Tee Time Manners: A Guide to Golf Etiquette for Every Golfer

Golf etiquette is an essential part of the game that all golfers should be aware of. It encompasses a set of expected behavior, values, and courtesies that are observed both on and off the course.

Starting with proper club selection and dress code to course care and respect for fellow golfers, understanding and adhering to golf etiquette is key to having the best overall golf experience. 

Golf enthusiasts should strive to become familiar with the rules and regulations of the game to ensure that they are making the most of their time on the course. After all, any sport, including golf, is better enjoyed when professional sportsmanship is practiced. 

This guide aims to teach golf etiquette for beginners as well as professionals. Here, we dive deeper into golf etiquette do’s and don’ts, promoting awareness and, most of all, safety on the course. Let’s swing on to the next pages!

Full Guide To Golf Etiquette on the Course

Different Kinds of Golfers

There are several ways to classify golfers based on their skill level, frequency of play, motivation for playing, and other factors. Here are different classifications of golfers one should encounter on the course


These golfers are either new to the sport or have only played it a few times. Basic skills like hitting the ball straight or chipping onto the green may be difficult for them. Golfers who are just starting out don't play very often and frequently feel intimidated by more experienced players. They might practice on their own or take lessons to improve their skills.


The term "intermediate golfer" refers to golfers who have progressed beyond the "beginner" level but have not yet reached the "advanced" or "expert" skill level. They might have been playing golf for a few years and know a lot about the fundamentals, like how to hold their stance, swing, and grip.


Advanced golf players are highly skilled golfers with a high level of proficiency in all aspects of the sport. These players may engage in competitive play, frequently participating in regional, national, or local tournaments. They may likewise be individuals from exclusive hangouts or approach very good quality offices where they can practice and play at a significant level.


Master golfers, otherwise called first-class or expert golf players, are the most elevated level of golf players who have arrived at the zenith of the game. They are among the best golfers in the world and usually play golf for a living, competing in big tournaments with big prizes.

All aspects of the game, including technical proficiency, strategic course management, and mental toughness, are mastered by expert golfers. Even in the most difficult conditions, they are able to hit the ball with extraordinary accuracy and distance thanks to their repeatable and consistent swing.

These classifications are not mutually exclusive, and many golfers may fall between these categories based on their enthusiasm for the sport.


Pre-Round Etiquette for Golfers 

Pre-round etiquette for golf players is important in order to show respect for the game and other players, as well as to ensure a smooth and enjoyable round of golf. Here are some common pre-round golf etiquette tips:

Arrival time and preparation. Golfers should arrive at the course at least 30 minutes before their scheduled tee time to allow for adequate time to warm up and prepare.

Dress codeGolfers should wear the appropriate golf attire, which typically includes collared shirts, golf pants or shorts, and golf shoes. 

Checking in. Golfers should check in at the pro shop or clubhouse to confirm their tee time and pay any applicable fees. These things should be settled for a smoother gaming experience for the player and everyone involved during and after the game starts.

Warm-up and practice. Before a round of golf, players should warm up by stretching, hitting practice shots, and putting on the practice green. 

Mindfulness to others. Golfers should be respectful of other players on the course, including avoiding loud or disruptive behavior during warm-up or practice.

Pace of play. Golfers should be aware of their pace of play and strive to keep up with the group in front of them. In order to maintain a reasonable pace and avoid delays that can frustrate other golfers on the course, pre-round etiquette regarding the pace of play is essential.

Other preparations. Before heading to the first tee, golfers should ensure they have all the necessary equipment, such as clubs, balls, tees, and a glove. Gold is mostly played in an open field, so it’s best to be prepared for the weather. Sunscreens and umbrellas are a must. 

Golfers can help ensure a positive and respectful experience for themselves and their playing partners by adhering to these pre-round etiquette guidelines.


On-Course Etiquette 

When the game starts and swings start making balls fly, proper golf etiquette should be observed. A smoother gameplay and enjoyable game for spectators are on the table when these etiquettes are executed properly. 

Repairing divots and ball marks. In order to aid in maintaining the course's condition, golfers should either fill divots with sand or replace them. Moreover, golfers should repair ball marks on the green in order to prevent surface damage.

Raking bunkers. Golfers should rake the sand in bunkers after hitting a shot. With this, the bunker will be in good condition for other golf players.

Following golf cart rules. Cart rules are enforced for a reason. Players should follow any specific cart rules and guidelines set by the course as a sign of respect and professionalism.

Course markings and hazards. Distances and hazards are indicated by a variety of markers on various courses. Players should ensure they know the meanings of the markings on the course they are playing. Also, golf includes hazards like roughs, sand traps, and water. It’s important to take the necessary precautions when facing a hazard to avoid harming the course or affecting the play of others.

Taking care of the green. Tossing clubs, causing a ruckus around town in disappointment, or harming the green in any capacity isn't only rude but also poses pointless harm to the course. A few courses might have explicit guidelines about how to deal with the green or how to move toward putting. Make sure you are aware of these guidelines and adhere to them.

Lost balls and searching for balls. How to handle lost balls and look for them is an important part of golf, and proper etiquette also includes how to find them. Players should start looking for the ball as soon as they hit it but should avoid searching for it for more than five minutes to keep the play going.
Being aware of other golfers. Golfers should treat other golfers, caddies, and course staff with respect. While waiting for their turn, players should refrain from making any unnecessary noise or talking. Before walking or making any noise, golfers should wait until other golfers have completed their shots. Golf players ought to avoid slow play by being prepared to hit their shots when it is their move and not taking too long to make a shot.


After-Round Etiquette

Proper golf course etiquette doesn't end when the round is over. Here are some things to remember after the round.

Proper way to return carts and equipment. If you rented equipment, make sure to return it promptly and in good condition. This shows respect for the course and the rental company. Additionally, If you use a golf cart, make sure to dispose of any trash or personal belongings and leave the cart in the designated area. This helps to keep the course clean and tidy. 

Post-round conversations. It is customary to remove hats and shake hands with playing partners and express gratitude for the game after each round. This shows great sportsmanship and regard for your kindred players. Avoid negative comments and be gracious even in defeat.

Reflect on your round. After the round is over, it's important to leave the course promptly to allow other players to start their rounds. Don't linger on the course or practice area. Take some time to assess the recent play and think about what went well and what needs improvement. This helps players to determine how they can improve their next play. 
Thanking fellow players and the course staff. Prior to leaving, take time to thank the staff for their assistance. This involves staff at the pro shop, course marshals, and maintenance workers. They put in a lot of effort to make sure that everyone on the course has a good time. If there’s a caddie or cart partner, thank them for their help and assistance during the round. Showing gratitude is part of exhibiting great sportsmanship!


Rules of Play 

The game of golf is governed by a set of guidelines. The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) established these guidelines, which are periodically revised and updated. The most important golf rules of play are as follows:

Knowledge of golf rules

Golf has a long history of good manners and sportsmanship, and adhering to the rules is an essential part of this tradition. Players can behave appropriately on the course and demonstrate respect for their fellow players, the course, and the game itself if they understand the rules.

Honesty and integrity in scoring

Respect for the rules ensures that every player has a fair chance of success in the integrity-based game of golf. The rules are meant to make sure that no one has an unfair advantage and that everyone is competing on a level playing field.

Order of play

Following the order of play is an important part of the strong tradition of etiquette and sportsmanship in golf. It recognizes your kindred players and guarantees that everybody has a fair opportunity to play without being upset or diverted. On the course, adhering to the order of play helps maintain a good pace. On the off chance that players are continually getting out in front of one another, it can create setbacks and dial back the game for everyone.

Obeying the rulings

To ensure that the game is played fairly and in accordance with the set standards, golfers should adhere to the rules that are set by the officials. The game's rules and regulations are enforced by the referee or the Committee, whose decisions are final and binding.



It is essential to comprehend and practice proper golf etiquette in order to guarantee an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. It not only creates a more pleasant environment on the course, but it also promotes sportsmanship and respect. Taking the time to learn and comprehend golf etiquette can greatly enhance your enjoyment of the game of golf.