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The 10 Commandments of Golf Etiquette

Even if you are not a golf pro, being on your best behavior on the course will make you shine like a true sports star. As with any sport, there are a few rules of etiquette golfers should follow. 

Rule Number One:

Be on time. Most courses require tee time appointments. Make sure to arrive at the course about 30 minutes before your tee off. This will give you time to park, get your clubs, take care of cart rental and warm up.

Rule Number Two:

Obey the dress code. If you don't know the dress code, make a phone call and ask. Some courses prohibit jeans. Some forbid shorts. Some require golf shoes without spikes. If you carry a cell phone, ask if they are allowed before you hit the course. While it is easy enough to change your ringer to silent or vibrate, answering your cell phone still requires you to talk - in some cases loudly. Leave it behind if you can.

Rule Number Three:

Set an order of play before you begin. Use the old coin toss method or simply decide, but have a plan.

Rule Number Four:

Be quiet and still when a golfer in your group in a group that is very close by is preparing to hit, especially when they are putting. Don't cloud the golfer's line of vision.

Rule Number Five:

Watch where you hit! Don't swing if you run the risk of hitting a fellow golfer with an erratic ball. Likewise, don't hit until you know your ball won't drop down into the group playing in front of you. While you may think it's common sense that players won't stand directly behind you when you're preparing to swing, check - just to be sure.

Rule Number Six:

Be protective. Protect the greens by replacing your divots and repairing all ball marks. Don't disturb sand traps any more than necessary and remember to rake them smooth before you leave. Here's another tip: exit a sand trap on the shallow side to avoid creating more damage to the trap.

Rule Number Seven:

Follow cart rules. If you are driving a cart, know the rules for the course. Carts may be prohibited on wet, rainy days. Some courses require carts to stay on designated paths. Always keep your cart a good distance from greens and tees and never park in another golfer's way.

Rule Number Eight:

No matter what movies or television shows portray, business deals are rarely cinched on the golf course. It's not easy to talk business on the course because the game requires concentration. Don't break a golfer's concentration on the game by trying to secure a business deal.

In another matter, it is recommended that any betting on the game of golf be kept nominal, or as a "friendly" bet. Anything larger creates stress and animosity - which is far against the goal of the game.

Rule Number Nine:

Here's a tip: Tip. If you are using a caddy or assistant offered by the course, remember to tip. Ask a "regular" at the course what the norm is and tip that amount.

Rule Number Ten:

Have fun and enjoy the sport!



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