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Who Tees Off First In Golf? (Explained)

The golf order of play is essential for those who are looking to play the right way.

You will not want to make mistakes and/or go in the wrong order. This does happen when you are playing golf for the first time.

So, who tees off first in golf?

The first name on the scorecard will tee off first in golf. In professional tournaments, the player listings are pre-decided and that’s the order golfers follow. For personal games, a coin toss or randomized order is fine.

You will have more leeway when it comes to the order golfers tee off when it is a personal game between friends or colleagues.

On the other hand, golf tournaments have stringent rules when it comes to the first golfer that tees off and how that is decided.

This article is going to highlight the rules and regulations associated with which golfer tees off first and how to account for this in golf.

Who Goes First In Golf?

The order of play in golf is often determined by the scorecard. The first name on the scorecard will also be the first golfer that tees off. In personal settings, it is common to do a coin toss or go with a randomized order based on a decided solution.

It is up to the golfers to come up with a solution in that situation.

The only time there is debate over this is during the setup of golf tournament rules. After the rules on who goes first in golf are in place, it is going to be easy for the golfers to abide by those regulations.

who tees off first in golf

Ways To Decide Who Tees Off First In Golf

1. Scorecard Order

Who plays first off the tee?

In most cases, the golfer that is listed first on the official scorecard is also going to go first off of the tee. It is rare for other methods to be used but a specific golfer can go first (i.e. previous year’s champion).

For the most part, the idea is to standardize the order and this is pre-decided by the tournament organizers.

This means the official scorecard determines the order in which golfers tee off in golf.

2. Coin Toss

To figure out who starts in golf, you can also use a simple strategy that is used in other sports in the form of a coin toss.

Flip a coin and determine who will go first based on the outcome.

This is simple and straight to the point.

It is common for this to also be used when two balls are in a similar spot on the green. It is possible golfers don’t agree on which ball is closer, which leads to a situation where a coin toss is required.

3. Randomized

When determining who tees off first in golf on the first hole, you will also want to consider going with a randomized order.

This means just finding a simple way to pick an order.

This can sometimes be something as straightforward as going based on who arrived first at the hole. The golfer that got there first will be the one that tees off first too.

You can then use this to randomize the rest of the order for the group.

who tees off first in golf

What Order Do You Tee Off In Golf?

The most common order to tee off in golf is based on a pre-determined scorecard. The names will be listed on the scorecard and the same order will be used for who tees off first.

This is done to make things simple and ensure confusion is not an issue.

Professional tournaments will often do this as the pre-decided listings will make it easier for players to know when they are going to be teeing off. With a large number of players in a golf tournament, this is the easiest way to organize the setup.

It’s always best to go through the tournament rules when you are in a situation such as this.

Who Plays First On Or Off The Green?

When it comes to the basic rules of opening in golf, the player whose ball is furthest from the hole gets to go first. You can then work backward using the same rule for the remaining players until everyone has played.

It’s recommended to also have a coin in hand.

Why is this important?

The coin is a good way to deal with a situation where two players have balls in a similar spot. This is when a coin toss can be done as a tiebreaker to determine which golfer is going to go first at the hole.

Who Plays First On The Fairway?

When it comes to golf opening etiquette, the player whose ball is furthest away from the hole is going to be the first to play on the fairway. The remaining golfers will follow the same rule until the closest golf ball is hit.

It is ideal to have a tiebreaker in place in a situation such as this.

Some golfers will have a ball in the same spot and that is why it is best to make sure you are using a coin toss to deal with a situation such as this.

who tees off first in golf

What Is A Tee-Off?

A tee-off refers to the start of a golf hole. This is when a tee is set up with the golf ball on top to allow a player to play their first shot at the hole. When done right, the tee-off is going to be done following a specific order (i.e. the first player on the scorecard goes first).

How Does PGA Determine Who Tees Off First?

The PGA determines who tees off first based on a pre-decided list that is put on the official scorecard. Golfers then know when they are going to tee off based on this list. There are rankings also involved in this determination process including the previous year’s champion.

It is important to note that a PGA tournament is a lot different from an average round of golf with your buddies.

There are more players at a PGA tournament and this is why organizing the order of play becomes essential.

Who Tees Off First At The Masters?

At the Masters, there are honorary champions from the past that will tee off to begin the tournament. This is done as a way to honor their contributions to the tournament along with getting the public involved in the ceremony.

For the official tournament, a pre-decided scorecard is set up with the names in order of play.

This is then the order of play at the Masters for the tournament with the players set up in pairings.

Final Thoughts

Who tees off first in golf?

In golf, the player listed first on the scorecard is going to tee off first. This is the most common practice used in official tournaments due to the sheer number of players. Other methods that are used include doing a coin toss or using a randomized order based on who arrived first.

For golf with your buddies, it’s recommended to just do a quick coin toss. This will keep everyone happy.

If you are not going solo golfing or you want to make sure you have fun golfing for the first time, it’s important to know these rules. It will be a lot easier for you to golf with friends when you are aware of these regulations.