Top 10 Golf Etiquette Tips for Beginners

Beginners golf can be a little scary – not only if you’re a golf beginner yourself, but also if you’re a more experienced player.

As a golf beginner not only do you have to worry about the actual game itself, but there are so many other things to think about such as etiquette etc.

So I thought I’d put a list of my Golf Etiquette Tips for Beginners to ensure
(a) you don’t get killed on the golf course and
(b) no-one else tries to kill you!

Top 10 Golf Etiquette Tips For Beginners

Tip 1: If you suspect your ball might hit someone, shout FORE!!!

When golf balls are flying through the air, they’re very dangerous and you don’t want to hit anyone. If you accidently hit your ball towards another person and there is even a small chance it could hit them, shout ‘FORE!’ as LOUD AS YOU can. This is a warning to other golfers that a ball could be flying towards them and to look out.

If you hear someone shouting ‘FORE!’ assume it is heading for you and duck down and protect your head with your arms immediately.7

Tip #2: Keep it moving out there

Everyone, even Tiger Woods, was a golf beginner when they started playing. And as a beginner you’ll be taking more shots than more experienced players…

This of course is no problem. In effect you are getting better value by taking more shots!!

But – make sure you’re not holding people up behind you (are they always waiting for you to take your shot?).

The best way to do this is to try and keep up with the group in front, and if they are causing you delays then politely ask them if you can ‘play through’. This means that they will stop playing for a few minutes and let you overtake them as you continue to play.

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Tip #3: Who Has The ‘Honour’?

The ‘honour’ of hitting the first tee shot on the first tee can be decided in a number of ways depending upon which format you are playing (stableford, matchplay etc).

When playing a match-play game the honour on the first tee is usually decided by the flip of a coin.

For stableford and stroke-play matches, the honour is given to the lowest handicapper (or pair with the lowest handicapper if playing doubles).

After the first hole has been played, the honour on sub-sequent holes is given to the person (or pair) that won the last hole or achieved the lowest score. If this is a tie then the honour remains with the same person (or pair).

*** Note – in match-play if you accidently play first when it is not your honour you can be penalised, so this is more than just etiquette.

Tip #4: Whose Turn Is It To Play?

After teeing off from the tee box, the sequence in which players take their shot is very simple.

The person furthest away from the hole plays first. It is as simple as that!

Tip #5: Repair Your Pitch Marks

Make sure if you hit your ball onto the green and it makes a ‘pitch mark’ where it lands that you immediately repair it to ensure the greens stay in good condition.

If you spot any other pitch marks repair those while you’re there as well.

Tip #6: Rake Bunkers

If you hit your ball into a bunker make sure you rake the sand when you leave the bunker, and also importantly make sure you leave the rake in the RIGHT PLACE.

This can vary depending upon where you’re playing and even sometimes which course you are playing on, so make sure you know the correct place to leave it.

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Tip #7: Tee boxes

I’ve seen a few freak accidents on the golf course involving tee boxes. Just make sure you place your ball between the markers on the tee box and that your ball is not in front of them (level with them is fine).

Tip #8: Golf Carts Are Not Go Karts!

I’ve seen a few scary incidents with golf carts including three tipping over, so please take it easy especially when turning on slopes. Make sure you turn the right way so as not to risk tipping it over, and ideally let a more experienced driver take the controls on more tricky terain.

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Tip #9: Insurance

Depending upon which country you’re playing in it might be worth taking out golf insurance. It’s usually pretty cheap and will cover you for any damages you might accidently cause to either property or people.

Often being a member of a private golf course automatically includes golf insurance so check with your membership secretary.

Tip #10: Playing In Mixed Groups

A final tip! If you’re playing with a mix of men and women golfers the ladies tees are nearly always in front of the mens tees. Despite the earlier tip about whose honour it is, safety should be your highest priority, so usually the men tee off first.

For beginners putting can be one of the most frustrating parts of golf to master.