Martyn Woodhouse continues his Rules of Golf series on The Golf Director Radio and TV. Today’s episode was supposed to be a continuation of discussions of “Tufts Principles Behind The Rules of Golf”. But, as is often the case, a discussion of one rule, definition, or exception breeds another question and subsequent discussion. So, we didn’t get very far into the Principles, but had some great discussions. This show could easily be done in 3 hour segments. 30 minutes goes by in a flash. The good news…we replay each show throughout the day and archive all of them in our podcast library for listen on-demand. We will be adding to the series each week.

Much of today’s discussion surrounds specific minimum or maximum penalties (or adjustments as Tufts prefers) rather than graduated penalties and judgement calls. There’s really no way institute graduated penalties or judgement calls, since the rules are intended to ensure everyone plays from the same rules. So, in many cases, even if no advantage is gained penalties still apply. The following example defines such an infraction.

The Rules of Golf – What Constitutes the Teeing Ground?

Rules of GolfOf particular interest in today’s show was a discussion about what actually constitutes the “Teeing Ground”. Rule number 1-1 reads:The Game of Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules. Martyn recapped a recent decision he had to make (as rules official/consultant for a tournament) where the tournament rules included playing specific tees on certain holes. To better explain, the groups would play the forward tees on some holes and the back tees on others, as spelled out in the tournament rules. Martyn explains that teeing the ball in front of the specified tees is an infraction that (unless corrected prior to the next shot), in tournament stroke play, is grounds for disqualification. To be more specific…the ball must be completely (all of the ball) in front of the tees to be considered out of the teeing ground. On the other hand, teeing behind the marker is allowed up to 2 clubs lengths. Teeing beyond 2 clubs (your choice of club in your bag) is an infraction and (unless corrected prior to the next shot) carries a hefty penalty of disqualification. In the case in question, a group teed off from the back tees when the tournament rules specified forward tees for that hole. In reality no advantage was gained. In fact, the opposite was most likely true. But, this group had to be disqualified for teeing off from the back tees. There is no allowance in the rules for “judgement calls” based on gaining (or not) an advantage.

This is just one of many examples discussed in detail on The Rules of Golf with Martyn Wooodhouse. To listen to or download the podcast for this episode click HERE. Be sure to join our “Community” by clicking that tab in the site navigation, and check our our feature golf Courses HERE.