Golf Dress Code and Course Etiquette

Aside from following the specific rules and guidelines set for by the PGA Association, dress code and etiquette should be followed on the course and in the clubhouse.

Dress Code

Both golfers and spectators are required to adhere to the following dress code.

  • Shirts and shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Metal spike shoes are not permitted.
  • Men: must wear collared shirts.
  • Women: sleeveless shirts must have a collar.
  • Cargo shorts and gym shorts are not allowed.

Pace of Play Tips

  • Show identifying marks on your golf ball to fellow competitors.
  • Get your yardage before it is your turn to play.
  • Read your putt before it is your turn to play.
  • Recognize when someone will need the flag tended or your ball marked.
  • Get to your next shot without delay. It is more important what you do between shots than during.
  • Play "ready" golf. When you are ready to play go ahead with your shot even if you are not away. Make sure your fellow competitors are aware you are playing your shot.
  • Know where your group is in relation to the group in front of you.
  • Anyone can search for a lost ball. Have your parents and spectators one shot ahead of your group to spot errant shots.
  • If a situation arises and you do not know how to proceed, play a second ball under Rule 20.1c3 and continue play. You must report the facts to the Rules Official afterward regardless of score.
  • Place golf bag off the putting green near the next teeing ground. This avoids holding up the following group to hit while a player retrieves their golf bag from the front of the green.


  • Displays of frustration are one thing, but outbursts of temper are quite another. Yelling, screaming, throwing clubs or otherwise making a fool of yourself are unacceptable and, in some cases, dangerous to yourself and others.
  • For safety's sake, never hit when there's a chance you might be able to reach the group ahead of you, and anytime you hit a shot that you think even has a remote chance of hitting any other players, yell "Fore" immediately, and make a point of apologizing to any players your ball lands near.
  • As a player, you also have a responsibility to learn and understand the Rules of Golf. Five of the most common Rules are those deal with Out of Bounds & Lost balls.
  • Mark your ball using a Sharpe or some way to avoid confusion and inform other players of your ball type and number.
  • Avoid slow play and always be ready for your next shot. Use pace in between shots and limit club selection to 45 seconds or less.
  • Replace your divots.
  • Fix your ball marks on the green. Use a tee or repair tool to address any ball marks by working the edges towards the center, without lifting the center of the mark. Don't tear the grass. Finish by smoothing the area with a club or your foot. Try to get the area smooth enough to putt over.
  • Rake your marks in the bunkers.
  • After everyone has putted out, immediately walk to the next tee.
  • Do not stand where you might distract a fellow player and don't move.
  • Don't step on your fellow players putting lines -- the imaginary line that connects the ball to the hole.
  • If your ball is on a player's line, volunteer to mark the ball.
  • If your ball is not furthest from the cup: mark your ball, either with a plastic marker or a small, thin, dark coin such as an old penny.
  • Finally, at the end of the round, shake hands with your fellow players, congratulate the winners, console the losers, and thank them for their company. At the end of the day, the great pleasure of the game is the time you get to spend with your friends whether old friends or new friends you just made through the game.