Phase 4: Playing Your First Round on the Golf Course
In phase 4 we will be discussing the steps you should take upon arriving to the golf course as well as etiquette on the course. These steps will make it easy for you so you don’t feel lost or like you are doing anything wrong when playing with other golfers.
- Once you get to the golf course, you should start by checking into the pro shop. After checking into the pro shop you will be set up onto a golf cart and be given range balls. Make sure you give yourself about an hour before your tee time to warm up and hit a few putts before you play. Once on the range, start with a small club such as a wedge and work your way up to the driver (wedge, 7 iron, 5 iron, 3 wood, driver). You should then arrive at the first tee about 10 minutes before your tee time.
- Next, you want to find the correct tee box you should be playing from. Don’t be scared to play the forward tees if that suits your game best. When playing, you want to make sure that you are teeing up behind the tee markers.
- After you begin playing, the next step is how to know who tees off first on the next hole. If you made a 5 and your playing partner made a 4, then he/she would have the honors on the next hole. If you make 3 and they make a 4, then on the next hole you would have the honors. Also, make sure to keep up with the group in front of you. This will prevent the groups behind you from constantly having to wait on your group.
- To keep score, simply count how many shots it took you to get the ball in the hole and write that into the scorecard on the hole you are on.
- Fore– yell this after you hit if the ball is heading towards a person in the air
- Eagle– 2 under the par (3 on a par 5)
- Birdie– 1 under the par (3 on a par 4, or 4 on a par 5)
- Par– (4 on a par 4)
- Bogey– 1 over the par (5 on a par 4)
- Double Bogey– 2 over the par (6 on a par 4)
- Triple Bogey– 3 over the par (7 on a par 4)
- Pick up– this is a term used when you hit your putt to a close distance (1-2 ft.) your playing partner might say “Pick it up, it’s good”
- Repair all of your ball marks
- Mark your ball on the green with a small coin (not a tee)
- Make sure to stay out of people’s lines on the green. Don’t step on their line when they are getting ready to putt
- Take out the pin on the green if everyone can see the hole. Place the pin on the side of the green where it’s not in anyone’s way
- Water– If you were to hit the ball in the water, take a drop near where it went in and add one shot to your score.
- Out of bounds/lost ball– If you were to hit your tee shot out of bounds, return the tee box to hit again and add two shots to your score.
- Cart path– If there is a sign that says ‘Cart Path Only’ make sure that you stay on the cart path at all times. If there is not a sign, drive down the cart path until you have reached your ball then proceed to drive into the fairway.
- Play the Ball as it Lies– If you were to drive up to your ball and find that it is against a tree or in a divot, you are not allowed to move it. You have to play it as it is.
- Stay on the cart path near the green, don’t drive onto the green.
- Safety– Make sure to stay out of the way from other players that are hitting. Stay out of their vision (don’t stand directly behind them when they are hitting). Also remember to stay hydrated out on the course.
Putting it All Together and Taking it to the First Tee
- Check in with the starter on the first tee (if there is one), if not, ask other players around what their tee time is
- Maximum 2 practice swings to not hold up play
- You may be nervous once you start but it is important to take a few deep breathes to relax and just have fun!
- No mulligans unless there is no one playing behind you