When it comes to the rules of golf, one must pay attention

2008-10-28 00:00

There are three key words in the Rules of Golf that need to be fully understood. They are may, should and must.

The new Rule Book is now written in a precise and deliberate fashion and mentions these words on page 17 in an effort to assist golfers in using the book efficiently and accurately. It is important for a golfer to know what is allowed in the playing of the game. The little book explains that, over the years, some rules have changed from “may” to must. It sounds obvious, but some weekend golfers are not “playing the game”.

“May” means the action is optional, “should” means the action is recommended but not mandatory and “must” means it is an instruction and there is a penalty if it is not carried out. In a number of instances, the word “should” has been changed to “must”.

One specific change came into force in the year 2000 and, surprisingly, is still not being observed by all golfers. This concerns the lifting of the ball. Whenever the ball is lifted, it must be marked.

This means through the green, for example, in ground under repair, greenkeeper’s rubble, dropping away from a young tree and so on. The most common occasion of lifting the ball is on the fairway when placing by hand is permitted. If you don’t mark the position of the ball before it is lifted from its position, you will incur a one-stroke penalty. You cannot just pick up the ball and place it; it is a penalty of one stroke: see rule 20. In any case, the best policy is to play the ball as it lies. Look at the back cover of the 2008 to 2011 Rule Book — that says it all.

Results from last weekend:

Maritzburg Golf Club held a three ball alliance on Saturday. The winning combination was Derek Bottomley, Russell Cumming and Shakey Norman on 81 points. On a count-out on 77 points, second place went to Albert Feine, Erwin Fortmann and Charles Severn.

The Centenary Plate was won by Lindsay Combrink, Ulrich Vosloo and captain Alan Grant with 77 points.

On Saturday, Victoria Country Club held a four ball betterball Stableford competition. The winners on 41 points were Barry and Tish Kauffman. In second place were Oliver Hart and Oliver James with 40 points.

From the 19th Hole:

“What would you do if I died?” asked the wife.

“I would be very upset, but why do you ask such a horrid question?” replied the husband.

“Would you re-marry?” asked the wife.

“No, I don’t think so,” said the husband.

“Do you like being married?” continued the wife.

“All right, I’d re-marry then,” said the husband, doing his best to end the conversation.

“I see,” said the wife indignantly, “and would you let her wear my old clothes?”

“I suppose so, if she wanted to,” stammered the husband. “It would be a compliment to your taste if she did.”

“Really?’ said the wife icily.

“And would you take down my photos and replace them with hers?”

“Wouldn’t that be the correct thing to do?” he replied.

“Is that so!” she said leaping to her feet.

“And I suppose you would let her play with my golf clubs too?”

“No,” he said “She’s left-handed.”

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