewise becoming outdated, there are still a few rules (listed below) that a golfer should never knowingly break.
Always Yell “Fore” After an Errant Shot
Let’s start with one of the most basic etiquette rules and one that should always be adhered to in order to preserve the safety of other golfers on the course. If you hit a bad shot and you see that your ball is heading in the direction of other, unsuspecting golfers, then you should yell “Fore” as loud as necessary for them to hear you. This common term alerts all nearby golfers to watch out and cover their heads.
Never Hit into The Group Ahead of You
While we are on the subject, you should also never purposely hit into the group ahead of you, even if they are playing extremely slow. It’s one thing if you underestimate yourself and hit the drive of your life and the ball reaches the group ahead of you once, but you should never “send a message” by hitting while they are still in reaching distance. This causes tempers to flare and, yes, has occasionally led to actual physical confrontation. So, don’t do it!
No Talking While Someone is Hitting
Plain and simple, don’t talk or carry on a conversation while another person in your group is trying to hit. Not only is it rude to your playing partner, but it’s also distracting. This is one of the earliest etiquette rules in the book and one of the easiest to follow. And especially do not talk on the cellphone while play is ongoing.
Don’t Walk In Somebody’s Putting Line
This may seem like a trivial etiquette rule to most beginning golfers, but it’s still one to always try and abide by. Golf greens are sensitive patches of turf that can be damaged by our shoes (golf spikes), so simply walking through somebody’s putting line can cause damage to the area of turf that they are about to putt their ball through. This slight damage can cause bouncing and an increased chance of missing the putt.
Repair Your Ball/Divot Marks
As mentioned above, golf courses are simply very well-manicured areas of turf. Courses spend a lot of money on keeping the course in the best shape possible, but each golfer should help do their part by fixing their ball marks/divots on the green and repairing or filling any large divots they cause on the fairways. This is why professional golfers always carry a divot tool in their pockets.
Show Up On time
This doesn’t need an explanation. Showing up on time for your tee-time is crucial and not doing so would be disrespectful to your playing companions. Always aim to be 10-15 minutes early for your tee-time (and earlier if you plan on hitting practice balls).
Shake Hands After The Round
Golf has historically been referred to as a gentleman’s sport, so be a good sport and shake your playing partner’s hands after each round.
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