The Top 5 Rules Every Beginner Must Know To Enjoy Golf
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Golf is a popular sport enjoyed by people all over the world. Though it may seem daunting to beginners, with a little instruction and practice, anyone can play this challenging game.
To make the most of your golfing experience, ensure that everyone on the course remains safe while also improving your game, there are several basic rules all beginner golfers should know.
In this article, we're going to cover FIVE of the most essential rules so that you can feel comfortable getting on the course today.
1. Follow the basic rules of golf etiquette.
Just as in any sport, there are specific etiquette rules that must be followed to ensure a safe and enjoyable game of golf. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Make sure to always play "ready golf", which means that when your turn comes up, you should be ready and prepared to hit. This entails having a club selected and asking for the flagstick to be moved if it's in your way.
- Always be aware of other players on the course and avoid taking too long when you're playing. This means keeping an eye on the time so you don't slow down the group behind you, and also being mindful of your surroundings and not damaging the course.
- When playing in a group, make sure to take turns hitting and always wait for the other players to finish their shots before you move on.
- Be respectful of other people's golf equipment and do not touch or move anyone's belongings without their permission.
- Always replace divots, fill in holes, and repair ball marks on the green.
2. Understand the basic golf scoring system.
The main goal of the game is to use as few strokes as possible to get the ball in the hole.
Scoring in golf is simply the total number of strokes you take during a round. You add up all your strokes and that's your score for the entire round!
As a newer golfer, there's no need to feel pressure about shooting low scores. However, having a general understanding of how we keep score in golf will make it easier for you to maintain proper pace and feel relaxed throughout your round.
There are a few terms you should know to help you keep score:
- Par: This is the number of strokes a course is designed to be completed in. Most golfers aim to shoot par or below on every hole.
- Birdie: A score one stroke below par.
- Eagle: A score two strokes below par.
- Bogey: A score one stroke above par.
- Double bogey or higher: A score more than one stroke above the par of a hole.
3. Respect and repair the golf course.
Without the fluffy fairways and rolling greens, we'd have no place to hit our shots and enjoy the game with others! So we must take great care of the course.
While course superintendents and groundskeepers do the heavy lifting to keep courses in good order, it takes constant effort to maintain them. From replacing our divots to repairing marks on the putting greens, each player has a responsibility to do her part in preserving the golf course.
When driving the golf cart, always adhere to the day's course directives that will be provided at the start of your round by staff. These are some important-to-know pieces of cart etiquette:
- 90-degree rule: When fairways are soggy, fragile, or extremely dry, the 90-degree rule helps to preserve the terrain. When this condition is in effect, you should keep your golf cart on the path, except for a right angle turn across the fairway directly toward your ball and back. This protocol should be followed between each golfer's ball, even though it may seem inefficient.
- Cart Path Only (CPO): Sometimes it becomes necessary to eliminate all trampling and distress on the grass that is created by golf carts. In these instances, Cart Path Only (CPO) will be put into effect and golfers will only be allowed to walk onto the fairways to hit shots.
4. Mark your golf ball so it's easy to identify.
Whether you're playing alone or within a group, it's essential to mark your golf ball so that it is easy to identify. This goes a long way to ensure that everyone is playing with the correct ball, and in turn, helps to maintain an appropriate pace of play.
There are a variety of ways to mark your golf ball, but one of the most common methods is to use a Sharpie to create a unique identifier on your ball. From initials to emojis to dotted lines, marking your ball allows you to express your personality while also avoiding confusion and delay during your round!
5. Stay safe on the course.
The golf course can be a beautiful and peaceful place, but it can also be dangerous if you're not careful. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind while playing golf:
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Look out for other golfers, pedestrians, and obstacles on the course.
- Keep the golf cart at least 30 feet away from the greens. Always use the designated walking paths.
- Keep your head up and pay attention to what's going on around you.
- Be aware of the weather conditions and dress appropriately.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially in hot weather.
In conclusion, golf is a fantastic game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. By knowing and abiding by these five simple rules, beginner golfers can have a more enjoyable experience on the course and start to improve their game. So what are you waiting for? Grab your clubs and get out there!