Golf: Just One More Thing…

October 13, 2011
by Justin

When you first lay in that drive to the putter, and knock that golf ball into the deep blue sky, only to watch it enter that green horizon, and land just 2 ft. from dunking it in the hole; it’s exciting. However, when you’re called on an illegal 2ble swing, and are penalized for getting a little irate with the judges, it’s not as magical of a feeling. Luckily, for the most part, in golf, you have the freedom of playing without a referee or an umpire. The rules rely on the discipline and judgment of the player, and how they conduct themselves on the golf course. Golfers are to discipline themselves in like-manner with the USGA rules. For the most part, it is a gentlemen’s game, and players are rarely publicly humiliated because of their lack of a respect for the game. However, that’s why we have rules. Oh, and just one more thing, rules help the game to be allot more interesting.


You are a high school student awaiting the thrill of recruiting season, and you just scored a 91 in your last tournament. So, you probably don’t like hearing anything of rules and regulations coming your way, right? You feel that it is beyond you, and that you will play how you’ve been playing, and that the rules will just blend into your game, am I getting warm?


First off, we have to consider safety.

I’m sorry, what? Did you say safety, Caleb? Golf is one of the most mellow, quiet, safe sports in all planet earth, besides “Go Fish”.


Yes, safety, For as quiet as the sport is, there is nothing more dangerous than standing too close to a golfer ready to strike, and his nine-iron “quietly” flings into your right/left temple. Well, there are other more dangerous things, like waiving a steak in front of a roaring lion, or spanking a baboon. Nevertheless, safety is always paramount when playing golf.


According to USGA rules and regulations safety guidelines are very lenient, and not too strict. For instance, It is suggested that:

  1. Players should ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club, the ball or any stones, pebbles, twigs or the like when they make a stroke or practice swing.
  2. Players should not play until the players in front are out of range.
  3. Players should always alert green staff nearby or ahead when they are about to make a stroke that might endanger them.
If a player plays a ball in a direction where there is a danger of hitting someone, he should immediately shout a warning. The traditional word of warning in such a situation is “fore.”

See, they’re not that strenuous. They’re actually quite reasonable.


Remember not too long ago, I said that golf was a gentlemen’s sport?  Well, it definitely is. Consideration for other players even has its own section in the USGA rules. Golfers should always take these into consideration, not just for playing according to the rules, but for safety as well. For etiquette purposes,


Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making any unnecessary noise.
  2. Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players. 

On the teeing ground, a player should not tee his ball until it is his turn to play.
Players should not stand close to or directly behind the ball, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to play.
On the putting green, players should not stand on another player’s line of putt or when he is making a stroke, cast a shadow over his line of putt.
Players should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out. 
 In stroke play, a player who is acting as a marker should, if necessary, on the way to the next tee, check the score with the player concerned and record it.

Taken right out of the USGA Rules and Regulations book, these rules will help a concentrated golfer focus and hone in on his/her ability to win the game.


I hope at this point your eyes have not crossed yet? I only reiterate some of these detailed rules, because it’s in the details that we forget them. You are planning on competing nationally, if you haven’t already, and play for a college or university one day. If you thought high school was competitive and meticulous when it came to the rules of the game, wait till you play at the university level. Don’t let my rules talk bore you, but study it, and find out what it takes to become the best golfer a recruiter has ever laid eyes on, not just by your golf swing, but by the way you conduct yourselves according to the rules.


Oh, and one more thing…never lose that ability to have fun while your playing golf!


Join me next time, for more golfer news and information here on


Caleb is a sports writer and former athlete for You can also follow him on Facebook, and Twitter.

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