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Golf Etiquette is the practices and rules governing the socially acceptable behavior on the Golf Course. These rules are there for different reasons and can be broken down into the following categories: Golf Safety, Golf course integrity and above all Golf should be fun.

Etiquette will be something that new golfers will learn as they play with other experienced golfers. But here are some basic rules you should know before going to the course for the first time.

Golf Safety Both the Golf Club and Golf Ball can cause harm to you and others if you do not pay close attention. Your ball could come close to someone in front of you or in an adjacent fairway, yell "FORE!" This will warn another golfer of an incoming golf ball.

You will make your fair share of bad shots. Even the very best golfers in the world make occasionally bad shots. Don't get upset, this is normal. However, do not compound the problem by throwing your club, or hitting the cart as this could cause harm to yourself or others in your immediate area. Besides, it is considered rude and un-sportsman like by fellow golfers.

Golf Course Integrity One very important rule is that you should leave the course as if you were never even on it. This allows the course to be enjoyed by the ones who follow you. If you take a divot while striking the ball on the tee or in the fairway, immediately replace the sod or use sand mix that is provided. This will allow the grass to grow back for the next person who hits from that spot.

Golf courses cost a lot of money to maintain and beautify. This is done for your benefit as well as others, while it probably won't bring the cost of the game down anytime soon, you can make a difference from them having to raise the price because of maintenance.

On the green, repair any ball mark you may have caused by your ball landing on the green. Even if you see one in the area of your ball, please practice golf etiquette and repair the mark to allow the green to heel and allow the ball to roll smoothly over the mark. The greens are where everyone will eventually play so please never spit or lay your cigar on the playing green. If you are a beginner, have an experienced golfer show you the proper technique on how to repair a ball mark.

There will be sand or traps on many golf courses. These act as hazards or areas to avoid hitting your ball into it, but occasionally your ball will land in one and you will have to hit your ball from that position. Make sure to rake the trap to remove your footprints and damage made from the ball and your club. Think if you hit your ball into a sand trap and when you got up there to see that your ball was sitting into a hole that someone else made before you. Wouldn't that make you a little concerned that they did not practice golf etiquette? Again, newcomers have an experienced golfer show you the proper technique to remove any marks.

If you drive a cart, make sure to observe any cart rules by the golf course. You may see signs stating that the carts should be on the "Cart Path Only" or to follow the "90-degree rule" when crossing the fairway. Never drive the cart on or near greens and hazards. There is usually a white line marked by the golf course superintendent to denote area not to cross with the golf cart. Please follow these rules. Newcomers should allow the more experienced golfer to drive the cart. Pay close attention to how that golfer maneuvers the cart around the course.

It goes without saying to put trash in designated trash cans. These are found on the tee boxes or at the club house when you are finished with your round.

Golf should be fun. One of the reasons to get involved in the game of golf should be to have fun. However, the fun should not only be for you, but the others on the golf course as well. Having a conversation with a fellow golfer on the course is commonplace, but try to keep that volume to a minimum. That means no yelling to one another on the course (except when warning someone of immediate danger) and do not talk while someone is getting ready to hit the ball, that is considered very rude. Extend the same courtesy as you would when you are trying to concentrate on hitting the ball. Cell phone usage is also not a good idea on the course.

The pace of play is important for not only you and your playing partners, but all others who follow you on the course. Tee times are usually set so many minutes a part to allow a certain pace of play. A Ranger (A golf courses appointed individual to make sure you play at a respectable pace) might be present on the course to tell you to pick up your pace if he thinks you are playing to slow or others complain.

Here are some additional tips:

> The person furthest from the hole is the first to hit, this shows respect for other players. 
> Be ready when it is your turn to hit, it keeps pace of play moving smooth. 
> Don't spend too much time looking for a lost ball, help look for your playing partner's lost ball to save time. 
> Know where to drop your ball if it lands in a hazard, is lost or goes out of bounds. 
> If you have to keep your cart on the path, then take more than one club when you go to your ball when it will be a good distance from the cart, this will save a lot of time and is good practice. 
>On the green, do not stand where you can cast a shadow or walk in the line of another golfer's putt. 
>Wait until the last person has putted out before going to your cart or going to the next green, this shows respect for the people you are playing with.

Wear appropriate attire at the Golf course you will be playing. This usually means a collared shirt, shorts that are neat and not cut-offs and golf shoes or at least tennis shoes with socks. If you do not know, ask ahead when you make reservations or the host you will be playing with.

Believe it or not most golf clubs will look at your apparel as soon as you walk in, to save you the embarrassment of being turned away.. find out what is considered good Golf Etiquette.

This list may seem overwhelming but many of these rules of the game should be common sense, while others will take a little more time to learn how to play this wonderful game.

Playing with more experienced golfers will help educate you along the way so you are able to share those same values when it is your turn to play with someone new for the first time.
Written by Guy | Healthy Living


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