Golf Etiquette - some basics

Before you get out on the golf course there is some golf etiquette you should know.

If your first time out on the golf course is with a regular golfer you will learn a lot about the golf etiquette from them. There are hundreds of little bits of golf etiquette that I haven’t included which you will learn as you play but here are a few of the things that you should know:

1. Clothing and equipment

You should check the dress code before going on the course. The golf course’s website should have the dress code rules. Some of the usual rules are men’s shirts should have a collar and sleeves, ladies may wear sleeveless shirts but they should have a collar; shorts should be at least Bermuda-length, no jeans etc.

Future posts will cover ladies golf clothing in more detail but the variety of clothing for ladies is becoming bigger and better.

2. Care of the course

Any damage to the course should be repaired as far as possible to keep up the condition of the golf course. Any divots you make should be replaced or if your course provides you with a sand-seed mixture, this should be used to fill the divot hole.

If you enter a bunker, pick up the rake and enter the bunker at the point of shortest distance to your ball and smooth the sand after your shot. Make sure you don’t take a practice swing or place your club-head in the bunker before you take a shot.

Look carefully for a pitch mark on the green that is caused by the impact of your ball. You should repair any pitch marks on the green by pushing the earth inwards towards the centre of the pitch mark and then tapping down any excess earth so the surface is smooth. Even as a beginner, you will make pitch marks on the green so make sure you repair them to protect the greens.

3. Consideration of others

The rules of golf state that “players should play at a good pace.” Generally, it is your group’s responsibility to keep up with the group ahead of you on the course. If there is a group behind you and you are not keeping up with the group ahead, you should ask the group behind to play through to avoid slow play. It doesn’t matter what level you are, this often happens on the golf course.

In terms of order of play, the player who is furthest away from the pin should hit first on each shot. The winner of the previous hole tees off first at the next tee.

On the green, don’t walk across the line of another player’s putt.

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