Thursday, September 10, 2009


My wife has been seriously bitten by the golf bug. The other night she came home and had a rules question. I answered the question but she said the other players thought it was the wrong answer. So I went online to the and found the answer which backed me up. Thank you USGA, I knew I had to be right once this year.

On the way to the golf course today, I decided to pick up a copy of the rule book for my wife (I am such a big spender). I stopped by Golf Galaxy, seemed like a likely candidate to sell me a copy of the rules. I waited at the front desk to ask for a copy. While I waited, I saw that they sold lip balm, Advil (breakfast of champions), little bag watches, various faux climbing caribiners to hang stuff on a golf bag and other relatively useless items. Finally it was my turn, "Yes, I would like to buy a USGA rule book." I was met with the following reply, "We don't have any rulebooks." I chuckled to myself, you have all this crap (technical term) but you have no rulebooks. I said, "thank you, have a good day."

I live in Shopping Center USA, so I drove a par 5 away to Golfsmith. I went in and asked for a copy of the USGA rules. The salesperson said, "We may have some in the back." While I waited, I looked at the now usual lip balm, Advil, Heathcliff bars, Gatorade bars, some gizmo to put a line on golf balls and all sorts of other odd items. The salesperson came out and said, "We don't have rule books." I said, "Thank you, have a good day."

I then went to the club, hoping against hope for a rule book. I went into the pro shop and looked around. Hmmmm, no rule books hanging around. So I asked the young lady at the counter for a rule book. "Sorry, we don't have any rule books." Wow, is this for real or is this Candid Camera. But then the assistant pro cheerfully spoke up, "I have a rule book, you can have mine." I replied, "I don't want to take your rule book." He said, "I have another home, please take mine." And so I thankfully did.

It is really hard to follow the rules if you can't get a copy.

Cheers, Mike


  1. what was the rule in question?

  2. In match play, can you putt after your putt has been conceded. Answer, yes as long as your putt does not aid your teammate, if any. Etiquette would suggest waiting till everyone putts out before dropping your ball and putting. Etiquette would also suggest that if there is a group waiting, no putt be taken.

  3. Mike, I think you really wanted a copy to give to Whip. JT

  4. Mike,

    As a USGA member you receive a fresh copy in your dues every year. As a +1 handicap and an avid golfer, I have learned the rules are there to help you if you know them all. Believe me, I have negotiated my way to a win with the use of the rules. I would also recommend a R&A rules book for anywhere outside the 50 US states. Just having one in a bag and pulling it out in competition gives you leverage.