The Etiquette of Golf

etiquette of gol

Golf is the only sport where etiquette of golf requires you to call a penalty on yourself, therefore, it is very important in terms of playing the game.

Ever since the game of golf was invented, the sport has prided itself in being a gentlemen's sport. Although this image has changed quite a bit over the years with the addition of public access to the game it still remains a sport of integrity.

Besides learning the Basic Golf Rules you will need to have an idea of how to behave on the golf course. This can vary from course to course.

Private country clubs are usually clubs that will require you to look and behave professionally while public courses such as municipal courses or city courses will be more relaxed with their dress codes and behavior expectations.

However, there are some public courses that can be just as strict as private courses. An example would be a huge resort course such as the Pinehurst Resort.

So, before you play it will definitely help to do some research on the facility you will be playing at to see what their dress codes and guidelines will be. This can save you a lot of trouble and save you money.

There are numerous other things that can happen in a round and by having golf etiquette you will make the game enjoyable.

Below I have compiled some golf etiquette tips you can follow that will help your etiquette of golf:

  • Always wear a collared shirt when you practice or play since this will be respecting most golf course facilities.
  • Be respectful of others by not talking during another person's swing and not walking in their line (between ball and hole) on the greens
  • When taking a practice swing, do not swing in the direction of another player or partner
  • Never stand behind, to the side of a person while they are swinging
  • Never hit a shot into the group ahead of you, be patient and allow the group time. If you find yourself holding up players behind you then allow them to play through
  • Whoever has the lowest score from the previous hole will always have the honor to tee off first on the following hole.
  • The person who is the farthest out while playing a hole will have the honor to play the next shot
  • Be sure to rake all bunkers, repair ball marks on the green, and fill divots in the fairway
  • When attending the flagstick for a competitor be sure that your shadow does not interfere with the line of their putt
  • Pay attention to all cart signs for directions on where to drive the golf cart and never drive up near a tee box or green (most courses have a 90 degree rule)
  • Keep your cell phone on silent at all times during a round
  • Do not allow anger from a shot to permit you to damage any part of the golf course, golf cart, or your opponents
  • Avoid causing delay of time when you hit a golf ball out of bounds or is lost by playing a provisional ball which is permitted under the rules
  • Finally, play ready golf by being prepared to hit your shot when it is your turn

For further information on the etiquette of golf and some great animation videos vist USGA's Golf Etiquette Section.

By following this outline on the etiquette of golf you will have everything needed to ensure a smooth round with your playing partners.

Return From Etiquette of Golf to Basic Golf Rules

Return From Etiquette of Golf to Bo Knows Golf Tips

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

Bo Knows Golf Tips Facebook Bo Knows Golf Tips Twitter

We appreciate anything you can contribute to this website. We appreciate your support as we do not take your donations lightly as it helps keep our website current and fresh with information. To donate please use the button below. If you give $20 or more we will send you our free E-Book "The Major Swing Philosophies of Golf" by Bo Watson

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter!

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Bo Knows Golf Tips Newsletter.

Ask a Pro Can't find what you're looking for? Ask me over at Golf Questions and Answers Page.

Putting Line Find out why a correctly fit putter is crucial to the success of your Putting Line.


Bo, I wanted to thank you for your help so far with my golf game. I wanted to let you know that I shot a 75 the other day in a tournament round, my best round ever. I had 32 total putts and NO 3 putts. I definitely couldn't have done that before. Thanks again and I'll be back in touch soon to get some more lessons lined up.


Bo I just wanted to tell you about another tournament I played in. I went out and played and shot a 75 which is one of my best rounds this year so I think everything is coming together. I've been making alot of birdies lately and just wanted to thank you for everything!

Adam Mikhalko

Hey Bo when I got back from camp I played really well I’m putting great and I’m hitting the ball well. Thank you for everything at camp.


Hey Bo!!! I have been playing my best in golf, mostly because of you!!! two days ago I shot an 80 in my club tourney and came in 3rd place.

Brandtley Taylor

I played in a tournament when I got back from camp and shot 76 and came in fourth. I feel much more confident on the course with my mental thoughts. I used the tips you wrote down on that sheet and they have helped me alot.

Freddy Weber