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June 05, 2024

Parts of a golf course: Tee to green and stuff in between

New to golf? Curious to learn the ins and outs of a golf hole? Here's a visual introduction for all golf newbies and wannabies.

1.  Tee Box - Forward Tees, Middle Tees, Back Tees


The tee box is the part of a hole where things begin.  It's where you hit your first shot - 'off the tee' as is often said.  Tee boxes are identified by the colour of the tees found in the tee box.  The red (or forward) tees is the spot to start for beginners or for those golfers who don't tend to hit a ball very far down the fairway to hit from.  The white (or middle) tees is the spot where most average golfers hit from.  The blue (or back) tees is the spot where golfers who can hit a golf ball a long way take their first shot from.  


2.  Courtesy Fairway Distance Markers 


Sometimes you will find distance markers on a fairway of a hole that has a specific number on them.  If your ball is in line or close to one of these markers, the number on the marker tells you how far in yards your ball is from the middle of the green.  They are considered a 'courtesy' as not all golf courses provide these types of distance markers on the fairways.  These markers also tend to be found on sprinkler heads. 



3.  100 Yard, 150 Yard and 200 Yard Distance Markers

These markers are found on almost all golf courses and tell a golfer the point on the fairway where you are 100, 150 or 200 yards away from the middle of the green.  Generally, 100-yard markers are red, 150-yard markers are white (or will have some white colouring on them), and 200-yard markers are blue.  They tend to be found in the middle of the fairway. 

4.  Flagsticks


Flagsticks are found on the green, sticking out of that day's hole location and the colour of the flagstick generally tells you the location of the hole.  Red flag sticks tell you the hole is generally located at the front of the green.  White flags tell you the hole is generally located in the middle of the green while blue flags tell you the hole is generally located at the back of the green.  Remembering that distance markers tell you how far you are relative to the middle of the green (see #2 & #3), keep in mind that if a red flagstick is on the green, you may need to hit your ball a little shorter while, if a blue flagstick is on the green, you may need to hit your ball a little longer to get your approach shot close to the hole. 

5.  Sand Trap


A sand trap (or bunker) on a golf course is considered a hazard and is intended to make it harder for you to get to the green in the fewest number of strokes.  You will need to use a golf club called a wedge (or sand wedge) to help you hit the ball out of a sand trap.  Sand traps can be found around the green or along one or both sides of a fairway (fairway trap).  Once you have hit your ball out of the sand trap you landed in, it is important to use the rake provided beside the sandtrap to rake the sand where you have hit your ball.  This ensures the sand will be smooth for the next golfer who finds herself in the same trap you found yourself in.

6.  Water Hazard


A water hazard is another type of hazard that is designed to make it harder to reach the green in the fewest number of strokes.  They are typically found around the green and along either side of a fairway. Generally speaking, if you hit your ball into a water hazard, you will drop another ball and take a one stroke penalty. 





More Great Golf Content from SWSCD

Go deeper into the concepts, learn more about players and elite events of the game, find out more about how you can do your part to ensure the long term health of a golf green and much more with SWSCD.


See How She Got Started: OUA & University of Waterloo Golfer Daneka Miller

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The SWSCD Go-To-Guide to the 2019 CP Women's Open

Golf: What’s in it “fore” you

Hit the green and tee up that swing: Golf for the beginner

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Synchronized Swimming: Synchronized Swimming: From Tryouts to Competition Day



Check out our Athlete Advisor, your online athletic business directory. Find, rate and review golf programs, local community offerings and businesses that will help you do your thing.  

Need a place to coordinate and connect with your golfing friends? Find or start a golf group on our SWSCD Hub.

Look for advice, stories, news and more on our Golf activity page.  

Have your own great memory or moment playing golf?  Share your highlights directly on our Discover blog or by using #seewhatshecando on social media and inspire others to get active. 


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