Simple Tips To Master Six Of The Strangest Golf Rules

Take a break from thinking about how to improve golf swing performance and try putting your head around understanding some of golf’s craziest rules and regulations from the article below by Jack Moorehouse! He provides some fun facts you can discuss on the course with your playing partners!

Golf can be maddening at times.

Take its rules.

The game is supposed to be played by gentlemen, so there are no judges, referees, or umpires watching our every move to make sure we follow the rules.

You’re supposed to know the rules, even though few teachers, if any, give golf lessons on them.

And when players play in a group, they’re responsible for penalizing themselves and their playing partners.

In other words, you’re supposed to be honest when you play, no matter what your golf handicap. Most golfers are honest and follow the rules. But some rules leave even the most astute golfers shaking their heads. Put simply, the game has some of the strangest rules of any sport.

Even if we spent several golf instruction sessions going over the rules with you, we probably couldn’t help you with all the strange things that are covered in the golf course. Nor could we help you understand the rationale behind the rules covering these incidents. In other words, golf’s rules don’t always make sense.

Below are five of those rules.

Power Line Interference

If your drive strikes a power line that’s within the course’s boundaries, you must re-tee the ball and hit another shot (Rule 20-5 applies). But if your ball caroms off any other man-made obstruction, you must play the ball as it lies. You can get relief if your ball is in an obstruction or the obstruction impedes your swing. But otherwise, you have to play the ball where it lies. Aren’t power lines man-made objects?

Carrying A Non-conforming Club

You can be disqualified if you’re found carrying a damaged or non-conforming club—even if you don’t use it. (Rule 4-1/1 applies). In fact, one PGA professional was disqualified for just this reason. Dudley Hart, a PGA Tour Professional, was disqualified from the 2004 Buick Championship for carrying a bent club during the tournament’s second round. That rule doesn’t apply, of course, if you’re club is bent or damaged during the round you’re playing.

This rule seems harsh, doesn’t it? How big an advantage can you gain by playing a ball with a broken or damaged club?

Fairway Divots

You blast a drive straight down the middle only to have your ball land in a divot. It’s unfair, but you still have to play the ball from the divot, even though someone else created it. Think about it. Aren’t you being penalized for something someone else failed to do? Wasn’t the other player supposed to replace his or her divot, if possible?

Provisional Announcements

Rule 27-2a/1 states that you must say you’re playing a provisional ball, even if it’s clear that was what you meant when you said something else. For example, if you say, “I think I may have lost that ball” or “I’m going to hit a second ball, just to be safe,” you could be penalized.
The penalty: a stroke and distance. So when it comes to playing in tournaments, make sure you say “provisional ball.”

Practical Joker

We’ve never covered this rule in any golf lessons we’ve given, but maybe we should. What would happen if someone decided to move the pin somewhere other than the correct hole on the green and some players played to it? It’s not something that happens daily. In fact, we can’t recall this ever happening in all our years of golf. But if it does happen, the rules have it covered.

They say you can’t replay the hole. You have to finish the hole and take the strokes. This rule goes under the heading “strange but true.”

Golf is a great game.

The quest to hone your skills and lower your golf handicap can fill up the time, absorb your interest, and provide plenty of entertainment. But some of its rules should come with golf tips designed to explain the rationale behind them. Sometimes, the rules just don’t make sense.

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “ How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros .” He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. He has a free weekly newsletter with the latest golf tips , golf lessons and golf instruction .

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How To Break 80

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