When you watch a game of golf, what often strikes you is whether the game is really as easy as it looks. Players just hit the ball with their clubs to make it to the hole, and once done they earn high scores. Do you think the game ends so easily? Technically speaking, there are around thirty-four fundamental rules of playing golf. Although a lot of these rules are a bit complicated, they cannot be ignored at any cost on the course. Moreover, if you follow the rules correctly while playing a game, you will no doubt emerge to be a better golfer. So, once you start practicing the game of golf, make sure that you follow the rules side by side, or otherwise the chances of making mistakes will tend to grow with time.
So, if you are ready to step into the world of golf and willing to stay associated with it for the rest of your life, take note of the most crucial golfing rules that will certainly benefit you:
- Swap up to 14 clubs – It’s true that you have to take more than one club for your game. However, you cannot use more than 14 clubs for a round. Make sure that the clubs you are carrying can prove to be helpful for taking all possible shots. Don’t just take different clubs for the sake of them. You will be quite aware of the season as well as the course conditions. Accordingly, you will have an idea as to what type of clubs can help you clear off a round. Just be confident with all your clubs you will be taking.
- Do not play a practice stroke – A golfer can always go for a practice swing but not a practice stroke during a hole. However, one can always practice the chipping shots or putting near or on the putting green of the previously played hole. So, the more you practice swings, the better it is, because it is considered to be the most critical part of the game. It’s rather advisable to talk to a golf instructor who will be able to teach you the right swing techniques so that you can start mastering right from the start.
- Play the ball just as it lies – It is one of the basic golfing rules to play the ball just as it lies. To be precise, you cannot give any other treatment to the ball; you need to play it just as you will find it. When you will playing for a hole, you will not be allowed to touch the ball, only if the ball stays on the putting green. From here, you can only lift the ball for cleaning if it badly requires. However, if you are picking it up, you need to either keep or replace the same at the exact spot on the putting green.
- Just play ONE ball – While playing the ball, make sure that you play that one ball and not substitute it. If you find that the ball you are playing is not fit for play, you can then think of replacing it with a fresh one. For obvious reasons, you will have no other choice than replacing your existing ball in case it is lost. The tournament committee usually sticks to the one ball golf rule. In such cases, you need to obey the rule, or otherwise, you can consider another ball prior to starting another hole.
- Hit the ball past the water hazard – At every golf course, there is a water hazard and the golfer must aim to hit the shot over it. Water hazard is nothing but a water body that lies right on the path that is heading to the green. It is indicated by stakes or yellow lines. Now, if your ball lands up in the water hazard, you may still play the ball just as it lies. However, the ball must be playable, otherwise, you can simply drop the ball in respect to the one stroke penalty.
- Beware of grounding your club – As mentioned earlier, if your ball lands up in the water hazard, it would still be playable. However, make sure that your club head doesn’t touch the surface. This is called grounding the club, which is strictly prohibited as per the gold rules. The same rule also applies to sand bunkers, that is, the club head will also not touch the sand surface. If it happens, you will have to go for a penalty stroke.