10 Tips: What Not To Do On The Golf Course
Whether it's your first round of golf, or your 100 round, this list of what-not-to-do might be eye opening! (lol!)
Back in 2017 when I played my first round of golf, I went at 7am on a weekday to a really unkept course with a friend, because that relieved a lot of the ankst I had about what to do/how to behave. I basically figured I wouldn't be interrupting anyone, so I could figure out the rest on my own. Slowly. With time.
In reality, you don't have to do this!
Now, looking back on it, I wish someone told me what not to do.
Just so I knew more about what golf course expectations. And how/when to properly break the rules! (lol!)
With this sport, learning the ins and outs to this day, typically, still comes from someone who grew up playing the sport.
But the great news is that in this day and age, luckily, we have blogs - like this one - that can give you everything you need to know! :)
So, today, we'll be looking at typical "what-not-to-do" behavior for the golf course with the goal of informing you on "proper behavior", and helping you break the rules every now again, with, of course, full knowledge of the consequences of that decision! (lol!)
Let's hop to it!
Also, if you haven't already, get your free checklist to help prepare you for a round golf.
10 Tips: What Not to Do On the Golf Course
Showing up late to your tee time. We've all been late before in our lives, but the punishment for missing your tee time truly stinks! Best case scenario: you'll have to altogether skip whatever holes you missed. And yes, you would still pay for the full round. Worst case: the course may not let you play depending on their tee-schedule that day! It happens, but try to avoid it if possible.
Sharing equipment including golf clubs out on the golf course. This one... I've a big fan of abusing! lol! Courses typically allow a maximum of 14 golf clubs, and sharing can get you in deep with the people behind you if you're slowing them down, including potentially even getting you kicked off the course. However, if you can be sneaky, I highly recommend testing out each other's golf gear - if your group is up for it! Obviously, the practice areas are an ideal place for this especially if the round is packed tight with people ahead and behind you.
Laughing, and/or swearing loudly. As in, way above a respectable level. Others on the course might be playing for their handicap (PRO TIP: a handicap is the scoring systems used to help qualify you for tournaments in your area). So, it's typically not consider respectful or respectable to be super loud on the course.
Forgoing the club's dress code. Never a good idea. Not only do men tend to oogle, but you could be asked to leave the club altogether. Always try to wear something that you'll feel comfortable playing in but that supports the standards of the community /the club! If you're unsure what the dress code is, simply call and ask!
Teeing off where ever you feel like rather than where your abilities allow. There are 3-4 tee boxes that you could typically select from: professionals, men's, women's and seniors. Pick the one that best suits your abilities. I don't recommend teeing off from anything other than what your ability will allow simply because if you pick a tee box with a greater distance to go, you'll will still have to play the distance in the same amount of time. Or pick up and forfeit the hole - which means you're playing less golf. Plus if you slow pace of play for the course, and typically results in getting a visit from the ranger! And that again could further result in being asked to leave the course altogether.
Not being respectful of your playing partners pace of play and/or not letting others play through. If you're playing with a slow group, be positive and keep it moving as best you can - on occasion, I've even timed it for data on how slowly we were actually playing. If you're playing with a fast group, do the same! :) And if a group is right on your tail, and there's no group visible ahead of you, offer to let them play the hole you're on before your group plays it. It'll move them ahead of you and off your tail! PRO TIP: this doesn't always work at a public course since groups are typically ahead and behind you. If the group behind you is just being unreasonable, either ignore as best you can, or report it to the ranger.
Lying about the lie. Instead, play it as it lies! And make the most out of the shot! I've had to play turns off of cart paths, the woods, out of parking lots and one time, my ball hit the rooftop of the club house and landed in the parking lot. lol! Laugh, shrug it off, and play it the best you can. It's all part of the game!
Making up rules for balls lost in water, or out of bounds. Yikes! You'll likely be the most unpopular golfer of the group if you start making up rules. I recommend just dropping another ball next to the playing partner nearest to where you thought your ball landed! Or just on the other side of the water, if you just can't make it over the pond!
Feeling worried or pressured about your score or feel intimated by other golfers!Golf is for everyone. You've probably heard me say all of this a million times, but your score doesn't matter. You could be a terrible golfer, but a tremendously friendly person, and everyone will still want to play a round with you! Please don't feel pressure, or intimation. The game is there for you too. But if you do feel anxious, you should also know that you're not alone; it's a very common feeling for beginner golfers, and as you play more, it'll slow disappear.
Destroying the course. You probably just paid at least $20 for your round which includes greens fees! So, try to keep the course in excellent shape. If you hit up a chunk of dirt during your swing (aka make a divot), try to find the patch and place it back over your divot; press it down in the ground to reform the land. You've just spent your hard earned money on the round of golf, so try to take care of the course itself!
Throwing or slamming golf clubs in anger or frustration. Golf can be a really frustrating sport, particularly if you're competitive. But be safe out there. And keep others safe too. Remember the sport really is all about the people!
There you have it!
What not to do on the golf course - whether it's your first round, or you're 100th.
PRO TIP: Since I learned golf a little later in life, I actually broke every. single. one. of these rules! But I did it when timing allowed for it, and it didn't interrupt the game of the people ahead or behind me. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but golf really is all about the people - not the competition (click read more on this in the About page). The key to this is to be respectful, of the people around you and of course, the club/course rules! Do that, and I promise you'll have a blast, make new friends, and fall in love with this sport.
Did the above list just make you feel excited to go out on the course for the first time? I was SO unprepared for my first round that I created a checklist of all the things I wish I knew so that I fit in with the regulars! If you want a free copy, click below and it'll be sent to you ASAP!
P.S. Before I go, I want to invite you to join my email list community full of positive, supportive, and fun loving female golfers! Sign up below!