Specifically when engaged in business related activities on the golf course, be aware that your audience is watching far more than how long your 1st tee shot ran. Over the past 30 years, I’ve seen my fair share of individuals fall on their proverbial swords while trying to impress co-workers with their golf panache.
Especially if your prospective client, employer, boss, partner is playing host at their private club – don’t think you’re covered if you’ve managed the entire round without whipping a putter, fertilizing a tree in the fescew, or shouting your mother’s name in vein.
The earliest surviving written rules of golf were produced by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith on 7 March 1744, for a tournament played on 2 April. They were entitled “Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf” and consisted of 13 rules.
Make yourself familiar with these and you can focus on your swing with the comfort that the guys at the cart waiting for you to hit aren’t rolling their eyes behind your back (oh, and they do):
- You must Tee your Ball within a Club’s length of the Hole.
- Your Tee must be upon the Ground.
- You are not to change the Ball which you Strike off the Tee.
- You are not to remove Stones, Bones or any Break Club, for the sake of playing your Ball, Except upon the fair Green within a Club’s length of your Ball.
- If your Ball comes among water, or any watery filth, you are at liberty to take out your Ball & bringing it behind the hazard and Teeing it, you may play it with any Club and allow your Adversary a Stroke for so getting out your Ball.
- If your Balls be found any where touching one another, You are to lift the first Ball, till you play the last.
- At Holing, you are to play your Ball honestly for the Hole, and not to play upon your Adversary’s Ball, not lying in your way to.
- If you should lose your Ball, by its being taken up, or any other way, you are to go back to the Spot, where you struck last, & drop another Ball, And allow your adversary a Stroke for the misfortune.
- No man at Holing his Ball, is to be allowed, to mark his way to the Hole with his Club, or anything else.
- If a Ball be stopp’d by any Person, Horse, Dog or anything else, The Ball so stop’d must be play’d where it lies.
- If you draw your Club in Order to Strike, & proceed so far in the Stroke as to be bringing down your Club; If then, your Club shall break, in any way, it is to be Accounted a Stroke.
- He whose Ball lies farthest from the Hole is obliged to play first.
- Neither Trench, Ditch or Dyke, made for the preservation of the Links, nor the Scholar’s Holes, or the Soldier’s Lines, Shall be accounted a Hazard; But the Ball is to be taken out and play’d with any Iron Club.
Ignorance of the rules is no excuse!
By Robert Kavanagh @REINcheck