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Golf Etiquette 101: The Basics of Golf Etiquette

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Operation 36 Golf

So you want to learn how to play golf? Great! Golf, perhaps more than other sports, is rich with traditions and unwritten rules known as "golf etiquette." There is no need for that to make you feel intimidated or reluctant to go to the course. Here we will share the basics of golf etiquette.

  1. How to Dress

Golf fashion has evolved a lot over the past twenty years, and it continues to do so. But there are some basics that remain the same.  Most courses have specific dress codes, usually requiring collared shirts and golf-appropriate pants, shorts or skirts, and golf shoes. If you stick to that you will likely be able to play in most places. Hot tip: jeans, sandals and athletic gear are sometimes prohibited, so just check your course’s website for details on attire.

  1. Safety First

Golf may seem leisurely, but it's a sport where a small ball is hit with significant force! Always be aware of your surroundings. Never swing your club if there's a chance of hitting someone, and shout "Fore!" if your ball heads towards other players.

  1. Pace of Play 

Pace of play is crucial in golf. As a general rule, 15 minutes is the longest it should take you to play one hole of golf. To make this easier, be ready to play when it's your turn. If you're struggling with a hole, it's okay to pick up your ball and move on. Remember, slow play can frustrate other golfers.

  1. Care for the Course

Taking care of the course is a sign of respect. Repair divots, rake bunkers after use, and always fix ball marks on the green. This not only shows etiquette but also helps in maintaining the course for future players.

  1. Courses are Generally Quiet

Golf requires concentration. Stay quiet and still when others are preparing to take their shot. This includes turning off or silencing your phone (or speakers!). Remember, golf is as much a mental game as it is physical.

  1. The Right of Way

Understanding who has the "right of way" on the course is essential. The group furthest from the hole, usually on the green, has the right to play first. Also, the player who scored lowest on the previous hole typically tees off first on the next.

  1. Celebrate with Modesty, Accept Defeat with Grace

Whether you're scoring birdies or bogeys, maintain a good demeanor. Celebrate your successes modestly and accept your defeats with grace. Golf is a game of ups and downs; handling both with calmness is key.

  1. Find Your Golf Guide

Remember, understanding and applying golf etiquette is a journey, and the best way to learn is under the guidance of a seasoned coach. At Operation 36, we provide a structured golf program guided by licensed coaches who are passionate about making golf enjoyable and accessible for everyone. To truly master the etiquettes and intricacies of golf, find an Operation 36 licensed coach or location near you. Our coaches are well-versed in not only the technical aspects of the game but also the rich traditions and etiquette that make golf unique.

Start your golf journey the right way–with a plan to improve. Visit the “Find a Program” page on our website at Operation36.Golf to find a licensed coach or program in your area today. Happy Golfing!

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