In the next episode of our new golf rules video special with PGA EuroPro Tour lead tournament director and golf rules expert Ash Weller at Hever Castle, we take a look at the FIVE most common rules that amateur golfers break without even knowing!
Watch our latest rules video below as Ash discusses each of the five rules in more detail. Have you ever broken one of these? Let's find out:
#5 - When you spin the ball back into a penalty area marked with yellow stakes:
A lot of golfers think they can drop within two club lengths on the green side because it did carry the penalty area and then spin back into the water. Unfortunately with it being a yellow penalty area, you don't have that option. Your only two options are to go back to the tee, or drop back on the line of your previous shot. In both cases, you will be coming back over the water again.
#4 - When a ball crosses a penalty area marked with red stakes:
If your ball is in the water then you must figure out where it last crossed the margin of the penalty area. You cannot just take your two club lengths nearby and take a penalty drop from there. In the instance in our video, the ball last crossed the margin of the penalty area some 80 yards back, and so this is the reference point of where to take the drop for one penalty stroke.
#3 - Ball on a buggy path and your nearest point of relief:
What a lot of amateur players get wrong here is that is your NEAREST point of relief when your ball is on a buggy path. Not the NICEST point of relief. It's a free drop, but you cannot just take your one clublength across the other side to the nicest part, if you can drop your ball on the nearest side. Sometimes it may be best to play the ball from where it lies if your nearest point of relief gives you a tougher shot.
#2 - Identifying your golf ball in the rough:
What you cannot do is just turn the ball to see it's your ball. You must mark the ball, then lift it. You must not clean it though. Then you replace the ball and remove your mark. If you don't mark your ball in this instance, it's a one-stroke penalty.
#1 - Golf ball in a rabbit hole:
When your ball is in a rabbit hole, you get a free drop under Rule 16... but you must have a reasonable stroke into the back of the ball in order to get that free relief. However, in the instance in our video, without a reasonable stroke to the back of the ball you cannot get free relief from a rabbit hole. You can of course take a stab at the ball, but in this instance it would be advised to take your penalty stroke to get the ball back out into play.