Golf has some important rules that not many weekend golfers might know, or at least, they don’t know the full details of each rule. It’s good to review the rules on occasion because simply put — you should know them! Adhere to them whenever you play. They may save you a stroke or two in a sticky situation.
Here are some of the most important rules you should remember:
1. Water Hazards
Golf’s rules define a water hazard as any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface draining ditch, or other open water course (whether or not containing water), and anything of a similar nature. Courses mark water hazards with yellow stakes and lines.
If you hit into water you have four options:
Play the ball as near as possible to the spot from which the original ball was played.
Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the ball entered the water’s edge, directly behind the hole and the spot where the ball is dropped. There’s no limit to how far back the ball may be dropped, as long as the point of crossing lies between the drop and the hole.
Play the ball as it lies in the water hazard.
If a ball goes into a lateral water hazard, drop a ball away from the hazard, but within two club lengths of the point from which the ball last crossed the water. However, the ball can’t come to rest any closer to the hole than the point at which the first ball crossed the hazard.
2. Putting Wait Time
You’re on the green and you’re ready to make your 6 ft putt. You’re feeling confident, the line is setup correctly and the speed is good. You think to yourself, “this is a done deal!” But the ball stops just at the lip of the cup. How long can you wait for the ball to drop into the cup. According to rule 16-2, you can wait the time it takes you to reach the hole plus 10 seconds. By the way, there’s no penalty for allowing a ball stay in the cup and letting the next player’s ball land on it.
3. White Stakes
White stakes on a course indicate out-of-bounds. You have only one option under Rule 27, the dreaded stroke and distance penalty. Add a stroke and drop a ball as close as possible to where you last played. To keep play moving when you might be OB, play a provisional ball under Rule 27-2.
4. Lost Ball
So you just hit your ball deep into the fairway rough. You look for the ball but can’t find it. You declare a lost ball, but after hitting a second ball you discover your original ball. Under Rule 27, once the ball is declared lost and another ball played you can’t play the original ball. However, what if the first ball went in the hole?
If the ball goes in the hole, the first ball would be counted, even if you hit a second ball. The first rule of golf states: The Game of Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules. The key words here are “into the hole.” Once the first ball when in the hole, the hole was over for the player. Once you’ve done that, your play of that hole is considered finished. You’ve completed play of a hole as soon as your ball finds the cup
These four rules come into play fairly frequently and the better you know them, the more knowledge you’ll have about the game and avoid any potential mistakes.
The Pros and Cons of Playing a Par-3 Course
“Pitch and Putt” Par 3 Course
Sometimes, you just want to have a nice relaxing round.
A great way to do that is play a par 3 course.
Playable: It is only a par 3. So it is relatively playable for the non golfer. Whether that is an old friend who has clubs but never plays, a kid or even your girlfriend. Par 3 courses are short enough to where even someone who tops the ball 9/10 times can have fun.
Walkable: Some people hate walking on a normal course. Par 3 courses are nice to walk because it isn’t all that much walking. 18 holes is going to be right around 3,000 yards compared to real courses that could be up to 6,500.
Time: Since the holes are smaller, they take less time to play. 18 holes will take a lot less time at a par 3 course. So if you are just trying to squeeze in some swings, this is a great option.
Irons: Unless you are very very old. Driver and woods are going to be staying in your bag most of the day. This means all irons. Which can be good. This is great time to get some practice with your irons and maybe even a hybrid on the longer holes.
Putting: Most of the time, when you hit a green in regulation, you are outside of 10 feet from the hole. Unless you are a PGA Tour pro. But this means you get to practice long lag putts, speed control and other things that come into long putts. Instead of you missing the green and chipping close.
Pace of Play: Because they are relatively easy and family friendly, the people at these courses suck. I recently got stuck behind a father and son playing and the father topped everything and the son would scream “Kobe” every time he swung as if he was mimicking Kobe Bryant.
Only Irons: You never really get to pull out the diesel stick or even 3 wood. So just keep them in your car so you aren’t tempted to do something stupid.
Price: Although it is a lot less course, most of the time the rates are the same as a normal par 72 course.
Par 3 courses can be fun and relaxing. Leave the expectations at your country club and just have a fun day.
Protected: The Most Effective Ways To Get Your Chipping On Point
What Type of Putter Should You Be Using?
blade vs mallet Putters
Jordan Spieth and his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 almost go hand in hand.
But at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Spieth put a Scotty Cameron Futura in his bag.
For those of you who don’t know, the Newport 2 is a blade style putter and the Futura is a mallet type putter.
This raises the question, what type of putter should you be using?
Recently we have seen many tour players gaming the TaylorMade Spider, which is also a larger mallet looking putter.
Here is an argument for both styles, and we will let you decide.
Lighter: For the most part this putter has less material so it will naturally be lighter. This may help players who have a smooth putting stroke already.
Lines: There are a lot of sight lines in a blade putter. Some are literally painted on it like a dot on the top of it. But a putter like a Newport 2, it has a lot of natural lines in the design that will help with alignment.
Feel: Because it is a smaller piece of material, it is easier to “feel” the putt. Saying that when you crank a putt you know and can feel it, or if you leave it short. With a mallet it is a bigger piece of material so the feel is lost in the bigness.
Heavier: Some may see this as a downfall, but if you tend to leave putts short, get a big mallet behind that little white ball and it will be flying towards the hole in no times.
Forgiving: Because the material is bigger, if you have a mishit and hit the ball not on the center of the face, it will go almost on the intended line. With a blade, mishits are a lot more exaggerated.
Alignment: Many people say because of the bulk of the putter; mallets are easier to align on your intended line towards the hole.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing with a putter is confidence. Some people don’t like the bulkiness of a mallet and say it looks ugly at address. If you are not confident looking down at the putt, you wont have a confident stroke. Confidence is key when putting. Pick your line and stick to it.
The Pros and Cons of Early Tee Times
The Early bird gets the worm
Everyone knows that one person that loves to get out and golf early in the morning.
But, with that early morning tee time comes its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of an early tee time
You Lead The Way: Nothing better than playing like you’re on your own private course. No on in front of you as soon as you finish a hole you can go right on the next tee. You get to play at your pace as long as no one is really rushing you from behind.
Fresh Greens: You get to play on greens that are virtually untouched. They haven’t been walked on all day and beaten up on. Tour players will attest to this, they prefer to play in earlier groups because the greens aren’t covered in spike marks and just generally worn on.
Get It Done With: This makes it kind of sound like a chore, but this means you can still have an afternoon to be productive. If you tee off before 7 am you will finish up in enough time to do stuff all evening.
Won’t Waste Money On Beer: Unless you are a freak, you wont be drinking too much beer at a 7 am tee time. Maybe one or two in the last couple holes.
Now for the disadvantages…
Frost Delays: Nothing worse than getting to a course, ready to go and there is a 45-minute frost delay. While you have already been at the range for 30 minutes. Throws everything off.
Forget Something: While you were hung over and stumbling out of the house to make you early tee time, you completely forgot to grab that dozen Pro V1’s out of the garage. Now you got to waste money and buy a few sleeves in the pro shop.
Too Early: Early in the morning your body isn’t fully awake. By 11 am you have done enough that your body is awake and naturally stretched out. Early in the morning you can be really stiff and almost still asleep. Stretchingbefore a morning round is pivotal.
Weather: Depending on the time of year, it can be pretty cold for early tee times, hence the frost delay. If it isn’t the summer months, morning tee times can be quite chilly.
Putting: First 4-5 holes will probably have dew on the greens, slowing your ball down. Once the sun comes up and dries the due off the greens, they will be playing a lot faster. Adjusting to this for a few holes may cost you a few strokes if you are unfamiliar with the greens.
Waking up alone is a chore for some people, so you make the call whether to reserve that early tee time or not.