The Golden Rules of Golf: 4 Basic Golf Etiquette Reminders
At Fore Ladies Golf, we are absolutely confident that you — an enthusiastic golfer — know the rules and regulations of the game like the back of your hand. No doubt, you are also well-versed in how to conduct yourself on the green. But we could all use a golf etiquette evaluation from time-to-time, especially since, according to Golf Digest, sometimes we’re breaking the rules without even realizing it. Tuck these four reminders in the back of your mind and use them as a self-check before your next tee time.
Playing golf is a privilege, and participating in the golfing community comes with certain expectations. While there are dozens upon dozens of these etiquette expectations — both explicit and implied — we consider these four the fundamentals upon which all the rest are built. Like the cardinal directions on a compass – North, South, East, West, following these four fundamentals will make sure you never lose your way on the green, in the clubhouse, and in the larger golfing community.
Reminder #1: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Aretha sang it best, and the tune should resonate with you every round. Whether you’ve just arrived at a new course for your first ever tee time or are a longtime, loyal course member, the same rules apply. Be respectful of those around you, as well as the green and course itself.
A clear sign of respect for fellow players and pros involves time. Show up for your tee time early – a minimum of 15 minutes is considered the norm; however, some establishments prefer that you show up a full half hour ahead of your scheduled time. While playing, make sure that you are ready to go when it’s your turn. Don’t delay the progress of play by failing to prepare. Pay attention to the game, your fellow golfers, and be ready to play when it’s your time. If you lose a ball on a lousy swing, only allow a maximum of five minutes attempting to retrieve it. After that, call it a loss and move on!
By keeping the game moving and being mindful of your pace — as an individual and a group — you’ll honor the golfers ahead of and behind you on the green. Be honest with yourself and your group of golfers. If you know you golf on the slower side, it’s perfectly acceptable – encouraged even – to let faster groups play through. That way, they’re not waiting and you won’t feel pressured to pick up the pace.
Reminder #2: Keep it Clean!
Before moving on to the next hole, take inventory of your surroundings. Ask yourself, would I want to swing from this space? There is likely a group of golfers right on your heels, ready to play where you’re standing. Have you taken the time to repair ball marks and fill divots? What about the bunker? Did you rake it thoroughly? Does the surface look smooth or can you see uneven marks left by the rake? Is the rake handle lying in the sand? If you wouldn’t want to play from that particular spot, chances are your fellow golfers won’t either.
Golf etiquette applies to golf carts as well. The key to careful cart operation means taking care not to damage the green, which can be easy to do. If you’re driving, do your best to dodge any damp areas that can be torn up even at a snail’s pace. Also, as much as it seems like following the tire tracks in front of you keeps potential damage to the surrounding areas at a minimum, that’s actually not accurate. Rather than follow the cart in front of you, try to trace your own path so that the same spots don’t get worn down by consistent traffic.
Before you return the cart, check that you’ve removed all your belongings and have cleaned any surfaces that suffered a spill. Make sure you discard any trash and leave the cart in chariot-awaits condition for the next group or golfer to use it.
Reminder #3: Silence is Golden
Listen. When you’re about to take a swing, you don’t want any added distractions from unnecessary chit-chat or clattering of clubs. Stash the cell phone – either in your bag or golf cart, if you’re using one, and keep all sounds, alerts, and pings on silent. In fact, if possible, just leave your phone in your car. Granted, that seems nearly impossible in this day and age of constant communication. In the event that you absolutely need to take a call, make it quick and do so well away from play. Even texting can prove distracting to others – so shoot that brief message from the cart and get your head back in the game.
Don’t forget – noise can even be soundless, and come in the form of a fellow golfer taking a few practice swings in your view – even if that view is peripheral. While you await your turn, do so quietly and be still. The best place to stand is straight across from whomever is currently playing, or diagonally during that player’s setup. Do not stand in the way of play, past the hole, or right behind the ball. When you’re not actually playing, you want make yourself invisible until it’s time for your group to progress play to the next hole.
Reminder #4: Appearance is Everything
That expression, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” does not apply to your appearance on the green and in the clubhouse. Presenting the professional, polished version of yourself signals that you respect yourself, your community of golfers, the green, and the game at large. Fortunately, Fore Ladies Golf has all the fashion and trendy accessories you need to make the right impression. Your clothing should be pressed, well-fitted and your shoes clean. Depending on how well you play that particular day might be cause for celebration in the club house. No matter your score or the result of the game, do you look like a winner?
At Fore Ladies Golf, we understand the nuances of golf etiquette and are expert at outfitting you with the clothing and accessories you need to swing that club in style. When it comes to learning the ropes, especially for first-time golfers, trust the team at Fore Ladies Golf to mind your manners.