Rebel Hack: Playing Above The [Golf] Law

Should you fear bending a few golf rules?

Should you fear bending a few golf rules?

Yes, I am well aware the USGA has set forth a bunch of rules and what-not for us hacks to abide by. Let’s be real, we the 99.9% of the 30 million golfers in the U.S. do not golf for a paycheck. In fact we actually pay to play. So, if I’m paying I’m making the rules, no? We’re not talking about a complete overhaul of the law here, just a few tweaks that are more hack friendly – possibly something like what the Recreational Golf Association of America has done.

This past weekend my buddy and I hit the local track for a quick nine. During our play we were confronted with a couple issues that required some rule bending. I’m writing about it so I can justify our actions and not feel like a cheating scumbag. The first problem we came across was when my ball ended up in the sand trap. Upon reaching the trap, I noticed a bunch of little yellow jacket nests in the sand. F*** that S***! I left my ball there and dropped another one a good 5 yards from the trap and continued to play without taking any penalty.

Granted, that is not a big deal, but we were still curious to know what the ruling would have been. I did a quick search but couldn’t find anything (not surprising, since you need a guide book to understand the rule book). Moving on, the next issue is actually something we have talked about before and we even coined a term for it – PAF! The Pro Advantage Factor (PAF) came into play when my buddy hit his tee shot and couldn’t find it. We saw it land just off the fairway into the rough but we couldn’t find it. Is that fair to take a penalty for that? Hell no! On the tour, someone in the gallery and/or a marshal would have found that ball immediately!

I’m sure stuff like this happens every day on every course. How closely do you actually follow the rules? I’d love to hear what you think!

Hit’em long…yell FORE!!!


  1. I think your sand trap issue was covered by Rule 28 – Ball Unplayable.

    Regarding the lost ball issue, the fact that your buddy’s ball might have been found under other circumstances did not change the fact that it was lost under his. Stroke and distance.

    With respect, it seems to me that, by bending the rules as you have described, you are robbing yourself of one of the most rewarding aspects of the game, which is to learn how to accept the good with bad, and to take tough breaks in stride. The game isn’t always fair, but golf without the “rub of the green” isn’t golf at all.

    Keep having fun!

Speak Your Mind