Rules in club comps

Jaco

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A slightly vague question, but how much knowledge of the rules do you need when playing in club comps?

Everyone says they are one of the best things about joining a GC, but how much are you expected to know and how much do you just ask?

An example, I hit my ball in the rough, look for it, can't find it.....where exactly do I play my next shot from and what's the penalty?

It probably sounds insignificant to most people, but if you don't know, you don't know. And nobody wants to feel awkward, playing with an opponent they've never met.
 

Lord Tyrion

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Next time you play, tell your playing partners that you are unsure of the rules and could they help as you go round. Unless you are playing with an absolute numpty they will be happy to guide you.

I have no issue asking questions of my playing partners, never be embarrassed about that. They will appreciate that far more than you guessing a rule and them feeling awkward about having to penalise you.
 

Backache

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A slightly vague question, but how much knowledge of the rules do you need when playing in club comps?

Everyone says they are one of the best things about joining a GC, but how much are you expected to know and how much do you just ask?

An example, I hit my ball in the rough, look for it, can't find it.....where exactly do I play my next shot from and what's the penalty?

It probably sounds insignificant to most people, but if you don't know, you don't know. And nobody wants to feel awkward, playing with an opponent they've never met.
Nobody knows all the rules and explaining on the tee that you are new and may need guidance on the rules is not a bad idea. (You cannot ask for guidance in how to play it's against the rules)
In the specific question you are asking if you lose a ball outside a penalty area you have to go back and play a ball from where you played the previous one by dropping it at the nearest place unless it was from the tee when you can re tee it . You lose one stroke. ie If it was a tee shot the shot you are now playing is your third.

To prevent having to do this you are allowed to play a provisional ball in case you lose that if you think you may have done. .
You can if playing a Stableford just carry on and score nothing for that hole. If playing a medal you cannot return a score without competing the hole though you can carry on playing the round and return a card for handicap purposes counting an incomplete hole as a nett double bogey.
 

BiMGuy

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Download the R&A rules app. There are also some rules quizzes you can do to further your knowledge.

Ask playing partners if you are unsure, but understand there are a lot, a very lot of players who think they know the rules, but don’t.
 
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You’re not going to have any issues by saying “I don’t know the rules” so please don’t feel put off for that reason!

If you lose your ball in the rough, your only option is to return to where you played your last shot from. (Stroke & distance penalty). Therefore, if you’re ever in doubt about finding it, play a provisional ball to ensure you don’t have to run back and to keep the pace of play. (Probs my #1 tip… always hit provisionals if you’re not sure.)

However, understanding the basics is important as you can often use the rules to your advantage.

For example:
“If you are in a situation where you don’t want to or don’t think you can play your ball, you always have the option of taking relief under the unplayable ball Rule. You are the only person who can decide that your ball is unplayable, and this can be done anywhere on the golf course except when your ball lies in a penalty area. If your ball is in a penalty area, your only relief option is to take relief under the penalty area Rule.

When you decide that your ball is unplayable, you have three relief options, all for one penalty stroke. Your first option is to go back to the spot of your previous stroke and play again (stroke and distance relief). Your second option is to go back as far as you’d like and drop on the line from the hole through the spot where the ball lies (back-on-the-line relief). Your third option is to drop anywhere within two club-lengths of where your ball lies, no closer to the hole (lateral relief).“
 

Billysboots

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I wouldn’t be in the least bit embarrassed by admitting you’re not sure about the rules. If truth be known, the majority of club golfers have a working knowledge of them, at best.

As suggested by others, download the official R & A rules app to your phone. Dead easy to use.
 

Springveldt

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A slightly vague question, but how much knowledge of the rules do you need when playing in club comps?

Everyone says they are one of the best things about joining a GC, but how much are you expected to know and how much do you just ask?

An example, I hit my ball in the rough, look for it, can't find it.....where exactly do I play my next shot from and what's the penalty?

It probably sounds insignificant to most people, but if you don't know, you don't know. And nobody wants to feel awkward, playing with an opponent they've never met.
I was the same when I joined a club back in 2016. I just mentioned to my playing partners that I had just taken up the game again I wasn't 100% sure of the rules and the etiquette so if they could guide me it would be appreciated. It was mostly the etiquette I needed guidance on as I kept standing on peoples lines, would try and mark a card on the green, would play out of turn (before ready golf) etc. Stupid stuff like that. I remember my mate killing himself laughing at me before I played my first match play comp game as I asked him if I needed to help the other guy find his ball if he hit it in the trees. He said "why wouldn't you?" and I said "cause I don't want him to find it?". He got a good chuckle out of that.

I also needed someone to explain Stableford to me as I'd never played it before and was completely bamboozled for a few holes.
 

timd77

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It’s definitely worth knowing the basics before you go out, although as others have said, most playing partners will be more than happy to help.

Saying that, not all experienced players know the rules. In my first ever comp, in fact, first ever competitive round, I asked for help from a playing partner. Ball was in a thorny bush, no way I could play it so he told me I can declare it unplayable for 2 shots and take 2 clubs relief. I took his advice, 2 clubs barely got me out and so I ended up chopping it out. Think I recorded an 8 on a par 4, probably would’ve been a 5 or 6 had I known the actual rules.

More recently, I ended up in a green side bunker under repair, where you can take relief at the nearest point, not nearer the hole. Not stopping to think, I dropped it behind the bunker, tried to chip it over and onto the green but just duffed it back into the bunker. Dropped again and managed to get it over. Only the following week when a playing partner had the same situation, did I remember that the nearest point was actually green side of the bunker, would’ve had an easy little chip down the green!

Live and learn.
 

D-S

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Try doing level 1 in the R and A rules academy. It guides you through various typical scenarios and if you want you can take the multiple exam at the end, over 60% and you’re level 1 qualified. Only takes about an hour all in and you will get a good appreciation of the rules and maybe an interest too.
I would personally make it mandatory to have done this before entering comps (in other words playing for my money), as important, in my view as x qualifiers in 6 time before you can win any prizes.
 

JayB

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I would suggest, like others, at least having a basic knowledge. Most people are genuine are helpful but I'd be more concerned about the one who takes advantage to there own benefit.

I've seen quite a few weird and wonderful interpretations of rules to get people out of awkward spots.
 

chrisd

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I definitely agree that you should tell those that you're playing with that you would like help if a rules situation happens, and the penalty if there is one. It really pays to read up on rules situations as many of your fellow competitors will get them wrong, and you'd hate to lose a comp with a wrong decision, and believe me, most members of Clubs aren't anywhere as good with rules as you'd think.
 

HomerJSimpson

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I carry the players version of the rule book in a sandwich bag (to keep it dry) in case I don't have the phone in my bag. Nice natty A5 size although thats an irrelevant moan. If I wasn't sure and none of my PP's knew I'd simply look up lost ball and explain the options, which rule it was (and page number if they really wanted it)
 

Backsticks

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Next time you play, tell your playing partners that you are unsure of the rules and could they help as you go round. Unless you are playing with an absolute numpty they will be happy to guide you.

I have no issue asking questions of my playing partners, never be embarrassed about that. They will appreciate that far more than you guessing a rule and them feeling awkward about having to penalise you.
Yes, you always get a better outcome if you ask your playing partners. They will be sympathetic, and generally come to a favourable common sense suggestion that gives you the benefit of any doubt. Checking the rule book risks just making everyone more confused and delays getting on with the game.
 

rulie

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Download the R&A rules app. There are also some rules quizzes you can do to further your knowledge.

Ask playing partners if you are unsure, but understand there are a lot, a very lot of players who think they know the rules, but don’t.
Be aware that everything in that Golf Digest article is not correct!!!
 

HomerJSimpson

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Yes, you always get a better outcome if you ask your playing partners. They will be sympathetic, and generally come to a favourable common sense suggestion that gives you the benefit of any doubt. Checking the rule book risks just making everyone more confused and delays getting on with the game.
It depends. If I was a comp I'd certainly want to proceed and my PP's to proceed in full accordance of the rules and so if we needed to consult a rule book I'd be more than happy to wave a group through if necessary
 

jim8flog

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I carry the players version of the rule book in a sandwich bag (to keep it dry) in case I don't have the phone in my bag. Nice natty A5 size although thats an irrelevant moan. If I wasn't sure and none of my PP's knew I'd simply look up lost ball and explain the options, which rule it was (and page number if they really wanted it)


Did you buy it or are you still using the 2020 - 2023 book which is now out of date?
 

HomerJSimpson

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Did you buy it or are you still using the 2020 - 2023 book which is now out of date?
 
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