Golf etiquette is ultimately about respect: respect for the players, the course, the caddies, and all those working hard to provide players and viewers with a good game. Here is what you can do to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and those around you while playing golf.

Leave No Trace

Maintain the golf course at all costs. Be sure to clean up after yourself. This includes replacing your divots and repairing any pitch marks. Avoid walking on bunkers and bring a rake to use as needed. Lastly, make sure there is no litter created by the group and throw away all trash.

Exhibit Sportsmanship

Golfing is all about good sportsmanship. Take care not to step on other players putting lines and do not distract a player. If you don’t have a caddie and are in charge of maintaining the flagstick, take care to not stand on anyone else’s line. When everyone has putted out, walk to the next tee. Also, there is nothing wrong with a display of frustration; however, angry outbursts aimed at other players are absolutely unacceptable.

Know the Game

Knowing the rules of the game can save a lot of time and frustration on everyone’s part. Thus, it is a good idea to come prepared with at least a general understanding of the game.

Ensure Safe Play

Always pay attention to your surroundings. If there are people nearby or in a position where they could potentially be hit, do not swing! Wait until players are out of range and alert staff when making a stroke that might endanger someone. The traditional word of warning when a ball is in the air and may hit someone is “Fore!”.

Avoid Slow Play

If your group is not keeping up with the pace of the group in front of you take care to walk reasonably between shots. Selecting your club and taking your shot should take about 30-45 seconds. If you aren’t ready to play when it is your turn, offer to have another player go first. If a group behind yours is moving faster, let them move ahead.

Golf is known as the gentleman’s game. By adhering to proper etiquette you ensure a pleasant round of golf for yourself and those around you.