Fore (golf)

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The tough rubber core of a golf ball makes it a hazard to others following a wayward shot, despite its weight not exceeding 45.93g (1.62oz).

"Fore!", originally a Scots interjection, is used to warn anyone standing or moving in the flight of a golf ball.[1] The mention of the term in an 1881 British Golf Museum indicates that the term was in use at least as early as that period.[2]

It is believed[according to whom?] to come from the military "beware before", which an artilleryman who was about to fire would yell, alerting nearby infantrymen to drop to the ground to avoid the shells overhead. (Before may mean "in front of (the gun being fired)"; fore may mean "(look) ahead".)

Other possible origins include the term being derived from the term "fore-caddie", a caddie waiting down range from the golfer to find where the ball lands. These caddies were often warned about oncoming golf balls by a shout of the term "fore-caddie" which was eventually shortened to just "fore!".[2][3] The Colonel Bogey March is based on the descending minor third which the original Colonel Bogey whistled instead of yelling "fore" around 1914.[4]



  • Scott, James Sibbald David, The British Army: Its Origin, Progress, and Equipment, 1868
  • Windsor Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women Vol. 32, no. 292 (December 1910)