Let's Talk About The Rules
There is so much talk about the Rules of Golf, with the hot topic of today being the use of the anchored putting stroke. It seems kind of silly to me, actually, even though I am one of the most pure of the "purists" about our game.

Even with my own putting woes, I have not even given thought to that solution, and won't even stray off toward non-traditional approaches like left-hand-low or the claw. Maybe that traditional bent is also fused with my "hard-headed Dutchman" upbringing.

In a discussion about this the other day, the conversation ventured off into just how many golfers play "strictly" by the rules, as they are written, with no variations for convenience. I suggest it probably is a relatively small percentage, actually, and mostly limited to those members of the best private clubs. But I certainly might be wrong, so I would like for you guys to sound off on the following topics:
  1. Do you ALWAYS play the ball as you find it? The Rules of Golf are pretty unbending here, but do you play the game that way? Or do you occasionally / frequently / always bump the ball to a better lie because of the kind of course conditioning you encounter?

  2. Do you ALWAYS putt out? The basic notion of golf is to finish every hole, but how many of us really do that? Do your buddies hit the short ones back to you often/always? And how do you define a "short one"? The original notion of "the leather" was the length of the putter grip, but it seems to have evolved to the distance from the putter head to the grip. What's your take here, readers?

  3. Do you ever take a mulligan? Enough said.

  4. Do you ever hit a practice shot in the middle of a round? Maybe make another stroke at that putt you just missed? In match play, that's OK — but not in medal play. What do you do?

  5. Do you carry only 14 clubs? Most club events I've played in waive the 14-club limit, but what does your bag include?

I'm really curious about how we all play the game recreationally, so please sound off with your thoughts on this topic. And do our little "indiscretions" with the Rules of Golf really damage the game? Or make it more enjoyable?

I'm listening...
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[ comments ]
Torleif Sorenson says:
  1. Always. And if I don't have a play, it's an unplayable lie and a penalty. The Rules of Golf say so.

  2. Yes, because The Rules of Golf for medal play say so.

  3. No. The Rules of Golf say mulligans are illegal.

  4. Only during a practice round, where I don't instead to post a legitimate score to my GHIN account.

  5. My bag includes only 14 clubs, because The Rules of Golf say so.

"To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."
— Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th President of the United States
ally1957 says:
Yes I play but the rules

1. Always dont usually pick up on prefered lies. Bad weather golf for those that live in the southern states.

2 Always put out love that clunk! as the ball hits the bottom of the cup (missed loads of 12" putts)

3. Not ever just imagine takeing a mulligan on the first shooting a 89 and it not counting 'cause you cheated on the first

4. missed it. try harder on next hole.

5. Frequently play with 10 clubs (just irons)guy I play with has 15 and sometimes more.
MSchad says:
1.Do you ALWAYS play the ball as you find it?
NO.... If it is on exposed ground in the fairway or rough with visible rocks, I move it. Other than that, it is a penalty.

2.Do you ALWAYS putt out?
NO.... Playing partners some times hit the short ones back to me. Otherwise, YES.

3.Do you ever take a mulligan?
YES... Cold 6:00 am tee off times w/o a warmup. Been known to do it on rare occassion.

4.Do you ever hit a practice shot in the middle of a round? Maybe make another stroke at that putt you just missed?
NO and YES respectively.

5.Do you carry only 14 clubs?
tm1221 says:
Do you ALWAYS play the ball as you find it? Yes, unless in a tourney where if conditions warrant we play lift, clean and cheat errrr place.

Do you ALWAYS putt out? Once in a while a friend will knock one back to me, but outside of that I always putt out.

Do you ever take a mulligan? Enough said. No

Do you ever hit a practice shot in the middle of a round? Maybe make another stroke at that putt you just missed? In match play, that's OK — but not in medal play. What do you do? Never a practice shot, but once in a while a practice putt

Do you carry only 14 clubs? Most club events I've played in waive the 14-club limit, but what does your bag include? Yes
TT97 says:
In a tournament I play to the Rules of Golf including playing the ball as it is found unless the Rules allow the ball to be moved, putting everything out and no mulligans. During non-tournament rounds, I will takes gimmies and some times not finish a hole if I have reached my ESC score.

Also, unless you are playing on the PGA Tour (or other tournament in which the Committee has prohibited as a conditions of a competition), Rule 7-2 allows practice on the putting green of the hole last played during stroke or match play.
scottishguyiniowa says:
1. Play it as it lies unless the tournament rules put you at a disadvantage where you do not.
2. Always putt out unless you're playing with other people and gimmies are allowed by partners or tournament rules.
3. Mulligans..... Never!
4. Practice during play: only during matchplay while waiting for the next hole to clear
5. 14 clubs: Only time I might have more is during practice trying out a new club
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