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Golf for Beginners FAQ

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Male golfer preparing to hit tee shot
Thomas Barwick/Iconica

Our Golf for Beginners FAQ is designed to answer some of the questions newcomers to the game are sure to have. If you don't see the topic you're looking for, try posting your question in the Golf Forum, where golfers of all skill levels may be able to help. If you're looking for the meaning of specific golf terms, try the golf glossary. And if you're looking for instructional articles and videos, see our Golf Tips section.

Scorekeeping and Scorecards
How do I keep score?
Birdies, bogeys, eagles, pars - what are those things?
How do I mark the scorecard?
What do "out" and "in" mean on the scorecard?
What do the numbers on the "Handicap" line of the scorecard represent?
Related: Handicap FAQ

On the Course
How long does it take to play a round of golf?
How much does it cost to play a round of golf?
What are the different parts of a golf course?
What are the different types of golf courses?
Which set of tees on the tee box should I use?
How high should I tee the ball on the tee box?
When can I ask for the flag to be tended, and when should I do it for others?
What is the proper method for tending the flagstick?
What's the right way to mark a ball on the green?
Where can I drive the golf cart on the course?
What is golf etiquette?
Do golf courses have dress codes?
What's the proper way to rake a sand bunker?
How do I fix a divot?
How do I repair a ballmark on the green?
Are yardages listed to the front or center of the greens?
Why are hole liners white?

Rules of Golf
How can I get a copy of the Rules of Golf?
Where can I get the basics of golf rules?
What are "winter rules" or "preferred lies"?

See Also:
The rules of golf
Golf Rules FAQ
Golf rules at a glance - an introduction

Practice and Lessons
Should I take lessons?
How do I find a golf instructor?
How much do golf lessons cost?
I'm too embarrassed to go to a golf course, but how can I get better unless I go to a golf course?
How long does it take to become good?

See also: Golf Lessons - considerations, advice and tips

Before and After the Round
Are tee times required to play golf?
How do I get a tee time?
If I show up at a course without a tee time, will I get to play?
What happens if I'm late and miss my tee time?
Does golf require any special physical abilities?
Do I have to tip at the golf course?

Golf Clubs
Why are they called "woods" when they aren't made of wood?
How much do golf clubs cost?
How far am I supposed to hit each club?
How do I know which club to hit?
I want to buy name-brand golf clubs - how do I know which brand to buy?
How do I take care of golf clubs?
How do you clean golf clubs?
How do you clean the grips on golf clubs?
How many clubs are in golf sets?
Do I have to have a full set of clubs to start playing?
What are "game improvement" clubs?
How do steel and graphite shafts compare, and how do I know which is right for me?

See also: Golf Clubs FAQ (focuses on the technical aspects of clubs)

Golf Balls
What are X-Out golf balls?
What do the numbers on a golf ball mean?

Accessories (Shoes, Gloves, Etc.)
Do I need to wear a golf glove?
Are golf shoes required to play golf?
Do golf courses have dress codes?

Shopping and Buying
What should I look for when buying used clubs?
How much do golf clubs cost?
I want to buy name-brand golf clubs - how do I know which brand to buy?

Tournaments
• What is a "scramble" (or other tournament format)?
See: Tournament Formats/Betting Games Glossary

Historical/Miscellaneous
Is "golf" an acronym for "gentleman only, ladies forbidden"?
Why are golf courses 18 holes in length?
Why do golfers yell "fore" to warn others of an errant shot?

See Also: Golf History FAQ

More Golf for Beginners Stuff
More articles aimed at beginning golfers are included in our Beginners Index section. See also our Golf Tips index.

Related Video
Golf Swing Basics
Correct Posture
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