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Playing by the rules........ Is there one here who can cast the first stone?


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Originally Posted by bogey joe

First, Do you think that if the average golfer (85 to 105 shooters) played strictly by the rules that he would enjoy the game as much.


I think I read someplace (National Golf Foundation??) that less than 50% of the golfers in the USA can break 100 and most of the golfers in the US don't have official handicaps.  I mention this last datum as someone is sure to look up the USGA statistics and reply that the first datum is incorrect.  But I believe it and also believe most recreational golfer don't have USGA handicaps and don't play by the rules.  If you don't believe that just go out single a few times to your local Muni and see who you get paired up with.

We owe these non-golfers (you can't call it golf if you don't play by the rules of golf) a debt of gratitude as they increase the golf equipment market significantly and help keep equipment/green fees prices significantly lower than if they didn't play.  There are also more courses than would otherwise exist without these non-golfers.  So if you want to keep a handicap I think there is an obligation to play by the rules.  But I also think folks out just enjoying themselves and playing by whatever add something to the game by playing too.

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so.. i've been following this thread for about a week, and have changed my opinion somewhat.  at first, my attitude was i didn't care what people did, and felt that there's a time and place to play 10

No - I do agree with you. That's why I only quoted the first bit. Sorry if it seemed out of context. I know that you followed up from that first bit. My beef with "rules" and people being accus

^^ Excellent post. It was stated earlier in this thread that golf really needs to be more 'friendly' as to entice new players. If a new player that can't break 120 is also saddled with playing

Luckily my dad got me early in learning the rules of golf. This was back when i was playing competative golf in some junior tournaments and highschool. I remember one time i found my ball it was in a playable hazard. So i grounded my club and he told me that if this was a tournament play that would have been a penalty.

I think the best way to learn golf is from someone who knows the game of golf. I was lucky that my dad played golf for many years before i picked it up.

I am still not sure on the color coding for OB, and i think in course OB is a bunch of BS. I know in my league we don't play by it, and i don't play by it normally. I would if i had to. When i play bymyself, i tend to drop right were the ball went OB and take an extra stroke, so i penalize myself one stroke to account for distance. I think that should be an option for Ams, because it keeps things moving. I know i should hit a provisional ball, but i really never feel like loosing that many golf balls. For tournaments, definetly strick rules. I think USGA should come up with a player friendly AM rule set that would keep things going smoothly, and still have the spirit of the game.

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I play by the rules whenever it makes sense (I won't, for example, risk ruining/damaging a club by playing a ball in the rough that would cause me to hit a large stone, etc - in that case I'll move the ball over a few inches).

My question is: How many of you really go back and re-tee after a 250+ yard drive is lost? Imagine a busy day on the course and you're walking (not in a cart). Are your seriously going to hoof it all the way back (remember, you've also spent the requisite 5 minutes looking for the errant ball) and hit your third shot from the tee? In competition, yes; in a friendly round with a few bucks on the line, you've got to be kidding!

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Originally Posted by trickymicky69

We do always play for money so your point is moot.

And besides which, are you telling me that you would rather win by not playing by the rules?

Its not being a Nazi its playing golf, not my interpretation of golf.



If you always play for money, then why would it ruin your pals rounds by making sure everyone plays by the rules?

I think everyone is free to play golf any way they want as long as they follow course rules.  If you want to be a stickler, that's great.  I do disagree with forcing your rules or style of play on anyone else, even if they are the "right" ones.  There is a "casual" aspect to golf and all sports.  Just like not following every basketball rule when playing pick-up ball.

I can't imagine playing every round of golf for money.

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Golf not by the rules?

Where does that stop?

Not letting people through, mulligans, gimmes over 8ft?

I am not forcing the rules on anyone.

The R and A and the USPGA do that for me.

Just put yourself down for level par next time you play, and forget about that 8 on the par 5

Originally Posted by Gresh24

If you always play for money, then why would it ruin your pals rounds by making sure everyone plays by the rules?

I think everyone is free to play golf any way they want as long as they follow course rules.  If you want to be a stickler, that's great.  I do disagree with forcing your rules or style of play on anyone else, even if they are the "right" ones.  There is a "casual" aspect to golf and all sports.  Just like not following every basketball rule when playing pick-up ball.

I can't imagine playing every round of golf for money.



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Originally Posted by visiondr

I play by the rules whenever it makes sense (I won't, for example, risk ruining/damaging a club by playing a ball in the rough that would cause me to hit a large stone, etc - in that case I'll move the ball over a few inches).

My question is: How many of you really go back and re-tee after a 250+ yard drive is lost? Imagine a busy day on the course and you're walking (not in a cart). Are your seriously going to hoof it all the way back (remember, you've also spent the requisite 5 minutes looking for the errant ball) and hit your third shot from the tee? In competition, yes; in a friendly round with a few bucks on the line, you've got to be kidding!



Is that not a loose obstruction or moveable impediment?

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Originally Posted by trickymicky69

Golf not by the rules?

Where does that stop?

Not letting people through, mulligans, gimmes over 8ft?

I am not forcing the rules on anyone.

The R and A and the USPGA do that for me.

Just put yourself down for level par next time you play, and forget about that 8 on the par 5



Where does it stop?  Depends on the person.  Everyone plays differently.  What's wrong with everyone enjoying a leisurely activity the way they want?  As someone already mentioned, if every player were required to play strickly by the rules, rounds would take 6 hours, and eventually golf participation would be cut by more than half.  Golf is NOT being played by the rules by the majority of golfers.  That's fact.

Again, it's just like a pick-up game of basketball, or a variety of other sports.  Not every rule established by the professional organization overseeing that sport are followed.   If I refused to play basketball with anyone that didn't follow every rule to the T, I'd never play another game.

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I think for the most part the majority of golfers know what the basic rules are and will abide by them. I think there are very few people who actually know the rule book enough to say they follow every one of them to the letter. Probably 90% or more of the golfers out there simply don't care about all of them, and that is fine too. Golf is supposed to be fun. Go out and hit the little white ball around and try and get it in the hole. Do it however you want. If you are playing for stakes of some sort then everyone needs to be on the same page, but if not, who cares what someone does or what they say their score is? I certainly don't. I have been paired up with many random strangers and have a good chuckle everytime I see them doing something wrong, but that is all it is. I don't know them, I don't care what they score or how they got there. To the OP, I understand why you did your bet that way. It is frustrating when you have people wanting to gamble, but don't have the game to do it. I had a few friends that were not a good as I was who wanted to bet, but I don't do strokes - at all. So I would play from the tips and play by the strictest of rules. They got to play from a shorter tee box and could play the ball up, and take a few other small liberties we agreed on. It evened out the match quite a bit and we had fun with it. From the friend perspective however, the better way to handle it may have been to poke fun at them when you see a rule break rather than call them out on it, at least to start. Instead of calling a penalty on the first tee box, just wait until the guy is ready to hit then say "wait a sec, you know it is a penalty to hit in front of the tee markers, right?" Help educate them a little with humor rather than just calling them out. They are still your friends, you don't want to be the a-hole of the group. If a guy hits OB, just toss a ball at his feet and tell him to try again from that spot. After a few times, they'll get the idea, and they won't hate you for it. They might learn something too. Plus, once you get in their head about all the rules they are breaking, that will net you way more strokes then calling penalties ever would.
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I was thinking of a solid, not movable object. Sure, I could declare the lie unplayable and take the penalty. That would avoid damaging the club and allow for a reasonable/correct ruling.

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Originally Posted by trickymicky69

Is that not a loose obstruction or moveable impediment?



I was thinking of a solid, not movable object. Sure, I could declare the lie unplayable and take the penalty. That would avoid damaging the club and allow for a reasonable/correct ruling.

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I am currently a 13 handicap on my home course.  All MGA events as well as our weekend dogfights are all strictly by the rules.  All handicaps are turned in and recorded.  I prefer to play strictly by the rules so I know my handicap is accurate.  We don't even concede putts, everything has to be putted out.  If you loose a ball in the leaves, you back to the tee box.  The only time I will play a round and may not record is if I am playing with my wife and kids who are just learning and I am spending more time working on their game or looking for the golf balls.  When we play as a family I will go thru all the rules for them as we go along.  I will enforce the rules for them as speed of play allows.

Golf is a game of integrity.  Messing around with handicaps and not recording properly at least 95% of the time leads to all kinds of problems.  If golfers just want a relaxing round of golf all the time, then they should be very careful when entering their "handicap" for tournaments or wagers.

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Broken rules...absolutely, but not purposely.  But here's my deal:  if I'm playing competitively, tournament or otherwise OR I am posting a score, I am definitely playing golf straight up by the book as well as I know them.  But I am like Erik in that I occasionally use the golf course as a practice arena and I will hit multiple shots, change my lie (I won't hit off of rocks or roots unless I have to), etc.  I am irritated when I play in tourneys and guys who play in far more events than I do make up their own rules with regards to drops, hazards, unplayables, etc.  These guys know better.  C'mon.

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Originally Posted by visiondr

I play by the rules whenever it makes sense (I won't, for example, risk ruining/damaging a club by playing a ball in the rough that would cause me to hit a large stone, etc - in that case I'll move the ball over a few inches).

My question is: How many of you really go back and re-tee after a 250+ yard drive is lost? Imagine a busy day on the course and you're walking (not in a cart). Are your seriously going to hoof it all the way back (remember, you've also spent the requisite 5 minutes looking for the errant ball) and hit your third shot from the tee? In competition, yes; in a friendly round with a few bucks on the line, you've got to be kidding!



Let me answer your question with another one... who hits a ball 250+ yards that has the potential to be out of bounds and doesn't take a provisional?  I mean really... if there is even a slight chance that ball went out of bounds you gotta be smart and hit a provisional.

And in your first example you can either move the stone or if that's not possible take the unplayable lie and your penalty.  Sometimes you get breaks on the course, sometimes you don't.

I just can't stand it when I hear people say "I shot 85 the other day" and then I go play with them and I'm kicking there ass on the course (I've broken 90 exactly once), but they come in with a lower score because they take a drop on an ob instead of reteeing, give themselves a foot wedge, or a mulligan, or some other crap.  If you want to go out to the course and just hit the ball that's cool, but why even bother to keep a score if it isn't legit.  I mean if you really are going to do all or some of those things, call your round what it is practice, because I sure as hell don't want to hear you say you shot a 85 or whatever when in reality you didn't.

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Originally Posted by tristanhilton85

I just can't stand it when I hear people say "I shot 85 the other day" and then I go play with them and I'm kicking there ass on the course (I've broken 90 exactly once), but they come in with a lower score because they take a drop on an ob instead of reteeing, give themselves a foot wedge, or a mulligan, or some other crap.  If you want to go out to the course and just hit the ball that's cool, but why even bother to keep a score if it isn't legit.  I mean if you really are going to do all or some of those things, call your round what it is practice, because I sure as hell don't want to hear you say you shot a 85 or whatever when in reality you didn't.



This is what I don't get.  I have no idea why somone gets so upset about how someone else plays or if they think they shot a better score than them.

I really don't care what anyone else shoots, and can't figure out why I should.  It doesn't bother me if my playing partner has an 85 on the card, when it was probably a 95.

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It depends on the people.  Sports / games are meant to be played by the rules.  When people knowingly ignore the rules they are not playing the same sport I am.  It's also been my experience that many people who ignore the rules are the ones that are most likely to reference their score in comparison to your own and use that as a source for jokes and put downs.

I know I'm not a great golfer, but I also know my handicap is legit.  If a truly better golfer wants to bust my chops about my handicap or score I'll take it, but I won't from someone I know is a vanity capper.

Originally Posted by Gresh24

This is what I don't get.  I have no idea why somone gets so upset about how someone else plays or if they think they shot a better score than them.

I really don't care what anyone else shoots, and can't figure out why I should.  It doesn't bother me if my playing partner has an 85 on the card, when it was probably a 95.



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Originally Posted by newtogolf

It depends on the people.  Sports / games are meant to be played by the rules.  When people knowingly ignore the rules they are not playing the same sport I am.  It's also been my experience that many people who ignore the rules are the ones that are most likely to reference their score in comparison to your own and use that as a source for jokes and put downs.

I know I'm not a great golfer, but I also know my handicap is legit.  If a truly better golfer wants to bust my chops about my handicap or score I'll take it, but I won't from someone I know is a vanity capper.


Well, what about my basketball comparison.  In a pick-up game, many rules are not followed.  The ball is not inbounded properly.  Free throws are not shot.  No one is calling illegal defenses like in the NBA.  No one is disqualifying themselves after fouling out.   We don't use a clock.  Often we even score completely differently (2's are 1, and 3's are 2) Etc.

We modify other sports knowingly ignoring many rules to play them for fun.

I guess I can handle getting my 'chops busted.'  I know the truth, so could care less what someone else thinks.

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The scenario is different, you're referring to a game that you're playing in where you are all playing by the same set of rules even if the rules aren't the official nba or streetball rules.  I doubt you'd want to play a basketball game where you were called for fouls on the slightest of contact but the other side could mug you not call a foul or their shots counted if they just hit the rim but yours actually had to be in the hoop.

In golf if I'm following the USGA rules while my playing partner doesn't and then at the end wants to compare scores for bragging rights that doesn't work for me.  His score doesn't reflect the 5 mulligans, 8 footwedges, and 10 gimme putts that were within 5' of the cup that he used during his round.  Of course I know my score is real and his isn't but that doesn't make it any more fun.

Originally Posted by Gresh24

Well, what about my basketball comparison.  In a pick-up game, many rules are not followed.  The ball is not inbounded properly.  Free throws are not shot.  No one is calling illegal defenses like in the NBA.  No one is disqualifying themselves after fouling out.   We don't use a clock.  Often we even score completely differently (2's are 1, and 3's are 2) Etc.

We modify other sports knowingly ignoring many rules to play them for fun.

I guess I can handle getting my 'chops busted.'  I know the truth, so could care less what someone else thinks.



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Originally Posted by newtogolf

The scenario is different, you're referring to a game that you're playing in where you are all playing by the same set of rules even if the rules aren't the official nba or streetball rules.  I doubt you'd want to play a basketball game where you were called for fouls on the slightest of contact but the other side could mug you not call a foul or their shots counted if they just hit the rim but yours actually had to be in the hoop.

In golf if I'm following the USGA rules while my playing partner doesn't and then at the end wants to compare scores for bragging rights that doesn't work for me.  His score doesn't reflect the 5 mulligans, 8 footwedges, and 10 gimme putts that were within 5' of the cup that he used during his round.  Of course I know my score is real and his isn't but that doesn't make it any more fun.



I see what you're saying.  But, do you think it is acceptable, then, if all players agree in golf to play by modified, or less than all of the, rules?  Like if me and my playing partners agree we can "improve our lies", or drop at point of entry OB?

I also know what you're saying about "bragging rights".  I just don't get worked up over someone "thinking" they are better than me or having bragging rights.  20 years ago, probably a different story...  Now I'm more concerned about my game and improving my game.  I'm out there against the course, not winning bragging rights.

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Despite the tenth being my least favorite hole on the course, the back nine is all played in one open area with tremendous views across the expanse. You can see (and hear) the travails of people six holes away from you, with holes playing up and down and across a valley with ripples and humps and bumps. On many of the holes, a strategy from the tee may be anything from 4I to driver. The eighth was a good example here, as you could cut a driver around the corner, lay out to the left with a 4I, or (as I did), hit a 3W to the right-center of the angled fairway (semi-blind as steam-shovel-built mounds partially obscure the view) to leave a partial wedge to the (again) perched green. How close to the flagstick do you aim when the hole is cut toward an edge? Lawsonia has remained a good challenge because of the design and architecture, as well as a few found yards here and there (like the 18th, where the back tees are 85 yards behind the next set forward). Sand Valley, 9.0 A grind in the best possible way from start to finish. I likened it to Oakmont in the sense that it's unrelenting and requires precision and focus for the entire 18 holes. You have some wider fairways, and around the greens you have a bunch of options on how to get the ball to the hole, but decisions are mentally taxing. And never-ending. The first hole is a bigger challenge than you may think at first, particularly if you choose to take an aggressive line. The second hole can punch you in the mouth quickly if you miss the green (particularly to the right). The third is a solid par three, the fourth a long and uphill par five. Five played 190 to an elevated, downhill green from the top of a dune that exposed you to the wind. Six has a hidden bunker that it takes knowledge to avoid, and five has a gash bunker crossing the fairway at a very oblique angle. All interesting, all different, and all to be played differently depending on the wind that day. On the sixth, for example, I hit 3W, PW one day from the back (Black) tees, then driver, 7I the next day from two tees forward (the "Sand" tees). On the 7th, I played it Driver, 5I, 5I the first day (Black), and driver, 6I, pitch the second day (Sand). As I'm not going to talk about every hole… I'll stop now. You'll hear a few times that Mammoth is concave and Sand Valley is convex, and that's generally true. Coore & Crenshaw let you make decisions, and if you pull off the shot, you'll be rewarded with better angles, better visibility, or an easier next shot (or putt). None of the putting greens felt unfair, but you could get out of position on them. There were places to miss, but you had to know where they were. Well above the hole was never among them, nor was well below the green staring up at a bunch of fescue grass. You could miss a tee shot, for example, a bit too far right, and still be in the fairway, but you may have a partially blind and/or tougher angle. The 17th has a reputation for being controversial, but I don't really see it. It's a blind, long, uphill par three… which plays down into a giant bowl. Get the ball anywhere in the bowl and you'll have a makable putt. The first time I played it I came up just shy of the green, then putted down into the bowl, used a backstop, and rolled the ball to two feet. The second time my ball stopped six inches from an ace to a completely different hole location. But… miss the bowl and you have to work. The 18th can be a bit gimmicky, what with the big slope and all — but it can also be a really fun way to finish your round. 16 is a bruiser… unless you can thread the needle a bit. Play right of the center bunker and you have a better view, but a longer shot. I hit 3I, Dan hit 8I into that green after similar length tee shots. Sand Valley, in contrast to Mammoth Dunes, offers a bunch of separation. The line between good and bad shots is very narrow, as are the results: good shots are rewarded, bad shots punished, often proportionately. There are options, and the wind plays a good role. The fairways are wide, but the optimal sides and angles are small. And yes, angles matter, because Sand Valley (and Mammoth Dunes), being on sand, will allow you to bounce and/or roll the ball onto greens and around the course. Tee shots will bound a bit, and roll out. Approaches can be played to release, if you like, though the greens will generally hold a well-struck high shot. Options abound… as does punishment for poor execution.
    • Ah, yes, great.  Haven't got to #19 and interpretations in my studies!  Thank you!! Hypothetically, if a player had this situation, and took an unplayable, and then dropped it in the wrong place (i.e. the fairway).  That's DQ yes? I guess it'd have to be, a serious breach, nothing else makes sense. I see it in 14.7b(1).  
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