Over the past few month, I've picked up the game of golf! It all started as a joke to join some friends (experienced golfers) and since I got the hang of it, I started taking lessons from a golf Pro and started to enjoy it even more! Being a sportman all my life, I never thought I'd enjoy this game that much.
It's a technical game and I'm slowly improving! From the beginning my friends make it clear that on the course, I had to follow some basic golf rules. Or golf etiquette as they are called as well.
Golf is an enjoyable sport and a great way to unwind. However, picking up the regulations involved with the game sounds a bit intimidating to new enthusiasts and players. Sometimes casual players fail to stick to these rules whether intentionally or by accident.
Typically, these mistakes are often overlooked during a casual game of golf but serious golfers mainly scoff at these blunders because they take the game to heart. They want everybody in the game to educate themselves and be familiar with these rules. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to rules and with this, newbies commit a number of mistakes before getting said rules right, and this handy guide will help you understand them so you can enjoy the most out of the sport.
Major Golf Rules to Remember
There is a long list of golf rules but here are the most important things that every new player in the block must keep in mind in order to get into the groove of the game.
- No shouting, yelling or phone calls on the course
Act properly and don't disturb other people by shouting or yelling to your friends or making phone calls.
Golf is a sport that needs concentration and golfers need to focus on their play. If you're shouting, laughing, making phone calls that might upset other people.
Turn your phone off so you can't get called or put your phone on silent (the ringtone should not be heard).
The only exception is the 'fore' yell when you hit the ball and it's going too close to the group in front of you or it swings to the side where other people might be.
- Do not move the ball after a shot
Rule of thumb: once the ball rises up into the air and lands anywhere, it must remain on its resting area. The ball should not be tapped or budged. On the putting green, the ball can be taken on or moved to make way for other players but a marker should be positioned under the ball prior to removing it.
Before putting, the player should position the ball back into place in the exact spot to commence the game.
- Do not touch other players’ golf balls
You’re about to start your game when you see that there are a few stray balls in your way. The thought of removing those balls yourself can be appealing, but keep in mind that you should leave those stray balls by themselves. Those balls may belong to other golfers who have to catch up with their game.
- Set a 5-minute extension to look for a ball
Golfers must not spend over 5 minutes looking for their balls. If the search for the ball exceeds the time limit, he or she should commit to a one-stroke penalty and continue the game from the earliest position of the shot.
However, if the golfers are vague about the accurate location of the initial shot, then the hitting golfer must take a ball drop by grasping the ball in his or her hand with one arm drawn out directly at shoulder level and releasing the ball. This act must be performed in the spot of the initial shot.
- Tackle a ball from the other holes
Rule Number One from above still applies even if the ball ends up landing on the wrong spots, unfortunately. It can be let off though if there were stakes or other sort of markers specifying that the fairway is off limits. The ball can be tackled then by means of a one-stroke penalty if the wrong fairway is off limits.
Keep in mind that golfers have to watch out not to obstruct other golfers who are properly tackling that hole. The golfers on the other side must be permitted to continue their game first unless they wait of their own accord.
- Take part inside the restrictions of the course
The ball which lands elsewhere from the restrictions of the golf course is not taken on its resting spot. If the ball was off limits, the golfer must then perform a one-stroke penalty and the ball is taken on adjacent to the initial hitting position. Lost balls will necessitate a ball drop.
The restrictions on golf courses are typically signposted with stakes or white-colored lines. However, this can vary from golf course to golf course and other sorts of markers might also be employed.
- Follow the local rules and regulations
Apart from the official golf rules and regulations, there could be other local rules. When you register yourself at the desk, make sure to ask for any of them.
Local rules might be a certain area on the course to be seen as a 'out of bounds' or 'water hazard' or any other change of the normal course. During a tournament, the local rule might be that you can use a golf range finder to improve the game and make it more enjoyable for the many not-local golfers.
Picking up and absorbing the sport of golf takes time and effort. However, learning does not have to be a demanding or even a nerve-wracking experience. Beginners in the sport are not anticipated to dredge up every single rule on their first game or even after the game.
Nevertheless, it is recommended that every newbie of the sport should start studying this particular pastime with a few casual players or even fellow beginners, not with ones who are very keen on the sport, i.e. serious, more experienced golfers.
There are actually 34 golf rules that needs learning but knowing the basics for a start may be sufficient enough to get you to start participating. Several of the rules mentioned above like not moving the ball or not touching other players’ balls simply entail common sense. Other rules stated usually takes more effort and patience to absorb, like getting out of a fellow golfer’s way or the correct sequence for taking turns.
After some time, beginners focused on studying and enjoying the game always discover that they actually get on top of things without delay.