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Helping ‘new’ players.


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I am kind of interest in how often you teach new players about rules while playing casual rounds and what the general feeling about doing this is.  The typical new player I am talking about is someone who has played golf for a while but just recently started playing events. 
 

I tend not to interject myself too much unless the player has asked or told me they are interested in learning more. 
 

All the same from time to time I will say “sorry - I don’t care about it for this round, but just a heads so you know the rule if this comes up in an event…” or “in case this happens in an event do you want to know what you have to do under the rules. “
 

I will go way out of my way to be clear I am not calling a rules violation or anything like that and often I will wait till later to bring it up. I guess I feel somewhat responsible to help in this way as I would hate for them to make rules mistake when it mattered. 
 

I pick my spots and so far it has been well received, but I do worry about interfering in someone game too much. 

Edited by 2bGood
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During casual play, I won't point out rules or infractions to anyone.  If someone wants help and asks, fine, otherwise I look the other way. 

 

PS, friends know I play for $$$ and history of amateur tournaments.  If they ask, I help, otherwise I found it's best NOT to officiate their casual game cause it easily may, over time, cause resentment.

Edited by Pepperturbo
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If during an event I would absolutely say something if the rules were being broken. During a casual fun weekend round I never interject myself giving rules advice or swing advice unless they ask.

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Just now, krtgolfing said:

If during an event I would absolutely say something if the rules were being broken. During a casual fun weekend round I never interject myself giving rules advice or swing advice unless they ask.

Swing advice never. 

 

I should mention these are not strangers, but people I play with regularly. I know they are playing in events, so when I see them not get a basic rule right I feel compelled to help them out or mention it. They know I have rules certification so I kind feel like by ignoring it I am unintentionally giving them a signal that they did not break a rule. 

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The couple of dozen guys I play with all have some vague notion of the Rules. If I'm in their group and they ask, I'll just say, "Drop it there." If I'm not around, they'll drop it somewhere nicer and little harm is done. I find that not many players want to know more than they already "know." 🙄

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Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.

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Is that a [email protected]

I putt them all in unless its thrown at me.Best ball drop i ever did from off elevated back of green,rolled right in,other 3 didnt even watch.....

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53 minutes ago, RogerinNewZealand said:

Is that a [email protected]

I putt them all in unless its thrown at me.Best ball drop i ever did from off elevated back of green,rolled right in,other 3 didnt even watch.....

The outcome of which should have been to redrop the ball because it rolled onto the green and closer to the hole.

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I understand and appreciate your good intention but I think people will ask if they want help with the rules.

There is a risk of bruised feelings and resentment when offering any unsolicited advice even with the best delivery. 

 "Get dressed Spaulding, you're playing golf today."
" No I'm not Grandpa, I'm playing tennis."
 "No, you're playing golf and you're going to like it."
 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/7/2021 at 4:52 PM, PJE said:

I understand and appreciate your good intention but I think people will ask if they want help with the rules.

There is a risk of bruised feelings and resentment when offering any unsolicited advice even with the best delivery. 

I see your point. The guys I have done it with have at times put out a blanket ask for help as they want to learn. Guys that have no interest or have been around long enough to know better, I let it go.

 

Here is analogy for you. If you gave your friend a ride who is a mechanic and he heard a noise that indicated there was something wrong with your car that was an easy fix but if not addressed would result in a major repair, would you want him to tell you? Would you be annoyed at him later if he did not say anything to you and then a major repair came about?

 

That kind of the way I look at it, easy fix to let them know in casual round to save them penalty strokes or DQ in an event. 

 

 

Edited by 2bGood
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I find people ask me if they don’t know something.  I think I know the rules well enough to know when I don’t know and say so.  Usually we look up the weird things after if it’s an everyday round. I only made an unsolicited comment this year because a person was going to play in an inter club competition the following week and was sort of new to that kind of thing.  Walking to the next tee I said just so you know …

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As I have progressed in my own rules education, I've become "that guy" at my home club, I often get asked about the proper ruling.  After the fact questions are great, education (for me too), and rarely cause friction.  On the course, during a casual round, I rarely say much of anything unless asked.  During a proper competition, I will bring up violations I see, but I'm not really watching for them, I'm playing my own round of golf.  I HAVE brought up violations in match play, but I'll usually wait until a subsequent hole to bring them up, so the results of the previous hole stand.

When I play with beginners, I'll be more vocal.  I don't mean correcting things in real time, but talking about things a hole or two later.  Or I'll suggest that the rules say "this", but at your level of play its ok to give yourself an easier option.  Learn the game, have fun now, but understand where you'll need to change to comply with the rules as you advance in skill. 

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I have a couple good friends who I've been playing with for years...always just casual golf. They always just "drop one here" for lost balls or OB...and frequently take multiple mulligans. We play for fun...I'm shooting ~78-82, and they are shooting 100+ (closer to 110+ if they counted everything) - so I keep them moving for pace of play.

 

So a couple things in the past year & half - #1 I told them I was getting certified and doing officiating at the State/Local area & #2 one guy has a 14 year old trying out for HS golf team.

I played a round with him & his kid last summer - and definitely the kid had not had any formal rules help. He didn't know how to even properly mark his ball on green. I showed him some basic stuff that he needed to know to try out for the team.

I'll give one example - all 3 of these guys (not the kid) were shocked one time when I had a tough lie, and I actually passed under the ball (trying cut lob near green from heavy rough) and at the end I said I made 6 - they said we thought 5. They were shocked when I told them the swing that didn't move the ball counted.

We also all attended the BMW at Caves back in August - they completely freaked out when a player got relief from rough next to 17 green (due to sprinkler head) and the drop ended up in the fringe. I told them about the 5 areas and said for the GA there is no difference between - fringe, fairway, light rough, heavy rough, etc. They couldn't believe it...I said we ll sometimes the rules would put you in worse situation - and you'll see a player hit off a cart path or something, becasue the relief would be in heavy rough or bushes. And sometimes you get lucky and get to drop on the fringe.

 

For complete strangers, I would only say something if asked...same in comps, if a player asks about relief or options. At that point I am an FC, not an RO.

 

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People are just too strange about golf rules to have a one size fits all policy.  If I'm playing with someone new and they are uncertain I'll guide them what people do and then tell them what the actual rule is.  They are often surprised that so many don't play by the rules.  Some folks want to learn the rules, some think they know them, and some just don't care about the rules. 

 

I got paired up randomly with the club champion at the local muni.  I hit my drive on the 10th hole near the OB line.  He looked incredulous that I started walking and didn't hit a provisional.  He asked what I was going to do if my ball was OB.  Told him I'd just drop and play on.  He grumbled about that.  Then when we got to the green, he asked if my ball was in bounds.  Yup, by about a foot.  Maybe he was playing some imaginary match against me in his head that I wasn't aware of.  

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I play most of my rounds in club competition so if a new player is about to break a rule and I see them I just inform how to proceed.  They mostly take it ok and most of them want to learn, especially when they know you can easily drop shots out of lack of knowledge of the rules.  I'm far from a rules savant but I manage the daily grind ok and I keep my Rules of golf in the bag to check in case of doubt.  On practice days I wouldn't point out a breach unless it's someone I know and I'd try to help them.   

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Casual - only when asked

 

Competition - I find it amazing anybody would do anything without consulting the group.  I personally don't even take routine drops without consulting somebody in the group.  I always feel like I need to make sure what my eyes see match up with somebody elses. 

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