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For the Rules Gurus

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey y'all.  Generally give the Rules of Golf a read every year but decided to take the plunge this year and buy a copy of "Decisions on the Rule of Golf".  It arrived yesterday and, after flipping through it, decided to ask for some advice.

 

Would you advise reading front to back?  Read particular sections first and work back to others?  Use only as a reference? Display prominently in my locker to impress those around me?

 

Would appreciate hearing what you did and how it worked for you.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 17

We have some real rules experts......i.e. certified officials on the forum, so they likely have a different perspective than I do.

 

The decisions are all clarifications to questions that were asked about somewhat unusual situations that come up.  In most cases, what they're doing is walking you through the application of the particular rule.  I have a rules book in my bag, but not the decisions.  The way I use the decisions is kind of like a rules quiz.  I bring it with me to the, ahem.......reading room.  I look at the question posed, and try to answer it myself by applying my understanding of the rules.  Kind of fun and I think that it better prepares me to answer any questions that might come up on the course.

 

As to the order, I think that the situations the come up most often that have to be addressed are those involving lost balls (including OB), hazards, and related drops.  I would start with those areas.  If you have a decent understanding of those areas, you're going to be ready for most of what comes up and you'll be far more knowledgeable than 90% of the guys you play with.  Then just "play the ball as it lies, and the course as you find it"......  a1_smile.gif

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthduffer View Post

Hey y'all.  Generally give the Rules of Golf a read every year but decided to take the plunge this year and buy a copy of "Decisions on the Rule of Golf".  It arrived yesterday and, after flipping through it, decided to ask for some advice.

 

Would you advise reading front to back?  Read particular sections first and work back to others?  Use only as a reference? Display prominently in my locker to impress those around me?

 

Would appreciate hearing what you did and how it worked for you.

 

Thanks!

 

I found it interesting to read the first time I had a copy back in 1997, but now I use it as a reference.  I don't carry the Decisions in my bag like I do the Rules of Golf.  What is important is learning how to find what you are looking for.  Like any reference material, if you can't find the information you're looking for, it's not much help.

post #4 of 17

Unless you are planning on taking a rules course or becoming a referee I don't think you need to read the book from cover to cover.

Dip in and out of it as you encounter a possible problem or think of an interesting situation.

 

I never carry the Decisions when playing. As a referee, I always carry it but can't remember the last time I had to use a decision to justify or explain a ruling I was making to a player.

 

My main use was to take my qualifications of course. But other than that, I use it primarily when on forums such as this or when fellow club members (or players after an event) ask increasingly complicated 'what ifs?' 

 

Have you tried the USGA or R&A websites? Each has its advantages and champions.

 

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rules-and-Decisions/

 

http://www.randa.org/en/Rules-and-Amateur-Status/Rules-of-Golf.aspx#/rules/

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

Unless you are planning on taking a rules course or becoming a referee I don't think you need to read the book from cover to cover.

Dip in and out of it as you encounter a possible problem or think of an interesting situation.

 

I never carry the Decisions when playing. As a referee, I always carry it but can't remember the last time I had to use a decision to justify or explain a ruling I was making to a player.

 

My main use was to take my qualifications of course. But other than that, I use it primarily when on forums such as this or when fellow club members (or players after an event) ask increasingly complicated 'what ifs?' 

 

Have you tried the USGA or R&A websites? Each has its advantages and champions.

 

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rules-and-Decisions/

 

http://www.randa.org/en/Rules-and-Amateur-Status/Rules-of-Golf.aspx#/rules/

Thanks Rulesman!  I'll take a look at those sites as well.  Since you mentioned it can you give a quick explanation of the USGA officials programs and levels?  I've seen these pop up from time to time as clinics but never really looked into it due to work/travel schedules.  What is involved, what part officials play in tournaments, how you've enjoyed the experience?

 

Thanks again!

post #6 of 17

I'm afraid I'm not in the USGA area so don't know anything about the rules education system over there. But try this for starters 

 

http://www.usga.org/news/2012/September/2013-PGA/USGA-Workshops-On-Rules-of-Golf/

post #7 of 17

I always have both the Rules and Decisions with me on the course.  Because I have the USGA app for my (android, but it is available for iphone as well) phone.  It just cost a couple of bucks and is very handy because it is searchable.  And it is a legal use of my phone on the course.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

I always have both the Rules and Decisions with me on the course.  Because I have the USGA app for my (android, but it is available for iphone as well) phone.  It just cost a couple of bucks and is very handy because it is searchable.  And it is a legal use of my phone on the course.

That's a great idea.  I'm still amazed at the ways that technology has changed things. 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthduffer View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

I always have both the Rules and Decisions with me on the course.  Because I have the USGA app for my (android, but it is available for iphone as well) phone.  It just cost a couple of bucks and is very handy because it is searchable.  And it is a legal use of my phone on the course.

That's a great idea.  I'm still amazed at the ways that technology has changed things. 

 

I've never seen any reason to have the Decisions with me on the course unless it was like Rulesman and I was working as a rules official for CGA Tournament.  If a question comes up during stroke play, knowing how to apply Rule 3-3 will get you through the round and you can look up the answer after you finish.  Trying to mess around with the decisions during play takes too much time.  The people you are playing with, as well as those behind you will thank you for leaving the Decisions search for the 19th hole.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

I've never seen any reason to have the Decisions with me on the course unless it was like Rulesman and I was working as a rules official for CGA Tournament.  If a question comes up during stroke play, knowing how to apply Rule 3-3 will get you through the round and you can look up the answer after you finish.  Trying to mess around with the decisions during play takes too much time.  The people you are playing with, as well as those behind you will thank you for leaving the Decisions search for the 19th hole.


Have you tried the app?  I would venture to guess that with the indexing in the app I could find a relevant decision faster than you can look up a rule in the rule book.

 

That said, it is not something I have had to use much.  But since it comes with the rules app it comes along whether or not I need it.  It also gives me something fun to browse through when I am waiting in line at the store or bank.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rulesman View Post

Unless you are planning on taking a rules course or becoming a referee I don't think you need to read the book from cover to cover.

Dip in and out of it as you encounter a possible problem or think of an interesting situation.

 

I never carry the Decisions when playing. As a referee, I always carry it but can't remember the last time I had to use a decision to justify or explain a ruling I was making to a player.

 

My main use was to take my qualifications of course. But other than that, I use it primarily when on forums such as this or when fellow club members (or players after an event) ask increasingly complicated 'what ifs?' 

 

Have you tried the USGA or R&A websites? Each has its advantages and champions.

 

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rules-and-Decisions/

 

http://www.randa.org/en/Rules-and-Amateur-Status/Rules-of-Golf.aspx#/rules/


I'm with Rulesman here, unless you wish to become a referee no reason to read it like a novel.

 

However, flipping through the Decisions might give some perspective to the Rules and the sometimes bizarre logic of the Lords. And especially the first Dec's of each Rule provide good clarifications to the Rule itself and the related Definitions.

 

One further word of advice. Finding something specific from the Book requires some training in use of Index. It is sometimes far easier to find things from the digital versions using the find -function but I suggest you spend some time to familiarize yourself with the Index part of the Book.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post


Have you tried the app?  I would venture to guess that with the indexing in the app I could find a relevant decision faster than you can look up a rule in the rule book.

 

 

I know all the Rule numbers by heart so I'll beat you on that ;-)

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

I've never seen any reason to have the Decisions with me on the course unless it was like Rulesman and I was working as a rules official for CGA Tournament.  If a question comes up during stroke play, knowing how to apply Rule 3-3 will get you through the round and you can look up the answer after you finish.  Trying to mess around with the decisions during play takes too much time.  The people you are playing with, as well as those behind you will thank you for leaving the Decisions search for the 19th hole.


Have you tried the app?  I would venture to guess that with the indexing in the app I could find a relevant decision faster than you can look up a rule in the rule book.

 

That said, it is not something I have had to use much.  But since it comes with the rules app it comes along whether or not I need it.  It also gives me something fun to browse through when I am waiting in line at the store or bank.

 

Shocking as it may sound, I don't have a smart phone.  To take that one step further, I don't even want one.  I have two prepaid dumb phones, one with a T-Mobile sim card and one with a Bahamas Telephone Co sim card.  For the 2 of them together I pay less than $150 per year, and they do exactly what I need - they make phone calls. 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post


I'm with Rulesman here, unless you wish to become a referee no reason to read it like a novel.

 

However, flipping through the Decisions might give some perspective to the Rules and the sometimes bizarre logic of the Lords. And especially the first Dec's of each Rule provide good clarifications to the Rule itself and the related Definitions.

 

One further word of advice. Finding something specific from the Book requires some training in use of Index. It is sometimes far easier to find things from the digital versions using the find -function but I suggest you spend some time to familiarize yourself with the Index part of the Book.

 

What can I say, I'm just weird like that.  g1_wacko.gif

 

The Decisions are a lot more engaging and interesting than a lot of novels I've read.  Back when I was a very young golfer, i.e., the 70s, I had a book that was in a "comic book" format that had little golf stories in it describing a situation (complete with people's names, etc.) and then explained how the rules applied to that situation.  It created an interest in the application of the rules to particular circumstances that remains to this day.  I wish I still had or could find that book.  It was a perfect way for a young golfer to learn the Rules.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Shocking as it may sound, I don't have a smart phone.  To take that one step further, I don't even want one.  I have two prepaid dumb phones, one with a T-Mobile sim card and one with a Bahamas Telephone Co sim card.  For the 2 of them together I pay less than $150 per year, and they do exactly what I need - they make phone calls. 

 

Nothing wrong with that at all.  And not that shocking to me, considering I have just had a smartphone for about a year or so. 

 

And I agree that I would never lug the physical book out on the course with me.  In fact I only saw the physical book once.  I was at the only golf school I ever went to and it rained one day and in the meeting room they had one and I spent some time looking through it, not having previously even know there was such a thing (1980).  I seem to remember that it was a looseleaf book, although I would imagine the form factor has changed since then.  It might have even been in two volumes, although I'm not sure about that.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignorant View Post


I'm with Rulesman here, unless you wish to become a referee no reason to read it like a novel.

 

However, flipping through the Decisions might give some perspective to the Rules and the sometimes bizarre logic of the Lords. And especially the first Dec's of each Rule provide good clarifications to the Rule itself and the related Definitions.

 

One further word of advice. Finding something specific from the Book requires some training in use of Index. It is sometimes far easier to find things from the digital versions using the find -function but I suggest you spend some time to familiarize yourself with the Index part of the Book.

 

What can I say, I'm just weird like that.  g1_wacko.gif

 

The Decisions are a lot more engaging and interesting than a lot of novels I've read.  Back when I was a very young golfer, i.e., the 70s, I had a book that was in a "comic book" format that had little golf stories in it describing a situation (complete with people's names, etc.) and then explained how the rules applied to that situation.  It created an interest in the application of the rules to particular circumstances that remains to this day.  I wish I still had or could find that book.  It was a perfect way for a young golfer to learn the Rules.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Shocking as it may sound, I don't have a smart phone.  To take that one step further, I don't even want one.  I have two prepaid dumb phones, one with a T-Mobile sim card and one with a Bahamas Telephone Co sim card.  For the 2 of them together I pay less than $150 per year, and they do exactly what I need - they make phone calls. 

 

Nothing wrong with that at all.  And not that shocking to me, considering I have just had a smartphone for about a year or so. 

 

And I agree that I would never lug the physical book out on the course with me.  In fact I only saw the physical book once.  I was at the only golf school I ever went to and it rained one day and in the meeting room they had one and I spent some time looking through it, not having previously even know there was such a thing (1980).  I seem to remember that it was a looseleaf book, although I would imagine the form factor has changed since then.  It might have even been in two volumes, although I'm not sure about that.

 

It's a single volume and it has a very friendly indexing system which works surprisingly like a search engine.  It still causes more delay than anyone should take while on the course.  It's fine if you have to wait on the group in front of you or something, but to delay play while messing with a decision in order to be exactly precise just doesn't make any sense.  As I mentioned above, even in a competition, it's better to use the procedure under Rule 3-3 and then sort it out at leisure after the round.

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthduffer View Post

Hey y'all.  Generally give the Rules of Golf a read every year but decided to take the plunge this year and buy a copy of "Decisions on the Rule of Golf".  It arrived yesterday and, after flipping through it, decided to ask for some advice.

 

Would you advise reading front to back?  Read particular sections first and work back to others?  Use only as a reference? Display prominently in my locker to impress those around me?

 

Would appreciate hearing what you did and how it worked for you.

 

Thanks!

 

A lot depends on what your goals are as far as rules education.  Do you want to know most of the "basics" while playing?  Do you have aspirations on someday helping out as a rules official?  Are golf rules going to be a hobby?

 

The rule book is written efficiently.  It's not a "wordy" document.  When something says "a ball", this has an entirely different meaning than "the ball".  The decisions book can help out a lot explaining what the hell the rule book is saying.  Some of the decisions are fairly rare occurrences while others are very helpful explaining and amplifying basic principles and rules.

 

First I'd read and know the definition section.  Isn't not very long and is invaluable in understanding and applying the rules.

 

I'd then start with rules 24-27 and then look at the corresponding chapters in the Decision book. This covers the most common things that come up while playing.  Then look at Rules 20 and 13.  These two rules are interconnected with just about everything and are very important.

 

I've always found the Decisions book very interesting.  I've probably read the Decisions book cover to cover 20 times over the last 5 years.  It's full of notes and I use it in preparation for the USGA/PGA 4 day rules workshop I go to every year.  Just got back from one....it was mentioned people like us are "outliers".  b1_ohmy.gif

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthduffer View Post

Hey y'all.  Generally give the Rules of Golf a read every year but decided to take the plunge this year and buy a copy of "Decisions on the Rule of Golf".  It arrived yesterday and, after flipping through it, decided to ask for some advice.

 

Would you advise reading front to back?  Read particular sections first and work back to others?  Use only as a reference? Display prominently in my locker to impress those around me?

 

Would appreciate hearing what you did and how it worked for you.

 

Thanks!

 

To go back to the beginning, when I first really got interested in the rules, I actually studied them like I would for a class in school, which is kind of ironic since I was a lousy student.  What I did was start at the beginning (that means the first page after the title page - it tells you how to use the book).  I read the etiquette and then studied the definitions carefully.  Then I took one rule each day at lunch at work read it, thought about what I'd read, put it into real playing examples if possible.  Some of the more complex rules took two or 3 lunch hours.  Then a few years later I bought the Decisions and read and studied them the same way, although they took a lot longer.  Then when the opportunity presented itself while playing I considered possible situations which might apply to what was happening on the course in my group.  I spent a lot of time thinking about the rules.

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