Modified Rules of Golf for casual amateur play
Since the USGA requires amateur golfers to play by the “principles of the Rules of Golf” rather than play by the Rules of Golf this list is an attempt to standardize some modifications. The purpose is to help the pace of play and to encourage golfers to golf more often and have more fun. Any golfer may elect to continue to play by the traditional Rules of Golf if they desire.
1 Tee it Forward. All golfers are encouraged to Tee it Forward and use a Teeing area that best suits the length of their average drive, not their best drive. All golfers do not need to use the same Tees.
2 Ready Golf. Play “ready golf” both on the Tee and on the course.
3 Mulligans. One Mulligan is allowed per round, normally on the first Tee. Tee shot only.
4 Putting. When putting normally continue to putt until the ball is holed unless you must stand on the line of someone’s putt or someone else is ready to putt. Gimmies are encouraged and allowed if “within the leather”, about 22 inches. Gimmies count one stroke. Your forth putt is always a Gimmie.
5 Water hazards. Golf balls hit into a water hazard shall be placed no more than two club lengths from the water’s edge, parallel to where the ball landed in water (not where it crossed into the hazard). One stroke penalty. If there is a designated drop zone, hit from there. One stroke penalty.
6 Out of Bounds. Golf balls hit out of bounds shall be played like a ball lost in a hazard. The ball may be placed no more than two club lengths from the OB margin closest to where the ball came to rest with a one stroke penalty.
7 Improve your lie. Play winter type rules year round. If your ball is dirty, lift, clean and replace it. Bumping or placing your ball is permitted to a maximum of 6 inches. No penalty. Divots are Ground Under Repair.
8 Lost ball. Three minutes maximum to look for a lost ball. If not found, put a ball in play in short grass (fairway or rough) near where you expected to find the lost ball. One stroke penalty.
9 Landscaping. A ball coming to rest in landscaped plants or where your swing is obstructed by same plants, may be moved two club lengths no closer to the hole– no penalty. If the ball came to rest in rocks or gravel it may be removed to nearest grass, no closer to the hole, with no penalty. Non-staked trees are not considered landscaped plants.
10 Sand Traps/Bunkers. These may be played like a hazard if you desire. Remove and drop/place your ball on grass no closer to the hole. One stroke penalty. It is OK to swing first and then pick up.
11 When to pick up. If you are not in a stroke play competition you may pick up your ball and move to the next hole when you have reached the maximum number of strokes you could post for the hole, or, if you do not post your scores for handicap purposes, when you have reached a double par for the hole.
12 No harm, no foul. You may ignore any “technical rule of golf” if you are not harming someone’s game and you are not gaining an unfair advantage.
13 Rule interpretation. There is no rules committee. Each player is allowed to interpret the rules as he/she desires after discussion with other golfers. If you don’t like how someone else interprets the rules don’t golf with them anymore.
14 Revisions to these suggestions. Please give me your suggestions for improvement to these modified rules or guidelines. If you don’t like some or all of these suggestions, don’t use them. Just use the ones you and your group agree to use.