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Playing by the Rules?

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  1. 1. Do you know and play by the rules?

    • Yes, I could be a rules official
      14
    • I know them but don't always play by them
      15
    • I'm learning, and I do my best
      12
    • Golf has rules?!
      0


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I have noticed while both playing and reading this forum that a lot of people who play this great game have no knowledge of the rules that govern it. I think it is great that people who have rules questions post them on here to get correct answers. But what about the people who just play along without asking. So I ask you, do you know and play by the rules?

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The short answer is, "Yes, I do", however, there are a few common sense exceptions that I think are reasonable for "friendly" rounds, simply to speed up play and promote a more enjoyable golfing experience.

For example, how do you handle a lost ball that you know is in play but mysteriously disappeared down some gopher hole, or under a pile of autumn leaves, or was carried off by a small furry woodland creature? Do you take the fully allotted five minutes to look for it, then penalize yourself stroke-and-distance, with a group of belligerent, half-drunk steelworkers pacing the teebox behind you? I'll throw one down and say, "Oh, look, there it is!"

Likewise, I move my ball off of exposed tree roots and slabs of limestone.

Things I won't do: take mulligans, "gimme" putts (in stroke play), or preferred lies unless the course I'm playing has posted winter rules.

We probably all have our own interpretation of what is reasonable and appropriate. My take is: I don't do anything that I feel would artificially or unfairly improve my score for a round that I'm turning in for handicap.

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For example, how do you handle a lost ball that you know is in play but mysteriously disappeared down some gopher hole, or under a pile of autumn leaves, or was carried off by a small furry woodland creature?

If you see the creature carry it off, the rules cover this.

Otherwise, it's a lost ball. If I'm playing something that counts (i.e. keeping score for handicap purposes), I follow the rules. If I'm working on my game, I'm not keeping score, so penalty strokes don't matter. In that instance, I'm just using the golf course as a practice grounds.
Likewise, I move my ball off of exposed tree roots and slabs of limestone.

I do the same as above. When I'm under the rules, I follow the rules.

We probably all have our own interpretation of what is reasonable and appropriate. My take is: I don't do anything that I feel would artificially or unfairly improve my score for a round that I'm turning in for handicap.

I don't know that we all have our own interpretations. The rules are pretty clear. You've either played by them or not.

I decide on the first tee what I'm doing (practicing something or playing for score and under the rules), before I hit my drive.

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The only things I do are not penalize myself for lost balls that I should be able to find but I don't bother to look for due to time (just like Old Tom) and I am usually pretty liberal with my drops (not worry about if it rolls closer to the hole or even if it is within exactly 2 club lengths). I do penalize myself with these though (unless it is a cart path). I even count a stroke if I whiff.

But I am not a good player and if I play by myself I don't keep score.

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Well....rules are meant to be broken right?

My pals and me are still getting to know the game and are trying to get better but also have fun. Over the past few years we have played more strict by the rules but still make some amendments. Although 1 friends boasts to be the best amongst us changes his lie to often, we do allow ourselves some liberties.

I attempt to play as strict as possible because I do want to get better and be able to play with anybody without destroying their round. I tend to play the stictest amongst my usual group.

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I'm not an absolute stickler if I'm playing a round with my buddies and we're just out there to have a good time. However, I do penalize myself for all lost or dropped balls, and I never take mulligans.

I'll take the proper relief when need be, and if we can lift, clean, and replace when possible, that's always nice too.

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As stated in other posts, we try to play productively. The basic, obvious rules are implemented- mainly dealing with hazards, moving balls, etc.

When dropping do to a hazard we pull a ball out, toss it within five feet of the proper area, and continue. We don’t go all the way back to tee when the rules dictate it. Lost balls due to thick rough, leaves, or just the “I know it landed right here” problem- we drop and don’t count it. The pros have a gallery and workers to point out there golf balls.

Our golf group walks to our balls and when ready, hit (we call it ‘ready golf’). We don’t wait for the proper order down the fairway. Continuous putting is also implemented. Once a golfer starts putting they continuously putt until finished, unless they are going step in someone’s line. This cuts the time on the green a bunch.

I don’t know the rule book word-for-word; however, my son played high school golf and has learned the game thoroughly. Some of the rules seem silly to me but I am sure that someone somewhere caused the rule. High school players and coaches would nail competitors with stroke penalties for stuff that seemed really trivial.

My $.02.

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When dropping do to a hazard we pull a ball out, toss it within five feet of the proper area, and continue. We don’t go all the way back to tee when the rules dictate it. Lost balls due to thick rough, leaves, or just the “I know it landed right here” problem- we drop and don’t count it. The pros have a gallery and workers to point out there golf balls.

If you knew the rules you would know doing it correctly takes no more time than what you just described.

Our golf group walks to our balls and when ready, hit (we call it ‘ready golf’). We don’t wait for the proper order down the fairway. Continuous putting is also implemented. Once a golfer starts putting they continuously putt until finished, unless they are going step in someone’s line. This cuts the time on the green a bunch.

Again if you knew the rules you would know there is nothing in the rules that prevent any of these things.

I don’t know the rule book word-for-word; however, my son played high school golf and has learned the game thoroughly. Some of the rules seem silly to me but I am sure that someone somewhere caused the rule. High school players and coaches would nail competitors with stroke penalties for stuff that seemed really trivial.

Well those are the rules and if you want to play competitively you have to learn them. Really they're not that difficult to learn.

I don't mean to be too critical because you can play whichever way you like, but to say playing by the rules means slow play ......well you couldn't be more wrong. I play by the rules, exactly by the rules, unless I am playing a practice round and I play as fast as anyone. It doesn't take any more time to play within the rules. To say it does is basically making an excuse. And on another note if you take liberties with the rules then turn in your scores to establish a handicap you are doing yourself an injustice. If you can only break 80 if you sidestep a rule here and there what are you gonna do in a tournament when you MUST play within the rules. You won't have a chance because your handicap was established using scores you really can't shoot. To me if I am gonna keep score and take credit for that score it is gonna be on the level not a fabrication. My $0.02

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I have noticed while both playing and reading this forum that a lot of people who play this great game have no knowledge of the rules that govern it. I think it is great that people who have rules questions post them on here to get correct answers. But what about the people who just play along without asking. So I ask you, do you know and play by the rules?

Yes, I have to. I play on my high school team and If you don't know the rules you can't play. Simple as that. You can be the best player on the team, and not play because you don't know the rules.

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by the way red how is the team doing? And as far as the topic the better i play the more i play by the rules, trying ot get a true score.

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There was a great article in one of the big magazines (Golf or Golf Digest) a little while ago. They followed a group of Sunday golfers for 18 holes and counted dozens of infractions. It was funny, but somewhat scary.

I try to hold myself as closely to the rules as possible, even if the rest of my foursome does not. We don't play for money, so it's not a big deal to me if a guy takes an imporpper drop or gives himself a favorable lie. The only rule I occasionally break is dealing with a lost ball that was not expected. If I blow one into the wood off the tee, I hit a provisional. If I get up to where my ball "should" be and it is somehow camoflauged itself, I will take a drop in the area where I expected it to be. I never submit this type of round to handicap. I have never played in a tournament, but I have the app for the Michigan Net Amateur in my car. I want to wait a few weeks to see how my game progresses and then I think I will send it in. Once I do, I will break out my rule book and study up. Every round leading up to that will be strictly by the books.

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Jeep, break out that rule book now and start learning it, you may find out it helps you more than it will hurt you.
For official scores and money we play by the book or I don't get in, for fun and practice I will bend a few rules .

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as a member of a golf team, i need to knwo the rules. I've been Captain for 3 years and 1 man for just as many, and in order to play golf on a team it is a necessity that i know the rules. However, its not like i play every practice round with the club in one hand and the rule book in the other. I dont do anything that would improve my score or otherwise better my game. if i hit a ball onto or against a wall or something (bad example, but whatever) I'm not going to risk breaking a club or my wrist so that i can have a great practice round. I admit, ill move it so i dont kill myself. in a match or a round where i am turning in the card, of course not...but for practice and such i dont feel that rules are more important than the practice itself. it is important to know the rules and be able to interpret them, but while practicing, rules should not be the deciding factor for a shot. if im alone on the course during a practice round and i hit onto a cart path, i dont measure two club lengths and drop, ill just move it to the nearest point of relief. this is obviously not to say i dont know what to do in said situation, but to be so meticlious as to do this during every practice round seems absured to me...If you intend on becoming pro, go ahead, but if you just get out and play, and perhaps play in tournements and whatnot, following the rules is not the focus of a practice round. I say, as long as you dont do anything dramatic or round-changing, its fine during practice...

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I always play exactly to the rules, provided I know what they are in any situation. If I don't know I'll play two balls and look it up later.

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There is only one rule that I "bend" every time I play (except for "official" tournament). Even if it's a money game - always try to get agreement of others and put "my" rule in place : in your own fairway - you get relief from a not-fixed divot. That's the way the game is ment to be play, otherwise they'd not name it "FAIR"-way... Unfortunatelly on my course it's a big enough issue to worry about it - the proper ettiquete of replacing your divot is a foreign word for most people
In a strictly practice rounds I'll always move the ball if it's resting on a rock too

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There is only one rule that I "bend" every time I play (except for "official" tournament). Even if it's a money game - always try to get agreement of others and put "my" rule in place : in your own fairway - you get relief from a not-fixed divot. That's the way the game is ment to be play, otherwise they'd not name it "FAIR"-way... Unfortunatelly on my course it's a big enough issue to worry about it - the proper ettiquete of replacing your divot is a foreign word for most people

Yeah, I don't go for that "rule" change. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been in a divot in the past five years, so when it happens, well, so be it. Rub of the green, as they say.

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...I can count on one hand the number of times I've been in a divot in the past five years...

you're lucky to play on a nice, well maintained course, where a outing with bunch of drunk hackers is not a daily procedure. I think I'd 5 divot-landings last weekend alone (in 4 rounds)... Oh wait, I see - you're a missing the fairways a lot, that's why you don't have problems with divots IN the fairway ???

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you're lucky to play on a nice, well maintained course, where a outing with bunch of drunk hackers is not a daily procedure. I think I'd 5 divot-landings last weekend alone (in 4 rounds)... Oh wait, I see - you're a missing the fairways a lot, that's why you don't have problems with divots IN the fairway ???

I play 90% of my golf at a Municipal Course that does 135,000 rounds a year. You want to talk about divots WOW. Divots were becoming a problem so the tournament committee decided the local rule would allow balls to be bumped in the fairway in several of the tournaments. It has made it a lot nicer in tournaments but my group I play with still plays everything down, get in a divot, tough break.

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Note: This thread is 4711 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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