If you are interested in learning how to play golf, but you are worried that the rules are too complicated, this list is for you. The core rules of golf are actually easy to grasp and friends and family can help you learn as you practice. Take a look at these eight basic rules to get you started.
Count the golf clubs in your bag
During a competitive round of golf, you are allowed to have up to fourteen clubs in your bag, but you can carry less. Be sure you do not go over that number because if you play with more than allowed, you will have penalty strokes for every hole. For example, in the 2001 Open Championship, Ian Woosnam had two strokes deducted because he had fifteen clubs in his bag.
Stay inside the parameters of the tee
Even seasoned golfers find the first tee shot of a round challenging. One of the most important golf rules to remember is to tee up behind and between the correct markers. Red is usually the marker for women’s tee, yellow is for men, and white tees are usually for competition play. Because there are so many rules to remember, it can be easy to forget this one. If you do forget, the penalty is two shots in stroke-play for teeing up outside the parameters.
Do not play the wrong golf ball
Many golf balls have similar stamps, so you should mark yours with a personal and special symbol before you start a game. If you do play the wrong ball, you may have a loss of hole in singles, and in stroke-play you will get a two stroke penalty. If your ball lands in the rough or another area where there is more than one ball in play, let other players know. You may then mark the ball with a tee peg, lift it carefully and then put it back in the exact same place. You are within your rights to follow this procedure according to Rule 15-1.
Key rules regarding the green
Here are some important golf rules to know when you reach the green. After your ball has come to rest on the putting surface, you are allowed to mark it with a spot or a coin. You then may lift the ball and clean it, but be sure to put it back in the same spot. Before the completion of the hole, you are allowed to repair any pitch-marks or other damages like spike marks. Rule 17 says that when putting, you may have the flag stick in the hole, lifted, or on the ground, but you must not strike it with the ball.
Your golf ball must be played as it lies
This rule means that you must play your ball wherever it comes to rest, without moving it before your shot. However, there are some exemptions to this regulation, like the removal of “loose impediments” such as litter, leaves, and debris. You receive “free relief” from obstructions which include man made paths, sprinklers, and drainage. This information is included in Rule 13-1, which allows you to drop your golf ball within one length of a club at the nearest relief point.
If your ball rests in an unplayable position, you can choose what to do from three options. First, you may choose to hit another ball from the point where you took your previous shot. Your second option is to drop your ball no further than two golf club lengths on either side of the unplayable lie. Third, you can drop your ball as far as you wish behind the unplayable lie, as long as you keep your original lie between your new position and the hole.
Rule 28 includes a one stroke penalty no matter which option you choose.
What happens when you go out of bounds?
It is considered out of bounds in golf if you hit the ball beyond the defined area of the course. Each boundary is usually marked with white stakes on each hole. When this situation occurs, you must re-play the ball from your original position. This adds a penalty of one stroke as well. Course scorecards are marked with descriptions or maps of the course boundaries. Be sure to play a provisional and declare it if your shot has gone into a water hazard or out of bounds.
Asking for golf advice
Golf is a solitary game, even though you are sociable with others who are playing with you. Your caddie or a teammate are the only people that you can ask about the selection of a club. Do not offer advice to your opponents. Rule 8-1 says that you may ask for information about positions of hazards, the flagstick, distances, or the rules, however.
Understand ball striking
Striking the ball involves technique, but it also is partly governed by the rules of golf. For example, in an awkward stance and a difficult lie, you have to use the head of the club to strike the ball. Rule 14-1 states that you get a two shot penalty if you hit the ball in a way that is not considered a stroke. In a singles match, you get a loss of the entire hole.
Learn how to play golf from the experts
If you would like to learn to play golf or improve your game, the professionals at the The Academy of Golf Dynamics can help. Call us at (512) 261-3300
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