Basic etiquette you need to know

Golf is a game that requires a lot of concentration. If you are trying to make a putt, or hit your tee shot into a narrow Fairway, it will be much more difficult if someone is laughing, rattling their clubs, or running around the tee or green.

Golf etiquette is an extremely important part of the game of golf. The etiquette golfers show to one another out on the course is one of the things that distinguishes golf from all other sports. But what is etiquette? Etiquette has to do with manners. It is through the courtesy we show to other people that we communicate our respect for them and that we show them how important we think they are.

Quiet is required on the golf course. Golf requires lots of concentration, and even if the people in your immediate group don't seem to be bothered, there are other groups all around you. So keep you voice down Walk, don't run.

Watch that Practice Swing
The first and foremost rule of golf and golf etiquette is safety. This rule applies to young and old alike. Without some good common sense and a notion of how hard golf balls and clubs are, a golf course can be a very dangerous place. So here are some safety rules to always follow on the golf course: Don't take practice swings toward another person (rocks and sticks and grass can fly up and hit them in the eye. Besides, it's rude!)

Golf Carts
You don't need a driver's license to drive a golf cart on the course, but you do need some common sense. If you are driving a motorised cart, drive at a moderate speed and keep your eyes open for other golfers. Depending on weather conditions and other variables courses will post different rules relating to the use of carts.

Be sure to obey the course rules regarding carts such as: Keep carts on paths at all times - this is a rule that courses use if the ground is very wet and they don't want the tires of the motorised carts to damage the fairway grass. 90 Degree Rule - this rule requires you to stay on the cart path until you are even (at a 90 degree angle) with your ball. Then you may drive your cart straight out to your ball. When you've taken your shot, drive straight back to the cart path.

Adhering to this rule minimises damage to fairway grass as well, but still allows golfers to drive right up to their ball. Always, under all circumstances, keep all carts, motorised or pull-carts away from the greens and off the teeing ground. Often the course will post signs giving directions as to where they want you to park your cart; follow the directions.

Keep Moving
If golfers have to wait too long in between shots they get impatient and they lose their momentum. So here are some things you can do to maintain a good pace of play:

  • Don't wait until your turn to start thinking about what club you will hit, or whether to go over the water or lay up to it -- be ready in advance.
  • As you approach the green determine in which direction the next tee is located and leave your clubs on that side of the green.
  • When playing from a motorised cart, if one player is on one side of the fairway and the other player on the opposite side, drop one player off at his or her ball with a choice of a few clubs, then drive to the next player's ball and meet farther down the fairway, after both have hit their shots.
  • Keep up with the group ahead of you. As they leave the green you should be ready to hit up to the green. Don't worry about how far ahead you are of the group behind you, focus on staying a reasonable distance from the group ahead.
  • Play "Hit When Ready" golf whenever it's appropriate.
  • If you are not playing golf in an actual tournament, or other sanctioned event, it is okay to play "ready golf."
  • Ready golf means the golfer who is ready to hit can do so even though he or she may not be farthest away from the hole. Just agree ahead with the others in your group that you will play ready golf when it makes sense. That way they won't think you are just unaware of the rules. It is good courtesy to acknowledge that you are playing ready golf to move things along.
  • Ready golf can really help to speed things along, but before you hit be sure that everyone in your group knows that you are going to hit and that you are aware of where everyone in your group is. You certainly do not want to hit someone who is not paying attention, nor do you want several people hitting at one time.
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