• Video: SCGA Rules Crew - Playing With Damaged Clubs (Rule 4-3)

    Every so often golfers encounter a tree root or a buried rock or some such element that once struck does some nasty things to their golf club.

    These accidents can and do happen...but what if the reason your club gets 'bent out of shape' is because you got bent out of shape as a result of the bad shot and the reaction is to take it out on the club by bludgeoning the ball washer with your 4 iron and it comes out looking like a pretzel? Can you still use it in your round? 

  • Billy Horschel Blown Away By Rule 20-4 At The Masters

    Billy Horschel Watches Helplessly As A Gust Of Wind Takes His Golf Ball Down The Slope From The 15th Green Into The Water Hazard Below - Image Courtesy Streamable.com

    British Columbia Golf, with files from Golf Saskatchewan

    Anyone watching the Masters this past Saturday likely had the opportunity to witness one of the stranger and perhaps more unfortunate incidents of the tournament...forgetting about, of course, Jordan Spieth's troubles on the 12th hole on Sunday.

    The bizarre incident came on the par-5 15th hole during Saturday's 3rd round after 3-time PGA TOUR winner Billy Horschel landed his second shot just off the side of the green. His chip onto the green ran past the hole and toward the water. It did stop and Horschel rushed over to mark it, almost sensing that the wind could take over at any moment.

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew - How Long Can You Search For A Ball Before It Is Deemed As Lost? (Rule 27-2C)

    How Long Have You Been Looking For That Ball? 

    Everybody hates to lose golf balls but we all do, it's part of the game. And so is looking for them in the hopes that we can avoid either taking the penalty strokes or having to endure the angst of breaking out another brand new ball and maybe only getting one or two whacks at it.

    We've also all been in the group behind someone who seems to take an eternity looking for their wayward shot, much like the guy in this SCGA Rules Crew video.

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew - Lifting Your Ball For Identification (Rule 12-2)

    Are you allowed to lift your ball when identifying it? 

    The rules of golf do allow for lifting your ball to identify it when you are uncertain if the ball you've located is actually yours. But it comes with important stipulations.

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew - You Can Bean Your Opponent And Use It To Your Advantage (Rule 19-1)

    Okay, well, you're not supposed to do it on purpose, but if you do happen to accidentally hit your opponent with a shot during Match Play it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew - The Provisional Ball (Rule 12-1)

    This may be one of the more misunderstood and misapplied rules in golf. Basically what it means is that you get to play the second 'provisional' ball 'provided' you cannot find the original ball. Not just because it's in a much better place.

    So, as long as your original ball is not actually lost or out of bounds, you must play it and not the provisional ball.

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew -Searching For Your Buried Ball In A Bunker - Yes, You Can Use A Shovel (Rule 12-1)

    Most golfers are fairly well aware of how to conduct themselves when they enter a bunker to play a shot. Taking care not to ground a club or cause too much of a disturbance. However there is a condition in which one can practically bring in a backhoe to get at the golf ball.

  • Know The Rules: Knocking Down Leaves With A Practice Swing - Not Always A Penalty

    Most of us have either experienced or witnessed the process of knocking down some leaves from a nearby tree when trying to figure out if there's enough room to make a swing after hitting the ball too close to the trees in the first place. 

    Now we have to assume that the vast majority of golfers are aware that we can't go hacking down branches or cutting great swaths through foliage that happen to be in our backswing by means of taking several vicious hacks loosely disguised as 'practice swings'...but this writer for one has to admit he wasn't aware that causing an 'insignificant' number of leaves to come loose in that practice swing does not entail taking a penalty.

    To find out just how that rule is meant to be applied, watch the following video, and make a point of reading the 'intent' of Rule 13-2 and the associated Decision 13-2/0.5 - it should help clear up what may have been a misunderstood rule by many of us.

    Watch The Video

  • Holy Cow...There Is A 'Do-over' Rule In Golf - It's 26-2 "The Regression Rule"

    We've been posting these rules videos on British Columbia Golf for some time and thought we'd pretty much come across every permutation of the rules out there. Until now.

  • An Exception To The Rule

    The Immovable Obstruction rule in golf (24-2) can be of assistance to golfers who find their ball in a nasty spot but due to a course 'Obstruction' they are denied a reasonable opportunity to play a shot. 

    This is when the rules can be of help to golfers...unless of course they stretch the rule to excess, that's when THE EXCEPTION comes into play.

    Rule 24-2. Immovable Obstruction - says in part;

    "b. Relief
    Except when the ball is in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, a player may take relief from interference by an immovable obstruction as follows: (i)Through the Green: IF THE BALL LIES THROUGH THE GREEN, THE PLAYER MUST LIFT THE BALL AND DROP IT, WITHOUT PENALTY, WITHIN ONE CLUB-LENGTH OF AND NOT NEARER THE HOLE THAN THE NEAREST POINT OF RELIEF

    This sounds like a very cool break to get in some cases, EXCEPT...that it must be done within reason. 

    That's where the SCGA Rules Crew comes in. Watch this video to see an example of someone stretching the rule and falling prey to THE EXCEPTION.

    Watch The Video

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew - What Happens When Your Ball Comes To Rest On A Rake In A Bunker (Rules 24-1a; 20-3d)

    This is a pretty common occurence but not a lot of players are sure exactly how to proceed when their ball comes to rest up against a rake in the bunker.

    Can you move the ball? Can you move the rake? What do you do if the ball rolls away if you do move the rake?

  • Dropping the Ball Correctly

    December 9, 2014

    Jim Lee. British Columbia Golf

    This video from the SCGA Rules Crew shows some things that we have all seen on the course from time to time.  While the correct way to drop the ball seems pretty straightforward, the penalties and rules interpretations are a little more complex.  As usual with the SCGA Rules Crew, an intertaining and informative video.

    Watch the video here.

  • USGA Rules Quiz Winner and How You Did

    Over the past month, we have promoted your paricipation in a rules quiz on the website of the USGA.  We had only 38 entries, but there were over 600 people who clicked onto the USGA site. So a lot of people were interested and took the quiz (or at least tried it) but didn't want to send me their scores.

    The average score out of 18 was 11.7.  Two people had perfect scores of 18, one of whom identiied herself as a Rules Official.  There were also 4 people who took the 25 question quiiz, which based on the results was a lot harder.

    Here's what Susan White, Senior Manager of Field Operations had to say about scores.  "I would expect a level 2 (Rules Official) to obtain a mark around 60%. Level 3 and 4 between 85 to 100%".  A 60% score out of 18 is 10.8, so on average our respondents did very well.

    The winner of a British Columbia Golf shirt from a random draw of respondents is Ron Dempsey of Victoria.


  • USGA Rules Quiz

    October 27, 2014

    Jim Lee, British Columbia Golf

    We have been including rules videos in most of our newsletters and have had a very positive response from readers.  These videos have all been placed on our website here.

    Just to change things up, here's a chance to test your rules knowledge.  The USGA has an interactive rules quiz on its site.  We've selected the "advanced" quiz with 18 questions for you to test your rules knowledge.

    Take the quiz and let us know how you did.  There are 18 questions and all those who respond with their score will be entered into a draw for a British Columbia Golf shirt.  Just send me an email with your name and email address and your score.  Draw ends November 13..  jim@britishcolumbiagolf.org

  • Anchoring Explained - USGA Video

    October 9, 2014

    Jim Lee, British Columbia Golf

    In this video from the USGA, examples of anchored strokes are provided. Contrary to popular belief, the rule does not preclude the use of longer putters so these may continue to be used. The rule does deal with how the swing takes place in a free manner, so that a putter (even a short one) is not held directly against the body or held against the body by hands or arms. You have until January 2016 to change if you need to.

    Let us know if you have any questions about this change.  If its applicable, are you changing your stroke or are you planning on changing your equipment?

    Watch the video

  • Attending the Flag - Rules Video

    Sept 24, 2014

    Jim Lee (British Columbia Golf)

    Seems simple enough.  When can a player request that the flag be attended?  The answer, found in Rule 17 may surprise you.  The Rules Crew from the Southern California Golf Association has the answer.  Just make sure that your request doesn't come back on you.   Watch the video

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew - Cut or Cracked Ball (Rule 5-3)

    Ever wondered when you can take a ball out of play?  Bruised? Dirty? Cut? Bent out of Shape?

  • Green Speeds and Your Game

    August 22, 2014
    Jim Lee (British Columbia Golf)

    In this USGA video, a stimpmeter is used to show how a superintendent measures the speed of greens. For the golfer, the video provides information on how green speeds impact the speed of play by creating conditions which some golfers have difficulty with. Green speeds also help to determine hole locations, since more sloped portions of greens shoudn't be used with higher green speeds. 

    The superintendent is looking for consistency across all greens and the practice putting surface. While green speeds of 10 and above are common at professional events, the average golfer will play better with slower speeds. Ask in the proshop what the green speeds are at your course, and see how they impact your putting. Click here to watch this video.

  • Video: SCGA Rules Crew - Interfering Ball On The Fairway (Rule 22 - 2)

    The Southern California Golf Association Rules Crew add their humorous touch to the interpretation of rules with nicely produced videos. This video shows the proper ruling on an interfering ball on the fairway.

  • Local Rules on the 18th at Pebble Beach

    August 15, 2014
    Jim Lee (British Columbia Golf)

    David Fay explains how and why a local rule was applied to the 18th hole at Pebble Beach, prior to the 2010 US Open. Of particular interest is the local rule developed to account for the lateral water hazard - the Pacific Ocean. Here's how the USGA made the game a little simpler and faster by developing a local rule for use at the event. 

    Watch the video