Listening to Phil Mickelson describe his rules breach during the U.S. Open as “taking advantage of understanding the rules of golf,” is an important lesson to learn.
Though I realize that it’s impossible to fully understand all the rules of golf, your knowledge of the rules can help you become a better player.
Knowledge breeds confidence, and a confident golfer is a better golfer. Many golfers I have worked with in the past have been nervous about certain situations on the golf course because they aren’t certain how to handle the moment.
The rule that may help some of you is Rule 28. This rule deals specifically with taking an unplayable lie for a one-stroke penalty. This rule is important to know for any of you who struggle with hitting your ball out of a bunker.
If you happen to hit your ball into a bunker and you are not confident in your ability to hit the ball out, you can proceed under the following rule.
“If the player deems his ball to be unplayable, he must, under penalty of one stroke: a. Play a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.”
Nearly every golf course has a bunker, or two, that can cause some serious problems to golfers. Maybe the front edge is very steep and it is difficult to hit the ball over that edge from the sand. Rule 28 allows you to re-hit from your previous spot for a one-stroke penalty.
So, rather than attempting shot after shot to hit your ball over that front edge of the bunker, you can instead just go back to your prior spot and re-hit your shot from there.
This is an important lesson to learn, and it’s a great example of how to take advantage of understanding the rules of golf.