Golf Rules: Can we make them up as we go!?
I’ve heard it ALL now!! I got a call from a student of mine after she played in a local golf event recently. It was a fun event that was played with a group of local women and a group of invited women from another city. She’s a fairly new golfer (2 yrs.) with a handicap index of 28.5. She’s attend USGA rules seminars, etiquette seminars, taken lessons, and has played in several local tournaments. She was so perplexed by something that happened during the round that she started questioning her knowledge of the rules of the game.
Listen to this! One of the women from the other group of players said “the tee markers are not in the correct position so we need to play from the yardage that the score card says.” The woman proceeds to tee from where she thinks the tees SHOULD be “according to the yardage on the card.” My student questioned her and said she believed she was wrong in doing this…and she proceeded to play from where the markers are. The visiting woman argued with her and said. “you can’t post your scores unless you play from the yardage that the score card reads!” She was insistent that she was right! My student calmly said, “I’m playing from the tee markers.” (THIS IS THE CORRECT THING TO DO.)
When she ended the round, my student found out that the SAME THING happened in other groups also. WHAT kind of rules are these?? Do they make this stuff up, or what!? IT CLEARLY SAYS IN THE RULES OF GOLF THAT YOU PLAY THE COURSE AS YOU FIND IT! Somewhere, these poor women were terribly misled and they now believe they are right!
Do they think the PGA or LPGA Tour events are played from the yardage on the score card…not hardly!! Reminds me of a card game I played one evening with friends when my friend was called on his “creative rules” for the card game we were playing. He responded when questioned about his rules, “this is my house. and we will play by my rules!” Glad it wasn’t a golf game or he’d have been disqualified!
Golf is meant to be played by the rules. If you don’t know them, LEARN. And for “pete’s sake” don’t make them up as you go. If you are ever in doubt of what to do during a round, play two balls in and get a ruling from the pro. Word of advice…carry a rules book and SEE IT IN WRITING before you take the word of anyone…and that includes the pro!
Hope you all are having a fun season of golf!
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Many years ago there was a baseball movie "Bang the Drum Slowly." In that flick the players engaged in card game called TEGWAR - The Exciting Game Without Any Rules. Let's hope that golf does not meet such a similar fate.