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Golf Rules and playing the ball down

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have thought about this ever since I have been playing competitively. In high school you were allowed to lift and place the ball within one grip length, no closer to the hole. Same with the local junior PGA tournys. I think I only played one or two tournys with the "ball down" rule. Here is my question delema. I feel that you need to play by rules if you play golf. Lately I have been wondering why I need to follow the way the pros play when I do not get to play where they play. Most of the courses I play are nice but there are patches here and there that are horrible. I know its practice and it will make me a better golfer i guess, but hitting golf balls out of holes is getting annoying, and I find myself bumping the ball up.

I went to the PGA last summer at Southern Hills and I remember how the pros were bitching about the conditions (i believe that was the tournement?) and the conditions were way better than what i play.


what does everyone think about playing the ball down?
post #2 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

Originally Posted by Lemay427 View Post
I have thought about this ever since I have been playing competitively. In high school you were allowed to lift and place the ball within one grip length, no closer to the hole. Same with the local junior PGA tournys. I think I only played one or two tournys with the "ball down" rule. Here is my question delema. I feel that you need to play by rules if you play golf. Lately I have been wondering why I need to follow the way the pros play when I do not get to play where they play. Most of the courses I play are nice but there are patches here and there that are horrible. I know its practice and it will make me a better golfer i guess, but hitting golf balls out of holes is getting annoying, and I find myself bumping the ball up.

I went to the PGA last summer at Southern Hills and I remember how the pros were bitching about the conditions (i believe that was the tournement?) and the conditions were way better than what i play.


what does everyone think about playing the ball down?

I say play it as it lies, sometimes known as playing the ball down. I started playing in a course that (I now know) is known for being in poor condition. When I got to a decent condition course and had a tight lie, I didn't have any problems with the shot. I had a few people tell me I looked "fearless" over a tight lie (I wasn't even really aware of what a tight lie was until I kept hearing that comment and asked).

The pros are going to complain when conditions aren't perfect. They have a great deal of money riding on the result. You don't.

By the way, if you play the ball down and don't take gimmes - that is, you play by the rules - and then are in a tournament with gimmes and preferred lies, you're going to be at an advantage. If you play gimmes and preferred lies and are then in a tournament where you don't have those, you're at a disadvantage.

So, in short, you spend less effort and get an advantage and get better. Hard to complain about playing by the rules.
post #3 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

In a typical tournament those patches you talk about would more than likely be marked as ground under repair which you would get a drop from. So I suppose if you want an excuse to take a drop, that would be it.

I've found that I get really good golf karma when I hit from a divot not filled or hardpan. I usually find myself facing a legitimate birdie chance after playing from questionable lies. Therefore I always "play it as it lies.""
post #4 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

If I hit into a fairway and there is a clump of mud around a dug up hole, or some crazy nonsense that is clearly ground under repair, then I'll drop. But otherwise, play it down, follow the rules.

Also, earlier this year, after five days of rain I went out and the course was litteraly underwater. Some fairways had more underwater areas than just wet areas. In this instance we were moving the ball to nearest abovewater area no closer to hole and in bunkers we moved to edges, where there was actually visible sand. It was a great day though, just to try to keep our feet dry we were walking in zig zags all over the course. Any normal golf event would have been cancelled. It was a great though. Nothing like seeing your drives splash in the middle of the fairway.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

shindig. i am not talking about playing charity tournements so the gimmie deal doesnt concern me. i putt out every hole. its weird how in high school they allowed you to do this and even in the gateway junior PGA they did. a pga sponsored event lol. oh well, i just wanted to see a general consensus on this.
post #6 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

Unless you have ground under repair, casual water or they just punched the fairways, you should play it down. It will make you a better player and you will gain confidence knowing that you can hit shots from imperfect lies.

The Karma thing that Ben mentioned is true as well. The golf gods are always watching.
post #7 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

I can't believe that you were allowed to "roll it" within a grip length in high school, let alone a junior tour. The only time we ever got to improve our lie was in there was standing water and/or the fairways were very wet.

I always play the ball down. The guys I generally play with on the weekends roll it and take gimmies. I can't get myself to do that.
post #8 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

Lemay,

I hear you. I have played the last at least 6 years at a course that is not well kept, fairways/tees are worse than the 1st cut at other places, nevermind our rough. Both have bare patches and holes...big holes. The traps are overfilled with sand some places and bare ass in other places.

Due to this, our Sweeps group adopted group rules. Up in traps, and up in your own fairway. Down everywhere else.

When I'd play other places with other groups of guys/friends, I always would move the ball by these rules and get looks from them, not to mention State Am events where I caught myself just before doing it.

Bottom-line, it's a bad habit to have, but especially if you ever play in events (like State Am events) where you play by rules of golf. While still a bad habit, if you only play with friends, or like my Sweeps group where all are agreed, then don't worry b/c you're just taking the lie you earned in a sense within the grip length. The worst lies the Pros get in fairways is in another's divot and that lie is generally WAY better than the junk I play from...
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

i hear ya BCA. at least im not the only one out there. I play by all the other rules, and i know that if i break one rule, i am a rule breaker lol. im getting back into tournement play so I know ill have to stop.


what about after an aeration? i wish the pros had to play on the crap i do at times. they piss and moan over burnt greens lol. what about the 10,000 ball marks that are left that i have to putt with. im not saying i would be better on a tour like conditions but its just disheartening when you bomb a drive down the fairway and end up in some dirt hardpan lol.

im at work and want to be on the course so excuse my negative thinking lol.
post #10 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

Originally Posted by Lemay427 View Post
i hear ya BCA. at least im not the only one out there. I play by all the other rules, and i know that if i break one rule, i am a rule breaker lol. im getting back into tournement play so I know ill have to stop.


what about after an aeration? i wish the pros had to play on the crap i do at times. they piss and moan over burnt greens lol. what about the 10,000 ball marks that are left that i have to putt with. im not saying i would be better on a tour like conditions but its just disheartening when you bomb a drive down the fairway and end up in some dirt hardpan lol.

im at work and want to be on the course so excuse my negative thinking lol.
At least you can play in MO in the winter, we don't really play much in wintertime here..just too much snow, ice and cold.

The aeration, again outside of official events where local rules apply, I've always with friends, etc..allowed moving the ball only to get out of an aeration hole that a ball may sit in, this means you move the ball left or right, and it ends up being no more than 2 inches...but you still of course have to putt thru all the holes and bumps..etc..

Again, you have to play by the rules, eventhough many dont' make sense. Last year I was playing in a club tourney with friends/members etc.. It was flighted by handicap and was medal play. On the 5th hole I had a 10 footer for bird and just missed it. The ball was no more than 10 inches away [while some may think this is far, i can honestly say i have missed it in my life] in disgust from the missed putt, I walked up an raked the ball away. One of my competitors in the group with me says to me walking off the green, "you know you have to put those in the hole."

I thought about it and just told him, I would X the event and DQ myself, rather than cause any problems, he quickly said No no..just don't do it again, and I just DQ'd..it was easier to live with in my mind. Of course I know you don't do those things...stupid mistake
post #11 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

i too play at a local public muni and sometimes find myself in a horrible lie...what ive been doing recently is playing it as it lies and if i hit a crap shot ill play a second ball behind the crap lie...only this time, no matter the outcome of the 2nd shot, i will treat that as my shot and abandon the first...totally against the rules but i feel u guys on not always being able to play on perfectly manicured courses
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

ya the putting issue is amusing to me. as much as i want to bump my ball when i get a bad lie in the fairway, i always putt out. i think its habit now. my ball could be 1 inch from the hole, i tap it in. a few rounds ago back in october, i was playing with someone for the first time and i putted my ball from 25 feet to about 4 inches behind the cup. he took his putter and scooped it up and threw it to me. without hesitation i placed the ball back where it was and tapped it in. the guy thought i was crazy. haha

if the weather is decent this weekend ill play with the ball down and take some pics of the lies i get. sometimes they are amusing.
post #13 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

Golf is a gentlemans game . What ever the lie is if it is not deem unplayable has to be played as is . Like life there are a lot of obstacles one has to face befor one can be wise . Playing according to the rule will help develope the honesty factor in you . Be it at school or at work there are rules that govern all of us . Rules reminds us we live in a civilized age .
post #14 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

Play it as it lies. Period.
post #15 of 15

Re: Golf Rules and playing the ball down

Just out of curiousity, those of you who say rules are rules, play it as it lies, ect; do you always abide by all rules or just on the golf course? Example, if you were late for a tee time would you break the rules and speed? Go 60 in a 55?

Personally if I'm playing in a tournement or playing my buddy for money I'm following the rules but if there's nothing on the line I figure it's recreation and I'm not hitting 3, I'm taking a mulligan! lol
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