Golf for Beginners: Golf Etiquette on the Course


Golf Tips for Beginners

Once you have mastered the basic shots in golf, from teeing off to putting out, you may feel ready to go and play at a full golf course. Golf is a fun and sociable sport, however there are many rules which must be followed, from the in game rules to the common etiquette displayed to playing partners and other groups on the course.

Falling foul of these rules can lead to disqualification from tournaments or expulsion from clubs, so it’s good to be aware of the common rules before playing to understand how they impact the sport, allowing you to incorporate them into your game.

Golf Etiquette for Beginners

Golf is a very etiquette-driven sport, and many of these common rules will be picked up as you play. Although much of the etiquette may seem complicated, it’s worth remembering the basics when you’re starting out playing with others:

Waiting Your Turn:

The person with the best score on the previous hole has the “honour” of teeing off the next first in a sliding order. During the hole, the player furthest away from the hole should hit next.

Mark Your Ball with a Golf Ball Marker:

By rules, you shouldn’t touch your ball or move it once you have teed off. Marking your golf ball with a golf ball marker will allow you to clearly identify whom it belongs to in your group. You should never touch another player’s ball!

Standing Whilst Others In Your Group Hit:

Always stand behind the line of sight of others in your group who are hitting shots. Don’t talk or make unnecessary noise that may affect the concentration of another player

Removing & Replacing Flag Sticks:

When you get to the green, the player closest to the pin or flagstick removes it for all. The last person to hole out should replace the flag for the following group

Warn Other Players of Errant Shots:

Shot gone off course? Yell ‘Fore’ to warn other players of an incoming golf ball. ‘Fore’ just means to watch out for a ball. It can cause serious injury to be hit with an errant ball, so as quickly as you can, shout out to warn other players. Better to shout cautiously than not and have a ball strike another player

Keep Up With Play:

Always stay up with the play of your group. Even if you find yourself having to hit more shots to match the distance, avoid too many practice swings and continue your game. This doesn’t mean to rush your shots or round - even in a more social round, it’s still important to keep the game moving.

If you are playing in front of other groups who are playing at a higher pace or level, you can feel free to let them play through ahead of you at the next hole. This is useful for beginners to not feel pressured by more experienced golfers behind.

Respect The Course:

A golf course has many areas which take time and effort to maintain, such as the greens, the fairways, the bunkers or water hazards, and even the roughs. Always replace and repair damaged areas where you can:


Sometimes hitting shots will cause divots (holes caused by cutting up the turf when hitting) which you should replace and press down with your foot or club. A pitch mark tool can be useful when repairing marks.


Once you have hit your shot from the bunker, rake down the sand to clear ball marks / dents and your footprints, so other players who follow you into a sand trap are playing off a clear lie.


Don’t lay your bag or clubs down on the putting green surface. When approaching to play your putt, leave your bag - regardless of in a trolley or stand - off the green. You should also avoid driving a cart or trolley over the surface of the green to avoid causing any tracks, marks, or damage.

Wearing Appropriate Golf Clothing:

Some clubs will have dress codes for golf clothing which must be followed regardless of your level of play. Commonly they could be that a top with a collar, such as a polo shirt or golf shirt must be worn. Appropriate golf shoes are typically also required to play on many courses. Always check with the club before you play. Even if you are not a member and have been invited by a member to play, you should adhere to the code or you may not be allowed to play.

Shop Golf at Greaves

Although some of the rules of etiquette in golf may seem extreme, or even off-putting to a beginner, they are typically followed across the world. Getting into the habit of following the rules will help put you at ease playing a course when you are starting out and relieve much of the pressure of your first few rounds. From replacing pitch marks to appropriate golf clothing, shop Greaves to get started on your path to golfing glory.

Shop All Golf

Recent Posts