Golf Etiquette

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Guide 4 Golf   >   Golf Articles   >   Playing Tips   >   Golf Etiquette



Golf player

Golf Etiquette

As golf is a sport which is played without an umpire or referee, the players themselves are responsible for making sure that the game is played fairly and according to the rules. This is one of the main reasons why golf is regarded as gentlemenís game. Golf etiquette however extends beyond just playing the game, and obeying the rules, but also includes how you interact with other players, and showing courtesy and consideration for other golfers.

Conduct of the players

Players are expected to maintain self-discipline at all the time. Players are expected to be polite to and considerate of other players, even if their own game is going badly. Generally speaking, golf players must show sportsmanship whether they are winning or losing.


As with all sports, when playing golf, safety should be a prime concern.
  • When players are practicing or playing game, they must make sure that no one is in the way before they swing the club.

  • Players should only swing when they are sure that no one can get hit by the ball.

  • If anyone is at risk of being hit by the ball, the player must call to catch the attention of that person.

  • Traditional shout of warning, "Fore!" should be used by players as an extra precaution to warn others on the course, however it should not be used as an excuse for dangerous in inattentive play.


Golf is the game which requires lots of concentration. Distractions which can put off other players, and spoil their concentration or enjoyment of the game, are not appropriate for the golf course.
  • Unnecessary or inappropriate noise should be avoided.

  • Electronic devices such as cell phones should never cause distraction in the field. Turn them off, or put them in silent mode. Generally speaking, you should not take phone calls on the golf course.

  • When it is not a turn of a player to play, he or she should refrain from teeing the ball.

  • When others players are taking their stroke, stay clear.

The pacing of the game

Usually there are no clear rules about how fast you should play golf, or how fast you should progress around the course. That said, you need to play at a pace appropriate for other players, and take into consideration their needs too.
  • If you play at too slow a pace, some players may find the game too boring. To maintain interest, you probably need to maintain a decent pace.

  • The players should always be ready when it is their turn to play. The game should never be delayed by a player not being ready when his or her turn comes up. This means that a player have to follow what is going on.

  • In some tournaments, tournament committees may make rules requiring a certain pace.

Lost balls

Balls do get lost when playing golf, so how this situation is handled also needs to be considered. If you lose your ball, itís no fun for everybody else to wait around for a long-time while you hunt for it.
  • A provision ball should be used if the ball is lost.

  • When players are searching for a lost ball, it is good manners to tell the rest of the group to go ahead.

In summary, most of the rules of golf etiquette are simply based around commonsense, good manners, and thinking about the needs to others. Playing the game as it is intended, in a good and friendly spirit will make the game enjoyable and interesting for everyone in your group.


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