Golf Etiquette

Golf Etiquette 101

Whether you’re a beginner or simply want to get more familiar with golf etiquette, this article is for you. You’ve probably heard that golf has a ton of rules. While golf does have a hefty rulebook, it's really golf etiquette that makes the name so unique. Some rules are written while others are expected as tradition.

Keep reading to learn how you can become a respectful player by following these written and unwritten rules of golf.

10 Tips for Proper Golf Course Etiquette

1. Arrive on Time

The early bird gets the worm. Arriving at the golf course is not only respectful for your group but for yourself, too. It’s even better to arrive at least 30 minutes early so you can warm up the right way. Get a few practice swings in with your short, mid, and long irons. Don’t be the person that holds everyone up.

2. Keep the Pace of Play

Keeping the pace of play is important for all players, however, it can be a little daunting for beginner golfers. Slow play will cause problems in golf and lead to backups on the course. Be ready when it’s your turn, and keep up with the group in front of you.

On the flip side, there’s no shame in letting a group behind you play through. More on this later. Remember, keeping the pace is keeping the peace on the course.

3. Respect the Quiet Zone

Shhh—you’ve just entered…the Quiet Zone.

In all seriousness, please be quiet when someone in your group is trying to make a shot. For example, don’t boast about your wild night last night while someone is getting ready to swing. You wouldn’t want someone talking loudly while you’re trying to concentrate; be respectful of your fellow golfers and you’ll get the same respect back.

respect the quiet zone

4. Follow the Dress Code

Each golf course will have some sort of dress code, so make sure you know what it is and that you’re following it. Collared shirts, tailored pants or shorts, and golf shoes are all generally acceptable clothing.

If you’re stuck on what type of shirt to get, Forely offers course-appropriate golf polos that are as stylish as they are comfortable. Forely polos are made with moisture-wicking technology, breathable, flexible fabric, and built-in UV protection for those hot summer days.

5. Maintain the Golf Course

Ever wonder how golf courses look the way they do all the time? There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just the lawn care guy. You also play a role in maintaining the course. 

Making sure the course remains intact is a common courtesy in golf. Replace your divots, smooth over the sand in the bunker, rake the area that you played, and don’t move on to the next hole until you’ve repaired any pitch marks.

maintain the course

6. Know Where To Drive Golf Carts

Be mindful of where you’re driving your cart. This isn’t the time to be Speed Racer, so drive at a sensible pace and keep your cart on the cart path. Most golf courses will have signage and rope to help guide you in the right direction. If a golf course doesn’t have signage, use your best judgment when driving.

7. Remember Rules on the Green

Once on the green, remember to never step over your fellow golfers’ putting lines. If your ball is on a player’s line, you need to mark your ball; you can mark it with things like a tee, a coin, or any small object that would suffice as a ball marker.

As for the flagsticks, try to remove them as carefully as possible. If you don’t have a caddie, the player closest to the flagstick is the one who should tend to it.

And remember, animals like geese, ducks, and other wildlife may live on or near the golf course. Be respectful to the wildlife and keep out of the way.

rules on the green

8. Understand Lost & Out of Bounds Balls

You only have three minutes to retrieve a lost ball. According to the USGA, limiting the search period to three minutes helps eliminate long pauses and encourages players to play in a prompt and continuous way.

If you hit your ball out of bounds, your only choice is to return to the spot of your previous stroke to play under stroke and distance. However, if you can’t find your ball, you can play a provisional ball.

Announce that you’re playing a provisional ball under stroke and distance. Once you’ve played your provisional ball, you have to try to find your original ball. Playing a provisional ball helps save time and keep up the pace.

Forely golf ball

9. Let Faster Groups Play Through

Remember what we said about keeping the pace? If your group is going a little slower than another, there’s nothing wrong with letting faster groups play through. If the group behind you is playing faster than you are, move over and let them play ahead.

Letting a faster group play ahead of you reduces frustration and keeps everyone on the course happy. This is especially important when practicing golf etiquette.

10. Know When To Yell “Fore!”

You’ve heard it in the movies, so when should you yell it? “Fore!” is an expression used to warn people of where a golf ball might land. If a golf ball is making a bee-line toward a group of other players, don’t be shy to yell “Fore!” as a way to get them out of the way. In this case, they’ll appreciate you yelling at them.

fore - golf etiquette

Bonus Tip: Make a Checklist

It pays to think ahead. Make a checklist of everything you need to be prepared to play. Here are a few essentials you should bring along to get started:

  • Golf balls
  • Golf tees
  • A towel
  • Divot repair tool
  • Ball marker (coin, tee, etc.)
  • Rangefinder
  • A golf glove
  • A few pencils
  • Scorecard
  • A great golf hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Band-aids
  • An umbrella
  • Sunglasses
  • An extra polo shirt
  • Any other essentials you might need

Forely Has You Covered (Literally)

No one wants to swing while sunburned. Amplify your swing and protect your body from the sun with Forely’s new golf polos and hats.

Designed for comfort and style, these polos and hats are the best way to top off your golf game. Sport a polo featuring your favorite city and keep your head safe from UV rays, thanks to our brand-new woven rope hats. And don’t forget to grab some golf balls while you’re at it.

Shop our collection of must-have golf gear and get out on that course.

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