by Joyce McCann – Rules Chair
The official Rules of Tennis are explained in 37 pages, the official Rules of Football in 88 pages, and the official Rules of Golf in 522 pages. It’s interesting to think about why the Rules of Golf take so many pages to explain, and also what the consequences are for average golfers like us who love the game and want to play by the Rules. On the one hand, it makes sense that there needs to be more Rules of Golf than for other sports because the field of play is so much bigger and varied than, for example, a tennis court or a football field. There’s a lot that can happen between teeing off and lifting the ball from the hole. On the other hand, the meticulous detail that has found its way over the years into the modern Rules of Golf places a heavy burden on the average golfer. I think most players would like to play by the Rules, but to do so requires serious effort to learn the Rules.
For the past 5+ years, I have been the 18ers Rules Chair. I have attended two of the yearly Rules Seminars offered by the NCGA, each of which lasts 2½ grueling days, and I regularly study the Rules and take advantage of the USGA’s excellent Rules school quizzes. Furthermore, I have a science background and love the analytical aspect of studying the Rules. Despite these efforts, I still do not consider that I know all the Rules, and I still make mistakes.
So, that said, how does all this translate to our 18er membership? Most players don’t have the time or the interest to plod through all the Rules. This is completely understandable. As the Rules Chair, I have tried to focus on basic Rules that players frequently encounter. We have a series of “Rules Corner” articles on our website, and many of these have been published in the Rossmoor News. We also have a Rules Seminar every year that is led by an NCGA Rules Official. The Seminar is structured for lots of interaction and questions. This year the Seminar will be on August 22nd at 9 am, so save the date!