The Essentials of Golf Etiquette!

PGA Fellow Professional

The Essentials of Golf Etiquette!

Essentials of Golf Etiquette

Some players struggle with the Do’s & Don’ts so I have created an easy list of the essentials of golf etiquette to help you out.

Don’t be the slowest player

Always be ready to play your next shot – e.g. prepare for your tee shot well in advance.

Whilst your playing partner is preparing to tee off you can already decide which club to take, where you want to hit it, how far you want to hit it and if you wish to hit a wood then remove the headcover and have a tee & a ball ready in your hand for when it is your turn.

Walk to your next shot swiftly and without delay. Humans can walk & talk at the same time.

Leave your equipment at the side of the green in the direction of the next Tee.

For me, the most important thing is if you are taking too much time, then let the following party play through. Be aware of the group that is following yours and also be aware of the group that is in front of you. Try to find a good tempo of play between the two parties.


Keep control of your temper

When on the course, things don’t always go according to plan. If not, don’t worry! After all the game of Golf is called a “Game” for a reason. Your life does not depend on playing a good shot. Therefore, there is no reason to throw any clubs or break them over your knee. Respect other players on the course by not swearing or shouting after a poor result.


Respect your fellow players

Saying Hello or even just acknowledging fellow Golfers doesn’t hurt. Shaking the hand of your playing partner is always a good start on the 1st Tee. Always recognise a good shot by praising the player. Do not applaud or put someone down after a poor shot. After the last putt has dropped, removing your headwear and offering a final handshake is a good finish.

Even when your partner or opponent is searching for a ball, give them a hand.

Help your playing partner when you can by attending flags & raking bunkers etc.


Be as quiet as a mouse

A playing partner should be seen and not heard. Make sure that you stand still when someone is taking his or her next shot. Do not rummage around in your bag looking for something during someone’s pre-shot routine. Try not to search your trouser pockets for a tee when someone is playing their shot. Rattling your clubs during a shot is also a no-no. All of these are included in the essentials of golf etiquette.


Look your best

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression!” – Li Ka-Shing.

This may sound a little vain but try to make your appearance the best that you can. It is a well-known fact that when you dress well on the course, you feel good about yourself and when you feel good about yourself then your posture changes and you can actually play better. Some people call me old fashioned as I tend to stick with the old school dress code including no jeans, no t-shirts, no shorts etc. but make sure that you know the dress code of the course that you are playing and adhere to it.

Be aware that the dress code in the clubhouse may be different from the on-course dress code.


Turn off your mobile phones

Please make sure that your mobile phone is either on silent, with no vibration, or switched off. There is nothing more frustrating than the sound of a mobile phone ringing on the course. It is my opinion that mobile phones should only be allowed for someone working in the emergency services who are on call whilst being on the golf course.


Repair any damages that you make

Please make sure that if you take a divot, that divot is replaced the best that you can.

In the Bunker, don’t just rake your mess and your footprints; rake a little more if it is required.

Repair at least your pitch mark and one other per green.

Take care in replacing the flagstick. Try not to damage the edge of the hole.

Walk properly and try not to drag your feet, this causes damage to the greens.

Even if spike marks are not in your line, still try and tap them down.

Lay a flagstick carefully down on to the green to avoid any damages.


To learn more about the essentials of golf etiquette, please visit the R&A website.


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