I suppose this falls under etiquette as much as instruction, but PLEASE pick up broken tees and either move them to the side of the tee box or better yet dispose of them in the trash. Personally it distracts me when I have anything in my field of vision while teeing off.
I often put at least one broken tee in my pocket for use on par 3’s or other layup holes (see course management below). You have the opportunity to put your ball on a tee and give yourself a great lie, take it!
Three tips in one… You should mark you ball uniquely so you can identify it from others. There is nothing more embarrassing than picking up someone’s ball or having to confront someone that has picked up your ball. Carry a Sharpie (not a sponsor of this site…yet) and mark your ball.
I tend to mark my ball with two long straight lines, these lines can be used for putting alignment once on the green.
Use any mark you like but keep it unique enough to distinguish it from another if there is a question of ownership.
The third tip about ball marking is when I tee it up I face the Sharpie mark where the club face will strike the ball. It will leave a mark on your club face and this way you can get an understanding on where you are striking the ball. For example, if you hit two or three drives a little too high on the face, and slightly miss the sweet spot, you may want to tee your ball lower. A few off the toe, and you may want to stand closer to the ball. Notice in the photo, I was actually hitting a little closer to the heal of the club.
Layup or punch out when the chances are slim you will “make it”. When I was just starting out golfing I almost always was shooting for the hole. I wish someone would have told me that it is OK to not “go for it” every time. I have played some of my best rounds by not trying to hit the ball over water that I am not likely to make, or punching out of trees even if I thought I might make it through a small opening.
Downhill vs. uphill putts:
Many new or occasional golfers may not have come across this tip before. If you are putting uphill, the ball will break less, downhill and the ball will break more. Many golfers miss on the low side, especially when hitting downhill. Play for that little extra break and watch your speed too.