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Golf Rules And Etiquette For The Beginner

Aug 18, 2007
As you venture out to the local golf course for the first time there are a few things you should know that will make your first experience a great one.

The Tee Time is when your first stroke or drive is made from the Tee Box, so make sure you phone ahead to reserve your tee time and get to the golf course a good half hour early. Reserving the tee time a day ahead or even a few days ahead will assure you of getting the time you want, it all depends on which day and what time you choose.

If a tee time is missed, your group might have to wait around for another opening, which can take hours on a busy day. Tee times are not always required but having one is a good idea. Getting to the course early is an advantage for you; spend the time wisely by hitting a few balls on the driving range and putting on the practice putting green.

Know the Dress Code

Many golf courses have dress codes so you should inquire at the club house and dress appropriately. A pair of dress shorts or slacks and a collared golf shirt will almost always meet the requirements, but it is a good idea to check ahead of time. Golf shoes are usually not required depending on how private and upscale the golf course is. Golf gloves are up to the golfer, both golf shoes and gloves are an advantage to any golfer no matter how much experience they have.

Is Tipping required?

If you are just starting out you will most likely be playing at a municipal golf course where tipping is almost never an issue. If playing a private, semiprivate or upscale public course, you may have to tip the cart jockeys who carry your equipment for you to your vehicle or to your cart. You may also have to tip the beverage cart driver who brings you that cold beer or ice water, the tip amount depends on you or how classy the course is relative to the green fees.

Equipment Rules and Etiquette

There are some rules regarding golf equipment, the most obvious one is a limit of 14 clubs in each bag of each player. There is no minimum number of clubs which may lead a player to borrow a club, this is considered poor etiquette and golf rules dictate this unless there are acceptable circumstances. The best rule of thumb is when buying clubs get a complete set of 14 clubs, you will be very glad you did.

Your first time out you want to have lots of extra golf balls and tees, it is almost guaranteed you will be losing a lot of balls. Proper golf etiquette also includes repairing the course surface caused by you or any golfer for that matter. Ballmarks must be repaired using a ballmark repair tool and repairing the divot or chunk of sod you sliced out of the ground. Ballmark tools are small devices that can be found for a couple of bucks at most pro shops and are usually used on the greens.

So there you have it, some basic golf rules and etiquette you need to know before venturing out to the local golf course. The rules are usually posted in and outside of the clubhouse and involve using some common sense, dress respectably and leave the course the way you found it.
The main rule is to have some fun!
About the Author
John Whelan is a Freelance Writer and golf enthusiast whose articles and product reviews help inform the consumer. Read his review on the just released Golf Beginner Guide
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