Honesty, Integrity, Courtesy: Three words that have come to represent the spirit in which the game of golf is played. Part of that spirit sits beneath the term, 'etiquette' and part of it relates to the Rules of Golf. But the Spirit of the Game goes much deeper than just those two tangible terms. It is something that every golfer should develop an innate sense of, something that is born of golf's unparalleled history, and something which lifts golf, one could argue, above other sports..
Whether it's through divot and pitch-mark repair, or simply through silence on the tee, the spirit of the game dictates that players make sure they give others on the course, often opponents, a fair chance to play the best shot they can.
For most of us, the game of golf is self-regulating. There is seldom a referee present so we are reliant upon our own honest adherence to the Rules in order to enjoy the game. As a result we are all occasionally forced to call a penalty on ourselves for infringements which, often, will go unnoticed by everyone else. It is this dependency upon honesty and courtesy that has elevated 'integrity' to sacrosanct status. Without them, we may as well hang up our clubs.