This article is from the Golf FAQ, by marcelo@nntpserver.Princeton.EDU (Marcelo A. Gallardo) with numerous contributions by others.
** Proper Etiquette **
o Do not leave your ball in the hole when you make a putt/chip.
Golfers are a superstitious lot and many think that their ball will
not fit in the hole if there is already another one in there.
o If you putt/chip your ball near the hole and do not plan to putt
out, mark your ball with a coin or ball-marker. Aside from being a
distraction, other players will incur a 2 stroke penalty if they
play a putt from the green and their ball hits yours.
o As much as it may interest you, do not stand directly behind another
player's intended target line. This is a violation of the rules if
the player is your partner and otherwise distracting because the
player can usually see you out of the corner of his/her eye.
o When playing for the first time with someone, be conservative at
first about complimenting or critiquing a shot. Follow the lead of
his friends, pay attention to his comments, and wait until you have
a good understanding of what is a good and bad shot for a particular
player. Don't assume that everyone's standards are the same as
o Invite faster groups to play through.
** Slow Play **
o Be ready to play when it is your turn. Proceed to your ball as soon
as it is safe and begin preparing for your shot. On the green,
survey the contours and grain while other players are putting if you
can do so without being distracting.
o Do not write your scores on the scorecard until you reach the next
o When playing from a cart, drop one player off at his/her ball with
several clubs and, if it is safe, drive the cart to the second
players ball. This way, the two players sharing the cart can both
prepare for their shots at the same time.
o If you take a cart and you are not allowed to leave the cart path,
drive the cart until it is roughly even with your ball and take
several clubs (maybe the one you think you will need and one above
and one below) with you to your ball. If you really have no idea
what club you will need, pull your bag off the cart and take the
whole thing with you to your ball.
** MOST IMPORTANT **
o If attending a pro tournament, never say "You're the man!" after a
drive. If you do, and are publicly identified as such, your
rec.sport.golf privileges will be revoked for a period of not less
than 2 years per incident.