Golf probably has more rules than any other game. Not for nothing is the sport known as the Game of Kings and as such, comes with plenty of guidelines golfers need to follow. Some involve being courteous to other players, some affect your dress and others are straight forward rules of the game. In this article, we outline ten aspects of golf etiquette that you must follow when you’re on the course.
Dress for the game
Golf etiquette starts before you arrive at the first hole and affects what you wear. Proper golfing shoes are an absolute must as is comfy clothing. Rio Real Golf etiquette also dictates that you are not allowed to wear jeans or sleeveless tops (t-shirts or polos).
Get there on time
Arrive before your round of golf is due to start. Experts recommend getting to the golf course at least 15 minutes before your tee time. 30 minutes is even better. Having extra time to spare gives you the opportunity to check-in and get a feel for the course. You might even have a moment to take a few shots on the practice green.
Decide who tees first
To determine the order of play, you and your fellow golfers should stand in a circle. One spins a tee into the air in the centre and the direction the tee points to on landing decides who tees off first. Do the same for the second player and so on.
Know who’s on the course
An essential part of golf etiquette is being aware of your fellow players. This doesn’t just include those in your group, but everyone on the course during your game. Make sure you know where other players are when you take a shot to avoid hitting them with your club or your ball. And if your group is having a slow day, let others play through ahead of you.
Help look for balls
Every golfer knows how frustrating it can be to hit a ball into the rough and not be able to spot it. Lend a hand and join in the hunt for the ball – four eyes see much more than two – but don’t overdo it. Allow 5 minutes maximum for ball searching and then if you don’t spot it, move on.
Mark your ball
Another handy tip for golf etiquette is to use a ball marker – buy one at Rio Real Pro Shop if you don’t have one in your bag – and make sure you mark every ball you use during the round. A distinguishing mark not only helps decide which ball belongs to which golfer, it also means you can identify your ball and so you can clean it before each shot. This quick routine gives you a moment to think through your next move.
Be ready to putt
A few minutes before you’re due to hit the ball, start going through your routine. Take a dummy drive, flex your muscles, calculate the distance… Then, when it’s your turn to play, you’re ready and the game keeps moving.
Stay off your phone
A hard and fast rule of golf etiquette at Rio Real Golf is no mobile phones. For obvious reasons.
Stay within bounds
One of the most important golf rules on the golf course itself concerns which areas are in or out of bounds. Hitting your ball out of bounds means you have a penalty of one stroke. At Rio Real Golf, white stakes and metal fences mark the limits. Any ball that goes beyond them is out of bounds.
Move it (or not)
During a round of golf you sometimes need to move an obstacle on the course. At Río Real Golf, you’re allowed to move stones from bunkers, but you’re not allowed to move sprinkler heads, benches and litter bins.
Now you know the etiquette, it’s time to put it into practice. Book a round of your favourite sport now.