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Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

In 2016 the USGA did amend Rule 6-6d. A player who inadvertently does not assess himself a penalty because he did not know a breach is no longer disqualified and instead is assessed a two-stroke penalty.  The problem with this new rule is that the USGA made the rule to prevent amateurs who don’t know all of the rules from being disqualified from a tournament.  

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

The problem I have is that this is their living when it comes to PGA Tour players, and I feel they should know the rules.  

A lawyer cannot go into court, make a mistake, and say to the judge, I didn’t know that rule.  He would look ridiculous!  This brings me back to a statement I have mentioned before.  I think the pros and the amateurs should have different rules and different equipment!  Now I know I am opening a can of worms here, but I think it’s crazy when Pat Perez hits the ball in a water hazard and says he did not know that there was a penalty!  This opens the door for pros in the future to avoid disqualification and automatically say they did not know the rule, no matter how basic it is.

I would love to hear feedback on this subject.  Please post your comments below!  Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of Back9Network, for this thought-provoking article!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!  

As the PGA Tour returns to the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, a.k.a. the Greatest Show on Grass, the Rules Junkie harkens back to Pat Perez’s rules run-in and subsequent disqualification from the event in 2013.

Perez’s DQ is worth revisiting for a few reasons, but mostly so we can get a better grasp on the truly confounding changes made to Rule 6-6d in the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf. The amendment to 6-6d forgives ignorance of the rules, but still penalizes someone in Perez’s predicament when a clerical error has been made.

The dispatch from the scene via Golf Channel.

With the projected cut currently hovering at 3 under, Perez’s rounds of 72-72 left him at 2 over, unlikely to advance. When he incorrectly signed for an even-par 71 in the second round, though, he earned himself an early exit from the event.

The hole at issue was the short par-4 17th, where Perez ran into trouble despite a drive that left him less than 50 yards to the hole. After his approach went into the water behind the green, he ultimately two-putted for a double bogey 6. Perez signed for a 5 on the hole, however, and was disqualified as a result.

One of the four major changes to the Rules effective Jan. 1, 2016 was the “Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card.” The USGA explained it as follows:

The PGA introduces a new exception.

Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached.  And must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.

The amendment allows for leeway when it comes to being blatantly ignorant of a rule, but not for writing an incorrect number down. The rule states, “the competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score he writes down for each hole on his score card. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.”

To read the rest of this story on understanding this confusing rule, go here!

Source:  Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway    Back9Network

Pictures: Twitter/@GolfweekMag

Thanks for reading – Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

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No Handicap - Get it Now for Free from Golf Digest!

No Handicap – Get it Now for Free from Golf Digest!

No Handicap – Get it Now for Free from Golf Digest!
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
 
Everyone who golfs should have a handicap. I was surprised to learn that less than 20% of USA golfers have one.
Owning a handicap lets you play in tournaments, which brings a fun new element to your golf experience. It also stimulates your goal setting. Whether you are a 36 handicapper aiming to reach 29, or you’re a 15 trying to get to a single digit, the reward you feel when you reach your goal is fantastic.
 
No Handicap - Get it Now for Free from Golf Digest!
 
Some people tell me they haven’t acquired a handicap because the USGA charges them for it and makes the process seem difficult. 
 
 
And get ready to take on the world!
 
 
 
Thanks for reading – No Handicap – Get it Now for Free from Golf Digest!

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14 Golf Etiquette Rules you should not break - I hate # 12!

14 Golf Etiquette Rules you should not break – I hate # 12!

14 Golf Etiquette Rules you should not break – I hate # 12!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

There is nothing more annoying on a golf course than playing with a golfer with no idea of golf etiquette.  Now, I fully understand that beginners have to learn this, but in those instances, the golfer should alert others in the group and say, “I am still learning the game. If I make an error, please point it out to me”. Then, golfers will be only too happy to help out!  My suggestion to beginner golfers is to go to your local pro and take a lesson, not on your golf swing, but on the basic rules and etiquette that you will need to know in the first few rounds.  This will make the game more enjoyable for everyone!

Thanks to  of Golf Digest for writing such an educational article! 

Showing up less than 15 minutes before your tee time

 

Putting with too many balls on the practice green

 
14 Golf Etiquette Rules you should not break! I hate # 12!
 

Failing to pick up the flagstick

 
14 Golf Etiquette Rules you should not break! I hate # 12!
 

Cart-path only? Carry more than one club to your shot

 
 
 
Pictures: Golf Digest
 
Thanks for reading – 14 Golf Etiquette Rules you should not break – I hate # 12!

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Dottie Pepper on Rule Changes and more Important Topics!

Dottie Pepper on Rule Changes and more Important Topics!

Dottie Pepper on Rule Changes and more Important Topics!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Dottie Pepper should be President!  I have always admired Dottie Pepper, the feisty winner of 17 LPGA Tour events, including 2 majors. Pepper was also the heart and soul of six Solheim Cup teams before injuries forced early retirement.  Now an analyst for ESPN, Dottie recently weighed in on new rulings by the USGA, such as the anchoring ban and the inadmissibility of scores for handicapping when rounds are played solo.
Pepper also challenges golf’s governing bodies by emphasizing the real issues that need review: the pace of play, green speeds, today’s golf ball, and caddies lining up golf shots.

Whether you agree with all of Dottie’s views or not, you can’t argue that she makes an apparent and supportive case for each issue.  Wish our Presidential candidates demonstrated this same ability!

Thanks to ESPN.go.com and Dottie Pepper for this insightful article! (Written January 1st, 2016.)

We are just days away from Rule 14-1b regarding the anchoring of a golf stroke going into effect, some three-plus years after it came on everyone’s radar.

And I am more convinced than ever this is a bad move.

Not because of the impact it will have on senior golf at every level, or championship golf, or even teaching the game. It’s because of the exceptions within the rule, the lack of clarity it provides and the more important issues the ruling bodies should be focusing on rather than anchored strokes. Rule 14-1b, as officially announced in May 2013, prohibits anchoring the club either directly or by use of an anchor point in making a stroke. This is fine on the surface, but let’s take a more in-depth look at the layers of this ruling and the long-term impact.

Dottie Pepper on Rule Changes and more Important Topics!

For decades, golf’s ruling bodies approved of the anchored method, with many of the thoughts being:

1. It will be pretty much confined to senior golf (quickly proven untrue on all professional tours and top-level amateur golf around the world).
2. No one will win a major championship with a long or anchored putter (seeAdam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els and others).
3. No one will ever teach the anchored method to youngsters. (USGA President Tom O’Toole Jr.’s young son used to encourag him to learn this method by his professional, thus sending Mr. O’Toole, by his own admission, to his breaking point to take the side of the anchoring ban.

The information about implementation of the rule on the USGA’s website is seven — yes, seven — long pages when printed. The rule itself reads like the tax code and includes exceptions that undercut the strength of the rule, like Matt Kuchar‘s method of putting where he braces the putter grip against his forearm. I have yet to hear an explanation of this particular method that dissuades me from thinking it is an anchored stroke.

Dottie Pepper on Rule Changes and more Important Topics!

Why not say a player might only have up to two points of contact with the club, those points being either one or two hands?

This certainly would make it much cleaner and simpler, especially when the big scream about the rules of golf (and the decisions) are centered on their complexity and difficulty to understand.

Furthermore, the reversal of the previous decision and the course of action with the “because we said so” air undermines the authority of the ruling bodies. I applaud the current USGA and R&A leadership and committees for being more active in protecting the integrity and future of the game, but not like this.

I also disagree with the USGA’s announcement just prior to Thanksgiving that “scores made while playing alone will no longer be acceptable [for] handicap purposes.” Unless the USGA has a larger motive for a global handicapping code (the United Kingdom, among others, does not allow for solo scores to count toward handicapping), then the organization talking about making itself more inclusive has done exactly the opposite.

From a personal standpoint, one of the biggest attractions to the game was the opportunity for solitary participation.

There was no need for someone on the other side of the net to return a shot or even to practice with me. I was raised in a very average, working-class family where both parents held jobs and I played at a working-to-middle-class club just a mile from home. I could ride my bike back and forth to McGregor Links with my eyes closed and knew every blade of grass on the course.

It would have been nearly impossible to find people to play with during regular hours in order to verify my scores by “peer review.” Scores are needed to be eligible for entry to the local, regional and statewide competitions.  These paved the way for what has become an incredibly blessed life in and around the game. My life would have taken a very different course if I had to have someone sign every time I needed scores.

Par and personal bests were better than any “peer review” I could ever imagine.  My own measuring stick for my dreams of earning a college scholarship and degree.  Becoming a professional and a major champion.  And ultimately someone who is still involved in the game more than 40 years later.

Dottie Pepper on Rule Changes and more Important Topics!

Good on Golf Canada for feeling much the same way and not enforcing the USGA’s “peer review” ruling.

We need to be putting ourselves in the position of growing the game at every level and not putting up more roadblocks.

As a game, golf has a number of issues that need much more attention and energy than the two just addressed.  Such as speed of play, green speeds, the huge distances today’s golf ball travels in concert with the current club technology.  And caddies lining up their players during competition.

To read the rest of Dottie Pepper’s insights, go here!

Source: ESPN.go.com    Dottie Pepper

Pictures: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images   Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images   TownePost Network

Thanks for reading – Dottie Pepper on Rule Changes and more Important Topics!

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Anchored Rule finally arrives - Which putters to use now!

Anchored Rule finally arrives – Which putters to use now!

Anchored Rule finally arrives – Which putters to use now!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

The anchored method of putting is over.

 Gone the way of the Dodo! Extinct!  From today, the anchored rule is in effect! As I have told some of my students who putt with the anchored putter, if you do not play competitive golf, continue to use the anchored method, and enjoy your golf!  This rule only applies to competition, so if you are a recreational golfer, continue to have fun when you play. Unfortunately for the competitive golfers out there, those that use the anchored putter must find a new way to putt. Please note that if you wish to keep a USGA handicap for the occasional club or local competition, you cannot post any scores while using the anchored method!

 David Dusek of Golfweek.com/ gives you some examples of putters that could make the switch easier!

Anchored Rule finally arrives - Which putters to use now!

 

The day Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley circled on their calendars three years ago nearly has arrived.

During a U.S. Golf Association and R&A news conference on Nov. 28, 2012, Peter Dawson, then-R&A chief executive, uttered the words that anchored-putter lovers feared: “The R&A and the USGA are announcing a proposed rule change that would prohibit the anchoring of the club in making a stroke. The proposed rule, 14-1b, would prohibit strokes made with the club, or a hand gripping the club, being held directly against the player’s body; or with a forearm being held against the body to establish an anchor point that indirectly anchors the club.”

Remove “proposed” from that statement because the rule change goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Many notable professionals who used an anchored-putter stroke switched to conventional methods last season, including major champions Webb Simpson, Bradley and Scott. Clark and Pettersson held out all year, but now they 
also must abandon their beloved method.

It is important to remember that no piece of equipment is outlawed by the rule change. Golfers are free to use any previously legal putter, but 
they cannot affix it to any part of the body.

To help players who seek stability and to alleviate from the stroke the small, twitchy muscles in the hands and wrists, many manufacturers have touted the advantages of counterbalancing. By using putters with heavier heads and extra weight under the top of the grip, many players find it easier to produce a fluid stroke that stays on path.

And many players have switched to extra-large grips to help reduce wrist action while putting.

Anchored Rule finally arrives - Which putters to use now!

Thick Putter Grips can be an alternative to help long-putter users.

Anchored putting is about to become a part of golf’s past, but golf’s future surely will be filled with putters and accessories aimed at making it easier to roll the rock.

To see the rest of David Dusek’s suggestions, go here!

Source: David Dusek   Golfweek.com/

Pictures: Golfweek.com/

Thanks for reading – Anchored Rule finally arrives – Which putters to use now!

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6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

This seems to be a subject that goes around and around with very little substance ever coming out of the USGA. (or the R&A for that matter)  Growing up in South Africa, we took a double bogey when we didn’t finish a hole.  Didn’t matter what the level of a golfer or the par of the hole.  Nice and simple.  You cannot try a build the handicap system around the cheater.  There will always be people who want to keep their handicaps higher for betting purposes.  No matter what the system, we will never get rid of these people.  I think world peace will happen sooner.  

So let’s move on, get an international system that everyone uses, and keep it simple!  

Thanks to  of Golf Digest for this useful information!

6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

The USGA Handicapping system is a marvel. It allows players of disparate skills to compete, and, if everyone is honest, to compete fairly. (Big “if,” we know.)

But the system produces painful side effects. Reinforcing the American obsession with stroke play, causing people to play for a medal score even when they’re playing matches. It discourages other, sometimes faster, formats by not counting those scores. Taken together, it contributes to slow play and frustration: If every player has to count every last stroke “for handicap purposes” even a match play round is a dreary marathon and the sport is far less fun than it might be.

So it was a huge disappointment when the USGA recently announced changes to the system (something it only does every four years or so) and did little to address these issues. The most talked-about and debated change—banning of unaccompanied rounds for handicaps—induced a yawn here. OK, so you don’t take my scores, which are perfectly accurate, because someone else is padding his. Does that really help? It’s re-painting the Titanic’s deck chairs—forget about rearranging them.

We hear the association is close to greater changes. We hope so. Here’s what it should look like:

1. Get with the rest of the world.

For years the USGA has discussed with the R&A and other golf associations the desirability of a common worldwide handicap system. Makes sense, since Americans more and more often play overseas and tons of overseas golfers visit our clubs and resorts. There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of meetings about this. It’s time to act.

2. Adopt the Net Double Bogey limit.

A stumbling block to such an agreement is the U.S. resistance to a simple, “maximum net double bogey” standard for recording scores (the USGA prefers a more complicated Equitable Stroke Control, which, which several experts on handicapping tell us, is no more accurate). No score beyond a net double bogey counts for handicap calculation. If you’re about to make a double, might as well pick it up. There’s no need to putt out your 9 “for my handicap.” Take a breather. Enjoy the outdoors. And keep the game moving. It’s a stance mathematician Dean Knuth, the architect of the Slope System, has long advocated. And he’s right.

3. Encourage Stableford scoring.

In Europe and Australia, this net-double-bogey limit includes the use of the Stableford points scoring: One point for net bogey, two points for par, three points for birdie, zero for anything higher than bogey. It’s enjoyable because it rewards good play without letting an abysmal hole destroy your round. The European Golf Association and Australia have built handicap systems based on Stableford points. If, for example, you average 20 points (out of a maximum 36) your handicap will be about 16. At the very least the USGA could encourage “points” play at its clubs. For kids, who play other sports for positive points, Stableford makes complete sense.

It is, Knuth says, “Fast and fun.” One expert on slow play agreed that it can help there, too. (For the record, we are not advocating the revised Stableford format used by the old International professional tournament. That penalized golfers for high scores; fine for pros, defeats the purpose for amateurs.) And if Stableford sounds stodgy, call it Points Scoring.

To see the other 3 steps to improving the current handicap system, go here!

Source: Golf Digest

Pictures: Golf DigestEric Havir

Thanks for reading – 6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System. 

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Hey USGA - What about the spirit of the golf game?

Hey USGA – What about the spirit of the golf game?

Hey USGA – What about the spirit of the golf game?
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

The USGA has just dropped a bomb with one of its handicapping changes.

They now deem solo rounds of golf to be unacceptable for Handicap posting. The reason given indicates that peer review is crucial to confirming a player’s potential scoring ability.
In other words, as Chris Chaney from wrong_fairway says, “hey single, we don’t trust you to post an accurate score.”  Ouch!

The first section in the Rules of Golf addresses this essential part of our sport. 

To quote:’ Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and abide by the rules. Therefore, all players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner and demonstrate courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.’ 
 
 What is your opinion of this latest move by the USGA?
 
Thanks to back9network and  Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway, for sharing this article.
 
Hey USGA - What about the spirit of the golf game?

NORTH BERWICK, SCOTLAND JULY 4 :  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The United States Golf Association must have decided that they had gotten too much good press lately with their recent revisions to the Rules of Golf because earlier this week, the governing body for the game in the U.S. and Mexico announced upcoming changes to its handicapping system.

“The USGA Handicap System is constantly evolving to ensure that the System works for the game today and tomorrow.”

Steven Edmondson, the USGA’s managing director of Handicapping and Course Rating, said in a statement. “As we examine the game domestically and globally, these revisions support the integrity and reliability that millions of players around the world expect of this System. We continue to explore substantive changes as we work toward a World Handicap System in the years ahead.”

The USGA announced six “key changes,” five of which are pretty benign.

From clarifying the definition of a tournament round to adjusting scores when a player fails to hole out, the USGA just put some new lingo into its handicapping system guidelines to cover its bases. One of the key changes was pointing out that if a player anchors his or her club during the round and doesn’t assess the correct penalty, that score is not allowed to be posted, which seems redundant.

However, the one change that has brought the USGA back into its comfort zone of general disdain is this…

To read the rest of this article, including comments from the USGA, go here!

Source: Back9Network.com   Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway

Pictures: Golf Digest   Getty Images.

Thanks for reading – Hey USGA – What about the spirit of the golf game?

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Things Every Beginner Golfer Should Know before Playing!

Things Every Beginner Golfer Should Know before Playing!

Things Every Beginner Golfer Should Know before Playing!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

This is a great article that I wish every beginner golfer would read before ever venturing out on a golf course.  It would make things a lot easier on them if they felt confident that they knew the proper etiquette.  So many golfers have indicated to me that they do not feel comfortable playing with anyone other than their spouse or friend because they are scared they will “mess up.”  Golf Digest has put together a great list of 42 things a beginner needs to know.  Read on!

1. How to mark your ball.

 
Thanks for reading – Things Every Beginner Golfer Should Know before Playing!

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Rules of Golf - Unplayable Lie - learn to do it right!

Rules of Golf – Unplayable Lie – learn to do it right!

Rules of Golf – Unplayable Lie – learn to do it right!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

In order to play golf correctly, you need to play by the rules of the game!  

As I have said many times in my posts, if you play golf for fun, don’t take the rules too seriously and maybe make up some of your own!  The famous country singer Willie Nelson has a ton of his own (illegal) rules! However, if you are playing in a competition or against another player, adhering to golf rules is necessary to keep a level playing field.  Remember, the rules are mostly there to help you, not hinder you.

The unplayable lie rule gives the player 3 options on how to proceed. Brent McLaughlin, Golf Canada‘s Director of Rules, Competitions, and Amateur Status, discusses all 3 options.

Source: Golf Canada

Thanks for watching Rules of Golf – Unplayable Lie – learn to do it right!

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12 of the Craziest Rules decisions in the History of Golf!

12 of the Craziest Rules decisions in the History of Golf!

12 of the Craziest Rules decisions in the History of Golf!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

As golfers, we like to play by the rules! (I hope)

There are 32 rules, but many sections and subsections make knowing the rules by heart almost impossible!  However, that being said, I think that if you play this game for a living, you should know the rules inside and out!  I once read that Anika Sorenstam attended a Rules Clinic put on by the USGA, and the following week she sent her caddie!  Now that’s smart.  Some of these violations are just plain dumb, and the player deserves a penalty. But some of the rules feature penalties that I feel are too harsh, like the one regarding the extra driver in Ian Woosnam’s bag a few years ago. You are penalized 2 shots if found to be carrying more than 14 clubs.  Woosnam never used the extra club, but it cost him an opportunity to win the British Open Championship.  

GOLF.com provides us with 12 such decisions.  Enjoy!

12 of the Craziest Rules decisions in the History of Golf!


The expansive, complicated Rules of Golf have always caused a lot of grumbling among professional and recreational players alike. Here are some of the most infamous rules violations in the history of the game.

1. Tiger Woods and the Drop Heard ‘Round the World

Photo: John W. McDonough For Sports Illustrated
Tiger Woods makes an incorrect drop during the 2013 Masters.

12 of the Craziest Rules decisions in the History of Golf!
The holy grail of rules incidents, Tiger Woods was penalized two strokes after-the-fact for making an illegal drop on the 15th hole in the second round of the 2013 Masters, despite having signed an incorrect scorecard, which normally leads to a disqualification. Woods did not know he had broken a rule, and it was only when the Augusta officials investigated it after the round that the violation was noticed. Why wasn’t he disqualified? Augusta officials cited relatively new Rule 33 that states “that disqualification can be waived at the committee’s discretion.”

2. The Unconceded Putt at the 2015 Solheim Cup

Photo: Getty Images
Solheim Cup players argue over the Alison Lee’s unconceded putt at the 2015 event.

12 of the Craziest Rules decisions in the History of Golf!
During Saturday of the 2015 Solheim Cup, Americans Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome were in a tight match with Europeans Charley Hull and Suzann Pettersen. Lee missed a short putt for a birdie on the 17th and then picked up her ball under the assumption Europe had conceded — Hull and Pettersen were already walking toward the last hole — only for Pettersen to claim Europe hadn’t conceded the short putt.

The umpire intervened and Europe was awarded the hole. The altercation drew on-course tears from two of the players and ignited debate throughout the golf world. Lee explained her reasoning after the match:
“I missed it but I had just under two feet, like a foot and a half left coming back. And I looked at it and I thought I heard it was good,” Lee said. “To me it looked good. I mean, it was a really short putt, easy putt.

And at the same time Charley was walking off the green and Suzann was already off the green so there was no doubt in my mind that that putt was good. I didn’t even think twice about it. So I just picked it up.”

3. Dustin Johnson and ‘Bunkergate’ at the 2010 PGA

Dustin Johnson hits out of a waste bunker at the 2010 PGA Championship.
After finishing the 72nd hole of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Dustin Johnson believed he had made it into a playoff. But Johnson had unknowingly played his second shot on 18 from a waste bunker and grounded his club. The ensuing two-stroke penalty knocked him out of the playoff.

4. Bobby Jones Calls Penalty on Himself at 1925 U.S. Open

Bobby Jones during the 1923 U.S. Open.
At the 1925 U.S. Open, Bobby Jones moved his ball slightly while setting up for a shot. No one saw it, but Jones was adamant that the ball had moved and assessed himself a one-stroke penalty, costing him the win, as he went on to lose in a playoff. Praised for his classy move, Jones quipped, “You might as well praise me for not robbing banks.”
Ian Woosnam Doubles Up on Drivers at 2001 British Open Photo: AP

5. Ian Woosnam flings his second driver into the woods at the 2011 British Open.

Bobby Jones during the 1923 U.S. Open.


Ian Woosnam was in position to win in the final round of the 2001 British Open when his caddie Miles Byrne spoke up: “You’re going to go ballistic,” Byrne told him. “We’ve got two drivers in the bag.” That meant Woosnam was carrying 15 clubs, a two-stroke penalty. He then flung the extra driver into the woods.

To read the rest of these infamous rules decisions, go here!

Source: GOLF.com

Pictures: John W. McDonough For Sports Illustrated   Getty Images   John Biever for Sports Illustrated   Bettmann/CORBIS    AP

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