Golf is fun … but it has a few rules.
Golf is a lot of fun but can be tough and challenging. Also challenging is understanding all of its
rules. The countless variables inherent to golf ensures each of us that every hole we play
promises to be a whole new adventure. Because of this the rules of our beloved pastime can
be just as complicated as our swing mechanics. All sporting competitions have rules and golf is
no different. For centuries golf’s governing bodies have compiled a set of rules to cover the
endless situations golfers might encounter.
The USGA and R&A provide us with a rule book to standardize play and ensure we are all playing the same game. Likewise, the World Handicap System allows players at different skills levels to equitably compete against each other. For these complex systems to work properly, everyone must play under the same set of rules while using the same guidelines and regulations for posting scores. To help golfers understand and apply the rules of golf consistently, various on-course situations will be presented in the hope that everyone can gain a broader knowledge of the rules. It should be much more interesting
than trying to read the Rules of Golf straight through.
Rules Quiz #1:
Fred is playing in his stroke play Club Championship. On the uphill Par Three 7 th hole,
Fred hit a beautiful hybrid that everyone in the group thought landed on the blind green. The
other 3 players’ tee shots were short of the green. When they drove up to the green, Fred’s
ball was nowhere to be seen. Since the green was firm and fast, everyone figured Fred’s ball
must be over and in the tall rough. The foursome searched for Fred’s ball in the grass and
leaves for 3 minutes. Fred reluctantly went back to the tee and put a second ball in play leaving
this one short. After everyone chipped onto the green one of the players, who went up to
remove the flag stick, discovered Fred’s original ball was in the hole. Since Fred had failed to
find his ball within the allowed 3-minute search time he continued play with the second ball.
Being frustrated by the whole situation, Fred chipped his second tee shot up and promptly 3-
putted to finish the hole.
What was Fred’s final score on hole #7?
The answer will be provided in the next installment. If the suspense is too much to endure, stop
by the Carolina Colours Pro Shop for the correct ruling. If you feel the urge to do some
detective work, the USGA Rules of Golf is a free download on the App Store.