Golf Rules We’ve Forgotten

May 6th, 2014 by The JetSetter Team | 1 Comment »

JS0409Jason Hartman has done his share of business in warm climates, and has thus been asked to play a game or two of golf. It’s the most business-oriented game we’ve got, deeply rooted in tradition. But, now that the Master’s is over, it’s finally time to reveal a few rules about golf that we’ve given a farewell to.

In 1744, the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith made it known you must tee your ball within a club’s length of the hole. As rules were formulated, golfers took more liberties with space. Golf courses took issue and installed tee boxes, eliminating the need for the rule at all.

If you’re the competitive type, here’s one you might want to consider bringing back—the opponent ball hijack. The rule said that, should a ball find itself in sand or mud or other obstacle, an opponent could have a try at playing it if the owner was unable. No one plays like this anymore, but it might be a fun new way to reenergize your game.

The St. Andrews rules of 1812 suggested that, should a player’s ball hit his opponent or his caddy, the adversary would lose that particular hole of golf. If the ball hits his own caddy, he loses the hole. And this isn’t the only out there rule (obviously). The 1776 rules of Bruntsfield Links have rules (we wonder about the stories leading up to their creation) regarding feces. If a ball lands in a pile of poop, no matter the origin, you can throw the ball over your head and behind the pile and play it with a club of your choosing, provided you’re willing to take a one stroke penalty. We’re glad this rule is no longer necessary.

This rule still exists, though not in the formal way it once did. Basically, the rule suggested that a club could be borrowed from anyone if the golfer needed it—but the borrower would then be the only player allowed to use the club for the rest of the round. Finders Keepers!

And for our golfers with four legged friends, we present the pet rule. The 1783 Society of Golfers said that, should a dog take or damage your ball during play, you’ll get another as long as you place it as close as possible to the spot where it was taken.
Golf has really come a long way! (photo credit: striatic via photopin cc)

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