7 Biggest Golf Etiquette Mistakes

Jeremy Ellwood talks though seven things that are frowned upon on the golf course

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Rule 1 in the Rules of Golf book talks about standards of player conduct and things like integrity, honesty, applying the Rules, showing respect to other players and taking good care of the course.

However there are some who do make etiquette mistakes and in this video, Jeremy Ellwood explains the 7 biggest mistakes all golfers should avoid making while out on the course!

7 Biggest Golf Etiquette Mistakes

1) Give players courtesy by taking your club out of your bag before or after your playing partner has hit, NOT during their shot. Another one to think about is not having your shadow on the line of a playing partners shot.

A shadow on your line can be very distracting when putting, especially as any little movements, perhaps with a club, become exaggerated when the shadows are long.

Definitely be aware of where you are standing, and where your shadow is too... 

2) Mobile phones - Ideally, we wouldn't have them with us on the course but in this day and age we do. Set it to silent, check it occasionally if you need to and if you need to reply to anything, do it a) when it's not your turn to play and b) when it's not distracting to other players. We're not saying don't take your phone out with you, just use it with courtesy to your playing partners.

If you have to take your phone onto the course, show some courtesy

3) Take good care of the course - Repair pitch marks on the greens. We're not advocating spending hours repairing them but why not do two or three? Don't hold up play but if we all repaired multiple pitch marks the greens would be in much better condition.

Help out greenkeepers by repairing your pitch marks

4) In bunkers, think of the people coming into it after you and rake it properly. Who wants to get into a bunker to find your ball in a footprint?

Related: Bunker Rules Every Golfer Needs To Know

Raking a bunker properly takes no time at all

5) Don't mark your scorecard (opens in new tab) on the green - Even if the course is busy, it can be frustrating for people behind watching you tot up your score. Put the flagstick in and move on to the next hole where you can mark the card on the tee.

Related: 16 Important Golf Scorecard Rules To Remember

Marking the scorecard on the green is a big etiquette no-no 

6) Make sure you hit when players ahead are out of range. The safest thing to do is to wait until a group ahead are well out of range, it can come across as rude and dangerous to constantly be hitting golf balls up the backsides of the group in front when they have nowhere to go. Rein in the frustration and be patient.

7) Wave the group behind through whenever you need to, for example if you can't find a golf ball. If you're playing with a slow player, let the group behind through. It's all about having a little bit of thought for others, and as the Rules say, showing them consideration.

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x