Playing by the Rules - June 2014

Let’s get right to the point this month, Mother Nature we need a break, enough is enough.

I have never spent as many uncomfortable hours on golf courses as I have this spring. I have witnessed some good golf from you guys, I don’t know how you do it, but I have been impressed.


I personally am trying to recover and reenergize after battling cold, windy, miserable conditions at virtually every event.

So, this month I am giving you an assignment rather than sharing my opinions for you to read.


When the weather is bad it certainly makes the game more difficult. Shots tend to stray when propelled by strong gusty winds as well as when you have a hard time feeling your digits while trying to hold on to and swing the club.

As I have said in the past, the Rules are here to help us, and that is especially true when we have hit our golf ball into some less than ideal places.


Into water hazards, on to obstructions, in to or behind trees, etc., we need some way to extricate ourselves from those spots and continue playing. That’s where the Rules are our friends, sometimes they give us free relief, other times we have to pay the price with a penalty stroke, but the fact we can continue is far preferable to the alternative of not having any relief procedure available.


My challenge to you as a player and sometimes Rules Official for the players at your facility is to go through the Rules and learn what constitutes interference from specific situations (GUR, obstructions, loose impediments) and the relief procedures available to you within each Rule.

You will also want to review exactly what options you have when you have had to accept that penalty stroke (water & lateral water hazards, unplayable lie, etc.) and need to get a ball back in play.


The Rules of golf are like most things in life, the more you know about them, the better you can take full advantage of them.


When you have a few minutes of free time look at Rules 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 & 28.

The more familiar you are with what they offer, for getting your ball out of a less than advantageous position, the more strokes you may potentially be able to save yourself, or the person you are trying to help with a ruling.


See you down the road,