Knowing the rules of golf is one thing and although linked in some ways, it is not the same as etiquette. You can push the boundaries of golf etiquette without breaking the rules. However, it will be frowned upon and your fellow golfers will dislike you for it.
As a beginner golfer, what is considered good golf etiquette?
Many aspects of good golf etiquette surround safety. You should not be hitting the ball with players in-front of you and always keep your distance when other players are swinging. If your ball is heading towards another group of players, shout ‘fore’ to alert them.
Always be prepared to hit your shot when it is your turn. A common tip to keep in mind is if you need to ask if it is your turn to play, you should have already hit your ball. Try to keep pace with the group ahead of you and allow people to play through if they are playing faster.
If you lose a ball, do not spend too much time searching for it, especially if someone behind you is waiting to play. When walking away from the cart to play a shot, take more than one club with you. This will save you having to walk back to the cart to get a different club.
You must respect the golf course at all times.
You want to find your ball sitting nicely on the fairway and green and so do other players. Repair your pitch marks on the fairway and ball mark on the green. Having hit a shot from a bunker, rake the sand to remove your feet marks and the area where you hit the ball.
When other players are playing their shot, remain quiet. This means no talking and certainly not making or receiving phone calls. Should you have your mobile phone with you, keep it in silent mode and only use if it’s absolutely necessary.
Never shout out having hit a shot.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating a great shot but other players on the course will be concentrating on their own shot. A simple fist-pump or similar physical reaction is enough but never go over the top.
When on the green, consider the putting line of other players.
You will be focussed on your own putt but you should never walk across the line of another putt. Your footprints could change the putting surface and lead to a missed putt.
Always be aware of your shadow on the green on sunny days. Where you are standing could mean your shadow is across the line of someone else’s putt that can be very off-putting.
Finally, when a fellow golfer is putting, try and keep out of their line of vision. Seeing you stood, watching them putt when they look up is distracting. Try and stand behind them if possible.