This article tells you about the unwritten rules of golf etiquette. Some rules are familiar even to non-golfers - for example, you must not talk while another player is swinging a club. Other rules must be learned and reinforced on the course.
Golf etiquette is quite simple and will become a habit after playing a dozen or so rounds. But in the early days, it needs to be done and kept up, knowing it becomes a habit; here are some do's and don'ts.
Do. Know when it's your turn to play - the rules for the order of play are as follows.
On the tee, the player with the highest score on the previous hole has the 'honor' of hitting first. If players have the same score on the last hole, then the honors go to the person with the best score on the first two holes, and so on.
The player furthest from the hole on the remaining holes is 'away,' meaning it is his turn to play.
In many recreational rounds, the golfer will play "ready golf." The golfers play the balls according to their ready order on the tee.
Do. Watch the position of other golfers before you swing to avoid the ball hitting them - as a beginner, your ball cannot always be straight or predictable. Always make sure your partner is not hurt before you swing.
Do. Shout "Fore!" when your ball is heading towards another player or group to avoid causing injury - Many courses have fairways that run parallel to each other, and it is common for the ball to fly from one hole to an adjacent hole. When you hit such a shot and notice other golfers in the ball's flight path, shout out "Fore!" for them to hear. When you hear another group shout "Fore ball," duck.
Do. Fix dents and rake bunkers - When you hit the ball on (or behind) the ball, you often tear off a chunk of turf or a dent. Most courses provide sand bottles on the cart to shake a layer of sand in your divot. If you are walking, ask the tee for a sand bottle to carry with your bag.
Don't: spend too much time preparing - perhaps, you have a million swing ideas swimming around in your head. It may be that the longer you take to prepare, the more it affects your swing instead. Choose one or two essentials before the game and focus only on those during the game. Two practice swings before each stroke will do the trick.
Don't: Step on another player's putting line - As you walk onto the green, pay attention to each player's ball's position and ensure you don't step on anyone's hole line. If you have difficulty spotting someone's ball marker, ask that player to point it out.
Don't: Stand too close to the player who is hitting or putting - some players are sensitive to other people standing nearby, even if there is no chance of hitting them when they swing. Always give other players at least 10 feet of space to be safe.