The May Poll Question brought out a record number of responses, and hopefully a little shameful self-reflection for most of you that responded, Dear Readers.
In last month’s question, I posited, “What rule do you and your friends disregard regularly?” I was interested in what my Readers’ regular golfing buddies let slide from the scorecard for the sake of fun, expediency, or mental health.
Obviously, the question wasn’t meant to promote nefarious cheating in a tournament, club championship, or $2 Nassau. Under those conditions, when a score matters to anyone beyond the player, by all means play it down all the way to the bottom of the cup.
But as a golfer that enjoys and takes pride in playing pretty quickly, I am completely comfortable with the responses the Readers chimed in with this month.
By a slim plurality, the leader vote getter at 26% was “Take a drop for a lost ball.” Like all of you avid golfers, I have a Hate-Hate relationship with the Ball Goblin. I’ve lost balls that I would have sworn were in the middle of the fairway, yet were nowhere to be found after 5 minutes of infuriated searching.
Taking a drop under those conditions beats stomping back to the tee, hitting a terrible anger-ridden shot, and trying to calm down before the end of the round.
Finishing a close 2nd was “Out-of-Bounds is a lateral hazard.” Again, and if especially if you are walking the course, this one is perhaps the least egregious of the common penalties to ignore.
Unless you can clearly see the ball go out-of-bounds from the tee, which if you then disregard you really are just trying to avoid the “distance” part of the stroke and distance penalty, then I might be inclined to let it slide in a friendly game.
Frankly, I’m all for whatever mutually agreed upon, or at least tolerated, modifications a group of golfers may make to the rules to increase everyone’s enjoyment of the game, especially if it speeds up the pace of play.
On the lightest of notes, of the several write-in responses, the most head scratching was the Reader that said he regularly violates the “13 Club limit.” I don’t hit all my clubs well at any given time, but I enjoy having the option to hit them. What kind of sadistic club pro is running a game or league in which only 13 clubs are allowed?
Other write-in responses included playing “preferred lies” year round, playing lift, clean, and place if it’s the slightest bit muddy, and playing two off the first tee. Full results of last month’s poll question are below.