The Reasonable Man's Rules Of Golf

How to play a quick, casual round while staying within the spirit of the game
Related: Recent revisions to official Rules Of Golf show leniency

October 2011

Golf purists won't agree with taking liberties with the game's rules, and if you actually lay a club on the ground and mark the spot with a tee before taking a drop during your usual friendly foursome, this list probably isn't for you. But while we believe the rules of golf to be sacred and essential, sometimes bending them just a little, provided you aren't doing it in an official competition or without consent or knowledge of your playing partners, can make your round more fun. And isn't that what playing recreational golf is all about? Keep these ideas in mind the next time you're not teeing it up at the U.S. Open.

-- Alex Myers

Reasonable Man's Rules Of Golf

Play OB as a lateral hazard

Hitting a ball out of bounds brings golf's worst punishment: loss of stroke and distance. By playing OB as a lateral hazard, you can cut down on people going through their whole pre-shot routine before hitting a provisional ball that's likely to suffer the same fate. You also remove the possibility of a real stickler for the rules insisting that the player walk all the way back to the tee to hit again after discovering his tee shot wound up out of bounds. Tell him instead to estimate where his ball crossed OB, take a drop in the rough and hit his third shot from there. The people playing in the group behind will thank you.

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