The Rules of Golf were established to make for a universal level playing field. Now is as great a time as any to review and get to better understand the rules of golf. Knowing the rules not only allows you to abide by them, but it also allows you to take advantage of them.

I encourage you to go online and take the USGA Rules of Golf Quiz – let me know how you do. This will help me to determine if we need to hold some Rules of Golf classes!

Many people view the rules as a way to hurt their score or detract from the fun, but if you’re a serious golfer you should be viewing the rules as a way to help you score better and enjoy the challenge. Here are a few rules that I bet you didn’t know about.

Q: A player places a club on the ground parallel to the line of play to assist him in aligning his feet properly. Is this permissible?
A. Yes, provided the player removes the club before playing his stroke. Otherwise a breach of Rule 8-2a would occur.

Q. What is the status of stones in bunkers?
A. Stones are by definition loose impediments regardless of their location. Thus, when the ball and the stone lie in or touch the same hazard, the stone may not be removed. However, a Committee may adopt a Local Rule stating that stones in bunkers are movable obstructions. Unless this Local Rule is put into effect by the Committee, players may not remove stones in bunkers without penalty.

Q. Is it a breach of a Rule for a ball to be holed while another ball is at rest in the hole?
A. No. Both balls are holed (see Definition of “Holed”) and there are no penalties incurred by either player. It is a breach of Etiquette for the first player to leave his ball in the hole if the second player has asked him to remove it.