Golf has always been considered a game of gentlemen and ladies, and, to that end, has always featured certain courtesies that should be extended from each player to others in his group or to others on the course.
As the game has become more popular through the decades, some who may be new to the sport may not have learned those courtesies, and as a result, can make it a bit less fun for everyone else trying to enjoy a round of golf.
There are proper codes of conduct to be observed for nearly every part of the course, including the tees, the fairways, and the greens. Most are in place to speed up the game to a reasonable pace, or to make sure that the course is maintained to a playable condition.
Many novice players fail to recognize the type of etiquette that is to be used on or around the green. The game could be more enjoyable for everyone, if they would follow a few key tips.
1. Fix your ball mark.
The putting surface remains smooth for the players that follow when each player takes the time to repair the divot where her ball has landed on the green. Using a green-repair tool or a long tee, it takes only a few seconds to bend over and pry the depressed mark back level with the surrounding area.
2. Be ready to putt when it is your turn.
The player whose ball is positioned farthest from the hole is always the next person to putt. Each player should have studied his line to the hole and calculated the planned speed of his shot and be ready to putt in turn.
3. Be courteous until everyone is done.
After the putt, never stand on the green and count strokes. Counting your score and writing it down on the card should always be done on the next tee box, such that players waiting to hit into the green are not delayed more than necessary.
4. Watch your shadow.
Watch the location of your shadow on the green. Make sure that the shadow cast by your body does not fall across the line between a fellow player’s ball and the hole.
5. Keep quiet.
While golf is a game that allows for pleasant visitation while it is being played, it also is a game that requires a high level of concentration. When on the green, hold discussion to a minimum, making sure that other players are not distracted.
6. Watch where you walk.
Do not walk in the line between another player’s ball and the hole. Believe it or not, a player’s footprint will temporarily change the putting surface, and create a bump that would not normally be present. Step around or over the other player’s line when marking your ball, or picking it up from the hole after a putt.