The best part about golf is it can be picked up at any time and be played for life. Whether you’ve dabbled with the sport or are starting from scratch, it’s good to understand the basics at the beginning of your golf journey.
Dress to Impress
Prior to leaving your home or office, make sure you’ve got the appropriate attire for a day on the course.
- Leave your t-shirt at home. Wear a collared shirt or polo and make sure it stays tucked in.
- Cargo shorts are not permitted so wear your streamlined slacks and shorts.
- A hat is great to keep the sun out of your face, but you will need to keep the bill front facing.
- Wear spikeless golf shoes.
- Don’t have what you need? Stop by our Pro Shop to be outfitted with some of the best performance wear in the industry.
Just as you would with any sport, prepare your body for the next game before you tee off.
- Before you step onto the course or practice facilities, visit the Golf Shop or Starter Shack to check in for your tee time.
- Try to arrive soon enough to give yourself time to warm up properly (15-20 minutes prior to your tee time).
- It’s often a good idea to visit the practice areas to hit a few putts or try out your clubs on the driving range.
Prepare at the First Tee
As you hit the links, there are a few things to keep in mind to help make your round successful.
- If you’re playing companions suggest a match, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone is comfortable with the stakes.
- Make sure to place an identifying mark on your ball and inform the other players the type and number of ball you are using.
Avoid Slow Play
Ensure your group is keeping up with the pace of play of the group in front of you.
- Walk at a reasonable speed between shots.
- When you reach your ball, check the lie, select your club, visualize your swing and shot, and then play your shot.
- If you aren’t ready to play when it is your turn, encourage one of your fellow players to play.
Maintain the Course
As the course is meticulously maintained, all golfers are asked to do their part to keep it in pristine condition.
- Replace your divots*.
- Using a tee or repair tool, repair the pitch mark by working the edges towards the center without lifting the center of the mark. Don’t tear the grass. Finish by smoothing the area with a club or your foot. Try to get the area smooth enough to putt over.
- Bring a rake into the bunker** with you — remember that you should always enter the bunker from the low side at a point nearest to the ball.
- Whenever possible, avoid walking on the steep face of a bunker.
- After hitting your shot, rake the area you played from, as well as all your footprints and any others within reach.
- Rakes should be left either in or nearby the bunker.
Keep In Mind
- Don’t step on your fellow players putting lines, the imaginary line that connects the ball to the hole.
- If your ball is on a player’s line, volunteer to mark the ball.
- If your ball is not furthest from the cup: mark your ball, either with a plastic marker or a small, thin, dark coin such as an old penny.
- Do not stand where you might distract a fellow player and don’t move.
- Don’t make any noise when your fellow player is preparing to putt.
- If you don’t have a caddie and are asked to tend the flagstick, make sure you aren’t standing on anyone’s line.
- If you lay down the flagstick, lay it off the green to prevent any damage.
- Generally, the player closest to the hole will tend the flagstick.
- If you hit a tee shot into the woods and suspect that it might be either lost or out-of-bounds, the Rules of Golf allow you to play a second or provisional ball.
- For safety’s sake, never hit when there’s a chance you might be able to reach the group ahead of you, and anytime you hit a shot that you think even has remote chance of hitting any other players, yell “Fore” immediately, and make a point of apologizing to any players your ball lands nearby.
Terms and Definitions
- Bogey — a score of one stroke over par on a hole
- Eagle — a score of 2 under par on a hole
- Birdie — completing the hole in one less stroke than the par
- Shotgun — a concept in which all the players in a tournament begin playing at the same time, but from a different place on the course
- *Divot — a piece of turf cut out of the ground by a golf club when making a stroke
- Handicap — a number given to players that determines their “potential” average score in relation to par
- **Bunker — the official term for what is commonly referred to as a sand trap
At the end of the day, the great pleasure of the game of golf is the time you get to spend with friends you’ve made on the course.