Golf Etiquette Rules

First we will discuss the importance of maintaining proper pace of play.

Next, let's talk about how to act when another player is hitting a golf shot.

We'll then learn how to treat the golf course.

  • Replacing Divot
  • Sand with Seed
  • Fixing Ball Marks
  • Avoid Running on Putting Green

Golf Etiquette Lingo

Here are all the terms we will be covering related to golf etiquette:

  • Replacing Divot
  • Sand with Seed
  • Fixing Ball Marks
  • Avoid Running on Putting Green


Let's learn about the importance of maintaining good pace-of-play throughout a round of golf.

Pace-of-Play is a golfer's ability to play a golf round in a timely manner, meaning the golfer does not keep the group behind him waiting and does not fall behind the group in front of him. The average time to complete a golf round of 18 holes should take between four and four-and-a-half hours. Many golfers consider five-hour golf rounds to be too long.

Quiet when player is approaching and hitting golf shot

Let's talk about how to act when another player is hitting a golf shot.

A golfer should always be respectful of a playing partner when he is addressing and hitting a golf ball in order to allow the player to concentrate on the shot. Distracting or interrupting a player's focus and concentration is inappropriate and is not allowed on the golf course. This is a very important rule for all golfers to know prior to stepping on the course.

Not standing in front of golfer

In order to avoid the possibility of being struck by the golf ball of a playing partner, a golfer should stand behind or directly in line with the golfer about to hit a golf shot. This is also proper etiquette, as to not distract the player who is preparing to hit the ball.

Giving golfer sufficient space to hit shot

A playing partner should stand far enough away from a fellow golfer who is about to hit a golf shot as to not distract him. This also ensures the playing partner does not get hit by the golf club or golf ball.

Watch for where golf ball goes

After a golfer hits a shot, both the golfer and playing partner should watch for where the golf ball goes, especially if the ball is heading towards a hazard or trees to make it easier for the golfer to find his ball.

Shaking hands with playing partner(s) upon completing round

After the completion of a round, playing partners should shake one another's hands, which demonstrates good sportsmanship.

Keeping Honest Score

Keeping honest score is imperative in the game of golf. Rather than lie or cheat about a score on the golf course, a golfer should demonstrate integrity and record an accurate score, no matter how high the number.

Replacing Divot

Replacing a divot is the act of putting the divot, a chunk of turf removed from the ground upon impact from a golf club, back to into this original place. This way, the grass will be able to grow back and help preserve the golf course.

Sand with Seed

A divot mark can also be restored by pouring a specific kind of sand with seed to help grow new turf. Some golf courses provide sand with seed, primarily on Par 3 tee boxes and on golf carts. This is another example of how to treat the golf course respectively.

Fixing Ball Marks

A ball mark is an indentation on the putting green that is the result of a golf ball impacting the surface upon landing out of the air. In order to fix a ball mark, a golfer should use a divot replacement tool - a small metal object containing two sharp pegs - to slightly pull up the turf around the mark. The golfer should then use the bottom of a putter head to pat down the mark gently to flatten and smooth out the surface. This ensures that there are no bumps on the putting green.

Not Running on Putting Green

A golfer must also refrain from running on the putting surface, which can damage the green due to the pressure and impact applied on the ground. Instead, a golfer should walk when on the putting green.

Common Etiquette mistakes

It is important to exhibit proper etiquette and sportsmanship when you are on the golf course. Sometimes, people do not act appropriately during the course of play.

When a Fellow Golfer is about to Hit the Ball

It is imperative that when a playing partner is addressing his golf ball, that other golfers remain quiet, refrain from standing in front of the golfer, and allowing him adequate space to hit the shot. Distracting a golfer while he is hitting the golf ball is inappropriate, but does occasionally occur. Lastly, a golfer shall not stand in the line of sight of the player about to hit the ball, which is especially prevalent when on the putting green.

After the Golfer Hits the Ball

After a golfer hits the golf ball, a playing partner should look to see where the ball goes, in case it lands in a hazard or treeline, or other areas that obscure the ball from the player. Oftentimes, playing partners fail to help fellow golfers track the ball, as well as help look for the ball if the golfer is having trouble locating it.

Upon Completing a Round of Golf

On rare occasions, a golfer may fail to shake hands with another player, which is considered poor sportsmanship. Additionally, players are to add up and sign a correct scorecard. Although this is infrequent, some players may turn in a score that is not accurate. One of the worst things a golfer can do is cheat by recording a lower score than the score that was actually shot on a given hole or round.