Jump to content
IGNORED

How to Handle Players who Do Not Follow Rules of Golf


MEfree
 Share

Note: This thread is 2282 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!

Recommended Posts

I wouldn't have an issue if everyone in the league followed some non-USGA form of the rules, but unfortunately, the acceptable rules for our league vary from group to group. We play against the entire field, so I think it is only fair that everyone follows the same set of rules (whatever they may be).

Having never played in a league, I am not entirely familiar with them, but aren't most league playing match play, either man against man, or team against team (or both at the same time)?  If so, all that really matters is that the whole foursome follow the same rules, even if they are slightly amended from the official USGA ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Having never played in a league, I am not entirely familiar with them, but aren't most league playing match play, either man against man, or team against team (or both at the same time)?  If so, all that really matters is that the whole foursome follow the same rules, even if they are slightly amended from the official USGA ones.

Yes, some leagues are like that but ours is not- Wednesday, June 17 Stableford Points Wednesday, June 24 2-Player Best Ball Wednesday, July 1 Low Gross/Low Net Wednesday, July 8 JJ’s Proxy Day Wednesday, July 15 Mystery Holes Wednesday, July 22 Low Gross/Low Net Wednesday, July 29 4-Player Bestball Wednesday, August 5 Low Gross/Low Net Wednesday, August 12 2-Player Best Ball Wednesday, August 19 Club Championship (Stroke-Play) Wednesday, August 26 Club Championship (Stroke-Play) Wednesday, Sept 2 Club Mixer Shamble Wednesday, Sept 9 Skins Wednesday, Sept 16 Proxy Day Wednesday, Sept 23 1 Player Scramble

Link to comment
Share on other sites


While I want to compete on a level playing field, I don't want to get the reputation for be an a__hole who calls out everyone for their rules violations. This is the closest course to where I live and, overall, I enjoy competing in the league and socializing with league members.

I have played in several golf leagues over the years, and none of them adhered 100% to USGA rules. One league decided to allow everyone the ability to roll their ball, similar to Winter Rules, in the middle of the summer.  The rationale? It seemed like some league members would role the ball even when they were told not to. So, the league decided to allow everyone the ability to roll the ball. It actually worked out pretty well and life went on..

Another league decided to play lateral hazards everywhere if you hit the ball OB. The rationale? Guys would hit a tee shot, walk to their ball, see it OB, walk back to the tee and hit another tee shot. The argument here is that the golfer should have hit a provisional. The only problem here was that there were a number of blind tee shots, and golfers would think their ball was well in bounds when it was actually OB.  No one objected to the lateral hazard rule, and life went on.

In a similar ruling, when you hit a ball into an area with deep rough or woods and couldn't find the ball after searching for 5 minutes, the league allowed you to drop a ball at a point agreed to by you and your opponent with a stroke penalty, instead of going back to the tee for a lost ball. Another USGA violation, but gladly employed by the league members, and life went on.

The purists would be abhorred by these rule modifications, but, in the first case, a lot of arguing among members about rolling the ball was eliminated, and in the other two, the rule modifications served to speed up the game.

The leagues were social leagues whose main purpose was to play golf and drink beer. Just like you, I enjoyed competing in the league and socializing with league members, so I let it go and didn't worry about it.

(Note: at that point in time I had a league handicap, but not a GHIN.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Why don't you run for president of the club or at least some official position where you can enforce the rules?

This is not a private club and there is no president or similar type of positions. There seems to be two salaried positions that have an influence on how the league is run. Both of these positions are filled by people whose winter (and more important job) is in the ski race department with the summer job being a way of keeping them on full time. Politically, there is not a lot to be gained by attempting to enforce USGA (or any other set) of rules although I have noticed a bit more of an effort to learn the rules herself and inform the other players by the woman who currently runs the league day to day. However, like in many corporations, the best way to keep your job is to not rock the boat, so there is not a ton of motivation to make major changes. @dfreuter415- I'd be happy to let it go if everyone was playing by the same set of rules, regardless of what they were. The boss of the woman who runs it day to day is about a 9 handicap, thinks the current situation with unofficial relaxed rules is fine, but does believe in playing the ball down, even when it is raining. When I first joined in 2013, I got paired with some bad players who rolled quite a few balls on the fairway on a sunny day. Soon thereafter, I started playing with the better players, who don't roll the ball unless we are told that winter rules are in effect (which hasn't happened this season despite some very wet days). I strongly suspect that there are some players who choose to put "winter rules" in effect on their own, but hope that most doing this aren't competing with me for low gross.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Administrator

Not really. As others have pointed out, the problem is not exclusive to my league. Maybe you can rename the topic to "Why do so few golfers follow the rules and what should be done about it?"


That's not the topic. The entire thread is about what you should do in your situation.

Yes, what I dislike about our league is that not everyone is following the same rules.

And somehow this is the USGA's fault? And it's something you could solve with… a different set of rules? No.

I wouldn't have an issue if everyone in the league followed some non-USGA form of the rules, but unfortunately, the acceptable rules for our league vary from group to group. We play against the entire field, so I think it is only fair that everyone follows the same set of rules (whatever they may be).

Okay, but as you've noted, that doesn't seem to be in the cards. So you have to make your choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

@MEfree

You are not in the boat alone, I'm guessing many golfers have played in leagues where rules are what they are.

I know I have, and regardless of any modifications they may choose, never is everyone on board.

Mainly due to they usually do not know, or misunderstandings just as most everyday golfer goes about enjoying the game.

I've always play by USGA regardless of any modification they endorse.

I'm happy with it and you should be also, because we KNOW the rules.

It's just a league for fun, play your best, have fun.

You can certainly be a leader and mention to others of situations when they may not know or realize.

I often inform others they are not supposed to ground their club in hazards or move things or clean the mud off a ball.

It's usually just a casual "hey, not allowed in tournament play" describe the rule and situation and leave it at that.

Golf is not about "calling someone out" it's always been a Gentleman's Game where players call penalties on themselves.

Believe me, you'll earn respect of everyone by helping them learn and quickly lose respect by calling people out on rules.

Club Rat

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

There are 3 leagues in my area but the one I play is the closest to me, I enjoy the course and most of the guys, has good tee time availability and it is least expensive for me to play. One league has very few players in it and the other does not offer any sort of season pass (and can have quite a tight tee sheet). I resent that my choices if I stay in the league are:

1. Cheat to attempt to level the playing field

2. Try to get 30 to 50 players, some of whom I don't know personally, to try to follow one set of rules. (I think this is the attitude you are saying will make me unpopular at the club)

3. Follow the USGA rules knowing that this will put me at a competitive disadvantage to most players.

4. Follow what seems to be the rules that the majority of the more honest players follow. (somewhat similar to #1, but not as extreme)

Yes, what I dislike about our league is that not everyone is following the same rules.

I wouldn't have an issue if everyone in the league followed some non-USGA form of the rules, but unfortunately, the acceptable rules for our league vary from group to group. We play against the entire field, so I think it is only fair that everyone follows the same set of rules (whatever they may be).

Whatever you do, don't attempt #1.  You've probably been in enough people's ears about the rules that, if they see you break one, they'll be sure to mention it.  You won't be able to claim ignorance, either.

2 seems impossible.  Even if you found all those people I think the dude in the letter is correct . .you'd need on-course rules officials to run the league like you're wanting it to run.  I never quizzed anybody but I doubt anybody I see on any golf course I play knows all the rules . .most probably don't even care.  They know the basics and then just improvise the rest as they go.  Like I said . .2 seems impossible without significant prize money on the line.

I would say go with 3 or 4 . .probably 3 unless it's a rule that nobody follows that will make you seem like a tool . .such as *not* treating OB like a lateral hazard if everybody else is.  Think about it this way . .who wins or loses at a Wednesday men's league doesn't matter at all.  It would be cool to do well, sure . .but it's not worth getting stressed that you are being put at a disadvantage by cheaters nor is it worth cheating to do well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I have played in several golf leagues over the years, and none of them adhered 100% to USGA rules. One league decided to allow everyone the ability to roll their ball, similar to Winter Rules, in the middle of the summer.  The rationale? It seemed like some league members would role the ball even when they were told not to. So, the league decided to allow everyone the ability to roll the ball. It actually worked out pretty well and life went on..

Another league decided to play lateral hazards everywhere if you hit the ball OB. The rationale? Guys would hit a tee shot, walk to their ball, see it OB, walk back to the tee and hit another tee shot. The argument here is that the golfer should have hit a provisional. The only problem here was that there were a number of blind tee shots, and golfers would think their ball was well in bounds when it was actually OB.  No one objected to the lateral hazard rule, and life went on.

In a similar ruling, when you hit a ball into an area with deep rough or woods and couldn't find the ball after searching for 5 minutes, the league allowed you to drop a ball at a point agreed to by you and your opponent with a stroke penalty, instead of going back to the tee for a lost ball. Another USGA violation, but gladly employed by the league members, and life went on.

The purists would be abhorred by these rule modifications, but, in the first case, a lot of arguing among members about rolling the ball was eliminated, and in the other two, the rule modifications served to speed up the game.

The leagues were social leagues whose main purpose was to play golf and drink beer. Just like you, I enjoyed competing in the league and socializing with league members, so I let it go and didn't worry about it.

(Note: at that point in time I had a league handicap, but not a GHIN.)

I am in the same boat.

I have played in the same golf league for over 10 years. We have modified some rules to combat slow play, a poorly kept course and some of our aging members.

We have 60 guys in the league and play a 1 on 1 match, scored 2 points match play, 2 points stroke.

Some of our variations-

1-OB only a stroke penalty no loss of distance. Since we have 60 guys teeing off in a 2 hour window, the course does not allow us to walk out and find out our ball is OB and have to hike it back to the tee box.  however you want to hit a provisional as your 3rd shot, that is on you! However if a golfer hits a provisional only to find out his initial ball is still in play, not he has to walk over and grab his provisional. We never do a 2 club drop. We drop on the line of entry. However you usually ask your opponent where do you want me to drop and agreee upon a line.

2-winter rules. We play on hard pan and sometime the ground is iffy. not to mention since the course also has a public park running through it, you can find all sorts of damage to the ground. In most cases you ask your opponent for some relief and they allow it.

3- lift and clean anywhere. Once again we play on a muni course that is either super soggy or super dry. The bunkers can have rock in the them or dog poop.

4- gimmies. your opponent says it is good, it is good. usually within the length of the putter grip.

I know alot of people will say this is not real golf. But it is 60 blue collar guys playing golf. Those are the only variations. No one really cheats, since it is customary to follow your partner/opponent to help look for their ball OB. Doesnt give a chance for them to cheat.

We are generally a bunch of friendly guys our there playing. I want to give my opponent every chance at having a good shot. I dont want to win a match because my 70 year old opponent had to hit of a patch of dirt in the fairway, or off a tree root.

I dont want them to break their equipment or suffer through a round because they had to walk all the way back to the tee box, holding all the other groups up and slowing the entire league down. But we play by the rules and the rules we have modified. Someone uses a "kick Wedge" he would get called out, and most likely harassed at the bar afterwards!

Leagues are about having fun and playing golf and drinking beer.

You want to be serious, play in a PGA tournament.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

...I resent that my choices if I stay in the league are:

1. Cheat to attempt to level the playing field

2. Try to get 30 to 50 players, some of whom I don't know personally, to try to follow one set of rules. (I think this is the attitude you are saying will make me unpopular at the club)

3. Follow the USGA rules knowing that this will put me at a competitive disadvantage to most players.

4. Follow what seems to be the rules that the majority of the more honest players follow. (somewhat similar to #1, but not as extreme)...

Sounds to me like your best choices are #3 or #4.  If the USGA rules are that important to you, follow the rules (to the extent that you know them) and accept that fact that you're at a disadvantage.  If you want to have fun, enjoy the tournaments, get along with the other members and maybe have a chance of winning something once in a while, do #4.

From the e-mail they sent you, it sounds like this league has been in existence for quite a while.  I'm sure a new guy coming in barking about the USGA rules and telling them how to run their tournaments is about as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.  I'm not justifying their disregard for the Rules of Golf, just saying that's obviously how they've run the show for a long time and they've made it very clear to you that they have no intention of changing things.  It looks like your actual choices are to: 1) Go with the flow; 2) Keep running your mouth and become an outcast, or 3) Don't play in their tournaments.

Then again, if you keep harping on the organizers and busting peoples' asses out on the course about the rules, they may make your decision for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Well I was playing with a threesome of guys who were not playing by the rules, while I was playing strict rules, and they started playing more by the rules as the round went on.... aside from the gimme putts. I never said a word.

"I'm going to hit a provisional." was the first sign.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Note: This thread is 2282 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!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasjun21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. drink water
      drink water
      (32 years old)
    2. SCOTTYCA
      SCOTTYCA
      (63 years old)
    3. ShawnFenton
      ShawnFenton
      (43 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...