Golf is nothing if not a game of rules. And regulations. And ‘etiquette’ (a nice word for more rules). It’s nearly impossible to know every rule for every situation, but regularly brushing up on them is a good way to keep sharp. Check back here regularly for a ridiculous Rule of the Day and impress your friends with your knowledge of the insanely-rule-laden game of golf. And pay attention ’cause these are really, really serious, and definitely not loaded with euphemism.
Watch Where You Put Your Stick
According to this rule, if you or your lazy-ass friend leave the pin behind the hole and walk away picking your nose, you could be up shit’s creek. Say you give your ball a little extra steam and it smacks the flagstick on the ground, or even grazes it like a single mom grazing on yogurt flavored pretzels – that’s a two-stroke penalty or loss of hole in matchplay. So get ready to police your best friends and be “that guy,” cause your strokes are at stake.
Seems odd, but some drivers are illegal in competitions. You’d think a manufacturer would have to get approval, but we all know the seedy underbelly of the golf club manufacturing world is too corrupt to self-regulate…hmm. Whether the club has a face that’s too bouncy, or it’s fitted with some kind of battery-operated spin-correcting device (pfff), if your club is not on THE LIST, you’re breakin’ the rules buddy. Admittedly, the chances of you getting pulled up for a bunk driver are hilariously low, but still, interesting to know if you’re technically a golf rebel or not. Check your driver HERE.
If you’re struggling to see if a ball is yours, you may pick it up to identify it, then replace it without penalty. But – and this is important – if it’s covered in schmuck you can only clean it enough to identify it – no more. If you over-clean, you can be penalized. So remember, keep your balls dirty when you’re handling them.
RULE 12-2 Searching for and identifying ball
Stop Touching Yourself
Keep your hands away from, well, yourself. Anchoring, or intentionally holding the club in contact with any part of your body to make a stable point where you can swing the club, is NOT ALLOWED. So no more extra touching, just keep your hands on your… club.
RULE 14-1.b Striking the ball
You’re Out of Order!
Playing in the right order off the tee is normally just etiquette, but in match play if someone tees off out of order you can make them play the shot again. And didja know, even in stroke play you can be disqualified for playing out of order? If your club’s committee decides there was an advantage to playing out of turn, you’re out. This rule can really come in handy if you wanna mess with someone on the tee…
RULE 10-2.c Order of play
If your ball breaks during a shot, the stroke is cancelled and you have to play another shot from where you were (without a penalty). Cause, well, which piece would you consider as your shot? It’s not like the currency rule (51% or more counts). Makes sense. So therefore ‘busting your balls on the course’ – no penalty.
RULE 5-3 – Ball unfit for play
Get a Grip
Got a weird grip? It might be #illegal. Check it doesn’t have a bulge or waist in it.
No bulges allowed in your grip on the course. Heh heh.
RULE Appendix II – design of clubs 3(.iii)