Anyone who plays golf, knows that it's a game of ups and downs. One day you're hitting great, the next day you feel like you're blowing every shot. One day the cup is like a magnet to your ball, the next it seems to squirm away as your ball approaches. Why do we keep playing? Guess it's because, in spite of all the frustrations, you're never bored! Do you feel the same? Share your favorite courses or golf moments with us.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I don't know if other sports have as many rules as we find for golf, but I doubt if they seem as convoluted to amateurs as the USGA Rules of Golf. One would think that every possible condition has been taken into consideration and ruled upon! Whether you can understand the rule that applies is another matter. Just when you think you've got it straight, they refer you to another rule that may lead you to a completely different conclusion.

I was just browsing through the rules and found an interesting one that I'd never considered before. Did you know that if your ball ends up buried in the sand you can use a club to remove sand to find it? But, once you do find it, you must re-cover it so that only a bit of the ball is visible. No penalty.

While we were playing at the Water Gap Country Club in Pennsylvania, one of our golf partners chipped a ball toward the green, but we couldn't find it. Finally my husband noticed a hole in the slope up to the green. The ball was lodged about two inches down into it. Since the hole was about the same diameter as the ball, attempts to remove it failed and eventually the ball disappeared completely into the tunnel. Some little chipmunk is probably now nosing it around his burrow! The player took a drop without penalty, and I now see in the rules that the abnormal ground conditions rule would apply since the hole was made by a burrowing animal.

When you're playing golf for fun and not in a competition, I think most people would prefer to leave their official rules of golf at home. It's good to know the rules and play by them but constant nitpicking will drive your fellow golfers crazy. I do think, however, that the guidelines for etiquette should always be followed. I'll get into that more at another time!

Right now however, if you want to learn more about the rules of golf and have a hard time figuring out just what they mean, there are a number of books available that simpify these rules. Just go to Amazon or Borders and have a look! I'll give you a short list of just a few that I discovered:

Golf Rules & Etiquette Crystal Clear: Find the Answers To Your Questions About the Rules

The Rules of Golf in Plain English

Golf Rules Made Easy 2008-2009: "The 28 Golf Rules & Penalties for Stroke Play"

The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Golf Rules and Etiquette

Do I Get A Drop?: The Golf Guru Handbook

Now that you know where to find rules that you can understand, you might also consider buying a book that actually tells you the rules of play that can make the game more fun. Check this one out! The Official Rules of Bad Golf It may be more to your liking.

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