News From Terre Haute, Indiana

On & Off the Course

September 20, 2009

On and Off the Course: The obscure of golf's rulebook

TERRE HAUTE — Golfers know that the rules that govern the game are abundant. The game originated in the 15th century on the links of Scotland, and somehow as time went on and people became more civilized, rules were adopted.

Apparently, bashing one’s opponent with a cleek was an unfair way to settle an argument. Since the Royal and Ancient first formed a Rules Committee in 1897, rules have been interpreted, added, updated and changed, giving us the “34” rules that we have today, although each of those 34 rules has amendments and decisions to go with them.

The rules governing relief from abnormal ground conditions have changed over time. The original sand bunkers were made by sheep making burrows to protect themselves from the strong Scottish wind.

Therefore, early golfers pretty much played the ball as it lied, and were not granted much in the way of relief. In 1812 and 1829 however, rules were written granting no relief for a ball in a rabbit scrape — the player must play it as from any common hazard — but from a rabbit burrow the player could drop behind and play with an iron.

Golfers at the Old Course in Scotland battled for control of the links with rabbit farmers until the 1820s, causing burrows and scrapes to be mentioned. The 1947 version of the USGA Rules of Golf adopted similar rules, allowing relief for holes, casts and runways made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.

What about goose excrement? While it’s not specifically mentioned in the USGA rules, I’m assuming that those courses that have to deal with that problem have a local rule about that. And if the courses haven’t publicized a local rule, hopefully common sense would prevail and all the players would agree that relief was the best option!

The replacement of broken clubs during a round can be another misunderstood rule. Basically, if a club is broken during the normal course of play, such as by hitting a tree on a follow-through, it may be replaced. A club broken in anger during a round cannot be replaced. A club being used as a cane that gets broken, it turns out, is considered to be during the normal course of play and it can be replaced.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
On & Off the Course
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Gaza Official: at Least 100 Killed Tuesday Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010