Book Tee Times

Proper Etiquette on the Golf Course

Golf is a sport that not only requires a great deal of skill, but also an understanding of politeness. Here are some pointers on proper etiquette for golf.

If you’ve recently taken the leap into the world of golf, you’re probably busy stuffing your head with all the rules and associated jargon. But in addition to these more obvious aspects of the game, there is also a slew of unwritten guidelines for showing good manners as you play. Even seasoned players can sometimes breach these unspoken rules, and it’s not the end of the world if you make a few mistakes here and there. However, it is important to try and acquire as thorough awareness of them as you can to be courteous of your fellow players and the course you are using. By being mindful of your actions, you can enhance the enjoyment of others and make each game run relatively smoothly as well. Here we’ll teach you what the proper etiquette on the golf course is.

Arrive Early

Arriving at a destination ahead of the predetermined time is a sign of politeness in pretty much any situation, not just golf. In this context, you need time to check-in and warm up your swing. Furthermore, if you are late, you could delay the schedule of the games after yours, having a negative domino effect on a great number of people. If you know you are prone to slow starts, arrive about 30 minutes early. Otherwise, aim for no less than 20 minutes between your arrival and the tee time.

Aim for Cart Efficiency

Golf carts allow you to get from one location on the course to the next faster than walking. However, players waste time fumbling around to stop, getting their clubs, and starting up again for the next spot which cancels out the benefit of their speed. Purge these inefficiencies by having the person whose ball is furthest away drive the cart and let off the other person at their ball before proceeding to his/her own. The person who the driver dropped off can then walk over to where the cart stopped.

Whenever you leave the cart, take a few clubs with you so that you don’t have to go back and forth if you find that you need to use a different type. Everyone will appreciate it when they don’t have to anticipate a long wait every time you get up from your seat.

Shorten Your Pre-Shot Routine

Taking a few minutes to ready your shot might not seem that long individually. However, if you drag your routine every time you prep your swing, those minutes will quickly stack up. Take some practice swings off to the side before your turn starts so you are ready when it’s time to go. You can also start preparing by noting the wind direction and visualizing what you will do as you walk up to the ball. Once you choose your club, take around a maximum of 30 to 45 seconds before your hit.

Fill in Your Divots

A lot of times, the path of your swing will strike the turf as well as the ball, forming dents where the player hits a chunk of the grass off the ground. This shallow pit is a divot. Replacing divots is a common courtesy in golf. Leaving them can quickly lead to an uneven, damaged golf course which will interfere with the shot accuracy of the golfers who play after you.

In ideal circumstances, you can fill in the depressions by putting the displaced piece of turf back where it came from and patting it down. However, there are unavoidable instances where the turf blows into a multitude of tiny, scattered parts. Since you cannot restore the divot perfectly, you could use your foot to push the surrounding soil and grass into the dent. Many golf carts also possess a container with a mixture of seeds and earth that you can put there.

Reduce Time Searching for Balls

A common hold up that could inconvenience everyone present if repeated too many times in a single game is searching extensively for a lost ball. Avoid halting play excessively while you rummage through the bushes. While professional leagues allow for a leeway of five minutes of hunting for rogue balls, you shouldn’t take more than three minutes in a more casual setting.

If you feel unbearable pain when you misplace a ball, consider buying more cost-effective varieties that you don’t mind parting with as much. Until you refine you shot precision to a point where you rarely lose them, you can hold off on the expensive balls.

Give Others Space

Don’t be the person that obstructs a putt or breathes down the neck of other players when they are trying to concentrate. Give ample room to your companions when it is their turn and stand behind the direction of their shot or off to the side. Even if you feel you are far enough ahead of another golfer as they putt, remember that there is a through-line that goes two to three feet beyond the hole. Should they miss the hole, the ball will roll past along the through-line to a new position in that vicinity. You don’t want to be standing in the pathway of the hit and impede its movement.

Place Down Your Bag Smartly

For those who choose to walk instead of riding a cart, carrying a bag is a necessary part of the experience and adds just that much more to the exercise. But it becomes easy to put down your bag in the wrong places as well. You should not place your bag in the tee box, for instance, as it can disturb other players who are trying to focus. Moreover, you can stop for a few seconds upon arriving at a spot to find the best position for your bag to reduce delays. By setting it in the natural path, you will take to the next hole (outside of the play area of course) and save time for yourself and the other golfers.


Along with reading up on etiquette, it can also help to play with more experienced golfers if you want to pick up all the ins and outs of the sport. If you are searching for potential golf leagues in Las Vegas to join, The Club at Sunrise has a group you can sign up for today.