These Are The 5 Weirdest Rules In Golf
Golf is a sport played across the world through various tournaments. In The USA, it is the PGA tour that professional golfers compete in to win the championship.
Like any other sport, it has its own set of rules. There are things you have to do, that you are able to do, and that you are forbidden from doing.
And as will other sports, there are some obscure rules that many might find surprising were even part of the rule book.
Here are some of the weirdest rules in golf that are actually part of the rule book:
1. The Cactus Rule
Golf has to be the only professional sport that actually mentions cactus in its rule book. According to official rules of the game, if cactus is affecting your ability to play through, you are allowed to wrap a towel around an arm or leg as protection from the needles.
While you are allowed to cover yourself in order to play a shot, it is completely against the rules to cover the cactus itself.
Something tells me that even a towel won’t completely protect a golfer from a few prickly cactus needles. And that is a question best left for the professionals to answer.
2. Spit Rule
Have you ever noticed that some baseball players will actually spit on the ball before pitching it the batter’s direction? There is a similar rule in golf involving how things work regarding using saliva as part of the game.
If one of your drivers is dirty, you are allowed to spit on the clubface in order to clean it. Some players might spin on the clubface to reduce the ball’s spin, allowing for a straighter shot, and it is then that spitting on the club face is not allowed.
3. Spider Webs and Broken Club Heads
Normally, one wouldn’t consider spider webs anything other than visually annoying. In the rules of golf, spider webs are identified as ‘loose impediments.’
That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering how thick some can get. (For anyone with arachnophobia, it might be more than a simple impediment).
As for club heads, if they fall off during your backswing, and you miss the ball as you follow through, the stroke is voided. But if your club head detaches during the downswing, it counts as a stroke even if you miss the ball.
4. Log Impediments and Clubhouse Shots
The majority of us who do not play or watch golf regularly often wonder what’s to be done about log impediments or similar objects. Log themselves, like spider webs, are considered loose impediments.
Add some legs to any old log and it becomes more of an obstruction. According to the same rule, wood is also an obstruction if it is “manufactured into a charcoal briquette.”
If anyone managed to end up with a wooden bench as an obstruction, there’s a chance they landed it near the clubhouse. Some golf swings may land your ball right inside of the clubhouse itself.
Rest assured that if your clubhouse is not considered out-of-bounds, you can play right on through. Open a door or window and play the ball as if you’re still on the green. (Just make sure your shots are accurate, or your prize will be a bill for a broken window or glass pane).
5. Insects, Water Bottles, and Wind
In most sports insects are the least of a player’s concerns. The same cannot be said for those who play golf. According to the rule, “although you’re not allowed to move loose impediments, such as insects in a hazard, and the boundary of a water hazard extends vertically, it’s okay to swat a flying insect before playing from a hazard.”
In other words, if an insect is crawling on your ball or buzzing around and breaking your concentration, you must play through unless in a water hazard. From a water hazard, you’re free to swat the insect giving you trouble.
Have you ever found yourself working on a construction project and substituted a missing level with a water bottle? In golf, the rules expressly forbid the use of a water bottle to determine the ‘break’ of your putt.
If your ball somehow is moved by natural wind, you are allowed to play it from the new position. But if your ball gets pushed by the wind from a fan or a gust dragged over by a passing vehicle, it must be placed back where it first started, without penalty.