Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Gentleman’s Guide to Golf Etiquette by David Bryce


A Gentleman’s Guide to Golf Etiquette Golf etiquette is a practice that has been a staple of the sport for many, many years. Since golf is a rare sport in which there are no referees or officials required to play, it is up entirely to the players to adhere to the unwritten rules of golf.


Although golf injuries have been found to be rare, it does not mean that they do not happen. To prevent injury, there are simple rules to follow.

-Always make sure that there are no other golfers in your direct area when swinging a club. It can sound obvious, but if there is a golfer that is not paying attention, a serious injury could occur.

-Make sure that the group ahead of you on the course is well out of your stroke range before swinging. If a ball is hit farther than what the golfer is typically used to, it is important to alert the group ahead. This is also true for a ball that was hit onto another hole.

Etiquette towards others


Golf etiquette dictates that staying quiet enough to not distract others is very important.

-Stay behind the golfer that is about to take a shot and remain quiet without moving. The simplest of movements can distract any golfer of any level, and can be very upsetting.

-Make sure that all electronic devices (such as cell phones) are kept silent, instead of on vibrate.


Putting is a very particular science, so any small hindrance can cause a big miscalculation. This means that walking in the line between a ball and the hole is typically frowned upon. You also need to make sure to stay close to the putting green until all players have holed out.

Pace of play

-Keep up a pace that is laid out by the course in their guidelines. Each course is different, but there is usually a two hour per nine hole limit.

-If there is a group that is behind you that is playing at a much faster pace, then let them play through to the next hole. If you notice that more groups are catching up to you after letting one go through, then your group will need to pick up the pace immediately.

-Go to your ball immediately after shooting so that you are ready for your next shot. You will want to stay out of the way of other golfers, so you can hang behind the shooter going next unless your ball would be out of the shooter's path.

-If you lose a ball, then you should have a backup ready to go. Put it in the general area of where you think your ball was lost. Keeping a search for a lost ball under two minutes is ideal.

The Course

Divots and Marks

-Any impact marks left by the ball on the putting green should be repaired when you get the chance. If you don't, then the next group may determine it to be unimportant and greens can eventually become difficult to play.

-For any divot that is left by a swing of the club, make sure to replace the divot with the grass and dirt that had been displaced. Since players are not allowed to move their ball out of a divot, it is just common courtesy.


-When shooting out of a bunker, always use the rake provided by the course to smooth out the area that had been affected.


Behavior on the golf course is very particular. Actions such as swearing, throwing clubs or driving recklessly is a violation of golf etiquette. In many cases, these actions are likely to lead to ejection from the course.

Now that you know what to look for, go ahead and practice your golf etiquette on the course for a weekend round with friends or colleagues. You will find that golf is a great game and can be a lot of fun to play when everyone is practicing proper etiquette together.

David Bryce is an online publisher for Thousand Hill's Cabins in Branson, MO. He blogs on the topics of golf, travel, and vacations.

Keywords for this article: golf etiquette, unwritten rules of golf, golf, safety, etiquette, noise, greens, pace of play, divot, ball mark, rake, bunker, behavior, David Bryce, Thousand Hills