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Article: Beginner's guide to golf etiquette

Golf Etiquette 101, beginner's guide to all things golf etiquette

Beginner's guide to golf etiquette

Golf Etiquette 101

This guide is meant to point out the rules that are a must do and the gray areas that in our experience are less strict, never feel like you don't belong!


Embarking on the expansive greens of a golf course, you're not just stepping onto a field of swings and drives; you're entering a domain governed by a unique set of etiquettes. Welcome to the enthralling world of golf etiquette, where respect for tradition and camaraderie intertwine. Whether you're a budding golfer or a seasoned player seeking to refine your knowledge, this comprehensive guide unveils the art of maneuvering through the unspoken rules that grace the greens.

Picture this: the sun casts a golden glow over meticulously manicured fairways, a gentle breeze whispers secrets among the trees, and the promise of a perfect drive beckons. It's a mesmerizing scene, one that draws countless individuals to the allure of golf. But beneath the serene surface lies a tapestry of customs and norms designed to create a harmonious and enjoyable experience for all. Let's dive into the vibrant fabric of golf etiquette, unraveling its secrets and weaving our way through the essential do's and don'ts that define this timeless sport.

Navigating the Essentials: A Dance of Do's and Don'ts

The heart of golf etiquette lies in a profound understanding of the core principles that govern the sport. While some rules are as well-known as the fairways themselves, others may remain hidden gems, awaiting discovery. Together, these guidelines form a symphony of courtesy and consideration that resonates across every tee and green.

The Must-Know Rules of Golf Etiquette: A Foundation of Courtesy

DON'T talk in someone's backswing: An age-old refrain, this rule echoes through the ages. Like a crescendo in a symphony, interrupting another player's backswing disrupts the rhythm and harmony of the game. So, resist the urge to share anecdotes or engage in conversation when a fellow golfer is poised for their shot. Just imagine the serene concentration required to sink a tricky putt, only to be derailed by an ill-timed remark!


DON'T hit into someone: A golden rule to live by - patience is key. As you stand on the tee, the fairway ahead might seem inviting, but resist the temptation to launch your ball until the group ahead is well out of harm's way. Trust us, peppering them with early tee shots won't earn you any applause.


DON'T drive your cart onto the green: The emerald greens are like the jewels of the course, delicate and deserving of care. Show them the respect they deserve by refraining from driving your cart on them. Some par 3s even enforce a cart path-only policy; heed this to ensure you're treading lightly and maintaining the course's pristine allure.


DON'T spend an eternity hunting for your ball: Yes, that ball you saw perched oh-so-perfectly near the rough might be calling your name, but remember: pace is of the essence. If you find yourself embroiled in a 'where's Waldo' scenario, don't overstay your welcome. Search diligently, and if time begins to stretch, take the shot and carry on. It's all part of the game, and fun should always take precedence.


DON'T be fashionably late for tee time: Promptness is a virtue, especially in the world of golf. The course is a bustling arena, and a delayed tee time can create a bottleneck of frustrated players. Arriving on time, if not early, ensures a smooth flow and a seamless start to your game. Trust us, the course doesn't appreciate tardiness.


DON'T trample on someone's putting path: Just as ballerinas glide gracefully across the stage, golfers execute their putts with precision and finesse. Avoid stepping on their putting path; it's a dance floor where any disruption can throw off their rhythm. Respect this space and preserve the sanctity of the game.


DON'T create a practice swing spectacle: We've all witnessed it – the golfer who conjures a whirlwind of practice swings, only to land with a thud that echoes disappointment. Instead, channel your inner maestro, keeping your practice swings concise and focused. Approach the ball with confidence, and let the club do the talking.


Golf Etiquette On The Green and Off the Green


DO tend to your ball marks: As your ball lands gracefully on the green, be prepared to embrace a newfound responsibility – repairing ball marks. Delicately use a tee to lift the grass around the ball mark, restoring the pristine landscape. It's a simple gesture that contributes to the beauty and integrity of the course.


DO call "Fore!" with conviction: A thunderous drive that sails through the air like an arrow can be exhilarating. However, with great power comes great responsibility. If your shot threatens to trespass into another group's territory, or if it takes an unexpected detour to another tee box, call "Fore!" Letting your fellow golfers know of an incoming projectile can prevent unwelcome surprises and foster a safer environment.


DO tidy up the bunker: Imagine the bunker as a sandy oasis, where countless golfers seek solace. When you're ready to depart, leave no trace behind – use the provided rake to smooth the sand, ensuring the next player's experience mirrors your own. After all, who wants to face an unexpected sand dune in the midst of their game?


DO bask in the glory of a hole-in-one: Achieving a hole-in-one is a triumphant feat that deserves a special celebration. While not mandatory, it's a tradition to buy a round for the entire clubhouse. As the tales of your remarkable shot spread, revel in the camaraderie and relish in the shared joy that defines golf.


DO don the right attire: Dressing the part not only exudes a sense of style but also showcases your respect for the course and fellow players. Before stepping onto the green, review the dress code – some courses require collared shirts, others might enforce a no-spikes policy. Adhering to the code ensures a seamless transition from the clubhouse to the course, so you can focus on your game with confidence.


DO exchange handshakes and pleasantries: The golf course is a stage for forging connections, and every round is an opportunity to meet new people. At the conclusion of your game, extend a friendly handshake to your playing partners, accompanied by a warm "good game" and "nice to meet you." These simple gestures embody the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie that defines the golfing community.


DO cultivate an inner calm: Golf is a test of both skill and mental fortitude. As the course challenges your prowess, it also examines your poise. Embrace each shot with composure, avoiding outbursts of frustration that can disrupt the serene atmosphere. Channel your energy positively, for a peaceful demeanor elevates not only your game but the experience of those around you.

Navigating the Grey Area of Golf: Balancing Tradition with Modernity


DON'T shadow someone on the tee: The tee box is a sacred space where focus and concentration intertwine. While it's common to watch a fellow golfer's shot, standing directly behind them can be distracting. Instead, position yourself at an angle, allowing them the solitude they need to execute their swing.


DON'T transform the fairway into a concert hall: The modern golf course often blends tradition with a dash of vibrancy. While some venues welcome music to accompany your game, others appreciate the serenity of nature. Gauge the environment and the preferences of your companions before harmonizing your swing with your favorite tunes.


DON'T flip your hat around: While fashion is a subjective art, certain norms hold steadfast. Wearing your hat backward may exude a sense of casualness that contradicts the traditional charm of the golf course. Embrace the style that resonates with you, but be mindful of adhering to the course's dress code.


DON'T let your phone dominate the game: Smartphones have become omnipresent companions, even on the greens. As a courteous golfer, strike a balance between staying connected and immersing yourself in the game. Be considerate of your surroundings and the expectations of your fellow players, and keep your phone usage in check.

DON'T indulge in a one-person scramble: While embracing the spirit of a friendly round, remember that golf is a communal experience. Don't fall into the trap of hitting multiple balls for a single shot. Balance your personal warm-up needs with the flow of the game, ensuring that you're neither hogging the spotlight nor disrupting the rhythm of play.


DO leave your mark: As you navigate the green, your VivanTee magnetic ball marker becomes a subtle signature, emblematic of your style. Use it thoughtfully to mark your ball's position, whether it's obstructing another player's path or residing in close proximity to their trajectory. As you adorn your glove with this elegant accessory, you weave a thread of respect and camaraderie through the tapestry of golf.


DO embrace the rhythm of ready golf: The tempo of a golf game is akin to a harmonious melody. If you and your playing partners are comfortable with ready golf, seize the opportunity to keep the rhythm alive. Proceed without unnecessary delays, ensuring that the symphony of swings flows smoothly, resonating with the spirit of the course.


Where Tradition and Modernity Converge

As you embark on your journey through the enchanting world of golf, remember that etiquette is more than a collection of rules – it's a reflection of your respect for the game, the course, and your fellow golfers. This guide serves as your compass, steering you toward a seamless integration into the golfing community. Whether you're teeing off for the first time or refining your seasoned swing, embrace the essence of etiquette, and let it become the foundation upon which you build your golfing legacy.


Mental Game of Golf


However, there is one more area we want to touch upon. Let's have a one-off discussion about keeping cool. One thing is certain about the game of golf: it is a mental and psychological warfare against one person – yourself. We mentioned earlier in the guide the importance of keeping your cool.  

Part of this game's brilliance is that it pushes your limits and teaches you to keep your composure under frustrating circumstances. Quite possibly the most impressive feat Tiger Woods accomplished was his innate ability to keep his composure regardless of his play. After a really bad hole, he could pull himself together and birdie the next hole. It is one of the hardest traits to take away from golf, but one of the most impactful mental takeaways that the game can help in your everyday life.

There are few things that are as mentally tiring as being in a cart with someone who is cursing on every shot, yelling at themselves, getting mad, when you are having a decent round yourself. It almost makes you feel bad for the other person, but your energy can and will wear off on others. Stay positive, at all times. Of course, you will get frustrated, but keep it, hold your composure, and focus on the next shot, not the last. There will always be a bad round, always.  



The most important rule of all golf etiquette is to be mindful. 90% of these rules can be thrown out the window if you are playing with the right group of people and on the right course. Then you can have very few rules!

So, what's your next step? Will you dress yourself to the nines and keep your cool regardless of the outcomes? Or perhaps you'll practice ready golf, infusing each stroke with an electrifying rhythm? The course awaits your presence, ready to absorb your energy and stories, as you embody the timeless spirit of golf etiquette. As you embark on your journey, remember, every swing you take, every mark you leave, contributes to the tapestry of respect that binds golfers across generations.

As you step onto the hallowed grounds of the golf course, you're not merely playing a game – you're engaging in a dance of tradition and modernity, a symphony of courtesy and camaraderie. Grip your club, take a deep breath, and let the magic of golf etiquette guide your steps, propelling you toward a fulfilling and enriching golfing experience.

If you are new to golf but want to try check out our guide for help, surround yourself with friends whom you feel good around and will help you play your best. Everyone starts somewhere. We love hearing that it's someone's first time on the course. If you want advice, ask for it; if you don't, that's okay too. But make sure you stick to one thing: go out there and have a blast! Now, go hit 'em straight, follow us for more golf rules, fashion tips, and everything golf. We love the sport, and we want you to love it just as much as we do!

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