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How to Learn Golf Etiquette, Rules, and Glossary

For a beginning golfer, it can seem like there is a lot to learn about the rules and general etiquette that goes along with playing the game. After all, a quick look at the rule book reveals that there are more than a few details that you will need to get to know, and golfers often seem to have a language all their own. However, it won’t really take all that long to get comfortable with the rules and etiquette of the game once you get started and gain some experience on the course.

To help you get started, the following tips are a good place to start when trying to familiarize yourself with the etiquette and rules that make up the game of golf.

  • Play with an experienced golfer. This might be the fastest way to get comfortable and confident on the course. If you know someone who has played a lot of golf, and maybe even played in some tournaments, try to find time to play a few rounds with them. You will be able to ask question about things you don’t understand, and learn just by watching them go about the process of playing the game.
  • Read the rule book. After you have played at least a couple rounds, pick up a copy of the official rules of golf and read it. The book isn’t actually very long, and you will start learning as soon as you get into it. After you finish reading the book, look around online for a quiz that you can take to test your comprehension of the rules. If there are questions you don’t know the answer to, go back and look in the book until you have solved any confusion you may have had.
  • Ask a local pro. Almost every golf course employs a golf pro who likely teaches lessons, runs the pro shop, etc. If you need clarification on the rules or etiquette of the game, don’t be afraid to ask the next time you are at the course. Most pros are happy to offer their expertise and might even be able to show you in the rule book where the answer to your question can be found. Building a relationship with the local pro is also a good idea if you decide to take lessons or buy equipment sometime down the road.