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What Is Fore In Golf? – Explained!

what is fore in golf
what is fore in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly uttered on golf courses is the word “Fore”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does “Fore” mean in golf? Why do people shout “Fore!” on golf courses?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what “Fore” is in golf, along with an example to solidify your comprehension.

What Is Fore In Golf?

In golf, “Fore!” is a word you shout to alert bystanders when you mistakenly hit your golf ball towards them. It is part of proper golf etiquette to quickly warn people when a golf ball is headed their way. Shouting “Fore!” saves many people from getting hit with golf balls every year.

In the great game of golf, the term “fore” is a word that is fairly common on golf courses, especially if there are many bad golfers on site. In fact, the term “fore” is especially useful around bad golf players!

In golf, shouting “Fore!” is commonly done by golfers when they hit a bad shot that is headed towards people. Yelling “Fore!” is useful to warn innocent bystanders, whether other golfers or spectators, that a golf ball is headed in their general direction.

This warning allows the bystanders to react as quickly as possible to the incoming golf ball.

Obviously, getting hit by a golf ball is painful and can cause injury, which is why shouting “Fore!” is so important when hitting a terrible shot that misses wide left or right.

Although shouting “Fore!” does not prevent 100% of accidental golf ball contacts with humans, it definitely reduces the number of potential accidents.

If you find yourself yelling “Fore!” too often because you keep missing terribly, consider practicing at a golf driving range. On a golf driving range, you can practice your shots quickly and towards an empty fairway with fences on each side.

On a driving range, there is essentially no risk of hitting another golfer with a golf ball, as everyone lines up on the same line to shoot golf balls.

You can read a real-world example of the term “Fore” being used, down below.


Bob is a terrible golfer, despite playing for 6 years. He gets ready to tee off in front of a par 5 golf hole.

Bob winds his club on the backswing, and unleashes a rocket of a shot.

Unfortunately, the golf ball swings viciously to the left side, in the direction of a cart girl.

“FORE!!!!!” Bob shouts as loud as he can, which alerts the cart girl in time for her to hide behind her cart.

The cart girl shouts back “Thanks for warning me, but aim at the fairway next time!”

Bob nods and swears to practice more at the driving range.

Ideally, you never want to have to shout “Fore!” at anyone, as it is better to hit your golf shots within the actual perimeter of the golf hole.

Hearing the word “Fore!” on a golf course is common enough, as it is part of proper golf etiquette to yell the interjection if your ball risks hitting someone. Even if you are uncertain if your ball will actually hit someone, shout “Fore!” at them to make sure!

People can get angry if a golf ball lands next to them, even if they do not get hit! In some cases, people would rather get hit by a golf ball after you warn them rather than if you do not warn them and they nearly get hit. Again, it is part of proper golf etiquette to warn anyone who might get hit by your balls.

To reduce how often you need to shout “fore!”, focus on going for safe golf shots down the middle of the fairway instead of shots aimed to land on the edge of the fairway. If there are strong winds, adjust your aim to account for them.

Instead of going for the perfect, yet risky golf shot that will get you in the perfect set-up for your next shot, aim for a safe shot that is almost guaranteed to not hit anyone. As a beginner, it is an excellent idea to go for safe shots, as your scores will improve, and you will avoid hitting people with your balls.

Linguistic historians claim that the term “fore” means “in front” or “forwards”, which makes sense. You yell “Fore!” to alert people that your ball is coming “in front” or “forwards” at a high speed.

Other linguistic experts instead believe that “fore” is a contraction of a different word, but they differ in which specific word that is. Examples of these specific words include “before”, “forwards” and more.

Another intriguing theory about the origin of the term “Fore” goes back in time a few centuries. In fact, golf balls used to be valuable and expensive objects, as they were not mass-manufactured like they are today.

Golfers back then employed special caddies called forecaddies. The role of a forecaddie was to see where the golf ball went after being shot in order to find it.

Therefore, after a golfer would shoot his ball, they would yell “Fore!” to alert the forecaddie to spot and find the ball, especially if it goes in the rough. This allowed golfers to save time looking for balls, and money paying for new expensive golf balls.

Improving your golf score means you will get better at golf and more rarely risk hitting people and having to shout “Fore!”. If you want to never have to yell “Fore!” again, you can read our guide to lower your golf score and become a better golfer: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the word “Fore” means in golf. You also got to read a real-world example to further improve your understanding of the meaning of the term “Fore”.

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? Have you ever had to shout “Fore!”? Let us know in the comments down below!

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