The Etiquette of Golf is a unique code that all Players of the game in every country respect and abide by.
Spirit of the Game
Honesty, integrity, courtesy: three words that have come to represent the spirit in which the game of golf is played.
Part of that spirit sits beneath the term, ‘etiquette’ and part of it relates to the Rules of Golf. But the Spirit of the Game goes much deeper than just those two tangible terms.
It is something that every golfer should develop an innate sense of, something that is born of golf’s unparalleled history, and something which lifts golf, one could argue, above other sports.
Whether it’s through divot and pitch-mark repair, or simply through silence on the tee, the spirit of the game dictates that players make sure they give others on the course, often opponents, a fair chance to play the best shot they can.
For most of us, the game of golf is self-regulating. There is seldom a referee present so we are reliant upon our own honest adherence to the Rules in order to enjoy the game. As a result we are all occasionally forced to call a penalty on ourselves for infringements which, often, will go unnoticed by everyone else.
Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players, care for the course and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.
Etiquette is an integral and inextricable part of the game, which has come to define golf's values worldwide.
Put simply, it is a series of guidelines that exist to show other players, whether through divot repair or awareness of your shadow, a degree of fairness which you would expect to receive in return.
In terms of golf's environment, etiquette is about showing respect for the course on which you are playing and the work that has been put in to create it. It’s about making sure that the game is played safely and that others on the course are able to enjoy the round as much as you.
In short: it’s about showing consideration to all others on the course at all times.
Care of the Course
A great deal of time and effort goes into the preparation of a golf course so it's important to play your part by raking bunkers and repairing your divots or pitch-marks.
Golf is not a game that needs to be played at a slow pace. Keeping up with the field and players ahead of you, moving quickly between your shots, and to the next tee, make for a more enjoyable round for all.
Consideration for Others
It's important to show respect for all others on the course whether they are your playing partners, your opponents, greenkeeping staff or members of the public out enjoying a walk.