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

Silhouette of Father and Son on the Golf Course


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.

Man preparing to putt golf ball at sunset.

Dougal Waters

3. Donate old clubs to people who need them.

Old golf clubs, Florida, USA, America

Bernhard Limberger / LOOK-foto

4. Overtip the staff.


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

Two golfers walking up fairway, rear view

RPM Pictures

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

On-Course Basics

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

Ugly Golf Course


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

Asian sport girl


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.

Male golfer driving ball, friends watching (blurred motion)

Yellow Dog Productions

11.Remain calm with the painfully slow beginner.

Silhouette of Father and Son on the Golf Course