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The Rules Of Golf That Almost Everyone Breaks Without Realizing It

Golf is a fussy game. It has a dress code, clubs have secret membership rituals, and there are protocols on and off the course that you must follow. That means that nearly everyone ends up breaking the formal and informal rules of the game because there are simply too many rules to pay attention to. These are among the most commonly ignored rules of golf.

You Are Supposed To Be Early


On time is not good enough in golf. It means you will be late to the tee and thus make everyone else late. Show up at least 30 minutes early or the only thing you’ll be driving is other people crazy.

Carry More Than One Club From Your Cart


It is plain rude to spend ages running back and forth to the cart path to change clubs. Take whatever clubs you may need for the shot when you first exit the cart.

Stay Away While They Putt


Don’t stand behind someone and try to follow their putting line; it’s distracting, annoying and the height of rudeness. Save your analysis for your own shots.

Your Golf Bag Does Not Belong In The Tee Box

Golf Digest

The tee box is well-manicured grass designed to help you drive off well. This quality is destroyed by the bottom of someone’s golf bag. So don’t put your bag there.

Sink The Putt, Grab The Flag


The first person to putt successfully is expected to hold the pin and replace it after the final ball goes in. Not doing so holds up the game and makes the last guy feel bad.

Golf Balls Are Not Gold Balls


It’s cool to look for a lost ball, but if you can’t find it in 5 minutes, write it off and then move on. Yes, they’re expensive, but no they’re not made of gold, and yes, you are holding up other people while you look.

When You’re Losing In Match Play, Pick It Up And Move On

Golf Magic

You’re not carrying over strokes in match play, so if you’re five strokes behind on the putt, pick the ball up and move on to the next hole.

Stay Off The “Through Line”

National Club Golfer

A “through line” is the space in the line of the putt running 2-3 feet behind the cup. It is where the ball should end up if the putt is missed. Stay out of it.

Keep Quiet When The Ball Is In Motion


You can talk to your own ball and will it into the hole if you want. You just can’t talk to anyone else’s ball or they might decide to play you rather than the ball next.

Make Sure You Practice With Consideration

Rock Harbor Golf

Many of these rules boil down to “don’t be a selfish person.” If the practice green is empty, use it how you like, but if there are a ton of people there, limit yourself to 2 balls and they should do the same. Then you’ll all have fun.

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