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.
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“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!
- Penalty Area DefinitionPainted lines are the least ambiguous method for defining a precise boundary for a penalty area and while these will be put in for major competition, most golf courses don’t have the resources to maintain such course marking 365 days of the year. Within their local rules they should describe how the edge of penalty area is defined. A physical characteristic … Continue reading Penalty Area Definition
- 14th @Brokenhurst – Immovable Obstruction (Sprinkler Head)The 14th at Brokenhurst is a risk and reward short par 4. Big hitters may go for the green, but it is a very narrow entrance which sheds the ball to the right. Bunkers, a small copse, and heavy rough await if you are off line. The percentage play may be to leave yourself a full shot in. While it is … Continue reading 14th @Brokenhurst – Immovable Obstruction (Sprinkler Head)
- Put Your Own Markings on Your BallJust unpacked my referee’s bag after the Hampshire Open last week (Pro’s & elite amateurs) and noticed that 3 of the 7 decent balls (there were a couple of others that I wouldn’t expect these players to be using in a competition) that I found on the course during the day do not have specific markings. Why, oh why doesn’t everyone … Continue reading Put Your Own Markings on Your Ball