The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Golf Etiquette

You will often hear people say that golf is a gentleman’s game. It’s not a casual game, such as basketball, where you show up wearing whatever you like to play a game of pick-up.

There are rules to be followed, certain etiquette must be upheld, and there is a dress code that all players have to follow. It can be difficult for first-time golfers to grasp all the rules (while also being able to work on their short game), but it’s necessary to understand the game of golf at large.

Just because golf has a certain dress code doesn’t mean you can’t wear funny golf polo shirts (but you still have to wear a polo though).

Below are some of the basics of understanding golf’s etiquette and how you should carry yourself on the course. Clarkes Golf provide best equipments for golf by which you will increase your golfing skills.

Before Playing

Generally speaking, rounds of golf are played in one of two places: public courses and clubhouses.

Public courses are for everyone and require payment in order to be able to play. The price will vary greatly depending on the course, the number of holes (nine or 18), and course popularity.

Clubhouses require memberships, but you can go play with someone who is a member of that clubhouse.

All courses require a reservation to set up a tee time when you and your group will start playing. Courses generally allow a maximum of four people to play together, often referred to as a foursome.

It’s important you should up on time because the course has to run on a specific schedule.


Even though roughly one-third of Americans have played golf in the past year, many may not remember the number of clubs you can have in your golf bag.

While there is no minimum, the maximum number of clubs is 14. Above all else, you should have:

  • A driver
  • An iron (typically a 5-iron)
  • A sand wedge
  • A putter

Some other items you may want with you are:

  • At least 10 golfballs
  • A bag of golf tees
  • One glove
  • A towel

Those will take care of all the facets of the game when you start out.

In addition, you also need to dress appropriately. Some clubhouses have strict dress codes that follow that of the PGA Tour, which means no shorts, polo shirts only, and golf shoes.

You may have seen famous golfers such as the late Payne Stewart who wear colorful outfits or other golfers who rock funny golf polo shirts. Just because there’s a dress code doesn’t mean you can’t show off your personality.

Time to Play

While there are plenty of places online that will help you with your swing or putting, it’s important to know there are certain rules while playing.

The first is to remain quiet while people are taking their turn. No talking, laughing, or other distractions.

If your group is moving rather slowly, it’s best to let other groups that catch up to you to “play through”. This is pretty common with smaller groups who catch up to larger groups.

It’s also pretty common for more than one group to be playing on the same hole at the same time. You may be putting on the green while others are teeing off. Lastly, while those golf carts are fun, small, and zip around, you need to keep them at a moderate speed while out on the course. Don’t be tempted to turn on your Formula One side.