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Learning the rules


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I have always just played at golf in the past with little concern for the actual rules.... Until now. I am trying to get a handle on learning the actual rules of the game, but the quantity of rules in golf seems daughnting and getting a handle on them is a bit overwhelming. Any suggestions on how to start down this path of learning the right way? Is there a good rule book or app that provides decent info? Thanks in advance for your help.

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Principles of the Rules of Golf (the Tufts book) is typically inexpensive in the USGA shop.  Reading through that is easy.

I also recommend Arnold Palmer's "Playing by the Rules" -- even though it was written in 2004.  He goes into several rules and instances where they came up in competition, mostly PGA Tour.  It helped me remember a handful early on with "oh, this happened to Brian Gay when..." and so on.  A few rules have changed since it was written, but even if you play by the 2004 rules, you're ahead of most golfers, and it's a huge step in the right direction.

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The USGA has a great web site to read and learn the ROG.  -  http://www.usga.org/rules-hub.html

The site has a new platform which is very user friendly and designed for new golfers to interact for learning rules.

4 hours ago, Dave325 said:

suggestions on how to start down this path

If you have questions or want to discuss any rule, TST has a dedicated forum to seek or post about any rules topic.

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I'd do three things, first.

1) Look at the Table of Contents - you'll see that there is method to the madness. The 34 Rules are organized in a logical order and separated into groups. 

2) Then, as Rulesman suggests, study the Definitions. There are 50 or so and familiarity with them is very important.

3) Near the front of the book is a wonderful section called A Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf. Many, if not most, of the answers to on-course Rules questions can be found here.

It's a noble quest you embark upon. Just as making a golf ball go where you want it to takes time and practice, so do the Rules. You'll never master the Rules, just as you'll never master the golf swing . . . but, it's all about the journey, in my view, at least.

This is my favorite gouge:

 

common golf rules.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Dave325 said:

Great information! Thanks everyone for the direction on the rules. I had no idea that the rules were so extensive.

Keep in mind in casual play, most situations are covered by about 6 or 7 basic rules.  The vast majority of decisions and even rules don't affect your average golfer.  Additionally, as FourPutt likes to point out, when rules situations get really complex is primarily when basic procedures aren't followed. When a mistake is made, that's when it gets complex to try to unwind the mistake within the rules (and where a LOT of decisions come from).

Another great resource for education is the USGA's Rules Experience:

http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-of-golf-experience/#/

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Some of the rules simply aren't very clearly written. You need a law degree to understand them. No wonder 3/4 of the people who play usually just drop a ball, add a stroke or two and continue when they lose a ball. Read the provisional ball rule and note the wording. Say if you hit your provisional in the woods too and need a second provisional? WTF?

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11 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

Some of the rules simply aren't very clearly written. You need a law degree to understand them. … Read the provisional ball rule and note the wording. Say if you hit your provisional in the woods too and need a second provisional? WTF?

How is that one difficult to understand?

You hit as many as you need to hit, then discard all the ones after the one you found in bounds.

What's difficult to understand about it?

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15 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

Some of the rules simply aren't very clearly written. You need a law degree to understand them. No wonder 3/4 of the people who play usually just drop a ball, add a stroke or two and continue when they lose a ball. Read the provisional ball rule and note the wording. Say if you hit your provisional in the woods too and need a second provisional? WTF?

Start your own "The Rules are Stupid" thread. This fellow came here asking for some suggestions as to how to approach learning the Rules. That you haven't bothered to learn them is your problem; OP has a better idea.

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5 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

Some of the rules simply aren't very clearly written. You need a law degree to understand them. No wonder 3/4 of the people who play usually just drop a ball, add a stroke or two and continue when they lose a ball. Read the provisional ball rule and note the wording. Say if you hit your provisional in the woods too and need a second provisional? WTF?

Off topic.  The Op actually wants to learn the rules, not just bitch about them at every opportunity.

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On 12/26/2015 at 2:41 PM, Dave325 said:

Great information! Thanks everyone for the direction on the rules. I had no idea that the rules were so extensive.

This won't necessarily help you understand of the rules as they stand today, but I think its interesting to read the original 13 rules and see how far we've come.  Even back in the 1700's, we can read that rules were being revised and/or clarified as situations arose.

http://www.ruleshistory.com/rules1744.html

 

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Read the Definitions.  

Read the Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf.

Take as many Rules quizzes as you can find and as often as you can.  

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On December 28, 2015 at 3:14 PM, DaveP043 said:

This won't necessarily help you understand of the rules as they stand today, but I think its interesting to read the original 13 rules and see how far we've come.  Even back in the 1700's, we can read that rules were being revised and/or clarified as situations arose.

http://www.ruleshistory.com/rules1744.html

 

Wow, those are some interestingly written rules, Dave. I especially like the one about Soldier's line... They must have had some games on the battlefield. And they can tee it up and hit it with an iron club. Thanks for sharing that great piece of history. Love it!

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Note: This thread is 2034 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!

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