Golfers don't yell "fore" BEFORE they hit...they yell it afterwards if their ball is flying in the direction of other golfers...they say it to warn people...if you hear Fore! out on the golf course, you should be aware that there is a ball coming near your location.
Not got any proof of this, but think years ago on old practice grounds players would hit balls and their caddies would be at the other end of the practice ground, sometimes a caddy would be known as a fore caddie, so I suspect that any time the player felt it might hit the fore caddie and he wasn't looking, the player would shout 'fore' to warn him. So now anytime a player hits a ball and thinks it may hit someone, they shout 'fore'.
Fore comes from a military word meaning, "look ahead." The military shouted this word when being attacked from the rear. In golf, the word 'fore' is shouted after a golfer hits a wayward shot that may endanger the group ahead, or in the case of professional golf, when the gallery is in danger of being hit by an offline shot. Actually, the word is shoted immediately AFTER the golfer strikes his ball . . . never before. (Unless the player is a hack, he/she knows it, and wants to warn the players on the course they will be in danger the entire round! LOL!)
Ah! Thank you copywriter31. You have added even more to the explanation, and "look ahead" totally makes sense, especially when combined with all the other answers. I'd be the one yelling before each swing. I'm not a very good golfer by any standards.
Just saw the question and all the preceding answers. Each is right ... however, I just wanted to clarify that, as explained by Boothe56 and Copywrite31, 'fore' is usually called out after a ball has been hit. But, there is sometimes a need to shout the word to warn someone who is on your fairway and within hitting distance. That could be a forecaddy - yes, they are still there and even mandated on courses like the FRIMA in Dehradun, India, where ravens keep swooping down and picking up balls - or it might be someone who has shot his ball in front of you from another fairway, or it might even be a maintenance staff member. In such a case, a golfer would call out 'fore' and wait for the person to get out of the way and then take his shot.
You are right Boothe56, and one does usually wait. However, sometimes, the person in front is preoccupied with his de-weeding or chatting with other forecaddies, and unaware that you are waiting ... and then one does call out after a small wait.
I was with an impatient golfer one time, so I think that is why, after seeing it a lot on TV, I thought "fore" was yelled out "before". Now, I get the gist of the word and it makes sense. It also makes it more comical when I see it on TV and jokes.
Thanks Kaili. It all makes sense after analyzing the word itself. I am so grateful to you and everyone who stepped in to answer this question. It really was a question that made me ponder every time I heard it. I'm grateful for all the input here.
Yes I know I'm a mechanic but my first job was as a trainee green keeper and I played golf left handed for 20 odd years before 3 crushed discs put an end to that. While all of the proceeding answers are perfectly correct, I prefer to think that golfers yell "fore" after hitting a wayward shot becaucse they are not allowed to yell another " f " word, MJ.
Golfers should always remember that when they play golf, the first thing to rememberon a golf course is "Why am I here today?"Most amateurs golfers are playing golf for fun, either to meet their friends, to...