This month’s blog from inside my golfing life is all about the rules, and my experiences of using a rule book in a competition. There are currently 34 rules, which may not sound like a tonne, but there are then sub-rules and even sub-sub rules!
During the season I carry a rule book around with me due to the many different rules in the game, you never know when you might find yourself in a predicament. Not so much in a Pro-Am,) but in the 3 to 4 day competitions they can come in very handy.
Normally on the bigger events, we have a Tournament referee which will be driving around the course during play. Maybe 3 or 4 buggies each carrying 2 PGA Professionals from the given region.
When I started the PGA course over 9 years ago, we all had to sit a rule exam, but a few of the rules have changed over the years so it's always good to refresh your memory every now and again!
A few years ago when playing a Europro Tour event down south, I needed a ruling and didn't have a rule book with me. I hit my tee shot into a bunker which was over 50 yards in length. My ball was at the front and the rake was at the back. My caddie at the time pulled the rake from the bunker through the sand and then raked it after I had played my shot out. One of my playing partners claimed a penalty, due to my caddy ‘testing the surface’! As the group was unsure, this affected me for the remainder of the round. And from that day on, I have always kept a rule book with me so it can be sorted there and then with no qualms.
The biggest ruling for me, which is the one you see time and time again, is marking your ball on the green. Moving the ball marker closer to the hole etc.
The Wrong Way
The Right Way
This is a very common fault and even a few big name players have been pulled up for this.
So, it's just as important to carry a rule book in your bag as it is to clean your clubs before play. A rule book will save you shots on the course (and perhaps even the odd argument…!)