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Jeepthrills

Most Broken Rule in Golf

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In the thread about playing in tournaments I brought up my concerns about accidentally breaking a rule. That got me thinking, what do you think is the most commonly broken rule in golf?

I would say it's the lost ball. We put in a local rule on our league that allows the person to drop a ball, with a 1 shot penalty, in the vicinity of where it went "missing." The letter of the law requires that the player return to the spot where the last shot was played and hit from as close as possible to that point with a one shot penalty.

The skill level of our league is not very high and the pace of play is already slow. If we had half of our players go back to the spot of their last shot when they knock one in the woods, we would be there all night. The course we play is not rated, so my scores there don't count for handicapping purposes.

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In the thread about playing in tournaments I brought up my concerns about accidentally breaking a rule. That got me thinking, what do you think is the most commonly broken rule in golf?

You do realize that is what the "provisional ball" rule is for, don't you? If a ball is hit in a area where it might be lost, you hit a second ball from the tee and call it a provisional. Then if you don't find the original ball, you continue play with the provisional. Our Men's club uses the provisional rule any time there is even a chance of a lost ball. This way you save the trip back to the tee, and you still play by the rules.

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That got me thinking, what do you think is the most commonly broken rule in golf?

Playing the ball as it lies. I can go on and on about the times that I see guys kick their ball out from behind a tree, or fluff up their lie, or pick their ball out of a divot hole. I'm guilty of it sometimes, too, although less so nowadays.

Then, a close second is the lost ball. They will drop a ball, announce that they've found their ball, and play it.

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at this one course near here...My friend and I came up with the "camera crew rule" This course is not really maintained that well....as it is a small par 3... and Sometimes you hit into the semi rough and you cant find the ball....Now this rough should be shorter....But whatever....LOL....So the camera crew rule states....That if you had a camera crew following your ball.....You wouldn't have lost it. LOL

But the most common rule I see people break is picking up there ball on the fairway to clean it or going up to put there gimme in and doing the one leg in ther air and putting the one footer and missing and not counting it.

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I would say it's the lost ball. We put in a local rule on our league that allows the person to drop a ball, with a 1 shot penalty, in the vicinity of where it went "missing." The letter of the law requires that the player return to the spot where the last shot was played and hit from as close as possible to that point with a one shot penalty.

You are probably right. The lost ball an O.B. ball are probably the most commonly broken rules in golf. But so many rules are broken by the average hacker that its really tough to be sure.

What so many people don't realize about the lost ball or OB ball is that it is a stroke and distance penalty. Dropping a ball where your original ball went missing or out of bounds and counting a penalty stroke is really not harsh enough. Consider what the rule says, if you lose or hit a ball OB you are suppose to count one penalty stroke then go back to where you hit from originally. So you add a stroke and lose the distance you hit your shot as well. So technically if you just drop a ball where the other ball was lost you have not counted the shot that would have gotten you back to that point. So to be closer to following the rules you should actually add 2 strokes to your score if you drop next to where you lost your ball. One for the penalty stroke and then one for the shot that would have advanced you to that position from the original spot.

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Not dropping the ball where it crossed into a waterhazard, but rather just dropping it adjacent to where it landed in the hazard. Sometimes you can be talking about a 50+ yard difference. If it's a casual round then I could care less what other people do....I'm just worrying about myself. But in league play, I say something. I'm actually amazed at how much it happens.

I mean hell, why don't you just pick your ball up and walk it down the fairway.

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You do realize that is what the "provisional ball" rule is for, don't you? If a ball is hit in a area where it might be lost, you hit a second ball from the tee and call it a provisional. Then if you don't find the original ball, you continue play with the provisional. Our Men's club uses the provisional rule any time there is even a chance of a lost ball. This way you save the trip back to the tee, and you still play by the rules.

We actually thought about using provisionals. I always do when playing my regular rounds that count for handicap. I try to play as strictly as I can. I even putt out on gimmies and turn down mulligans. Our league is a couples league where most of the women don't even know where their ball went, much less where two might go. It's all friends and family and no money changes hands so we decided a few years ago to "relax" the rules to an extent. We count everything; whifs, dubs, chunks, etc. We putt everything out unless it's conceeded by an opponent.

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It has to be play it as it lies. A lot of golfers of 18 handicap fluff their balls and kick it out from under a tree or move it so they can have a clear shot to the green.

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You do realize that is what the "provisional ball" rule is for, don't you? If a ball is hit in a area where it might be lost, you hit a second ball from the tee and call it a provisional. Then if you don't find the original ball, you continue play with the provisional. Our Men's club uses the provisional rule any time there is even a chance of a lost ball. This way you save the trip back to the tee, and you still play by the rules.

If you think you might have hit it OB or hit it in the trees fine, most people . know to hit a provisional. I believe most golfers are talking about times where you think you know where it is, otherwise you would be hitting a provisional almost every hole. Most of the courses around here are hilly, frequent blind shots, Also a popular design feature for courses now is mounds, so you often can't see where you ball stops. Since you obviously always hit yours in the fairway and play with marshalls this probably doesn't happen to you. For what its worth this is still the most unfair rule in golf, a good shot 3 feet off the fairway can be lost, yet the penalty is the same as an OB shot and worse than hitting into a lateral hazard, just not an equitable rule.

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Without a doubt it's the "lost ball"...

To be completely honest, before I kept a handicap and read about the rule here, I was taking only one stroke as a penalty. Lost off tee, hitting three! Now, if I don't hit a provisional, I'll hit my fourth from the area where the ball was lost.

I've tried explaining to people that even hitting four is 'not as per the rules', and they think I'm nuts.

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If you think you might have hit it OB or hit it in the trees fine, most people . know to hit a provisional. I believe most golfers are talking about times where you think you know where it is, otherwise you would be hitting a provisional almost every hole. Most of the courses around here are hilly, frequent blind shots, Also a popular design feature for courses now is mounds, so you often can't see where you ball stops. Since you obviously always hit yours in the fairway and play with marshalls this probably doesn't happen to you. For what its worth this is still the most unfair rule in golf, a good shot 3 feet off the fairway can be lost, yet the penalty is the same as an OB shot and worse than hitting into a lateral hazard, just not an equitable rule.

I have yet to ever lose a ball within 3 feet of the fairway. If you play courses with rough that heavy so close to the fairway, then I guess you take your chances. I play plenty of blind shots, but I still have some idea of how far I hit the ball and what direction, thus I know the general area where it should be. If that area is long rough, I will usually hit a provisional. I also try to be certain that when I do hit a provisional ball, that I get it in play, even if that means playing a shorter club or a safer shot. My home course has nasty native rough... often 2-3 foot high prairie grass, so anything near the edges of the mowed rough warrants a provisional.

I could only wish that I always hit the fairway. I carry a second ball in my left pocket at all times... it has my usual ID mark on it plus a big red "P" for provisional. That way there is never any chance of mistaking my original ball for the provisional.

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I have yet to ever lose a ball within 3 feet of the fairway. If you play courses with rough that heavy so close to the fairway, then I guess you take your chances. I play plenty of blind shots, but I still have some idea of how far I hit the ball and what direction, thus I know the general area where it should be. If that area is long rough, I will usually hit a provisional. I also try to be certain that when I do hit a provisional ball, that I get it in play, even if that means playing a shorter club or a safer shot. My home course has nasty native rough... often 2-3 foot high prairie grass, so anything near the edges of the mowed rough warrants a provisional.

I've lost golf balls

in the fairway, but that was because the ground was soggy and I think the ball plugged so deep that it buried itself in the mud. As to lost balls, golf is the only sport where losing a ball is a major part of the game..and the rules kill you for it. I find it to be incredibly unfair too, but there's nothing to be done about it. Hit more balls in the fairway is all I can really say. One of the courses I'm a occasional visitor at (Sugar Bay Golf Course in Warsaw, KY...look it up) is a real goat farm. It's tight, lined with trees on many holes, and has large areas of unkempt rough on nearly every hole. It's real easy to lose a ball in that cabbage... guess that's what you get from a low-budget hillbilly course, though. I don't keep score there because I'll lose 30 or more balls in a round there, and all of my buddies fare similarly poorly.

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I have yet to ever lose a ball within 3 feet of the fairway. If you play courses with rough that heavy so close to the fairway, then I guess you take your chances. I play plenty of blind shots, but I still have some idea of how far I hit the ball and what direction, thus I know the general area where it should be. If that area is long rough, I will usually hit a provisional. I also try to be certain that when I do hit a provisional ball, that I get it in play, even if that means playing a shorter club or a safer shot. My home course has nasty native rough... often 2-3 foot high prairie grass, so anything near the edges of the mowed rough warrants a provisional.

A lot of the courses around here have "shared rough" areas between two adjacent holes. We also seem to have quite a few players on the courses that figure if no one is within sight of a ball laying anywhere on the course it's fair game to pick up and keep! This is one of my biggest pet peeves... I know I have had balls in play picked up by other idiots on the course but couldn't prove it.

One time though, I was playing a par 5 with "shared rough" between two holes. It was a triangular area with sparse grass and several smallish trees at the dogleg of the par 5 I was playing and shared with the fairway of the adjacent par 4 hole. It was playing downwind and I smoked a drive that just ran though the edge of the fairway into the rough about 280-290 yds. out. As we were leaving the tee box, I watched a group come up the other fairway and a guy veer over to the rough area. He searched around for a while, found a ball and hit it. Then he walked right up to my ball, picked it up and put it in his pocket! When I got up near him I asked him "Hey, was that a Nike #2 you just picked up?". He actually said "Yeah, sorry... I didn't see anyone around so I picked it up". What do you do with idiots like that? I honestly believe that even if the ball would have been in the fairway he would have picked it up.

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A lot of the courses around here have "shared rough" areas between two adjacent holes. We also seem to have quite a few players on the courses that figure if no one is within sight of a ball laying anywhere on the course it's fair game to pick up and keep! This is one of my biggest pet peeves... I know I have had balls in play picked up by other idiots on the course but couldn't prove it.

My home course is similar, with some holes running more or less parallel to another. I have had this problem in the past, but for some reason, it hasn't happened to me now for several years. I think that is mostly because when I do hit one of those shots, I keep an eye on where the ball went, especially if I see a group playing the adjacent hole, and if anybody seems to approach the area where my ball is, I hustle over in that direction so they can clearly see me coming. You know what they are thinking when they get to a spot, stop, look at the ground, then look all around.... that is when I will yell at them if I'm still a good distance away.

It might also help that I'm big enough (6'2", 240 lbs) to appear to be a threat to their continued good health.

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id say lost ball, OB, and your ball moving when you address it, it definatfely happens tons with high handicaps in the rough, im sure their ball moves a ton.

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id say lost ball, OB, and your ball moving when you address it, it definatfely happens tons with high handicaps in the rough, im sure their ball moves a ton.

Well just a lost ball because you can't find is broken alot on every course public and private. Its really played, well this is where i think it went out so i'll just drop here because its a pace of play thing. Imagine how mad you would be if you constantly have a guy driving back 150 to hit another shot.

An OB ball is very simple to play correctly, just hit again, your already at the spot where you hit from its not that hard. I hate when people say i'll just drop from there. Funny with the ball moving when they address it. I know plenty of people that do that all the time. When you are out playing for fun I understand it. You want to have fun when your playing and fun is hitting a ball 200 out of the rough onto the green, its not topping a ball 20 yards back into the rough. People do really know the rules when they play and when it comes to any sort of competitive atmosphere they usually do play by them. In practice i do understand giving yourself a chance.

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I think there are two types of rules broken. Rules a player knows he is breaking, most common here has got to be the preferred lie in the rough. Most players know this is not allowed but do it anyways. Then there are rules a player breaks not necessarily knowingly. This has got to be the illegal drop. Whether it's a lost ball, OB or just taking a drop from a hazard. I can't tell you how many times a ball is not dropped on the same path as it entered the hazard. And yes, this can make a 50 yard (or more) difference.

As far as losing balls in the rough and/or fairway, some common sense has to be applied. If I am playing in April in New Hampshire (yes, very wet) and hit one in the fairway or just off the fairway in the rough and I can't find it I'm not going to take a penalty. Let's face it, we dont' have people running around with orange markers to mark our ball and if you play in crappy conditions balls are going to plug in the fairway/rough.

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I was talking about the ball moving when they ground their club, not them purposely moving it. Im sure it happens a ton and no one ever calls it onthemselves/others

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