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Lofty Lefty

What cool social/custom rules have you played under?

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A while back a social group played a competition on a quiet day at our golf course. Some members of the group were members of the club.

They played a few "custom rules" which were quite fun, and interesting to say the least. I'll try to remember most of them...

  • On the toughest par 3, if you hit GIR, the putt is given (automatic 2)
  • On the greens, you have one chance (to take whenever you like during the round) to kick the ball into the hole. If it goes in, the stroke doesn't count.
  • On the longest par 4 everybody in the group is allowed to move their ball to the spot of the longest drive from the group.
  • You get to use one "hand wedge" during the round.
  • On the shortest par 3 (148mtr) you must tee off with driver.
  • On a certain hole you were not allowed to use a putter

I've played in some industry golf days with some other quirky rules. It's an ambrose format, with free booze, so you can imagine...

  • Tee off on the par 3 7th whilst standing atop 3 cases of beer (bloody hard!)
  • Tee off the short par 4 with putter. Longest drive won a prize.
  • On one of the greens you had to use a pool queue.
  • On the long par 5 you had to do a happy gilmore. Again, long drive prize.

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Winner of each hole takes a club from everyone's bag ( has to be same club )

Or, if you win a hole and have had a club taken, you can bring it back in play or do the above.

Hole is pushed, no clubs are taken.

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I have a big group (usually 40 players) that gets together once a year for 5 rounds in 4 days. Skill ranges from very, very good, to very, very bad, but there are a few things that we do to keep it interesting. When you sign up, you can choose between being an 'A' player or 'B' player. B players tee off from the front tees and A players from one box behind them. A's play their own ball through the round, B's play a shamble off the tee and can use any of the tee shots from the group. Sometimes everyone plays their own ball on par 3's, it changes from round to round. Everyone plays the ball 'up', to the point where it isn't just bumping the ball around, you can have a full club length. Any lost ball or OB is simply played as a lateral hazard, drop where you think you lost it with one stroke. Putter length 'gimmies' on the green. Max of triple bogey per hole. Most of the 'B' guys are decent players, they are just older and don't hit it very far. Pair them with someone who can bomb it off the tee and they can be dangerous. Over the years I think our record A score is 6 under and their have been several Bs break par using an A's tee shot. Overall you get a good grouping of scores playing by the relaxed rules it keeps it interesting. Most of the guys wouldn't fare too well playing on their own, and this is much easier than trying to figure out handicaps. There are several games and bets going on per round all you try and do is help your current team and at the end of day 4 someone will hand out the prize money. Most of the money is in the team games so if you have a bad hole just shake it off and go to the next one.

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In my company league, we play 9 holes on Thursdays right after work. Because no one gets an opportunity to properly warm up, everyone is entitled to two tee shots on the first hole, of which you can play either. You also get one mulligan over the whole nine (choose wisely!) and max score for any hole is double par (snowman on a par 4, for example). This keeps pace up and makes it less stressful since most of us literally drive from the office and are teeing up inside of about ten minutes total. Of course we have a few guys that are single digit hc that choose to play by the full regulations, which we all highly respect. Our league is not competitive, just a chance for a bunch of us to get out and blow off some steam with work buddies once a week. The course also takes good care of us, giving us a good rate on the rounds plus has free appetizers (usually wings, tacos or meatballs) waiting in the 19th for us.

I suppose none of that is really all that unusual, but it does make for a nice afternoon! :)

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I've played a few charity outings where you can buy a given length of string, usually a couple $$ per foot (money goes to the charity), that you can use on the greens to move your ball closer to the hole.  However, once you use your length of string moving your ball...it's gone...

Not that unusual I guess but nobody had mentioned it yet.

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I played a charity tournament on an executive course where the long drive was with a tennis ball.

You had to pay a buck for the chance to hit a tennis ball, and you could buy as many chances as you wanted.

It's really hard to drive a tennis ball.

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At least once a summer for the past 5-6 years, myself and 3 of my buddies play a round at an executive course in which the bottom two (sometimes 3) scorers each hole had to take a shot of liquor (usually scotch). If we all scored the same, everyone takes a shot. Luckily the course was literally across the street from my friends house, so by the end of our round we made it home ok.

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We do also play a "max putts" rule whenever the greens have been freshly aerated. Typically you only count a max of three then.

I really like the idea of buying a length of string for charity and using that to inch putts closer. Cool idea!

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Played with a friend recently and they had a rule that up-hill comeback putts were good.  While a little odd for me it did bring some different strategy (get the ball to the hole, Dummy!) into play.

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Played an interesting one the other day - if you had 3 putts, the forfeit was to play the entire next hole using nothing but a lob wedge (this made for some high scoring!)

Also (although it's not really a social rule) I came across an interesting situation last week, in which a single birch tree stood squarely in the centre of the putting green, right in the line of my intended putt! I simply moved the ball to one side, but upon consultation of the local pro afterwards, it transpired that had I been playing a tournament, I would have received a 2-shot penalty as the tree was not a manmade object (i.e I should have played the ball even with the tree in the way!) It was quite amusing, anyhow

:D

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On a trip to Bermuda back in the 80's, my friend spotted a small index card sign on the Pro Shop counter. I can't remember whether it was Marsh Harbor or The Belmont. Anyway the card read something to the effect of: "Local Rule: If your putt lips out of the hole by more than 90 degrees, it is in violation of the laws of gravity since more than half the ball was over the hole. The putt counts". We had a good laugh about it, but sure enough, we each had 2-3 lip outs in the round. We took advantage of this "Local Rule"! We came back with a good story and have used this rule amongst our threesome since. (Someone has to call "BERMUDA RULES" before the round, though) Although a true "Bermuda" is more than 90 degrees, we have taken to call other lip outs various other island names such as- a putt that *just** lips out is a "Haiti", doesn't count. A putt that horseshoes is a "Bahama", the 'Bermuda' rules apply. And a putt that peeks in the hole but course is not altered is a "Cuba"- you get nothing and like it! We get a kick out of yelling these out when the single with us gives us a strange look.

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Originally Posted by Aleks7243

Played an interesting one the other day - if you had 3 putts, the forfeit was to play the entire next hole using nothing but a lob wedge (this made for some high scoring!)

Also (although it's not really a social rule) I came across an interesting situation last week, in which a single birch tree stood squarely in the centre of the putting green, right in the line of my intended putt! I simply moved the ball to one side, but upon consultation of the local pro afterwards, it transpired that had I been playing a tournament, I would have received a 2-shot penalty as the tree was not a manmade object (i.e I should have played the ball even with the tree in the way!) It was quite amusing, anyhow

:D

Am I the only one that has never seen a green with a tree in the middle of it?

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My brother-in-law and I play together most of the time.  We bring a deck of cards and earn cards throughout the round to make the best poker hand.  Bogey gets you one card, Par gets you two, Birdie gets you three.  (We're high HC so this can obviously be adjusted).  Once you have five cards, you draw and discard to maintain five cards.  Best hand at the end of 18 wins.

We also play that if anyone's drive doesn't make it past the ladies' tee, you have to finish the hole in your undies.  This rule has to be suspended sometimes though, depending on who's around :)

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in match play where a player has a shot on the hole, it cannot be used to go under par.  A par is a par.  There is nothing more irritating than making a natural birdie (doesn't happen all that often) just to tie the hole with a high handicapper who lucks out with a par that's worth a birdie 'cause he's got a "shot".

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Originally Posted by Damnyank

in match play where a player has a shot on the hole, it cannot be used to go under par.  A par is a par.  There is nothing more irritating than making a natural birdie (doesn't happen all that often) just to tie the hole with a high handicapper who lucks out with a par that's worth a birdie 'cause he's got a "shot".


Then why bother with handicaps at all.  If you luck out and make a birdie, and so does your opponent, but you get a stroke on the hole, do you get the stroke or not?  You are already "under par" so it can't change that.  Sorry, but this is just silly.  Sounds like sour grapes to me.

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