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bogey joe

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

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If I'm out by myself for a casual round I might knowingly break a rule, not go back to the tee for a lost ball or move the ball out of a divot hole. But if I'm playing with others, whether its competitive or not, its by the rules.

Golf is one of the few games where you referee yourself. If you deliberately break a rule in competitive golf it says a lot about the type of person you are. If, in competitive golf, I see someone about to make an error of judgement I'll pull them up before they break the rule, diplomatically worded so as not to create bad feeling in the group.

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There are clearly two groups of golfers.   The tournament guys (obviously, many of which are present here) - who are very serious & follow the rules to the T.     And you have the infrequent, casual golfers who bend the rules and don't take it particularly seriously.     I'm learning the game & more often than not, don't even score my round - I'm just working on all the various shots that comprise this great game, rather than focus on scoring.     To me, scoring becomes an exercise in frustration at the stage I'm at.     With all the time I'm putting into golf, I expect my game to progress & then scoring will become more important & like everything else I do, I'll play by the rules...

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^^ 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 it down & enforcing every rule in the book, it's too much. It's like asking a third grader to know calculus. And they'll quit.

I'm not saying that rules should be optional...well, actually, I guess I am. To beginners or poor players, let them do whatever they want within reason - roll the ball, drop one at the OB stake, whatever. As they progress & play the game more, they'll learn the rules. But in the beginning, keep it as fun and enjoyable as possible. To me, the 'greater good' is being addressed if new players come away with their experience being fun as opposed to draconian.

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Originally Posted by inthehole

There are clearly two groups of golfers.   The tournament guys (obviously, many of which are present here) - who are very serious & follow the rules to the T.     And you have the infrequent, casual golfers who bend the rules and don't take it particularly seriously.     I'm learning the game & more often than not, don't even score my round - I'm just working on all the various shots that comprise this great game, rather than focus on scoring.     To me, scoring becomes an exercise in frustration at the stage I'm at.     With all the time I'm putting into golf, I expect my game to progress & then scoring will become more important & like everything else I do, I'll play by the rules...


A lot of golfers would disagree with what you're doing, but I am definitely all for that and salute you. Not keeping score is a great way to keep the numbers out of your head and leave frustration behind. Obviously, you can still always get pissed off if you chunk one or hit OB, etc. whatever. Not worrying about hitting Par or Eagle though when your game is still being developed is a great way to influence relaxing though in my opinion. This is exactly how my father and I would play when we first went out. We'd take a score card and just forget or not even care to write anything down, even though my father was close to scratch (and still is) when he was teaching me. I'd ask him what he got and he'd say "Just give me an 8" and I would, because I didn't know anything about golf then and assumed it was legit. Now I know he just wanted me to focus on playing and not worry about who's winning, or how good he was actually playing compared to me.

I definitely feel like I progressed much quicker without a card during that time. I was more focused on the history of the game, the fundamentals and just learning the actual game of "golf" itself. I was less worried about numbers. As I progressed, my father would occasionally teach me the rulings and let me know where I faulted and what the consequence would be had we been in a tournament. Had my father of enforced rules on me or showed me that I was exceeding limits, taking penalties and not being allowed to fluff my lie up a little bit, I would have thrown my clubs in the lake and quit.

The lack of frustration from scoring definitely kept me focused though and kept me interested in the game. Now I'm beyond addicted to this damn game like a crack head. I never thought I'd be watching the game on TV so intensely like I do watching football. So much for that!

Edit : I play strictly by the rules, obviously, when in tournaments or playing for money. In a casual round, I still penalize myself but I'll never enforce rules on anyone that I'm playing with if they're not concerned about the rules. I think everyone should worry about themselves more, rather than slapping wrists with the USGA when the other person didn't ask for your advice or commentary.

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Many of the courses I play are usually packed every weekend. There have been times where I and my playing patrners have thought the ball was in play, where as it actually got a bad kick or whatever and ended up ob. Just to keep pace, we will drop and add a stroke penalty and move on. But if I knowing knew the ball went ob, I will definately re-tee and take my medicine. Many of the course I play have very thick bermuda grass and at times the ball will nestle down in the rough almost impossible to find. We are usually very lenient with that and just ask whoever hit to just drop closest to where they think it landed and move on but add a stroke. There was a post earlier about moving a ball due to rocks, and not wanting to damage a club. I am guilty of doing that as well. If I know I am going to damage my club I will take a free drop (1 club length). I know I am going to get bashed by a few of you guys for this.

I've played with a certain co-worker who claims to shoot high 70's/low 80's and likes to brag about it. But he is known for better his lie by fluffing it up in the rough or rolling it in the fairway. I will just leave it alone. But the day he says he beat me, I will challenge him, and make him play the ball as it lies.

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PhillyMac, anyone who gives you hell for moving your ball away from rocks is insane in my opinion. I'm not damaging an $80 club over a shot, even if it is in tournament play. I sure as hell will not do it in casual. That's just smart on your part and dumb by anyone who claims they'd scrap a benjamin to play by the rules.

EDIT: I would only risk a damaged club in an obvious scenario. If I'm leading a tournament or in contention with big bucks on the line, or obviously on TV with hundreds of thousands at stake. Obviously If I were sponsored, I really wouldn't care as one would be air-mailed the same day. These are the obvious and very rare exceptions, as none of the above will happen to me lol.

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I really only play casually and I think that the only rule I really break is moving my ball when its sitting on dirt.  I'll just place it on the nearest piece of grass..even if its crappy and play from there.

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Originally Posted by Paradox

I really only play casually and I think that the only rule I really break is moving my ball when its sitting on dirt.  I'll just place it on the nearest piece of grass..even if its crappy and play from there.


Isn't that the first rule - playing the ball as it lies?


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Originally Posted by Spyder

PhillyMac, anyone who gives you hell for moving your ball away from rocks is insane in my opinion. I'm not damaging an $80 club over a shot, even if it is in tournament play. I sure as hell will not do it in casual. That's just smart on your part and dumb by anyone who claims they'd scrap a benjamin to play by the rules.

No one is ever forced to hit near rocks or otherwise damage their club - just declare an unplayable lie,

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Originally Posted by Paradox

I really only play casually and I think that the only rule I really break is moving my ball when its sitting on dirt.  I'll just place it on the nearest piece of grass..even if its crappy and play from there.



Hence the 9.5 "handicap".

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Originally Posted by zipazoid

^^ 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 it down & enforcing every rule in the book, it's too much. It's like asking a third grader to know calculus. And they'll quit.


I don't agree with that.

No one is going to be demanding that people call penalties on a beginner  if they think their ball may have moved one millimetre at adress in the rough, but what beginners need to know is that a score is not just an arbitrary number that you make up on every hole.  New players need to understand that a score of 89 or 99 or 79 is totally illigitemate if they don't know and follow simple rules such as OB, that there is no such thing as a mulligan and that you play the ball as it lies. (See above post).

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right, I forgot your holier than thou attitude.  my handicap scores are all played down..thanks for being concerned over my handicap, though.

Originally Posted by Shorty

Hence the 9.5 "handicap".



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could be the first rule..I just know its a rule...sometimes I just get tired of hitting off of bare spots, though.

Originally Posted by sean_miller

Isn't that the first rule - playing the ball as it lies?



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Quote:

could be the first rule..I just know its a rule...sometimes I just get tired of hitting off of bare spots, though.



I agree to an extent on this as well. Many of the of the courses I play are not a plush and pristine as the more expensive courses. I understand I get what I pay for, but it sucks that sometimes my shots lands in the only bare spot on the course. Whether it is 10 yds off the fairway or 5 ft off the green, it still sucks. I can't say I haven't been guilty myself of moving it 1 ft over to have a somewhat descent lie. But 99% of the time I will play it as it lies.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

I don't agree with that.

No one is going to be demanding that people call penalties on a beginner  if they think their ball may have moved one millimetre at adress in the rough, but what beginners need to know is that a score is not just an arbitrary number that you make up on every hole.  New players need to understand that a score of 89 or 99 or 79 is totally illigitemate if they don't know and follow simple rules such as OB, that there is no such thing as a mulligan and that you play the ball as it lies. (See above post).



Well, you only quoted the first part of my post. Perhaps you don't agree with all of it, I don't know. But I do think you missed my point. There was reference to how difficult it is for established players to totally play by the rules. And beginners may actually be scared off by this, making the assumption that golf is some kind of chinese water torture exercise. An easy way around this is to just let them basically do what they want - roll the ball, hit a mulligan, whatever. There will always be time to learn the rules...after the bug has bit them.

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First off, I agree with the USGA that there should not be a different set of rules for recreational players.  That would just cause a lot of confusion.

That being said, the rules of golf are mainly to promote fair play.  If someone is in any kind of formal competition, including the establishing of a handicap for use in formal competition, then they should become knowledgable of the rules and follow them.

As for the recreational golfer, if they ever intend to compete in formal competitions in the future, it would be in their best interest to follow the rules as close as possible to avoid getting accustomed to doing things that are against the rules.

Then there is the category that I am in.  I am never going to compete or have an official handicap.  So as long as I don't violate any rules of etiquette, I can break as many rules as I want.  I'm not hurting anyone (not even myself) since I am aware of the fact and don't try to pretend that I'm doing everything correctly.

And yes, I still call it playing golf.  According to my dictionary the definition of golf is:

a game in which clubs with wooden or metal heads are used to hit a small, white ball into a number of holes, usually 9 or 18, in succession, situated at various distances over a course having natural or artificial obstacles, the object being to get the ball into each hole in as few strokes as possible.

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don't let him get you down, Shorty's ire rousing "digs" are predictable.    There's one in every crowd ... he's the forum's resident fly in the ointment.

Originally Posted by Paradox

right, I forgot your holier than thou attitude.



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Originally Posted by zipazoid

Well, you only quoted the first part of my post. Perhaps you don't agree with all of it, I don't know. But I do think you missed my point

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 accused of being "rules nazis" is very simple, and I've stated it many times in various threads.

If you are not playing by the rules, you simply don't score. You should not be saying you had such and such a score. You are just having a hit.

And when someone says "What did you score?", you say - "Oh I'm only learning. I'm not at that stage yet."

It honestly makes no sense to me for someone to say they had 89 but didn't count an OB or were giving themselves good lies.

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