Golf Rules Guru

Golf Rules Guru

Helping the ordinary golfer understand and apply the Rules of Golf

Most of the posts on this site are from what I have seen on the golf course as a player, referee, spectator, or TV viewer. A few are derived from the presentation material we used to introduce the 2019 rules to golfers and golf clubs across the county. I’ve also started challenging you to be the referee with some video scenarios – do have a look at the video section and leave me your feedback.

Golf is a unique sport in that all abilities can compete together and we all play by the same set of rules. Knowing these rules will help you not to waste strokes, or incur unnecessary penalties, when you can’t play the course as you find it and the ball as it lies.Knowing the rules, and keeping a clear head, can make a huge difference in critical situations – think of Jordan Spieth on the 13th at Birkdale in the 2017 Open. Watch this Team Titleist recreation along with Jordan’s own memories and description of his thought process.

I need your help on this decision.

Leave your comments in the post:
“We’d Better Get a Referee – Video Challenge”

I started playing golf as a Junior with an unofficial handicap of 54. It didn’t take long to get down to the highest official handicap allowed (24 at the time) and eventually to a low of 6 before it has crept inevitably upwards over the last few years.

My experience with the Rules comes from refereeing at county level, presenting rules education sessions for golfers and golf clubs, and passing the Level 2 and 3 exams on the 2019 rules. I can’t claim to give definitive rulings (you will need to contact the R&A or USGA for that), but I do have a good network of other county referees for the difficult questions / scenarios so don’t hold back on any question you may have.

I hope that you find something on the site that saves you a shot in a future competition or stops the horrible “DQ” appearing next to your name

NB I’m not claiming to be a “Golf Rules Guru”, but it does make a nice site name!

Recent Posts

  • Caring for the Course
    A slightly different post this one, although a topic important enough to be included as Rule 1.2, just behind the fundamental principles of Golf (which are stated as Rule 1.1 if you are interested) We love playing on courses that are in good condition, but we don’t always remember the role that we have in maintaining that good condition – our … Continue reading Caring for the Course
  • Bridges & Penalty Areas
    Artificial objects on the course which cannot be moved without unreasonable effort (such as bridges, roads, and buildings) are “Immovable Obstructions” (a type of “Abnormal Course Condition”) unless they have been defined under the local rules as “integral parts of the course”. You may take relief under Rule 16 from these Immovable Obstructions if they physically interfere with the lie of … Continue reading Bridges & Penalty Areas
  • Touching the Sand in a Bunker
    At a recent men’s elite competition I was amazed to come across a golfer who routinely grounded his club behind the ball and then swept the sand away on his backswing. While the 2019 rule did make a few changes about is allowable in a bunker this didn’t change. Rule 12 is all about bunkers. 12.2b describes the “Restrictions on Touching … Continue reading Touching the Sand in a Bunker

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