Golf Etiquette: Ten Unwritten Rules to Follow

When playing a friendly round of golf with your buddies the more highly technical rules of golf may not matter much to you.  For example, may golfers may take mulligans, give free drops, or alter the rules in some other way that keeps the round friendly, relaxed, and non-competitive.

However, there are a few unwritten rules of golf that player should abide by, no matter how informal the round might be.  These simple tips will keep the round cordial and prevent you from angering anyone else on the course (some of whom may be playing a serious or more competitive round themselves).

#1 – Fore! 

We all shank shots left and right, on other fairways and greens or maybe even backyards.  Perhaps the most well known unwritten rule in golf is screaming “Fore!” when you are in jeopardy of hitting someone else on the golf course with your ball.  Odds are that you will not hit anybody, but if you come close and you don’t scream “fore,” you’ll anger someone and it could potentially get you in trouble.  Yelling “fore” is the universal way of letting other golfers know that there is a golf ball headed in their direction and it’s common courtesy in a game with inherent dangers of being accidentally struck by another player’s golf ball.

#2 – Get Off My Line

While most golfers obey this rule, some continue to break it simply because they’re not aware of it.  It is always good golf etiquette to avoid walking in the line of a player’s ball on the green and the hole (“the line” meaning the path between where the player’s ball lies and the hole).  Simple put, your shoe imprint in the line could alter the direction of the ball causing the player to miss the putt.

#3 – Shut up already!

When a player is teeing off, putting, or hitting any other shot, quit yapping with your buddies and let them hit in silence.  Complete focus is essential in golf – that’s why you see people on the PGA TOUR with signs held up high staying “quiet”.

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