When playing golf, there are rules to determine who hits next at any given time during a round of golf. During competition, golfers are expected to follow these rules or otherwise be penalized for playing out of turn.
So how do you know who hits next and whose turn it is during a round of golf?
How do you determine who hits next during a round of golf?
The Rules of Golf give us a clear idea of who hits next, whose turn it is and the order of play afterward for tee shots during each hole of a round of golf.
The player who hits first off the tee had the best score on the prior hole, or, in the case of the first tee, won a random draw or had the lowest total tournament score in the group through the prior round. The player going first is said to have the honor.
For example, if there's a foursome playing golf together, the golfer with the lowest score on the prior hole then goes first on the next tee. Then the remaining golfers tee off in the order of their scores, all the way to the golfer with the highest score on the prior hole.
In the event of a tie for the lowest score, the players tied for the lowest score then go back to the prior hole and compare scores to break the tie. They go back as many holes as is required to determine who goes first. The same is true for breaking ties for other positions in the order of play. The tiebreakers can go all the way back to the first hole.
After the tee shot, however, it's easy to determine whose turn it is. The player who hits next in golf is the player whose ball is farthest away from the hole. It doesn't matter where the ball is on the course -- in the fairway, the rough, the sand, in a hazard or on and off the green. It just matters whose ball is farthest from the hole. They go next.
If a player is farthest from the hole and is still farthest from the hole after hitting their next shot, they they hit again and again until they are not the farthest from the hole. In that case, a player has no lost their turn.
In the event that the group decides to play ready golf, then there are no real rules to determine the order play and whose turn it is. Instead, players hit when they're ready to play.