Why Do Golfers Yell Fore? (The Surprising Answer!)

By Chris Moore •  Updated on 04/26/22

When you’re playing golf and you hear someone yell “fore!” what do you do?

If you’re like most people, you probably duck or run for cover.

But what is the reason behind this warning cry?

Surprisingly, it’s not just to protect players from being hit by a ball.

Let’s explore the origins of the term and what it means for golfers today.

What does fore mean in golf?

According to the dictionary, fore means “in advance of.”

But what does it mean when used on the golf course?

When you’re playing a round of golf, there are many things that can go wrong.

You may hit the ball poorly, causing it to go towards someone and potentially hit them, causing an injury!

So when you hit a shot that might go off course, what should you do?

You yell “fore!” to let everyone know what’s happening.

This will alert players who are nearby so they can take cover if possible or at least be aware of what’s going on around them.

And if you ever hear “fore” on the course, you should do the same.

How did the term fore start?

It’s commonly believed it came from the term “forecaddie,” which is a person who would go ahead of the group to help find the group members’ shots right after they hit the ball.

Forecaddies were common in the late 1800s when golf balls were costly, and it’s possible that the term “fore” was simply shortened from there.

While nobody is certain this is the case, it makes a lot of sense given the similarities between the meanings of each term.

Final thoughts

Now that you know what “fore” means on the golf course, be sure to use it wisely!

If you ever hear somebody yell the term “fore,” you want to take cover and protect yourself as best as possible.

And if you’re the one who is about to hit a hook or slice that might go off course, then be sure to yell “fore” so everyone knows what’s happening.

It’s important every golfer, even scratch golfers, knows what this term means so we can all stay safe on the course.

Chris Moore

Hi, I'm Chris Moore and I'm the guy behind As an avid golfer since 2010, I decided to create this blog to share everything I've learned over the years. Whether it's golf equipment, swing tips, or anything in-between, I want to make sure you have everything you need to become a better golfer.