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Would You Consider Using The Relaxed Rules Of Golf

Relaxed Rules Of Golf

The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program started a movement to make golf more fun, improve pace of play and attract and retain more golfers. Their solution is the Relaxed Rules of Golf that would be used by everyday golfers, during non tournament games. While there are 34 official rules of golf and 1200 decisions on the rules of golf, to help interpret the rules of golf, there are only 7 Relaxed Rules of Golf. It’s no surprise that most golfers haven’t taken the time to learn the official rules, and those who think they know the rules are often wrong. With only 7 rules the percentage of golfers who know the rules would go up dramatically.

The 7 Relaxed Rules of Golf

  1. Maximum Score Is Double Par: Does it really make sense to be lining up your 6th putt on a par 3?
  2. Penalties Are All 1 Stroke: This includes lost and out of bounds balls. Just drop the ball closest to where you think it went out and take a one stroke penalty. Do you really want to take the time to go back to the tee box, and tick off the guys who are waiting on you?
  3. Limit Ball Search To 2 Minutes: If you can’t find your ball in 2 minutes, take a drop and a 1 stroke penalty
  4. Improve Unfortunate Lies: You hit a great drive down the center of the fairway and you end up in a divot. That’s OK, move it out of the divot no closer to the hole. Or, your ball is nestled in between tree roots; don’t hurt yourself just move the ball to a safe area.
  5. Conceded Putts Allowed: That’s good pike it up.
  6. No Equipment Restrictions: Have as many clubs as you want
  7. Use Common Sense: It rained yesterday and your ball is covered in mud; pick it up, clean it and put it back in play.

So do these 7 rules make sense? It seems to me that most of these rules really fall under rule 7. Use Common Sense. Except for Rule 6. Have As Many Cubs As you Want. Hand new golfers a set of 14 clubs and watch how long it will take them to figure out what club to use – I’ll bet it is at least a year. So why would you have an unlimited number of clubs?

Interestingly enough only 12% of golfers have a handicap, and these rules do make some sense for those players, by speeding up play and allocating more time to just having fun. However, for those of us who do maintain a handicap, and play in friendly competitive games, these rules create a problem, since you cannot count a score that is not played by the official rules. With that said, I feel that Rules 3, 4, 5, and 7 do have a place in improving both the pace and fun of golf. Especially relaxing the lost ball and out of bound rules. What do you think?


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