Steve Ellis

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Golf’s Goofiest Rules

Posted By on December 8, 2014 in Golf |


I love golf and will most likely be playing any time I can. most people don't know all the rules to game and definitely don't read through the players handbook. Sometimes my playing partners and I get a little confused over some of the rules but sometimes there are rules that, in my opinion, nobody knows. Below are the goofiest rules in golf. Enjoy!

Searching/Identifying Ball Covered by Loose Impediments in a Hazard:

If you hit your ball into a bunker but can’t find it immediately, you may think its buried. If you move sand around and finally uncover your ball make sure you re-cover the ball with the sand. You can leave a small part of the ball visible. If the ball moves however, you can, at no penalty, replace it.

Note: If you hit the ball without re-covering it, according to Rule 12-1b, you will be penalized two strokes.

Ball Moving in Water:

If you happen to hit your ball into water (ie. a river) and the ball begins to move, you are allowed to make a stroke at that ball. According to Rule 14-6 you are allowed to swing at the ball.

On the other hand, you are not allowed to do is postpone making your stroke to allow for the current of the water to improve your ball position or lie.

Touching a Loose Impediment in a Hazard

If you hit your ball into a bunker and the ball lies quite well, however by some means an impeding object lands behind, in front, or generally around your ball, you can do something. If you opt to move the pine cone and play your shot, you will be penalized two strokes, according to Rule 13-4/18.5. The rule says you have to play the ball as it lies.

Removing Morning Dew from Your Ball

If you ever go golfing in the morning you may associate your game with the morning dew that may impede your performance. You are almost guaranteed to have a layering of water on the ball making it slower on the greens and not fly as far in the air.

If you are in the habit of wiping that dew off with your hands or a towel, you are in violation of Rule 13-2. Dew-wiping is a two-stroke offense. Dew, frost or water may be removed on the tee box before hitting the ball.

Flagstick Attended, Removed or Held Up

tending the pin

This rule is number 17-1, Note 1 refers to something all golfers do without realizing that it’s against the rules.

If you are chipping or putting from off the green, and someone is standing near the flagstick on the green and they are close enough to touch the stick, he/she is deemed to be attending it while a stroke is being made. In this case, if your ball hits the flagstick, you will be penalized two strokes, even though you were off the green.

Underwater Bunker

If you decide to play a round on a rainy day you may encounter the bunker that is filled with water. The only way to continue play in the case, if your ball is in sed bunker, is to move the ball within the bunker to where there is less water. Unfortunately, the only way to drop the ball outside the bunker is to take a penalty stroke.

Who’s Ball Is It?


Rule 12-2 states that identical looking balls in the same area that can not be differentiated between 2 or more players are viewed as lost and both players are penalized a stroke and need to go back to play their previous shots.


In the unfortunate case of hitting an opponent in your party (that is standing out of the way and out of bounds), and the ball comes back out of bounds, there is no penalty. You can also replay your shot. Remember to buy your opponent a drink or two after the match.

Thank you for viewing!

-Steve Ellis