10 Etiquette Rules Breached By Tour Pros

Professional golfers are supposed to be exactly that – professionals. However, even the best players in the world lose their heads on occasion. Whether it be celebrating a winning putt or throwing a club halfway into Lake Michigan, sometimes the game gets the best of everybody.

Here are 10 of the horrendous etiquette rules breached by Tour pros. 

17th-hole Celebration

During the 1999 Ryder Cup at The Country Club, Justin Leonard somehow rattled in 45-foot miracle putt on the 17th hole which essentially clinched the Cup for Team USA and they did not wait to celebrate. The entire team ran onto the green, meanwhile Europe’s Jose Maria Olazabal still had a 30-footer to tie.

“That kind of behavior is not anything a golfer expects. It was sad to see . . . an ugly picture,” Olazabal said. “We [Europeans] show emotion, yes. But most of the time we behave like we should. We try to show respect.”

“The celebration spilled over. We do apologize sincerely,” U.S. captain Ben Crenshaw said. “We’re truly sorry.”

The other etiquette rule broken were those awful shirts. 

Passing Gas

During the 2009 Buick Open, viewers were treated to the breaching of this hilarious etiquette issue. Tiger Woods was standing on the fairway on the 18th hole assessing his approach shot when out of nowhere the sound of a ripe flatulent is picked up live on air. Almost instantly, Tiger and his caddie, Steve Williams started laughing uncontrollably. So who was the one who dealt it? None other than David Feherty.

Spit Gate

It was a tough road for Sergio Garcia earlier in his career which was full of high expectations and the frustrations were evident. During the 2007 WGC-CA Championship,the firey Spaniard was caught on camera on the 13th hole spitting into the cup after missing a putt. In his post round interview, Jimmy Roberts gave him the business about it prompting Sergio to respond, “I didn’t spit. I just let it go down, but anyway.”

2015 PGA Championship

While throwing a club is one of the most effective methods of stress relief on the course, it’s also one of the most frowned up in terms of golf etiquette. During the 2015 PGA Championship contested at Whistling Straits, John Daly splashed two balls into Lake Michigan on the par-3 10th hole. Afterward, the two-time major winner decided that his iron should join them as well. 

The Break Down

During the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, Spencer Levin was going along nicely until golf happened. After a couple bogeys in a row, the fiery American dumped his approach shot on the 7th hole into the bunker and proceeded to lose it. Instead of placing his club back in the bag, he took a couple whacks at the ground. Hopefully, he replaced those divots.

Gentlemen’s Game

During the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play, an altercation broke out that wouldn’t exactly classify as a gentleman’s game. After an errant shot by Keegan Bradley, his playing partner, Miguel Angel Jiminez, went over to scope out the situation. One thing led to another, and the next thing we know they’re in the middle of this heated exchange.

It’s The Bag’s Fault

Victor Dubuisson put it all on display at the 2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship breaking several etiquette rules in the process. He starts by angrily throwing his ball, then whacks his bag with the back of his club, then kicks it. But wait, there’s more. After a couple internal tribal yells, he starts slamming the ground again mid-walk. Multi-tasking at its best.

Playing Through…Your Own Playing Partner


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You’re playing partner is exactly that. Your playing partner, meaning the proper decorum is to play golf with that specific person for all 18 holes. During the final round 2005 Booz Allen Classic, Rory Sabbatini was playing his fourth straight day with notoriously slow player Ben Crane. On the 71st hole things boiled over. After putting one in the drink, Sabbatini stormed ahead while Crane took his sweet time assessing his approach. As soon as he hit his second, Sabbatini chipped up, putted out, and headed over to the 18th leaving Crane in the dust.

Excessive Cursing 

[Warning: Adult Language]

Golf is a four-letter word for a reason, and even the best in the world are prone to the occasional F-bomb. However, Tiger always pushed the envelope whenever given the opportunity. Granted, whenever Tiger’s on the golf course, there’s usually a camera and a microphone near by, but that still doesn’t make it right.

No Shirt, No Problem

John Daly showed some skin and little regard for etiquette when he gave a shirtless interview at Murder Rock Golf Course in 2008. Granted he designed the track, he had a cigarette in his mouth and no shoes on his feet, Long John put on a show as only he can.