If you are about to head off to one of our Suffolk golf holidays, then we’re pretty sure that you’ll be on par with the majority of rules and etiquette required to play a round of golf without any troubles. We all know that golf is a quirky sport at the best of times, but factor in some of the most bizarre rules you can imagine and it starts to resemble crazy golf more so than the real game.
Why don’t you let us enlighten you on some of the oddest rulings of golf, both for education and entertainment? Here are seven that, yes, really do exist!
· There’s a limit to the number of clubs you may carry in your bag (14). This rule was applied in 1939. Before this time, it was acceptable to place as many clubs in your bag as you wanted on the course!
· You are not permitted to clean your ball if it is on the grass. Should you make the mistake of picking it up to clean it off, you’re considered to be breaking rule 7-2, which states that you are, whether inadvertently or otherwise, testing the surface.
· If you play a shot and your ball lands on the green, striking another ball that’s on the green, you then have no choice but to take a two stroke penalty. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t aiming for it and didn’t want to hit the other ball, you must accept the penalty.
· If you are playing in a competition, each time you finish, you are expected and required to head to the clubhouse to sign your scorecard and hand it in. Forget to sign your scorecard and you may as well not have played that round as you’ll be disqualified. An example of this came in 1966 when Doug Sanders was competing at the Pensacola Open. After working his way to a four shot lead by the end of the second round, Sanders forgot to sign the scorecard and was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
· If your clubhead falls off during your backswing, and you finish your swing but miss the ball in the process, you don’t expect to count this as a stroke. However, should your clubhead fall off during the downswing, and you complete the swing but miss the ball, this stands as an attempt at the ball, therefore counting as a stroke.
· If you play a shot and the ball ends up in the clubhouse, and the clubhouse isn’t deemed out-of-bounds, you are, within the rules of the game, allowed to open a door or window to play your next shot without risk of incurring a penalty.
· If you’re out on the course on a pleasant morning and there’s dew around, don’t be tempted to wipe off the dew that the ball picks up during play. If you do, then you’re breaking rule 13-2 – picking up a two-stroke penalty in doing so. Water, dew, or frost is only permitted to be removed on the tee box prior to hitting the ball.