Rules and Etiquette
Many new golfers are intimidated by the seemingly endless rules governing one’s behavior on the golf course. Here is a summary of the most important things you should know before you head out on the golf course. Notice I have listed “Rules of Courtesy”, “Rules of Fun” and “Rules of Golf”. As far as I am concerned, when you are starting out in golf, play by the rules of courtesy and fun. When your skill level improves you can start obeying all the rules of golf.
Rules of Courtesy
- Keep up to the group in front of you.
- Leave the course as you find it – Replace your divots, repair your ball marks on the greens, rake the sand traps when you are exiting them.
- Be quiet when someone is preparing to play a shot.
- Only play a shot when everyone is in a safe position.
- Be ready to play your shot when it is your turn.
- To keep play moving, play “Ready Golf”. This means, if you are ready to play your shot and everyone is in a safe position, you can play, even if you are not furthest from the hole.
- When you finish a hole, move to the next tee immediately and mark scores there.
- If you are using a pull or power cart, keep it well away from the edge of the greens. Most courses will have signs or white lines telling you where to drive.
- When you walk on to a green, take note of where the next tee is and leave your golf bag on that side of the green. This way, when you finish putting, your clubs will be right on your way to the next tee.
- Don’t take more than one practice swing unless it is on the first tee to warm up.
- If you hit a ball into the trees, bush, deep ravine, black hole, etc., don’t spend too much time looking for it. If you don’t see it after a few moments, drop another ball and play on.
- On the green, be aware of the location of other people’s balls and try not to walk between their balls and the hole.
- If you hit your ball in the general vicinity of another golfer, yell “FORE” loud enough to alert them of the impending danger. We don’t know why you yell “FORE” either but it probably has something to do with a golfer getting hit because there wasn’t enough time to yell “Hey, look out, my ball is coming towards you!!”
Rules of Fun
- As long as you and your group are having fun, being respectful of the golf course and keeping up to the group in front of you, there really are no other rules!
- It’s only a game!!
Rules of Golf
There are actually 34 “Rules of Golf” so we have left a few out but these are the really important ones.
- Play the course as you find it.
- Play the ball as it lies.
- If you can’t do either of the above, do what’s fair.
- You should begin play on each hole by teeing your
ball behind your designated tee-markers.
- You must mark your balls position with a small,
coin-like object before picking it up on the green.
- The person who has the lowest score on the previous
hole has “The Honour” and is supposed to tee-off first.
- The person whose ball is furthest from the hole is said
to be “Away” and is next to play.
For complete rules information, visit http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-01/.
I hope this helps you have more fun. Let the new golfers in your life know about the different kinds of rules and let them decide how they want to approach the game.