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Imagine a golf park that has no stuffy rules, no dress code, no age limits. A park for fun and laughter. A park where everyone whatever their age, background or ability can play golf or golf-related games in a relaxed, non-judgemental place.

That’s Hounslow Golf Park! Our aim is to make the awesome game of golf accessible to everyone – because play matters. And you are all very welcome.

Essential rules of the golf course for beginners (1)

Essential Rules of the Golf Course for Beginners

Starting beginner golf lessons at Hounslow Golf Park is a delightful experience, free from intimidating, stuffy rules. Our relaxed atmosphere is ideal for beginners to comfortably hit, miss, and steadily improve, all while enjoying a family-friendly environment. If you are considering getting golf lessons, our sister sites, Chichester Golf and Horton Golf Park are equally relaxed and welcoming.

However, as you delve deeper into golf, it is handy to know some basic rules and expectations for when you start to play on a golf course. In this blog, we have put together some essential rules to guide you through, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable transition into the world of golf.



Here is a list of general course rules to help golfing beginners

Play behind tee markers

For beginners stepping onto the golf course, an easy yet important rule is to play behind the tee markers. This simply means positioning yourself behind these markers before teeing off. It’s a small detail that ensures fairness, as it provides a consistent starting point for all players. Sticking to this rule isn’t just about following guidelines; it’s about embracing the spirit of the game and ensuring everyone enjoys a fair and structured round of golf.

Play the ball where it lies

This rule means that you should not move or alter your ball’s position once it’s landed. This rule not only upholds fairness and integrity in the game but also introduces diverse challenges that are essential for skill development. Facing the ball in its natural lie not only tests your skills but also brings an element of surprise and thrill to each shot.

This challenge is what makes golf so engaging and enjoyable. It’s about adapting your strategy and skills to whatever the course throws your way, making every round a unique and exciting adventure. Embracing this aspect of golf enriches your experience, turning each shot into an opportunity to learn and adapt.

Out of bounds awareness

Awareness of out-of-bounds areas is a key part of golf etiquette Knowing your course’s boundaries helps you avoid penalties and keeps the play fair and flowing. Understanding out-of-bounds isn’t just about avoiding setbacks; it’s also about strategising your shots with the course layout in mind.

This knowledge not only improves your game but also respects the course and your fellow golfers, ensuring everyone has a great time on the greens.

Understanding hazards & penalty areas

When your ball lands in a hazard, such as a bunker, or into a penalty area, such as a water feature, it’s not just about dealing with a tricky situation; it’s about understanding the rules that come into play.

In penalty areas, marked by yellow stakes, you have several options:

You can play the shot where it is
You can accept a one shot penalty and then play from where you originally hit the ball
You can “drop” a ball on to the course from the point it crossed into the penalty area (water) by moving back in a straight line no further than the length of a club (relief area)

If the penalty area (water) is marked by red stakes, then your options are the same as above except when you drop the ball, you can move back the length of two clubs.

Lost ball rule

When a ball is lost, you have three minutes to try and find it.

If you cannot find it then you can return to the tee to play your shot again but you will incur a one penalty stroke.

If you want to keep the game moving – which is always more fun – and you can see you are not likely to be able to find your ball, you can play a “provisional” ball. This means you just play another shot off the tee but you will also incur a one shot penalty however it keeps the game flowing and ensures golfers playing after you do not have to wait around.

Dealing with unplayable lies

Golf can present you with tricky situations, like an unplayable lie. This means that if you find your ball in a challenging spot, such as a bush, you do have options! You can take a drop within two club lengths, find a line of sight from where the ball lies to the flag and drop anywhere along that line, or choose to replay your previous shot. Each of these options involves a one-stroke penalty but gives you a chance to continue playing smoothly, emphasising strategic thinking on the course.

No practice between holes

In golf, it’s best to leave your practice swings for the driving range and not between holes. This approach is key to maintaining the pace of play, ensuring everyone enjoys their round without unnecessary delays. It’s also a matter of respect for your fellow golfers.

Practising swings between holes can be distracting, impacting the concentration and flow of others on the course. By adhering to this guideline, you contribute to a smooth, enjoyable experience for all players.

Bunker rules

In bunkers, it’s important not to ground your club before the shot. This means you should hover your club above the sand, whether you’re in the fairway or greenside bunkers. Touching the sand with your club, even during practice swings, results in a one-shot penalty. However, you’re allowed to remove loose obstacles like stones or if there is any rubbish in the bunker without incurring a penalty.

Mark your golf balls

You can mark your golf ball on the green if you want to. Usually you only mark your ball when multiple balls are used in the play to avoid confusion.

Your marker can be a small flat disc you can buy from any golf shop or equally effective is a coin.

Simply put your coin or marker on the green immediately behind your ball, then remove your ball. When it is your turn to play, simply replace the ball in front of your marker and you are ready to go. Don’t forget to pick up your marker and put it somewhere safe for next time!

By marking your ball, you streamline the game and maintain order, ensuring that everyone plays their own ball and enjoys a smooth round.

Finish with the same ball

An important rule for golfing beginners is to start and finish each hole with the same ball. This practice helps to keep track of your game and ensures accurate scorekeeping. Even if your ball suffers wear and tear from the terrain or obstacles like trees, you must continue with the same ball until the hole is complete. Only after finishing a hole can you replace a damaged ball. This rule helps maintain consistency in your play.


If you are looking for beginner golf lessons in London, there is a diverse range of courses you can pick from. Particularly good for beginners are Hounslow Golf Park, Horton Golf Park, and Chichester Golf because they offer a relaxed, welcoming and non-judgemental atmosphere These friendly environments allow you to learn and enjoy the game without pressure.

For those in London looking to enhance their skills, consider taking some golf lessons at Hounslow Golf Park. It’s an ideal setting to not only learn the basics but also to embrace the true spirit of golf in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere.

Visit Hounslow Golf Park to start your golfing adventure today!

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Just left a 5 star review


Fantastically Friendly Family Space of Fun. Really enjoying the weekly Golf for Beginners class I'm participating in with my Wife. Great Staff and facilities, decent food and drink in the cafe. So inclusive - everyone is welcome. Really enjoying it

David Bates

Two fun mini-golf courses here, which I'd happily give 5 stars for, but it's very expensive! £24 for one round for two adults - ouch. Then add on the charge for the car park! As if the price of the mini-golf wasn't enough already? I'd be happy to come here more often if it wasn't for these prices. Hersham mini golf is a good course that's £8 cheaper with no charge for parking.

Clare Kenna

Great place for family days, went to crazy golf and did eruption will definitely come back soon and try cascades! Football golf looks fun also.

Dan King
Ian Lui
Ali The Explorer

Our new spot to hang out with friends

michael hubbuck

I have been learning golf with the lessons provided by the golf club. As I’m new to golf. Now the golfing coach Lewis is really great at explaining why we do and how we do things. Highly recommended. And the value for money is amazing. Group lessons first 4 free £5 for the balls. The next 4 lessons £2.50 each and £5 for balls. The next 4 lessons £2.50 ball free. And like I said the instructor is really good at explaining everything. I’m love my golf lessons and other in my group feel the same. Learn golf and make new friends

C Srikrishna

As an International Student, I was looking for something that was unique and then my friend told me about their Golf Trainings and I joined the very next week. Believe me nobody teaches golf so cheap and I am fully satisfied and I am currently in improvers course.

albert abraham

Best place for fun with friends.

SravanKumar Nedunuri

My day went like seconds My playing and having time in golf