The Basic Rules And Protocols Of Golf


Before hitting the field to play golf – either for business or for leisure, or just to attend a golf tournament as an onlooker – you’ll need to make sure that you are quite familiar with some of the most important rules and protocols that players and enthusiasts are expected to know. This is especially true if you and your family are golf fanatics, as it would be a waste watching a game together and not knowing what a par is! If you got a naughty golf shot, you must as well be aware of the practices for scoring penalty shots.

Basic Golf Rules

Remembering all the essential dos and don’ts of golf will take forever. If you’re not very meticulous on the field that you play on and your opponent, you may use this list as a starter for the basic rules of golf.


  • Play at a realistic pace. It won’t help if you go very fast or very slow.
  • Pay attention to the one who’s announcing the rules while they’re being laid out and executed by the USGA.
  • Learn to repair ball marks, rake bunkers, and replenish divots
  • As a common rule, the farthest player from the pin should hit first on every shot. Do not forget this or you’ll look silly if you go ahead and hit the ball and you’re first on the line.
  • Be attentive when the next tee comes around. The first to tee off must be the winner of the preceding hole.
  • Take your caddie along with you always.
  • Turn the scorecard in all the time to respect the handicap.
  • Follow the rules and guidelines of the field you are playing.


  • Ask questions to your opponent while playing, especially about the club he hit. It’s not proper at all.
  • Talk or make unnecessary movements while someone is hitting the ball.
  • Walk through the line of your fellow players’ putt.
  • Attempt to hit your ball if the group in front of you has not cleared the area.
  • Be late and let your co-players wait on you. Be on time.
  • Play when there’s lightning in the area.

Ground Rules For Fellow Golf Spectators

Golf protocols aren’t strictly for players only. If you’re watching a golf tournament, you must be aware that fans and spectators should also act in ways that they don’t disrupt the players or other onlookers as well. You won’t go wrong if you observe and follow these basic golf protocol standards.


  • Limit your movements to a minimum, especially when players are about to take a shot.
  • Keep quiet when the game is ongoing.
  • Read and follow the guidelines provided by the club or organization handling the tournament.
  • Wait for the players to putt out before leaving the range for the next tee.
  • Put on rubber shoes, sneakers, or golf shoes without spikes while you’re on the range.
  • Cheer for your favorite player but in an appropriately decent and moderate manner. Golf is not like a football game where players are expected to shout and jump while the game is going on.



  • Talk loudly on your cell phone while watching a game.
  • Run around and wander through the golf range while the game is ongoing or about to start.
  • Call out your golf idols to ask for their autographs while they’re still within the golf course playing.
  • Capture any pictures during tournaments or any type of competition. Always ask the organizers regarding their ground rules on taking pictures.
  • Clap wildly or criticize a player when he takes a lousy shot.

Scoring Basic Golf Penalty Shots

A bad shot in the game of golf is quite frustrating, but it does happen to even the best and seasoned golfers. The location of the hit and the strategy used makes a huge difference. Read below and learn the basic golf penalty shots along with the corresponding consequence or response.

Penalty                                            Scoring

Unplayable lies. 1-stroke penalty. Drop the ball at a distance of two club lengths from the original area, or drop it as far back from that area. It doesn’t matter as long as you retain the original unplayable lie between the hole and you. Or else you can always return the ball to the spot where you played your first shot.

Out of Bounds. 1-stroke penalty plus additional distance. Do a replay with the ball located on the area where it was played. If not, tee up again if you just had your first shot.


Water Hazard. 1-stroke penalty.  Target the ball so that it will be as near as possible to the original location where the ball was hit. You may also drop the ball behind the water, only that you keep the point where the original ball crossed the water hazard. There is no restriction as to the distance that the ball can go behind the water hazard.

The details mentioned above are equally advantageous to the beginner golfers and the spectators themselves. These are really simple rules that when followed, will enable one to learn how to socialize. He gets a chance to familiarize oneself of the rules of golf and to the essential dos and don’ts. Get in the game.

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