What is golf etiquette?

Like all sports, golf has a set of rules that players need to follow in order to score well in the game. Alongside this set of rules though, is golf etiquette. Etiquette isn’t the same as rules, and is to do with manners. It is more a set of guidelines that you should follow in order to show respect and courtesy to other golfers on the course. 

What is golf etiquette?

Golf etiquette is a set of practices, separate from the rules of playing golf, that are designed to make the sport safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved, and to minimise damage to equipment and courses.

Despite being separate from the formal rules of golf, players are still expected to follow them.

What are the most important etiquette guidelines?

Golf etiquette is an extensive list of guidelines that includes everything from dress code to the way you act on the course. If you’re new to golf, you might not be familiar with the different etiquette practices. But don’t worry, we are here to help with the 10 most important etiquette guidelines.

#1 Be quiet when others are playing a shot

One of the biggest faux paus on the golf course is talking, coughing, sneezing, yawning, or making any noise while another person is taking their swing. Noises while you are playing can be incredibly distracting, and can send wayward a swing that could have otherwise been a good shot.

#2 Arrive early and warm up before you start playing

You should aim to arrive at least 20 minutes before your tee time, giving you time to check in, warm up, stretch and hit some range balls. When you turn up late, not only will you be more prone to injury because you won’t be properly warmed up, but you also put everyone else behind schedule too. It’s rude, and unnecessary.

#3 Yell ‘fore’ if your shot has gone wayward

One thing that is bound to irk other golfers is getting hit by a golf ball. If your shot has gone wayward and is heading towards other people, make sure to yell ‘fore’ as loudly as possible, to allow them to move out of the way. It can be embarrassing, but it happens to everyone sometimes. You’d rather pre-warn someone than hurt them because you were too embarrassed to let them know!

#4 Learn the golf buggy rules

We get it, golf buggies are fun and exciting – especially for beginners. But make sure you check the rules of your golf course before you take to the wheel of your golf buggy. Depending on the season, weather conditions or local course rules, you may not be able to drive in certain areas of the course. 

#5 Don’t stand behind someone’s line of sight

Aside from talking during a swing, one of the most distracting things that golfers can do is standing directly behind a player’s line of play. Standing here means that you are in the player’s peripheral vision, and any movement can be seen and can put them off their swing.

To avoid this, make sure to stand in front of the player teeing off, facing them. This is not to say stand in the way of them taking a shot – this would be dangerous. What we mean is if they are right handed, stand to the right hand side of their line of play. If the player is left handed, walk to the opposite side of the tee.

# 6 Keep an eye on your shadow

Another thing to be mindful of is ensuring that your shadow isn’t distracting the player. Not as much of an issue at the moment, but when summer (finally) comes back around, it is important to keep this in mind.

#7 Make sure you keep the pace of play

While we aren’t encouraging you to rush your shots, you do need to be mindful of other players around you and make sure you aren’t playing unnecessarily slow. Slow play can be detrimental to the sport and is bound to annoy the players waiting to take their turn.

One way of ensuring you maintain the pace is to be ready when it’s your turn. Make sure you aren’t preoccupied with your phone or other distractions and be prepared to play when it’s your turn to.

#8 Wear appropriate attire

Make sure that you wear appropriate clothing while playing golf. There’s a reason that golf-specific attire exists. It can keep your temperature regulated and makes sure you remain comfortable so that you’re able to play at your best. 

A well fitting pair of golf shoes and trousers or shorts, alongside a collared shirt, are usually required to be worn by men at most courses. For women, a modest top that doesn’t bare too much skin, and golf skirts, trousers or dress shorts are acceptable to be worn on the golf course. Rules and etiquette around dress code is evolving and modernising all the time, and is becoming much more fashionable,so there is no need to dress like the stereotypical golfer you probably have in mind.

#9 Don’t take too long to look for a lost ball

Looking for lost balls can take a long time, and is a sure fire way to annoy players behind you on the course. In 2019, a new official Rule of Golf was introduced that capped the amount of time that golfers can search for and identify their ball to three minutes. While this is unlikely to be enforced in a casual game, it is still a good idea to cap your searching time to avoid other players being unhappy. 

#10 Be a good sport and keep your temper under control

No one likes playing badly, but make sure that you remain a good sport and keep your temper under control. Throwing your clubs, shouting and sulking isn’t going to improve your game or make people want to play alongside you. If you’re frustrated about how you played, make sure to take a deep breath and shake it off.

Shake hands with the people you are playing with at the end of the game, and congratulate people on playing well.

How Cash Fore Clubs can help

Here at CashForeClubs we are passionate about golf, and its rules and etiquette. We have a number of resources dedicated to golfing newbies over on our Learn to Play Golf page, and we also offer golf lessons at our Chippenham store. We are here to chat through all things golf etiquette, so if you need any help, just let us know!

Looking for top quality golfing equipment? We have a range of new and second hand golf clubs, equipment and clothing for sale online or in store.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you, and visit our store if you’re in the Chippenham area!

CFC Condition Guide


5  – BRAND NEW – never been hit.
4 – VERY GOOD – This club has been hit a handful of times, may have a few very minimal marks.
3 – GOOD – This club has been used for a few rounds, shows signs of use but no major dings or chips.
2 – FAIR – Well used, still in completely playable condition but will show signs of wear and tear. Minor stone chips may be visible on the sole.
1 – POOR – This club will have heavy play marks, paint missing, with visible dents and chips.

NOT SELLABLE – major dents or stone chips on playing surface of club.


5  – BRAND NEW – still in wrapper – never been used.
4 – VERY GOOD – Have been hit a few times, but could still pass as new.
3 – GOOD – No major marks, but may show light signs of use, for example light scratching.
2 – FAIR – Signs of wear and tare, but no major bag rub and no rust marks. stickers may be starting to peel.
1 – POOR – Very visibly used with various age-related marks. Shaft sticker may be peeled or missing.

NOT SELLABLE – major bag rub or major pitting and rusting of shaft.


5 – BRAND NEW – As it says on the tin, this grip is brand new, with protective wrapper still in place.
4 – VERY GOOD – 
As new and completely clean, would only have been played a handful of times.
3 – GOOD
 – Played with, showing some minor imperfections, but have plenty of golf left in them.
2 – USED – Well used, with some more obvious imperfections. Still playable, but will likely need replacing fairly soon.
1 – POOR – Needs replacing with rubber shiny and splitting.

User registration

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.