Golf is a fairly straight forward game that everyone knows how to play. You simply put the ball down and try to get it in the hole in as few shots as possible. Yet for such a simple sport there are a lot of other rules. Of course, you can’t pick the ball up and throw it and you certainly can’t kick it. These rules make sense and go without saying. Yet there are many, many, many more rules in the official golf rule book that are worth knowing. Not in case you ever decide to play, just because they are so strange.
The cactus rule
There are not many sports in the world where they have an actual rule regarding cactus trees but they must be a pretty common sight in the golf world because it has one. The cactus rule states that if you are taking a shot and there is a cactus interfering with you – that means stinging you while you try to take the shot – you are allowed to wrap a towel around your arm or leg or another body part as protection. However, you are not allowed and must not wrap anything around the cactus – this is considered interfering with play.
If you are unlucky enough to be playing golf when your clubhead breaks it means that you will likely have to use fewer clubs for the rest of the game. This makes sense. If you break your golf club that is your fault and you can’t replace it but if it is broken by another player or outside influences you can. This makes perfect sense.
However, if you are taking your shot when the clubhead is broken, depending on the moment it brakes your shot be or may not be counted. If you are in your backswing – moving away from the ball and the clubhead brakes then it is not considered a shot and you can go again. If it brakes on the downswing – moving towards the ball – then it is considered a shot. Harsh! So even if you miss a ball – that is one shot taken.
There are a few movies where the ball ends up in the clubhouse. Happy Gilmore is one but this is a comedy movie so surely we can’t be expected to believe this could ever happen in real life. Well, there is a rule for it. If the ball is in the clubhouse it may be deemed within the boundary of the course and you may be forced to take a shot from within the clubhouse. If this happens you are free to hit it from where it lies. We advise caution though or you may end up with an expensive bill as well as your high scoring round.
The wind is something that occurs daily on the golf course. The good news is that if the wind moves your ball, it is not a problem. It is a natural element and the rules state that you must simply play the ball from where it lies. However, if the ball is moved by the force of some other event; passing cars, a fan, or something else, you must replace the ball and take the shot again from the original spot. This is an important rule as if you remember the final scene of Happy Gilmore his ball was teetering on the edge and finally dropped in after a crash off the side of the course. Happy should have been denied his victory!
Clearly, when it comes to golf there are some very strange rules. Let us know if you know any other strange rules in sport or if you think the above rules are required. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts.