One of the most intimidating things about golf, especially for new players, is its strict rules. That’s why Golf Channel has launched a campaign to encourage golfers to consider a more relaxed, unofficial set of rules.
“When there’s nothing on the line but fun, recreational golf should be an enjoyable experience,” says Morning Drive co-host Charlie Rymer, who’s spearheading the campaign, which launched in 2014, with his colleague Matt Ginella. “Trying to remember and decipher the official rules can get in the way of a good time.”
The seven Relaxed Rules are:
1. MAXIMUM SCORE: The maximum score you can take on any hole is double par (that’s a 6 on par 3s, 8 on par 4s or 10 on a par 5). Once you reach double par, just pick up and move on to the next hole.
2. PENALTIES: All penalties are one stroke, including if you end up out of bounds, in water and lateral hazards, have a lost ball and an unplayable lie. Simply drop a ball near where the original was lost and play on.
3. SEARCH TIME: Take no more than two minutes to look for your ball. If it’s lost, just proceed under Rule 2.
4. UNFORTUNATE LIES: With your playing partners’ consent, your ball may be dropped out of divots or footprints, and away from tree roots and any other dangerous lies, without penalty.
5. CONCEDED PUTTS: Putts may be conceded with your playing partners’ consent.
6. EQUIPMENT: There are no restrictions to your equipment, including the number of clubs you want to carry in your bag.
7. COMMON SENSE: When in doubt, use common sense and fairness.
(We especially like No. 7.)