Ignorance is not bliss

2011-03-10 00:00

THE rules state that knowing the rules of golf is the player’s responsibility.

A golfer can learn the rules of golf in different ways. If a golfer is new to the game, it’s advisable to read the rule book and it’s perfect for a toilet book; you can open it anywhere and read up on any rule.

This may be a bit laborious but another way is to just play each week and pick up certain rules as situations arise. One thing for sure, if you have been disqualified for breaching a rule, you will never forget that particular rule.

Ignorance is no excuse and the rules don’t distinguish between a beginner and an old, experienced senior.

Golfers who have been playing the game for some time generally know the rules quite well but that little rule book is revised every five years or so and this causes problems.

In January 2012 there will be a new edition available and most golfers will pick one up and either take it home or put it the golf bag. They will have a casual glance through it without taking too much notice because most of the rules don’t change.

However, there will be some changes and that is the reason for a new edition.

In recent years the rule book has become easier to understand interpret, but the most important section is in the front of the book under the heading, “Principal Changes”.

This section is a must-read for all golfers.

In the locker room a couple of weeks ago, an older golfer was asked by a young member about his ball in a hazard.

The older golfer said, “You don’t have to identify your ball in any hazard, you can just hit it and if you later discover that it’s not yours there’s no penalty.”

Wrong. That rule had applied for time immemorial but it changed in January 2008 and was mentioned in the Changes section.

So even now, with a short nine months before the new edition, open the rule book to page six and read the four pages, it just may be worth your while.

It could save you some embarrassment.


Last weekend’s results:

Victoria Country Club held a four-ball alliance on Saturday. The winning team on 96 points was B. Sherriffs, G. Ayres, P. Muller and G. Palmer. In second place were R. Morrison, C. Immelman, R. Sidey and A. Blackbeard with 92 points.

Maritzburg Golf Club had a four-ball betterball Stableford competition on Saturday sponsored by Scottsville School. The winners on 50 points were A. Morgan and R. Phalad. In second place were P. Dickinson and G. Reddy on 48 points.


From the 19th hole:

Alice and Sarah are chatting in the clubhouse after a round of golf when Alice says to Sarah: “My feelings have changed towards him, so I have broken off the engagement.”

Sarah says: “But why are you still wearing his ring?”

Alice replies: “Because my feelings for the ring haven’t changed.”

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