Whether or not you’ve played all winter long, because you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, or if you haven’t touched your clubs since the fall, anyone can use a little refresher. Here is a small refresher on odd golf rules that you may have forgotten about.
What happens if your ball falls off the tee?
You’re getting ready to take a swing and a gust of wind knocks your ball off the tee. Perhaps your playing partners joke that that counts as your first swing. What do you do?
It doesn’t actually count as your first swing. You can tee up your ball and take practice swings, even accidentally bumping the ball off of the tee. But play only truly starts when you swing with the intention of hitting the ball. Therefore, the wind or an accidental tap during a practice swing shouldn’t count.
What if you whiff it, and the ball only goes a couple feet?
If you were taking a swing with the intention to hit the ball, aka not a practice swing, your ball is in play. It’s unfortunate, but even if it only went an inch, it counts. As long as you were intending to hit it, the ball wherever it goes, is in play.
What if you hit your ball and it lands in another tee box?
Bummer. You probably should have been practicing all winter long, but now you’re here playing on the course and realizing how rusty you are. If you hit your ball and it flies off in a completely unintended direction, unfortunately you have to play it, even if it lands in another tee box. The only time you’ll get a break here is if your local golf course has a rule that you take free relief.
What if your ball lands in a Water Hazards
It’s an unfortunate situation, but every golf has found themselves here. There is good news though. Some golfers don’t know but if your ball lands in a water hazard, you’re still allowed to take a stroke. The one caveat is you are not allowed to wait for the current to move your ball into a better position.
Golf season is almost upon us. So to prevent any of the embarrassing above-mentioned situations from taking place, get out to your local driving range and practice. Do some stretching to wake up those muscles that have been unused all winter, and start working on your swing. The more prepared you are, the less embarrassed you’ll be during your first game out this spring.