The 10 Commandments of Golf Etiquette

Golf is believed to be one of the oldest sports that man has played. In fact, there is evidence that golf was played by the ancient Chinese. It is believed that golf began five centuries in the past. In fact, golf was banned by James II of Scotland in an act of Parliament on March 6, 1457. Most historians believe that the Scots were the first to play golf, however this has been met with some opposition as there has been evidence found in various Asian countries that the sport is much older than that.

Some historians have even suggested that bored sheepherders began knocking round shaped stones into holes in the ground with their staffs. Making a competitive game out of the activity filled their time. Various forms of golf were often played throughout the fourteenth century. These types of games were played in various countries such as Holland, Belgium, France and Scotland. Although it has always been popular, golf has seen a popularity resurgence in the past few decades and it seems that its popularity is only going to continue to increase.

The view of golf has also changed quite dramatically in the past few decades, partly due to the rise and popularity of Tiger Woods and similar charismatic players. Golf is seen as more of an athletic type sport when it had been seen as a sport for old men in plaid pants. Following along with this trend there have been changes that have completely transformed in golf into a pastime and vacation getaway. A sport that was once seen as a meeting place for doctor’s and lawyers has been transformed into vacation packages for honeymooners and families. Resorts are developing vacation packages and whole neighborhoods are being built around golf courses. The rise in popularity of the sport is one to be reckoned with and it’s one that more and more people are striving to learn more about.

Even if you are not a golf pro, being your best on the course will make you shine. Here are the rules of etiquette for you to follow.

Rule 1

Be on time. Many courses will require tee time appointments. Make sure that you are there at least 30 minutes early. This should give you plenty of time to park, get your clubs, rent a cart and warm-up.

Rule 2

Obey the dress code. If you don’t know the dress code, be sure to call and ask ahead of time. Some courses will prohibit jeans. Some will also forbid shorts. Some courses require your shoes to not have spikes. If you carry a cell phone, be sure to ask before you hit the course. Leave it behind if you can so that people will not be disturbed by your calls.

Rule 3

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

Rule 4

Be quite and still when a golfer in your group is preparing to hit. Be especially quite while they are putting. Also don’t cloud a golfer’s line of vision.

Rule 5

Watch where you hit. Don’t swing if you might hit a fellow golfer with a ball. Also don’t hit if your ball may fall into a group ahead of you. It’s common sense for most people not to stand behind someone swinging, but check just in case.

Rule 6

Be protective. Protect the greens by replacing your divots and repairing ball marks. Don’t disturb the sand traps any more than necessary and rake them smooth when you are done. Exit the sand trap on the shallow side to avoid damaging it.

Rule 7

Follow cart rules. If you are driving, know the rules of the course. Carts may be prohibited if the green is wet and on rainy days. Some require that carts stay on paths.
Always keep your cart a good distance away from the greens and trees and never park in another golfer’s way.

Rule 8

Don’t try to clinch a business deal on the green, especially if it is going to disturb someone’s concentration. Despite what many TV shows and movies portray, business deals are rarely clinched on the green. It is also recommended that any betting on a game be kept nominal or as a “friendly” bet. Anything large can only create animosity.

Rule 9

If you are using a caddy or assistant that is offered by the course, be sure to tip them. Remember to ask a “regular” what the normal amount is.

Rule 10

Have Fun!

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