If you've ever played or watched golf on TV, you've no doubt heard someone refer to a player as "having the honor." The honor of what, you've probably thought. But in golf, to have the honor means something significant to how the game is played, not just a badge or certificate.
Let us explain what it means to have the honor in golf.
What does it mean to have the honor in golf?
When a player has the honor in golf, that means they're the player who goes first off the tee on a hole. A player is said to have the honor because that means they have scored the best among the group.
On the first tee of a round of golf, having the honor means a player was either randomly drawn to go first or that they hold the lowest total score in the competition so far based on the total score through the prior rounds played.
On the tee of each subsequent hole in a round of golf, having the honor means being the player with the lowest score on the prior hole. That means a player gets to go first because they basically won the prior hole. This true in stroke-play and match-play competitions.
If there is no player who had the outright lowest score on the prior hole, then the player with the honor is the player who tied for the lowest score on the prior hole and was then the last golfer to have the outright lowest score on a hole even earlier in the round. It's the golf version of a tiebreaker to determine the order of play.
Going first means the golfer gets to set the pace, and golfers typically like that opportunity, particularly in a match-play competition, so having the honor is a good thing in golf and it's important for how a compeition unfolds.