What is the definition of in Golf?

The concept of honor in golf refers to the right of a player to play first from the teeing area. This privilege is earned by having the best score among the players in a group on the preceding hole. The concept of honor is quite important in golf, as it sets the playing order and serves as a reward for good performance on previous holes.

In casual play, golfers may adopt their own methods for determining who has the honor. It can be as simple as allowing the player who is ready first to tee off. However, in more formal and competitive settings, the concept of honor is taken more seriously, as it can potentially influence the outcome of a match or tournament.

Key Takeaways

  • Honor in golf refers to the privilege of playing first from the teeing area.
  • Earning the honor is based on having the best score on the preceding hole.
  • The concept is significant in setting the playing order and rewarding good performance.

The Concept of Honor in Golf

The concept of honor in golf refers to the privilege of a player to be the first one to play from the teeing area on a specific hole. This order of play is determined by the best score among the players in a group on the preceding hole. The player with the lowest score (or who won the last hole) has the honor and tees off first.

Having the honor is not only about going first off the tee, it is also a recognition of a player’s performance and skill on the previous hole. In essence, it presents an opportunity for the golfer to showcase their consistency and potentially gain a psychological advantage over their fellow competitors.

In casual play, golfers can choose their preferred method of determining who has the honor. This may involve letting the player who is ready first to tee off or using other informal agreements. However, in tournament play, honoring the order of play is a crucial aspect of maintaining the integrity of the game.

Understanding the concept of honor in golf contributes to a more enjoyable and fair experience on the course. By respecting this tradition, players show appreciation for their fellow golfers’ achievements, while also observing the structure and sportsmanship intrinsic to the game.

Types of Honors in Golf

In golf, the term “honor” refers to the privilege of playing first from the teeing ground. This privilege is awarded to the player with the best score on the preceding hole. Honors play an important role in determining the order of play and maintaining a fair competition among players.

There are different ways honors can be determined in golf:

  • On the first tee: For the starting hole, the honor on the first tee is determined by the tournament’s draw, according to Rule 10-1a for match play, or 10-2a for stroke play. If there is no draw, the honor is determined by lot, such as flipping a coin.
  • During the game: After the first hole, the player with the lowest score on the previous hole gains the honor to play first on the next hole. In case of a tie, the order of play remains the same as on the previous hole.
  • Match play vs. stroke play: In match play, the order of play is more strictly followed, with the player who has won the previous hole gaining the honor for the next hole. In stroke play, players are encouraged to adopt “ready golf” principles, which allow and encourage players to play out of turn in a safe and responsible way to maintain a faster pace of play. However, the concept of honor still applies in stroke play when all players have completed their rounds and are beginning another hole.

Understanding and following the concept of honors in golf contributes to maintaining the integrity of the game and ensuring fair competition among players. By respecting the order of play and the concept of honors, golfers can enjoy a more organized and enjoyable game.

The Importance of Honor in Golf

Respect for the Game

In golf, “honor” refers to the privilege of playing first from the tee. This tradition is deeply ingrained in the sport and showcases the respect golfers have for both the game and their opponents. The player who achieves the lowest score on a hole is said to “have the honors” on the following tee box, asserting their competence and skill in the game. This practice promotes a genuine appreciation for the sport and strengthens the sense of camaraderie among players.


Honor in golf also highlights the importance of sportsmanship and fair play. By allowing the player with the lowest score to tee off first, it encourages a healthy competitive spirit and fosters mutual respect among golfers. Observing the honor system ensures that players maintain a high level of integrity in their gameplay and adhere to proper golf etiquette. In turn, this cultivates a positive atmosphere on the course and strengthens the bonds between players. Demonstrating honor in golf is a crucial aspect of the sport, reinforcing values such as respect, sportsmanship, and fairness.

The Process of Gaining Honor in Golf

Winning Matches

In golf, the honor refers to the player who has the right to tee off first on a hole. Gaining the honor is achieved by having the best score among your group on the preceding hole. This recognition of being the first to shoot can be seen as a reward for performance and a display of golfing superiority during a match.

In both match play and stroke play, the honor on the first tee can be determined either randomly, such as through drawing lots or flipping a coin, or by mutual agreement among players. However, from the second through the 18th holes, the honor is based on the outcome of the previous hole, with the golfer who scored the best earning the right to start.

Behavior on the Course

Besides superior performance in matches, a player’s behavior on the golf course can also contribute to earning honors. Demonstrating respect for the game, adherence to its rules, and courteous treatment of fellow players can elevate one’s reputation in the golfing community. Golf is a game that values sportsmanship and fair play, and players who embody these values can gain recognition as ambassadors of the sport.

While the process of gaining honor in golf encompasses both skill and deportment, the primary focus remains on performance during play. Players who consistently score well and respect the etiquette and traditions of the game can establish themselves as esteemed golfers worthy of honor.

Honorable Actions in Golf

Playing golf involves a great deal of etiquette and respect. One of the most notable examples of this is the concept of “honor.” In golf, having the honor means being the player with the lowest score on the prior hole. This player earns the privilege of playing first from the tee on the subsequent hole.

Earning the honor is not just an opportunity to play first but also a recognition of the golfer’s skill in the preceding hole. Golfers typically take great pride in earning this privilege, as it exemplifies their abilities and performance on the course. However, it is essential to remember that maintaining sportsmanship is key when having the honor. Players should acknowledge their fellow golfers’ achievements and respect the order of play.

In match play scenarios, if a hole is tied, the player with the honor at the previous teeing area retains it. In stroke play, when two or more players have the same score at a hole, they should continue to play in the same order as the previous teeing area.

An essential aspect of demonstrating honor in golf is following the principle of playing “ready golf.” In stroke play, Rule 6.4b(2) encourages players to play out of turn if it is done in a safe and responsible manner. This practice aims to speed up the pace of play while maintaining respect for fellow golfers and adhering to golf’s traditional etiquette.

In more casual play, golfers may determine who tees off first using their preferred method, such as the player who is ready first. Showing honor in golf is not merely about earning the right to play first; it is about respecting the game, the players, and the spirit of sportsmanship. Fostering a culture of honorable actions benefits everyone on the golf course, creating a more enjoyable and rewarding golfing experience.

Famous Examples of Golf Honor

Golf honors refer to the privilege or right of a golfer to tee off first on a hole. This can be based off of having the best score among the group on the previous hole, and is an important aspect of the etiquette and history of golf. In this section, several famous examples of golf honors will be discussed:

In the 1969 Ryder Cup, the famous “Concession” took place between Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. Nicklaus, an American golfer, conceded a short putt to Jacklin, a British golfer, in a gesture of sportsmanship, allowing the Ryder Cup to end in a tie for the first time. This concession demonstrated the significance of golf honors as Nicklaus put his personal gain aside to uphold the spirit of the game.

During the 1997 Masters Tournament, Tiger Woods made history by breaking several records and becoming the youngest Masters champion. While this is well-known, it is also important to note that, as a result, he held the honor throughout the entire tournament. His impressive performance exemplified the meaning of having the honor in golf, as he consistently outperformed his competition.

Another notable example occurred in the 2000 British Open, when Tom Watson and Tiger Woods were paired together for a round. Watson, a seasoned golf legend, initially had the honor, but as the round progressed, Woods consistently outscored Watson, gaining the honor for multiple holes. This memorable pairing showcased the passing of golf honors between two greats of the sport and how dominance in a given round can influence the possession of this esteemed tradition.

These examples highlight the importance and prestige associated with having the honor in golf. The ability to tee off first can be a testament to a golfer’s skill, sportsmanship, and overall mastery of the game.