Golf is a great outdoor activity to help you stay fit, active, and positive. A golf game also allows you to spend more time with friends and even make new friends among fellow golfers. If it’s your first time playing golf though, you might be wondering what type of behavior is appropriate for the golf course and what are the main rules of golf course etiquette.
Don’t worry, though. It’s nothing as complicated as salad and fish forks. Common sense, politeness, and respect toward other golfers will often be more than enough for a pleasant game of golf. Nevertheless, here are a few essential rules of golf etiquette it wouldn’t hurt to know before heading to the course for the first time. Follow these golf etiquette rules to ensure you are invited back to the golf course. Furthermore, proper etiquette will make it seem like you have played golf before and have some experience under your belt.
Try Not to Be Too Slow
As a beginner player, you might be slower than some of the other people on the course. A slow golfer is usually a beginner golfer! However, you don’t want to always be the slowest player in the group. This will hold the rest of the people back and annoy faster players.
You want to make sure you are closely following the group in front of you so that you do not lag behind in time. One of the best ways you can make sure you are not being too slow is to not spend too much time looking for your golf ball.
If the ball is far away and you know you have no chance of finding it quickly, don’t bother looking for it. As a general piece of golf etiquette, try not to spend more than 5 minutes looking for balls. It would be nice to also help other people find their lost balls. Teamwork will allow you to find the ball quicker and speed up the game for everyone, including the most experienced golfers.
If you are playing with a group of friends, you can consider playing ready golf. This means the player who is ready can hit the ball first rather than the person who is farthest away from the hole. The latter is the official golf rule, but usually, a group of friends that meets up for casual golf prefers ready golf anyway.
This is one of the most important golf etiquette tips that will help you keep your pre-shot ritual without slowing the rest of the group down. Your pre-shot ritual is more important than looking for lost balls.
Keep Your Temper In Check
We believe that the biggest golf etiquette is to always control your emotions. There might always be one or two people on the course who lose their temper when a game is not going their way. These temper tantrums can really slow down the game. Furthermore, a temperamental golfer will never have too many friends around them.
If you are constantly losing your temper, you risk not being invited back for another game of golf. Make sure you never throw clubs, especially not at your golf friends. And try not to sulk or curse too much. This is golf. It’s not a kindergarten game. Keep calm for your sake and the sake of your fellow players and try to have fun.
Stand Still and Out of the Way
When hitting the ball, you probably like your personal space. Make sure you are giving people their personal space as well. Try not to offer advice to other people unless they specifically ask for it. Just stand there silently, watch the game, and enjoy the golf journey.
Be aware of your surroundings and try not to stay in the way of someone else’s shot. This is not only annoying and exasperating but being self-aware can also make the game safer for everyone. If you are in a golf cart, try not to drive directly past someone as it can be distracting. Wait until they have taken their shot and then continue your golf trip.
Repair Your Playing Ground
When you are golfing, the floor you are playing on is bound to get a little damaged every once in a while. Replace divots with a seed mix that comes on the side of the cart or altogether.
You also need to rake bunkers properly. Make sure the area is smooth before you move on to the next area. Avoid leaving behind deep areas from the rake. Make sure the area looks just as nice or nicer as when you got there.
Follow Golf Cart Rules
Golf courses have limits on where you can drive the golf cart. Make sure you are following these rules and do not drive around in areas where you shouldn’t be. Listen to the guidelines of the golf course personnel and do not break their rules. This includes staying away from tee boxes, bunkers, and water hazards.
If you are playing after a day of heavy rain, you might have to stay on the cart path only. Make sure you are paying attention to any signs that have been put out. Some golf courses also follow what they call a 90-degree rule. This means you can only leave the cart path towards your ball if a 90-degree turn could get you there.
Don’t Hit the Ball Towards People
If there is a group ahead of you, do not hit the ball towards them under any circumstances. This is especially true if you are a new golfer because the ball might not go in the direction you were hoping for. It might also go too far and roll into another person’s area.
Accidentally hitting someone with a ball is enough to get you kicked off the course. It can also seriously injure someone or even kill them if they are hit in certain spots.
Speed Up Your Game with Smart Accessories
Your game equipment plays an essential part in the success of your golf game. If you are renting your clubs and golf balls, make sure you keep the damage to golf equipment to a minimum. Moreover, try investing in additional golf accessories, such as The Stacker. That is, if the driving range doesn’t already have them for their golfers.
The Stacker allows you to skip the ball counting part of the game and regiment your game according to the type of golf club you are using for your game. It replaces the unsightly bucket of golf balls with an elegant pyramid of balls that makes it easier to count the balls played. Furthermore, it speeds up the game and adds a note of professionalism to your game.
Stay Away From Alcohol and Loud Noise
In many countries, it’s common to drink while playing golf. Some people also play music. Try not to drink too much though as it can cause rowdy behavior and exacerbate your emotions. It can also affect your routine and score and cause you to make poor choices.
Drinking too much can also get on the nerves of other people. Make sure to limit yourself and gently suggest your group limit themselves as well. Playing in silent mode is sometimes a lot more rewarding and relaxing than constantly cheering or cursing, which comes so much easier after a few drinks.
Adopting some of the most important formal golf etiquette practices ensures you and your fellow golfers have a good game and, most importantly, a relaxing and fun experience. It also makes playing much more enjoyable for other groups that are sharing the course with you.