Sunday, 8 September 2013

Golf Etiquette For Beginners - Be Popular On The Course

If you are just beginning to play golf then you should learn about the required etiquette when out and about on the course. This etiquette when combined with a good understanding of the rules of golf, will really help you have an enjoyable round of golf. You will be able to do so, safe in the knowledge that you have not upset other players.

You can believe me when I tell you that I have seen and witnessed plenty of angry encounters when I have been playing golf. They are always caused by those golfers who simply do not understand the basic etiquette of golf and I have often found them to be both arrogant and ignorant.

It is also important to have a good grasp on the language of golf. That is why I have included this article on golf jargon, so as you know all the golfing terms.

Understanding The Etiquette of Golf

This behaviour is actually all about the true spirit of the game. As amateurs and beginners to the world of golf, in almost all cases, we will play the game without an umpire or a referee. That then means a few simple things which you as a beginner should always keep in mind. In terms of common courtesy you should always show consideration to other players at all times.

You need also to be completely honest and apply the rules to yourself. I remember playing a round of golf one time with an individual. I actually witnessed him picking a ball out of a sand bunker and tossing it on to the green. He said he could never get out of those so he just chucked them out when that happened.

As you can imagine that is a serious breach of the rules and is also very discourteous to anyone he is playing with. My advice to him was either get some practise in, or just stop playing golf. Beginner golfers need to be disciplined at all times, be a real sportsman and always abide by the Rules of Golf.

golf etiquette for beginners

Simple Etiquette Practises For Playing A Round of Golf

  • When you are about to play a shot, make sure that no-one is standing close or standing in the path of where you plan to hit the ball.
  • You should never strike a ball until the players in front are well out of range.
  • If there are green staff or people working on the course and you are playing a shot that might hit one, then get their attention and ask them to move until you play your shot.
  • Calling "fore" is probably the most common and this should ALWAYS be shouted loudly if there is any danger that a ball may accidentally hit someone.
  • When a playing partner or someone on an opposite fairway is playing a shot, you should remain still and silent until their shot has been completed.
  • Cell phones should be switched off or at least on silent when playing golf. Today this is probably the most annoying habit on the golf course with phones ringing and people talking in loud voices.
  • Never tee your ball up unless it is actually your turn to play
  • Never stand directly behind the ball or behind the hole when someone is about to play their golf stroke.
  • Never stand on another player's putting line to the hole, and make sure that your body is not casting a shadow over the same putting line.
  • You should not walk to the next hole until all players have finished on the putting green.
  • Always play at a good pace - try to keep up at all times with the game in front. If you find yourself falling behind and the group behind you are catching up, then allow them to play through by inviting them through. - This is especially important as when you are a beginner you will naturally be slower.
  • If you think your ball may be lost then always play a provisional ball. 
  • If searching for a ball then always signal the group behind through as it could take time to find the ball.
  • When you have finished playing out of a bunker, always rake it and especially your foot prints. Just leave it the way you would expect to find it.
  • Always repair divots, ball marks and any damage by shoes. I don't want to end up in a huge divot left by someone else so I always fill them in.
  • Always replace the flag pole on the green when you are finished a hole.
These are the basics of golf etiquette for beginners and if you follow those, then you will be respected when playing a round of golf. There may seem to be a lot of things you can not do when playing golf. To be honest much of it is simple common sense.

For me there are two things that most beginners do that will upset other players out on the course. I have listed these below so as you will know how to avoid them.

The first is slow play and that is utterly frustrating. Here is the bottom line really on this. If you are playing your 9th or 10th shot on a Par 3 or Par 4, then the chances are you are holding people up. As beginners, sometimes your single minded determination to get the ball into the hole, completely blinds you as to what is going on out on the course. Always have a look back towards the tee and if there are people waiting there, and you are still trying to get the ball into the hole after numerous shots, pick up your ball and move on.

The second most annoying thing is to hit a lovely drive and find your ball stuck in a divot hole. This hole has been made by someone who has then not bothered to replace the divot. It only takes a few seconds to do that and makes such a difference to those who have yet to play the course.

Just keep in mind how you would expect to be treated and you will never go too far wrong.

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