How to be a Better Golfer
Becoming a better golfer takes time, dedication, and practice. Here are some tips to help improve your golf game.
Tips to Maintain Pace of Play
- Arrive at the first tee 10 minutes before your starting time.
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Choose a set of tees appropriate to your playing ability.
- Keep up with the group in front of you.
- Walk at a reasonable pace between shots.
- Plan your next shot before you reach your ball.
- From the time you select your club, until you hit your shot, should take no more than 45 seconds.
- Be ready to hit when it's your turn; if you aren't ready, encourage one of your fellow golfers to play.
- If sharing a cart, drop off the player at the first ball with a few club options, and drive on to your ball. The first person should be able to walk to the second person's location by the time they have hit their shot.
- Read the green and line up your putt when you arrive on the green. Be ready to play when it is your turn.
- Leave your bag/cart on the side of the green that is closest to the next tee.
- Record scores for the hole when you arrive on the next tee box.
- Play a Provisional ball if you think yours is lost or out of bounds.
- If you are near the green, but not on, place your bag on the side of the hole nearest the next tee. Take a few clubs and your putter so that once on the green you will not have to go back to your bag.
- Do not teach your partners on the course; utilize the practice areas to teach.
- Allow faster groups to play through.
- The first person to hole out should grab the flag stick and be prepared to replace it when all golfers have holed out.
- Each golfer should proceed directly to their golf ball, do not travel in packs.
- Take only one practice swing per shot.
- Putt out when you can.
- Know what kind of ball you're playing and watch it until it stops rolling.
- Have your discussions between shots, not once it is time to start playing the next shots.
- If you can't reach greens in regulation with irons, move up a set of tees.
- Know what the "time par" is on the scorecard and stay within it.
- Accept Responsibility. Recognize that slow play isn't just the other guy's fault.
Tips on Golf Etiquette
- Don't Be the Slowest Player
Evaluate your pace of play honestly and often, and if you're consistently the slowest one in your group, you're a slow player, period. It is a group's responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If it loses a clear hole and it is delaying the group behind, it should invite the group behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group.
- Play "Ready Golf"
Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green. If you aren't ready to play when it is your turn, encourage one of your fellow players to play.
- Never Search for a Lost Ball for More Than Five Minutes
- Repair the Ground You Play On
Ask yourself, Would I be upset if I had to play from that spot?
- Be a Silent Partner
Never walking in someone's line of play on the putting green is an absolute. The area around the hole in particular is sacred ground. Know where to stand and when to keep quiet. Never stand on the line of play, either beyond the hole or directly behind the ball. When a player is about to hit a shot, think of the fairway as a cathedral, the green a library.
- Make Your Golf Cart 'Invisible'
Your goal when driving a cart should be to leave no trace you were there. It's easy to damage the turf and not realize it. Avoid wet areas and spots that are getting beaten up from traffic. Everyone should take a different route so cart traffic is spread out.
- Always Look Your Best
Your appearance speaks volumes about you as a person, and the neatly appointed golfer, like a businessman or someone headed to church, gives the impression he thinks the golf course and the people there are special.
- Turn Off the Cell Phone
- Learn the Little Things
- Lay the flagstick down carefully.
- Tap down spike marks when you're walking off a green.
- Displays of frustration are one thing, but outbursts of temper are quite another. Yelling, screaming, throwing clubs or otherwise making a fool of yourself are unacceptable and, in some cases, dangerous to yourself and others.
- As a player, you also have a responsibility to learn and understand the Rules of Golf.
The Golf Channel has introduced The Relaxed Rules of Golf to the game! The idea behind relaxed rules of golf is to make the game more fun for those already playing (and not at an elite level) and to also make the game less intimidating for those learning to play. Golf rules should continue to be used for any type of Competitive play. But when it's a match among friends, relaxed rules can make the game easier, faster and more fun. These simply are common sense practices for avid amateurs, and it's how the majority of the game is already played.
Maximum Score - Double par
Penalties - All are one stroke, including out of bounds, water and lateral hazards, lost ball and unplayable lie. Drop a ball near where the original was lost and play on.
Search Time - Two minutes to look for your ball. If lost, proceed under penalties rule.
Unfortunate Lies - With your playing partners' consent, balls may be dropped out of divots or footprints, away from tree roots and any other dangerous lies.
Conceded Putts - Putts may be conceded with your playing partners' consent.
Equipment - No restrictions, including number of clubs.
Common Sense - When in doubt, use common sense and fairness.