Golf course tips for 2024 (19+ tips every golfer should know)13 min read

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Golf Course Tips

Whether you are playing the game for fun on the weekends with friends, or trying to build your swing and score better, it’s important to know how to get the most out of your time out on the course. These golf course tips below will help you play smarter and save time.

Don’t sweat it if you’re a beginner golfer. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s a wise idea to take your time, even if you’re not having fun. Even after just a few holes, you’re likely to find that the basics will be what holds the most value.

In this article, we answer some of the frequently asked questions golfers have before going on the course, or while on the course.

In our previous articles, we have discussed golf club tips, golf club buying tips, and golf ball tips as well. We also discussed how to take care of your golf clubs, and tips for your golf shoes.

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Casual weekend ideas

1. Can you walk on a golf course without paying?

If you are not playing the round, you can certainly walk around any golf course and take a look for free. You can do this alone or casually with your friends, or even accompanying your playing friends as you watch them.

However, please check in with the specific course to know the rules you need to follow. Some courses may only allow you in some areas depending on how they designed their course.

If you want to play, though, there are fees attached to that. The fairway is private property and is guarded by people who will charge you money for trespassing if they see you. However, you don’t have to pay if you are just walking around the golf course’s perimeter.

2. Can you play golf without paying?

Unfortunately, if you are not a golf club member, you will have to pay the green fee to play golf there. However, there are some courses where you can play for free or for a low fee on certain days.

One of the best ways to find out how much daily fees are at any given course is by contacting them directly or checking online. Green fees are usually reasonable, but $20 shouldn’t be considered cheap unless the course is top-notch.

3. Can you go on a golf course at night?

Contrary to popular belief, golf courses are not closed at night. Golf is played all day and night time, so don’t worry about it closing at night. In fact, some people come out after dawn and golf all day!

You’ll see even more people playing during the summer with early morning tee times (that’s why we call them “springers”) or if it’s warm enough.

The reason why people don’t golf at night is because of visibility. Most golf courses do not have floodlights or illumination of any kind to help you see the golf course well.

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If you are playing at night, make sure to ask if it’s lit up with floodlights because that makes it a lot easier to swing your clubs in.

4. Can you go for a run on a golf course?

Many golf courses have running trails and bike trails on their perimeter, so you can definitely get your exercise in while checking out the course. Just be careful not to trespass onto the greens or fairways, especially if a game is in progress.

If you’re looking for a challenge, consider timing yourself and see how long it takes you to run the entire length of the course. Be careful while running especially if there are players around you. Check that they are not hitting balls in your direction if one should lose its way and hit you.

Rules and etiquette at the golf course

5. Do golf courses close when it rains?

No, they do not close due to stormy weather. Some courses may close due to lightning, but that is extremely rare. If it becomes too bad of a storm, the course will close so that people can be safe from harm’s way. If it’s just drizzling or lightly raining, you can still golf at your leisure, even if it gets later in the day.

You most certainly can play golf in the rain, even if water is getting on your shoes and pants. Just make sure to wear waterproof clothing to protect you appropriately.

6. Do golf courses allow ride along?

A ride-along is what some golfers call letting a non-playing friend go with you on the course. The rules differ from golf course to golf course. Therefore, it is important to check with the specific course rules.

Although it’s not the norm, ride alongs can provide some advantages to the player if they so choose.

A great example is if a friend or family member is not into golf or wants to try it themselves. It can be a beneficial way to show them how the game of golf works and help them improve as well.

Make sure they are going to hold up their end of the bargain so that everyone can have a great time at the golf course. A ride-along will also allow you to have company while playing.

7. Can you walk up to people on a golf course?

Yes, you are allowed to walk on golf courses and even go onto the fairway. But be careful when you’re playing with players who have their clubs in hand. Walking up to them without asking and causing them to interrupt their swing can get a player angry.

You can ask people if they mind if you walk on or pass by them if they’re walking around as well. Generally, it is not appropriate for golfers to refuse this kind of thing, but there are exceptions, so make sure that you ask first before acting on your impulses.

8. Do golf courses allow personal golf carts?

This is another question that varies from course to course and even country to country. Most golf courses can allow you to rent golf carts, but that’s up to them as well. It’s usually a separate business and you must contact the specific course for more information.

Usually, the more expensive the course, the less likely they will provide a cart for you as free service.

Generally, golf courses only allow personal golf carts on their turf, provided the cart owner is responsible for their own cart. Some courses may also charge you a fee for coming with your own golf cart. Therefore, it is important to research the course before going with your own cart.

9. Do golf courses allow singles?

Yes, golf courses do allow singles to the extent that they can accommodate them. When it comes down to personal choice, most golf courses will allow you to play without a partner.

However, this is usually only for beginners or those who are nervous about playing with or against other people on the course. Some courses allow this option, but others may not. The only way to find out is by calling or going to the course directly and asking.

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10. Do most golf courses rent clubs?

Yes, most golf courses will rent you clubs to play on the course. This is especially true for people who are just learning how to golf and do not have the money to purchase their own set of clubs.

Note that most pro shops at a golf course only rent out the most basic of equipment, so you may have to bring your own clubs with you if you want a more superior or customized set of clubs.

11. Do golf courses provide balls?

Most golf courses do rent golf balls for you to use. Some golf courses may even assign you a ball color so that everyone can know what kind of ball to play with on the course.

However, if a course does not provide balls for their players to use, they usually sell them at a separate location around the course, or even near their clubhouse.

12. Do golf courses have cameras?

Most golf courses have cameras to track anyone who damages the property or anything that could lead to a lawsuit.

Most of the cameras are located around the clubhouse or the edges of the golf course. Rarely will you find cameras that are situated in the middle of the course, unless there is a special reason for it.

It is important to be aware of cameras on the golf course to avoid getting caught when you’re trying to play some naughty shots.

13. Can I bring my dog to the golf course?

In most cases, you can bring your dog to a golf course. However, it is not recommended as it is dangerous for other players and for your pet.

Not all golf courses have their own pet pens. Many of these places allow you to walk your dog around the course, but that’s not always the case.

If your dog swallows a golf ball, you may be forced to have your pet euthanized. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your dog does not swallow any golf balls.

It is also important to keep an eye on your pet at all times and make sure that it does not get hit by any golf balls as the impact could hurt it seriously.

Some courses do allow dogs without leashes, so you can let your dog explore the golf course and play with other dogs or horses.

Woman drinking at blue sports bottle outdoors
Photo by Jopwell on Pexels

Eating and drinking on the golf course

14. Can you drink on a golf course?

Yes, you are allowed to drink on the golf course unless a special rule is placed in place for their course. Most golf courses will have a clubhouse where you can order drinks or snacks to have while you play. These will vary from course to course.

It is important that you do not drink alcohol on the golf course before you start, though most people don’t anyway. Unless you’re a raging alcoholic, I think that would be counter-intuitive.

Also, make sure that your drinks are in a secure place at all times, as it will be bad if they hit other people or spill on the golf course while playing.

You can only purchase food from the clubhouse or have it delivered to you by one of the golf course’s caddies or waiters.

15. Can you bring your own drinks to a golf course?

Most golf courses allow you to bring in your own drinks. You may either have them in a cooler or bring them in a carrying bag to the golf course. This is so that you do not have to buy drinks throughout the round drinks and only spend money on what you need.

However, make sure you check with the specific course that you are not breaking the rules. If the course does not allow you to bring your own drinks, anyone that sees or catches you drinking or bringing drinks onto the course could give you an infraction for doing so. Just like when people take their dogs onto the golf course without leashes if it is not allowed.

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16. Can you drink and drive a golf cart on a golf course?

In most golf courses, you may not drink and drive a golf cart on a golf course. You are allowed to have a drink in your possession, but not in the driver’s seat. Anyone caught drinking and driving may be penalized for their actions.

There will most likely be a few signs posted about this before you get on the course, so make sure you read them and understand them.

The reason for this is to avoid any accidents or incidents on the course due to drinking and driving.

17. Do golf courses allow coolers?

In most cases, you are allowed to bring coolers on the golf course. However, most golf courses do not allow coolers with wheels into their premises. This is for multiple reasons, including minimizing damage to the course and protecting other people from being hit by any potential collisions.

Some golf courses may also not let you bring coolers on the course if their size exceeds a certain limit. However, this should not be common as most coolers are not big enough for it to matter.

18. Can you eat fish caught on a golf course?

Yes, you can eat fish that you catch on a golf course. However, make sure that you do not overfish or catch too much to the point where it is detrimental to the course or the fish population in general.

The golf course will often provide you with the rules regarding fishing in their ponds. Make sure to read them before fishing in any ponds located on the golf course.

You may also have to pay a small fee for the privilege of being able to fish at any ponds in a golf course.

19. How to bring beer on a golf course

It is not recommended to bring beer to the golf course. You are allowed to bring it, and some golf courses may even allow you to drink it while on the course. However, it isn’t really encouraged as there is a chance that other players may not enjoy the smell of your beer or the taste of it.

There is also a risk that you could spill your beer, leading to other people having issues with their game.

Considerations for bringing beer on a golf course

To bring beer on a golf course, consider the following:

  1. Make sure that you are not bringing in an excessive amount of beer.
  2. Make sure that no one minds your drinking. If someone does, ask them nicely if they would rather you stopped.
  3. Ensure that you store your beer securely as there is a chance of it being stolen or spilling while on the course.
  4. Make sure that you are not drinking on the course unless allowed at the golf course.
  5. Make sure that you are not drinking and driving your golf cart at the golf course.
  6. Do not litter by throwing your used cans on the course.
golf, green, golf courses
Photo by 24ox24 on Pixabay

Final thoughts on golf course tips

In conclusion, golf courses are not that hard to navigate. It mainly comes down to the rules and the number of golfers at the course.

Most golf courses have a clubhouse where you can buy snacks and drinks for your round.

It never hurts to bring some extra cash just in case you have an unexpected need. For example, if your golf cart dies mid-game, you can pay for a replacement until you can get it fixed later. You should also bring a few extra balls in case you hit a terrible shot that gets lost in the woods.

In some of our earlier articles, we discussed how to take care of your golf shoes, and how to play golf as a fivesome.

Michael G

I love investing in people! Michael is on a mission to help organizations and individuals become better. Michael has had a distinguished 10-year career spanning through non-profit and the corporate world. Michael's life purpose is in helping to simplify complex problems to define actionable solutions, which is why through public speaking, Michael is focused on inspiring and impacting people towards the right personal growth formula and generating sustainable business growth.