9 Unusual Golf Rules You Probably Don’t Know (But Should!)

The rules of golf always feel like they are punishing you. However, there are times when knowing the rules of golf can actually help you. We put together a list of 9 unusual golf rules that you may not know about. Start using these to your advantage. 

1. Taking Relief from Bees Nests or Alligators

If your golf ball ends up close to something dangerous, you can take relief. Sometimes you hit a shot directly under a bees nest or you are right on the edge of the water and there is an alligator nearby. 

In this situation, you can take relief without penalty. Move to the nearest point of relief no closer to the hole. 

2. New Local Rule for Out of Bounds 

Out of bounds has almost always been the worst penalty in golf. Not only do you have to take a stroke for your relief, but you also have to take distance. You hit from the same place you just hit from, and it’s just a tough thing to recover from. 

The new local rule allows you to drop the ball near where it was lost or went out of bounce and instead take a two stroke penalty. You’ll have to work this out and see if it makes sense based on your abilities as a player. 

For many golfers, it does. 

3. Accidentally Moving Your Ball on the Green

There is always a fear of moving the golf ball or ball marker when it’s on the green. If this happens to you there is no penalty. Simply put the ball back to ti’s original position. You can also let your playing partners know what you’re doing. 

The key is to remember to put it back. If you don’t, you could be penalized because you are now playing the ball from a different location. 

4. Hitting a Ball Twice In One Swing 

Have you ever taken a bunker shot or a chip around the green where you swung the club once, but it hit the ball twice? If the club accidentally strikes the ball more than once it is just one stroke. The double-hit rule was amended to remove the penalty. 

Let’s face it—it’s rare to hit the ball twice in one swing and have a good result! That should be penalty enough!

5. Dropping a Ball from Knee Height

Drop the ball from knee height now. For many years, the rule was to drop the ball from shoulder height, but this has since changed, and you are now to drop the golf ball from knee height. This is a significant advantage. 

It’s very hard to get a golf ball to land and stop where you want it when you drop it from shoulder height. Your chances are much greater when it falls from the knee. 

6. Repairing Almost Any Damage on the Green

At one point, the rules of golf were a little particular about what type of damage to the green you could repair. Now, you can repair a wide range of damage, including spike marks, ball marks, and animal damage. 

In the past you could really only repair ball marks. This makes the playing surface easier to put across and it makes the game more fair for everyone involved. 

7. The Pin Can Stay In 

This was a big change in the game of golf, and some are still complaining about it. The key here is that you can keep the pin in when you putt it, and you won’t get a penalty if your ball strikes the pin. 

For some golfers, having the pin in place on a downhill putt can almost feel like a bit of security or a backstop. You may want to consider whether there is any strategy here for you. Some of it may feel more like a mental strategy than anything else, but it’s worth a shot! 

8. Relief for Embedded Balls Anywhere in the General Area

An embedded ball is just plain unfair. You can’t get it out of its own pitch mark and you’ll end up having to take an unplayable most of the time. 

When you find your ball embedded in its own pitch mark you can take a relief. This includes areas in the rough but not the sand trap. Knowing this could save you a few strokes and some ugly swings!

9. Penalty for Ball Moved by Natural Forces

On those windy and rainy days where your ball may move a little on the green, don’t worry about incurring additional penalties. SImply put the ball back where it was. 

It would be nice if the ball made its way closer to the hole and you could leave it there, but that’s not the case in golf. Instead, just pick it up and put it back where it was. It keeps the game fair, and it won’t cost you any strokes.

Final Thoughts 

At this point, you have some new rules to help you get through your next round in a few fewer strokes. Don’t play the game without knowing the rules that can benefit you. You may find yourself in an unfair situation and quickly realize that you don’t have to play from there. Use the rules to your advantage! 

The Golf Bandit
The Golf Bandit

Hi, I'm Jan. I love golf and I have been playing for a while now. I really enjoy trying out new golf clubs and equipment, and like to review them on my blog. I consider myself lucky as I have access to the latest clubs and gadgets, so I can get a feel for how they perform on the golf course. I also like to share my tips and tricks on how to improve your game, so if you're looking for help with that then look no further! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find something useful here.

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