Rules Are Rules – They Make It A Game
June 7, 2012 by DCM Junior Golf Staff
We have watched a lot of junior golf over the years and as expected the knowledge of The Rules of Golf is all over the place. It’s very surprising to know that many juniors don’t even carry a copy of The Rules in their bag let alone become knowledgeable on The Rules. We have seen tours attempt to give rules clinics either before the season starts or perhaps at a tournament site prior to the first round or between rounds. We have seen “mandatory” online review of certain rules, sometimes followed by a mini-quiz. None seemed particularly successful.
The most disheartening thing about this situation is some juniors do know The Rules, properly apply them, and even correctly self-apply them and penalize themselves. This is great and the way the game is to be played. The problem is this: One junior has taken the time to learn The Rules and correctly applies a penalty while the junior on the other fairway commits the same penalty, doesn’t know it was a rules infraction and fails to penalize him/herself. Of course, other fellow competitors are supposed to be keeping a watchful eye to ensure that everyone in their group abides by The Rules, but this isn’t always practicable which is why The Rules require you to honor the game by calling the penalty on yourself. There is also the situation where everyone in the playing group is ignorant to The Rules so they wouldn’t know a rules infraction if they saw one.
Juniors, learn The Rules of Golf. It’s a great game. The Rules are there to make it a game. Without rules, it’s just knocking a ball around a field for no particular reason. We all know it’s a game that can be won or lost by one single stroke. Protect your fellow competitors and the integrity of the game. It’s your responsibility to ensure that not only you are playing by the rules but that every competitor in the field is also playing by the same rules.
Here is a link to the United States Golf Association’s website page that provides great information on The Rules of Golf. They even have quizzes you can take to test and improve your knowledge of The Rules (look on the left side of the page for Rules Quizzes). Get a recent version of The Rules of Golf, read it, and keep it in your bag. The most recent set of rules went into play on January 1, 2012. The next revision is not due to take effect until 2016.
To all you tournament organizers out there, especially those that run an entire season tour, why don’t you hand out The Rules of Golf to every one of your registered competitors? Why isn’t it a part of your membership package? Why don’t we see more mandatory rules instruction as a prerequisite to competing?
Below is a link to an article on two recent rulings that were similar and occurred separately, on the European Tour and the PGA Tour. Both involve playing the ball from the wrong place. Take the time to read the article and learn from it.