Golf Etiquette

Golf etiquette makes playing the game more enjoyable for you and those around you.

Whether you are enjoying a practice round, hitting a few balls at the driving range with your coach, or are deep in the throes of the heat of the final holes of a tournament, you will be expected to follow both written and unwritten rules of etiquette.

While developing your golf skills and improving your playing power and accuracy is important, you will also be building your reputation based on the way you carry yourself and treat others while playing.

Don’t Show Up Less Than 15 Minutes Before Your Tee Time

One of the pros about many things these days, for example, is that time is not such a huge deal.

If you are running early or late you just pop someone a message or make a quick call and things are usually okay. Not so with golf.

This drives the starter and those in the shop insane, as it potentially puts the rest of the tee sheet for the day in danger of a delay.

The 15-minute time slot is actually a generous one. Most courses would actually prefer that golfers arrive half an hour before they play.

Putting with an Overabundance of Balls on the Practice Green

If you are on your own, or at the driving range feel free to go to town.

If the area is crowded, however, limit yourself to two practice balls. Any more and you are simply monopolising real estate.

Not Picking Up the Flagstick

Have you ever suffered that awkward moment when you are the last player to finish, and, as you head off to the next tee box, you suddenly realise the pin has remained on the ground, thus forcing you to do a walk of shame back to the green?

Well, it wasn’t your fault. If you are the first to finish, you should grab the pin at once.

Don’t Look for a Lost Ball for More than Five Minutes

Yes, golf balls are expensive, and it is commendable that you are risking life and limb to find another player’s ball, but there is a vast difference between making your best effort and belabouring the point.

After five minutes are up, let it go.

Don’t Talk to Someone’s Ball

Whatever the intentions behind this are, it is irritating and, to some, underhanded.

Don’t Stand Behind Someone Putting

Even if you are not directly behind the player, this kind of behaviour is unwelcome.

Don’t Walk in a Player’s Through Line

Many amateur players are not aware that a putter’s line extends two or three feet past the hole.

This is vital: if a putt misses long, the through-line is where the ball will end up, and it’s the path for a golfer to finish out the hole.

The next time you are watching a tour event, keep an eye on what Phil Mickelson does. He will routinely run through a putt on the through-line side of the cup.