Tips for New Golfers


  • Be sure to have enough balls.  Make sure they are "marked" with your own 'special mark' to be able to tell your ball from another player's even if they are playing with the brand of ball.
  • Bring a ball marker or a coin so you can mark your ball on the green
  • Put tees in your pocket along with a repair tool
  • If you can, practice at least putting before you play – greens can be significantly faster or slower at different courses
  • Make sure you stretch and take at least a few practice swings before you play to avoid injury

On the Course
  • Keep it safe - do not swing your club until you know others are at a safe distance and /or not in a place that you may hit the ball and they know that you are hitting and are watching.
  • Do not hit the ball until you know the group ahead of you is out of range.  If you hit a ball and you think it is going to get close to other players, yell out "FORE".
  • Observe cart rules (do not drive too close to the greens, tee boxes or hazards, keep carts on the cart path or cross the fairway at a 90 degree angle).  Do not leave a cart too close to someone who is swinging.
  • Always leave cart next to or in front of where you are hitting from, so you don't have to walk back to get your cart and slow players in back of you.

Be Kind to the Course

  • Repair your divots
  • Rake the sand traps
  • Repair ball marks on the green

Basic Courtesy
  • Keep your voices down on the golf course, especially when someone is teeing off, hitting or putting
  • Stay out of golfers’ line of sight, either directly in front, or directly in back of someone hitting or putting
  • Be aware of your shadow on the putting green so it does not interfere with the putter’s line
  • Never walk on another players putting line as it could alter the path of the putt. Preferably walk around all players’ balls or marker.

Know the Basic Rules
  • Play the ball as it lies…you can only touch your ball to check to see if it is your ball (but you must put it back exactly where it was) or on the putting green.
  • Know what to do for situations when you get into trouble.  For example, out of bounds (wrong side of white stakes) and lost balls – you go back to where you hit your last shot and hit again adding a penalty stroke.  As you get better, get a rules book and spend a little time getting to know more of the rules.

Extra Tips
  • When you mark your ball on the putting green, use a marker or a coin directly behind the ball, not in front, or to the side, and then pick up your ball.   Replace your ball in the same spot when it is your turn to putt.
  • When you put down clubs on the green, leave them on the fringe so as not to damage the green, and leave them in the path of where will be returning to your cart, so as not to forget them.
  • Put your name, and cell # on all of your clubs (especially if you tend to forget them.) You can buy labels at golf stores or you can print it on sticky labels on the computer, or use scotch tape. It is much easier to get back a club that has your name on it.
  • Start to keep track of how far you hit each club.  It helps to know this when deciding which club to use.
  • Know what the distance markers mean. Red=100 yards, White=150 yards, Blue=200 yards.
  • Keep track of your scores, putts and fairway hits.  It is great to look back and see how you are improving, and where you need improvement.

  • Relax and have a great time! 
  • Golf is a humbling, and sometimes a very frustrating game, but the rewards cannot be measured.  Everyone has good shots and bad shots in every round.  
  • Try and focus on the positive parts of the day and compliment the people around you – it can get contagious.  
  • You get to play outside in beautiful surroundings, you will see a variety of wildlife never seen before, you get exercise, learn a new sport, and best of all you will meet many new and wonderful people!

Keeping Score
New to golf? Not sure how to keep your score? Here is a quick tutorial from the USGA via youtube: