What Is Honour In Golf? – Explained!

what is honour in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of expressions and technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those expressions sometimes thrown out in conversation and television broadcasts is the word “Honour”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does “Honour” mean in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what Honour is in golf, along with some examples to solidify your comprehension.

What Is Honour In Golf?

In golf, Honour is the idea that the player who scored the lowest score on the previous hole gets to tee off first on the current hole. The golfer who gets to tee off first is said to “have the honour” in this round of golf. Having the “Honour” in golf can be viewed as a privilege rewarding skill and prowess.

In the great game of golf, the term “Honour” is a word that is fairly common to hear. Many golfers have heard of the term “Honour” before.

If you do ever hear the word “Honour”, it will almost always be at the beginning of a golf hole when more than one golfer forms a playing group.

In golf, Honour is a rule used by some people to determine who tees off first on a golf hole. In golf, the person who tees off first is said to “have the honour” for that particular round of golf.

How do we determine which golfer gets to have the honour? Simply put, the golfer with the best score on the previous hole gets the honour for the current golf hole. In case of a tie for the previous score, there is a tiebreaker held, the nature of which is determined by your group or the rules of your tournament.

In stroke play, the player with the best score on the previous hole gets the honour, while in match play, the player who wins the previous hole gets the honour.

You can read a real-world example of Honour determined in golf, down below.

Example:

Paul, Dave and Mark are friends, currently playing a friendly round of stroke play golf.

On the 2nd hole, Paul scored a birdie (-1), Dave scored par (+0), and Mark scored a bogey (+1).

When they reach the tee box for the 3rd hole, Paul, Dave and Mark need to determine who will tee off first.

Since Paul had the best score on the 2nd hole, he has the honour for the 3rd hole.

Since Paul has the honour for the 3rd hole, he gets to tee off first on the 3rd hole.

Determining who has the honour in golf is relatively easy, except for the first hole. On the first hole of a golf round, there are no previous hole scores for the golfers to compare each other!

In the case of the first hole, another rule can be used to determine who tees off first. Accordingly, this rule will be determined either by your group, or the organizers of a tournament.

Some groups like to flip a coin, others go randomly, while some let the youngest player tee off first on the first hole.

An important note to mention is that the Honour rule is not always used, especially if you only play casual golf.

When determining who has the honour for each hole, it is common that two players will have the same score (e.g. bogey). In such a case, the relative playing order of the tied golfers carries over from the previous hole to the current one.

Example:

Paul, Dave and Mark are friends, currently playing a friendly round of golf.

On the 4th hole, the shooting order was Dave, Mark, and finally Paul.

On the 4th hole, Mark scored a birdie (-1), while Dave and Paul both scored a bogey (+1).

On the 5th hole, the three friends need to determine the playing order.

Since Mark scored the best score on the 4th hole, he has the honour on the 5th hole.

Since Dave and Paul tied on the 4th hole, their relative playing orders carry over from the 4th hole to the 5th hole.

Therefore, the playing order on the 5th hole is Mark, Dave, and finally, Paul.

If you are playing golf with a random group of strangers, it is a good idea to agree beforehand on who gets to tee off first in the group during the round.

The term Honour’s origin is fairly obvious. The word honour means a privilege bestowed upon someone worthy. Applied to golf, earning the right to tee off first thanks to a good score on the previous hole is a great honour.

If you would like to lower your score and improve your chances of claiming the honour in golf, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Conclusion

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

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? Do you play with the “Honour” rule in golf? Let us know in the comments down below!