Saturday, 5 January 2008

R&A Rules (again)

The R&A, as you probably know, update the Rules of Golf every four years and have just published the new version. Granted it's never going to be book of the month, but it has an innovation that makes a lot of sense to me, namely a 'Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf ' that takes up less than 10 pages and precedes the 150 or so pages of full rules and appendices.
Apparently the 'Quick Guide' was available previously as a separate sheet, but putting it all together seems like a good move. As well as making it easier to find out basic information on the course, the Quick Guide would be an ideal introduction for beginners, as it covers all the main eventualities and is brief enough to be manageable.
So if you are harbouring a reluctance to get to grips with what's allowed and what's not, or what the penalties are for various infringements, here's a list of the rules in the Quick Guide.
  • Before and during the round (how many clubs, giving advice)
  • On the tee
  • Playing the ball
  • On the putting green
  • Ball at rest moved
  • Ball in motion deflected or stopped
  • Lifting, dropping and placing the ball
  • Ball assisting or interfering with play
  • Loose impediments
  • Movable obstructions
  • Immovable obstructions & abnormal ground conditions (with diagram!)
  • Water Hazards
  • Ball lost or out of bounds
  • Ball unplayable

Every section also directs the reader to the full version of the rule, should it be needed. And the book itself is free. We got one with Golf Monthly, but you'll also find them in golf clubs and pro shops.

Let's face it, there's no excuse for not getting to grips, though I have a tiny complaint. The type used for the main text is pale grey. I'm sitting here under a reading light to see it comfortably, so you may need your specs with you on the course! And as the book says, 'Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it. If you can't do either, play fair.'

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