As everyone heads to the course for their first round, or maybe 20th round for the die-hards, it’s important to remember golf course etiquette. Both within your group and as a part of a busy golf course.
Inter-Group Golf Etiquette
Depending on the seriousness of you and your friends’ golf game that day, you may or may not adopt some of the more formal golf etiquette practices. However, it’s important to establish expectations before the round to make sure everyone is on the same page. Maybe you agree to 1 mulligan per round and to improving your lie within one scorecard length. Whatever your groups’ unique rules are, make them clear and make sure everyone understands before you begin.
There are several golf etiquette practices that are universal:
It’s customary to adhere to these universal golf etiquette rules unless you’ve asked your playing partners for an exception. You might be ready to hit your shot before the person closest to the hole, or maybe you’re ready to tee off and the player who birdied the previous hole isn’t. In these instances, you would offer to go first to keep pace of play moving.
Intra-Group Golf Etiquette
While playing a round of golf, you also have a responsibility to ensure other golfers on the course that day have the opportunity to enjoy their round too. This means replacing or filing your divots in the fairway, repairing ball marks on the green, yelling “FORE!” when you hit an errant shot towards other golfers, and allowing faster players/groups to play through.
It’s extremely rude to not let a group play through that is waiting on your group. The one exception is if you’re also waiting because of the group in front of you. If this is the case, you should make this known to the group behind you.
Your ability to play golf doesn’t have to dictate your pace of play. If you’re new to the game, set a stroke limit of 8 for each hole. Once you get to 8, pick up your ball and place it on the green. Finish the hole from there. There are also understood golf etiquette practices regarding pace of play. These include:
It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own games while on the golf course. We may be having a great time with our friends and not realize the group behind us has been waiting on every shot for 3 holes. As golfers, we have to do a better job of being aware of our surroundings and putting ourselves in others’ shoes.