My View

Show respect for your fellow golfers and for the golf course

Padraig Harrington shares his views on golfer etiquette.

By Padraig Harrington

17th September 2014
From the moment I first picked up a golf club my father always instilled in me the importance of playing golf the correct way, whilst showing respect for my playing partners and for the golf course. It was more important to him to observe the etiquette of the game than it was to win. While I have been fortunate enough to win three Major Championships in my career, I have never lost sight of the values of golf which, in my opinion, are what make it a truly special sport.Claret jug

I have never lost sight of the values of golf which, in my opinion, are what make it a truly special sport.



The etiquette of golf covers many different aspects of the game from showing integrity and honesty, in calling penalties on yourself where appropriate, showing respect to other players, maintaining a good pace of play and caring for the course by replacing divots, repairing pitchmarks and raking bunkers. If you read the section devoted to etiquette in the Rules of Golf you will realise how important these values are in life in general and how much children can learn from adhering to them.

The abiding message is that golfers should show consideration for others, both in terms of playing golf and preventing unnecessary damage to the course, so that others can enjoy it in the same condition as they have.

This latter point comes through loud and clear from a new publication produced by The R&A entitled “How you can help care for your course.”

The booklet describes the care and attention which goes into maintaining golf courses and presenting them in the best condition possible for golfers. It explains the different operations which take place at golf clubs on a daily basis to achieve this goal, from the mechanics maintaining greenkeeping machinery through to the greenkeepers carefully cutting the greens each morning. Perhaps most importantly, the booklet gives you a guide as to how golfers can support this effort and assist the greenkeepers by caring for the course themselves.

Working for Golf clinic
Padraig Harrington coaches school children during an R&A Working for Golf Clinic.

I would recommend to any golfer that they spend a few minutes reading this booklet and that they then put its guidance into practice the next time they are on the golf course, allowing us all to enjoy the great game of golf even more.

Padraig Harrington
The Open Champion 2007, 2008
R&A Working for Golf Ambassador

Click here to download the 'How you can help care for your course' brochure

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not those of the R&A.