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Conceded Putts, Forgotten Shanks: The 11 kindest acts in golf


November 13, 2018

Golf is at its core an individual—one might even say selfish—pursuit. We value civility among partners and competitors, but is there anything obligating us to be nice? Maybe not by the strictest definition of the rules, and from Hogan to Woods, golfers have found a competitive advantage when they've cordoned themselves off from fellow players.

Then again, golf can be cruel enough under the best of circumstances, and if you subscribe to the notion that the world these days needs more kindness, the golf course isn’t a bad place to start. So on National Kindness Day (this is a thing, really), we've thought of ways you can up the kindness quotient in your group.

1. Abruptly change the subject when someone shanks a ball into the trees.

Photo by J.D. Cuban

2. Concede at least one putt well outside the leather.

Dougal Waters

3. Donate old clubs to people who need them.

Bernhard Limberger / LOOK-foto

4. Overtip the staff.

5. Take the blame when your caddie or partner clearly gives you a bad read.

RPM Pictures

6. Fix all the ball marks you see on a green.

7. Find only nice things to say about bad golf courses. “Those power lines really make for a great target.”


8. Share with your ravenous partners that last granola bar you pleasantly discovered in your golf bag.


9. Pretend their chunked approach shot was a strategic lay-up.

10. Gently nudge an opponent before they tee off in front of the marker.

Yellow Dog Productions

11.Remain calm with the painfully slow beginner.