There are quite a few rules that guide how golfers behave and interact with each other on the course. These rules are key to ensuring everyone can have fun, stay safe, and focus on the game. In this beginner’s guide to golf etiquette, we cover the most important rules to know before you step onto the green.
The first rule of golf course etiquette is that you shouldn’t be late. That doesn’t mean you should show up right on the dot for your scheduled tee time—in fact, you should actually be early.
Most courses recommend you arrive at least 20 minutes, if not 30, before you’re scheduled to tee off. This gives you extra time to check in, stretch your muscles, prepare your cart, and practice your swing.
Maintain the Pace of Play
Once you step onto the course, it’s important to help maintain the pace of play. That means being mindful of your own pace, as well as that of the groups ahead of and behind you.
You should be ready to play when it’s your turn. Take care not to get distracted and delay the pace of play. Wait for the group ahead of you to finish putting before your party begins driving. If your group is taking longer and you notice you’re holding up the people behind you, offer to let them play through.
Be Courteous to Other Players
There are several unspoken rules that govern how players should interact with each other on the course. If you’re new to the world of golf and aren’t aware of these rules, you risk offending other players.
Here are some simple ways to be courteous to other players:
Stand to the Side
As you’re waiting for your turn, don’t stand right behind someone else during their swing. Instead, stand off to the side. It’s considered rude to hover during another player’s turn.
Another way to show respect to other players is to stay quiet. Golf is a game of both physical skill and mental concentration, so distractions should be minimized. Talking while someone is in play is a surefire way to disrupt their swing.
Don’t Address Other Golf Balls
From pros to beginners, plenty of golfers talk to their golf balls. On the course, you might hear things like, “Go in!” or “Get down!” Golfers are free to comment on their own performance, but you should avoid talking to anyone else’s golf ball.
You should speak up if there are safety concerns on the course—for example, if your ball is heading off course. If the ball is going anywhere near other players, you should loudly yell “Fore!” as a warning.
Lost Golf Balls
If you lose a ball, don’t spend a significant amount of time searching for it. Cap your search at 3 minutes—any longer and you may hold up the pace of play. If your ball is lost, add a penalty stroke and place your replacement ball where the previous stroke was made.
Turn Your Phone Off
Turn your phone off or leave it in your pocket as you play. Spending most of your time looking at your phone screen isn’t just rude to the players in your own group—it also slows down play for the groups behind you.
Avoid Through Lines
It’s common sense: don’t walk between a golfer and the hole they’re playing at. What might not be so obvious is that an individual’s through line continues past the hole for two-to-three feet in case the ball passes the hole. Uphold golf course etiquette by avoiding this area too.
Smooth Out Divots
Golf course etiquette isn’t just about being courteous to the other players on the course. It’s also about being respectful of the course itself, so fill any divots that you create and repair ball marks. This helps preserve the course’s appearance and keeps all players safe. In most cases, it’s also recommended that you avoid wearing golf shoes with spikes to prevent damaging the green.
Practice Golf Etiquette at Blackberry Ridge
Once you’ve brushed up on this beginner’s guide to golf etiquette, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. Come practice your golf etiquette as you enjoy a round of golf at Blackberry Ridge Golf Club. Our scenic 18-hole golf course is suitable for individuals of all skill levels.
Find out more about Blackberry Ridge or reach out to book a tee time today.