golfers shout fore

Why Do Golfers Shout Fore?

If you watch golf on TV or have ever been out on the golf course playing a round of golf yourself, you’ll hear golfers shout out a strange word “Fore!”

Why do golfers shout fore? What does fore mean? Where did it originate and how did it get associated with golf?

These are questions you might have and in this guide we will break down the answers as to why golfers yell out “fore” on a golf course.

Let’s dive in…

Golfers Yelling “Fore” Explained

What Does Fore Mean in Golf?

The word fore is yelled by golfers when they hit a bad golf shot that is headed in the direction of people. Fore is a word of warning to warn people that a golf ball is flying their way and to look out for it.

When you’re on the golf course and you hear someone yelling Fore at you, your instincts are to duck and cover your head to avoid getting hit by the golf ball.

It can be confusing to a beginner or someone who doesn’t play golf, because there are other words that could be substituted in and would make more sense.

For example, why don’t golfers yell “Look Out!” or “Heads Up!” instead of yelling fore.

To answer this questions let’s look at the history of the word Fore in golf and it’s origin.

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Where Did the Word Fore in Golf Originate?

Many believe that Fore is short for forecaddie.

A forecaddie is a person who follows a golfer around on the golf course and they were used early on in golf to spot the golf ball and help find lost golf balls.

Golf balls used to be quite expensive so losing a golf ball not only created penalty strokes to a golfer’s scorecard but also hit them in their wallet.

caddie fore

Forecaddies would start ahead of the golfer and spot the golf ball where it landed so the golfer could easily access it when they got to their next shot. A golfer who shout “fore” to warn the fore caddie the ball was in flight and to watch for it.

Another interpretation of the word “fore” in golf is that it means “situated in front”. Yelling out fore is a way to warn those people who are “situated in front” of the golf ball.

On the PGA Tour, you’ll often hear professionals yelling out fore to warn the crowds that line the sides of the fairway when the pro golfer hits a shot severely left or right of the fairway.

When a fan is hit by a golf ball at a PGA Tour event, the professional golfer who made the errant golf swing will often compensate the injured fan by offering a signed golf ball or signed golf glove to say sorry and apologize.

Overall, the word Fore has been adopted by the golf community as the word of choice to yell out when a bad shot is hit and people are in the line of fire of the golf ball. To learn more golf terms and improve your knowledge of the golf slang used on the golf course, check out our blog article covering 40+ basic golf terms for beginners.

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