In many ways, smoking is ingrained in golf culture—almost everyone does it. That said, there’s a way to do things respectfully without contributing any negative experience to your fellow golfers.

When you’re out on the course taking whiffs of that expensive cigar or sipping from that can of beer, follow these practices to prevent angry or annoyed stares from being directed your way.

Don’ts of Smoking on the Course

Here’s how you should never smoke on the course:

Smoke in a Club that Bans Smoking

Smoking might be acceptable in many clubs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t ban it in certain areas. If the clubhouse outlaws smoking, save your pack of cigars for elsewhere—like at the actual course.

Additionally, if smoking is banned completely on the property, consider leaving your cigars at home. You don’t want to be tempted into lighting up because that’s what you’re used to. You could get in trouble or, worse, get banned from the club yourself.

The rules are there for a reason, and part of being a respectable golfer is to abide by them. If it’s that important for you to light up, consider heading to another club next time.

Smoke Directly Next to Your Fellow Golfers

They may not mind, but you never know and don’t want to risk being that person. Regardless of what other players think about your smoking, position yourself so that you don’t get smoke in their faces.

If you’re in the company of non-smokers, be considerate and ask whether or not they mind if you smoke. If any one of them does, it would be best not to light up. You don’t want to risk offending someone who may be opposed to inhaling second-hand smoke.

Throw Cigar Butts on the Green

Whether done mindlessly or purposely, throwing cigar butts on the ground is a big no-no. Even you may not want to golf with someone who acts so irresponsibly. And you especially don’t want to be this person.

Littering can get you annoyed glances from everyone and maybe even a reprimand or two if you keep at it. It may seem convenient to drop it right there and move on, but that makes you look lazy and, worse, disrespectful.

Lay Your Lit Cigars on the Course

It’ll only be for a second while you make your shot—but even then. It’ll only take seconds to dirty the club’s pristine lawns—that you, by the way, could be helping pay for. So, it’s not wise.

Ash has no place on the golf course, and you don’t want to contribute to getting it there by being careless with where you place your smoke.

If you’re in the moment and don’t feel like walking back to your cart to place your burning cigar on the holder, leave it in your mouth. It may even make you look cool in a way. In case you can lay it down in the rough, there’s a risk of getting it contaminated with chemicals or getting it wet.

Place Cigars Inside Your Shirt or Pants Pocket

Good for you for intending to share your box of cigars with your fellow players, but make sure to present them nicely, at least. You don’t want them to look all folded, wrinkled, or badly flavored, which can happen when cigars are stored in a tight space—like your pants or shirt pocket.

A club can have cigar-rolling booths, in which case, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, it would be best to store stogies in a premium cigar case or portable humidor if you intend to carry them around the course.

Light Them the Wrong Way

There’s a right and wrong way to light cigars? Apparently, there is.

Some aficionados think that lighting up with a match is fine, but there could be some difficulties to this when you’re out there on the course with the full force of the wind headed your way.

To battle the wind, consider bringing along a windproof torch or butane lighter. Then, light the stogie correctly—distributing the flames evenly by slowly rotating and puffing at the same time.

Always, and we always mean, use a premium lighter on expensive cigars whose flavors you want to maintain. Poor quality lighters can affect the flavor and may make the cigar experience on the course subpar at best.

Bring Around Small Cigars

This is another case of “the bigger, the better.” Chances are you’ll be playing with more players when on the course, so you could be waiting a while for your turn.

You can minimize the stress and boredom of waiting around puffing on a big enough cigar that will last you through the in-between periods. Bigger cigars are better and more efficient because they’re also easier to relight when they go out.


There you have it—seven things you shouldn’t do when smoking on the course.

Golfing is known as a gentleman’s sport, which means paying respect to your fellow players and the establishments you play on. Respect the club’s rules. Be considerate. Be polite. That should make you not only awesome company for playing golf, but it could also make you a great human being in many people’s eyes.

For more tips on how to handle cigars on and off the course, check out