Wow – our season is already more than half over – time really does fly when you’re having fun – and for me there is nothing more fun than golf! Time went so quickly in July that we missed getting our monthly message posted on this website, and I apologize for that – it may have something to do with playing golf almost every day..........Anyway, here are some thoughts on Rules for this month:
There was a question very recently regarding placing a club or clubs in a hazard. This is not a prohibited action, unless it is specifically done in order to test the condition of the hazard, or to improve the lie of your ball within the hazard. If, for instance, you walk into a bunker with 2 clubs in your hand, not knowing if you will need your sand wedge or might be able to use a gap or other wedge, it is perfectly OK to lay the extra club inside the hazard while you make your stroke with the chosen club. For further details on this situation, please refer to the Rules of Golf book, page 65 and 66.
And this again brings me to the suggestion we made early this season in our Rules message. Please don’t attempt to impose penalties on fellow players if you are unsure of the Rule. It can lead to animosity and discomfort while playing a game that has FUN as the biggest goal. Yes, we have Rules for this game, as any sporting event does – but the Rules are not a weapon. The Rules are a tool used to increase our pleasure and knowledge of this wonderful game, and to keep it fair and enjoyable for all of us. If you “think” someone is in violation of a specific rule, please attempt to verify with a Pro or the Golf office.
We also would like to remind everyone of the USGA “While we’re young” campaign. If you go to the USGA site, there is a link where you can sign the pledge to help eliminate slow play. The USGA recognizes that we are losing golfers simply because it takes too long to play 18 holes – and we are not gaining new golfers, for the same reason. Bella Vista is part of this trend – and we need to increase Bella Vista golf rounds if we want to continue to enjoy the 126 holes of golf we currently have. But I digress – just please make an effort to find out how you can help in the effort to speed up the pace of play.
Another reminder: I have copies of the current Rules of Golf book in my vehicle. If you need one and see me at the course, don’t hesitate to ask.
Last reminder – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any Rules questions you may have. I am not an expert on the Rules, but I can always find an answer. That is why the Rules Committee exists.
Enjoy every minute of your day on the golf course!
Stevie Lamar – Rules Committee Chair