The Etiquette of Golf

Published 28/07/2008 22:21:48

Golf has a reputation for being a snobby game; to a newcomer the etiquette can be bewildering and even off-putting. Try these tips to avoid being the talk of the clubhouse:

  • Turn up on time - pile ups at the first tee can make people nervous and hit a poor shot, effectively killing the round before it's started.
  • Keep out of the line of sight for players in front teeing off.
  • Keep quiet whilst other golfers are taking their shot - plenty of time to talk inbetween shots.
  • Always try to keep up with the players in front of you - slow play isn't just an etiquette issue, it can be a major annoyance. If you feel the players behind you are quicker, allow them to play through. The same goes for players in front, it's common practice for single players to play through a fourball for example.
  • Be prepared to hit your shot when it's your turn.
  • Don't spend all day searching for a lost ball. Technically you're allowed to search for five minutes, but often this can slow play up - especially on municipal courses. If you really have to look, allow the group behind to play through.
  • Repair your divots - it's unfair on other players to get a poor lie when it could have been fixed with a little courtesy.
  • Repair your pitch marks on the green. These occur when the ball comes in high or hard onto the green but can make putting difficult.
  • Rake the sand trap when finished - failure to do this leaves marks which the ball can become "plugged" in, again pure couresty for the next player. If there's no rake available, use a club.
  • Follow the course rules in relation to trolleys. Courses will often tell you where not to take them - never take them across greens or hazards.
  • Don't dawdle on the putting surface once your party has finished. Nothing is more annoying on a par 3 when people are marking their scorecard and you're waiting to take your shot.
  • Make sure you know which ball is yours and never pick up someone else's ball - be it accidentally or on purpose.
  • Many clubs have restrictions on clothing - check these out before you play. If in doubt, a collared shirt and trousers will always be acceptable.
  • Check out the local rules for the course

In an ideal world people would follow these rules and we'd all play like Tiger Woods. However it isn't an ideal world. What are your pet peeves when on the course?


1.  Golf rage exists and I have it!

If I see one more clown spend 20 minutes looking for his Top Flite I'll scream!

comment by Mekes - 03/04/2010 17:52

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