Golf is a sport that is governed by some very specific etiquette rules. If you are just taking up golf, it is important to understand the etiquette rules surrounding the sport.
Respect the Clothing Rules
First, make sure that you respect the clothing rules at whatever golf course you attend. Golf courses like to present a certain image, and most have rules for what you can wear on the golf course. In general, they want you to keep things clean and look nice and sharp.
You should wear golfing shorts or a nice pair of pants and a collared shirt when you go golfing. If you wear a hat, make sure that it is in good shape. Your appearance should usually be more business casual on the golf course. In addition, you’ll need a pair of golf shoes that will help you grip the ground while you are swinging. Golf shoes like Bird-E are a good choice. There are many different styles of golf shoes but all of them have some sort of spikes on the bottom of them.
Turn Off Your Cell Phone
Golf is a sport that is about concentration. A cell phone ringing or buzzing can really ruin someone’s concentration on the golf course. Keep your phone on silent when you are on the golf course so that you don’t interrupt anyone else’s game. If you need to use your cell phone and make a call, be sure to step away from the green. Keep your voice low and try to minimize the distraction by keeping your phone call quick. If you are concerned about missing a call, you can also talk to your party about the possibility of getting a call so that they are more understanding if it happens.
Fix the Ground After You Play
It is common at all levels of experience that you will take a chunk of grass out of the ground when you swing the club. This is especially true for beginner golfers. If you damage the ground after you play, make sure that you take the time to fix the ground before you move on. Keep a penknife or a tea with you for fixing ball marks on the ground. If you make a divot in the ground, try to find the chunk of grass you took out and place it back where it was taken out. If you can’t find the grass, then you can use a seed mix pack to fill in the divot provided by the golf club. The seed mix is a sand-like substance that has grass seed in it so that the grass in that area can grow back faster than if you just left it. If you rent a golf cart, they are typically equipped with a seed mix that you can pour into the hole. After placing the mix in the hole, use your shoe to compact it down. It doesn’t have to be solid, nor will it be solid since it is very sand-like, but that way other golfers don’t find your repair to be like a bunker.
When you get a shot in the bunker, take your time raking the bunker so that the sand is evenly distributed and there aren’t signs of your ball or your swing left over. Don’t do a sloppy job and leave deep furrows. Instead, rake the bunker and leave it nice and smooth so it’s easy for the next person who lands a shot in the bunker to hit their ball. If you don’t, then the next golfer in that bunker may get stuck in a hole that you leftover, which makes the game less fun and more challenging for them.
Give Players Space on Their Turn
When it is someone else’s turn, give them space to concentrate. Don’t talk or carry on when someone else is at the tee. Do not practice your swings within their field of vision as they are getting ready to take a shot. Do not stand in the line of play. Stand either across from or diagonal from whoever is taking a shot.
When playing on the green, make sure that you don’t walk on someone’s line of play. Be careful around the hole as well. You want to leave the grass as pristine as possible. Some newer golfers don’t pay attention to their shadow, which is also something you need to consider when on the green. Shadows not only interrupt the concentration of the other golfers, but it also changes the way that the grass stands. The grass will stand upright toward the sun and if there is a shadow, the grass will lie differently, which also changes how the ball rolls on the grass.
These are just a few of the golfing etiquette rules you need to know to be a courteous player to others on the golf course before you start using your golf club memberships. Typically, golfers will help you with the rules and may even have additional rules that they’d like you to follow. Consider calling the clubhouse before you arrive to get a run-down of all the rules they have. Additionally, consider telling your friends or whomever you are golfing with that you are new to the sport. Not only will this increase the likelihood of them walking you through what you need to do, it can also help you get leniency if you do something you shouldn’t.