USGA Golf Etiquette Guidelines
The Spirit of the Game
Unlike many sports, 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 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. This is the spirit of the game of golf.
Players should ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when they make a stroke or practice swing.
Players should not play until the players in front are out of range.
If a player plays a ball in a direction where there is a danger of hitting someone, he/she should immediately shout a warning. The traditional word of warning in such a situation is "fore."
Pace of Play
Play at Good Pace and Keep Up
It is a group's responsibility to keep up with the group in front. If a group loses a clear hole and is delaying the group following behind, it should invite the group following behind to play through, irrespective of the number of players in that group.
Be Ready to Play
Players should be ready to play as soon as it is their turn to play. When playing on or near the putting green, players should leave their bags or carts in such a position as will enable quick movement off the green and towards the next tee. When the play of a hole has been completed, players should immediately leave the putting green.
Care of the Course
Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints made by them and any nearby made by others. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose.
Repair of Divots, Ball-Marks and Damage by Shoes
Players should carefully repair any divot holes made by them and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player himself). Use divot mix on cart as needed on fairways. On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.
Preventing Unnecessary Damage
Players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.
Players should ensure that no damage is done to the putting green when putting down bags or the flagstick.
In order to avoid damaging the hole, players and caddies should not stand too close to the hole and should take care during the handling of the flagstick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove a ball from the hole.
Players should not lean on their clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.
The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before players leave the putting green.
Notices regulating the movement of golf carts should be strictly observed.