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Depends upon what's at stake: money, friendship, pride? If I let you kick a ball back in bounds, then I expect you to let me do the same. It will be our dirty little secret which will make us closer friends. If you are playing to take my money, then no, and you can take that ball and (expletive expletive expletive)
Beside, if everyone played by the book every time, then slow play will become worse than it already is.
I used to play the same way until I started playing competitive golf. Playing thy way makes golf a lot more fun
You're correct, there are two kinds of golf. Not that casual golf can't be competitive, but it is usually played to just have a good time. Typically, we play by the rules of golf plus whatever local rules are enforced. On our Monday vagabond trips, we do allow you to rake and re-drop your ball in a trap, IF the ball landed in someone's unraked footprints or shot. Fried egg - too bad, but if your lying in a hole because someone else was inconsiderate, we feel you shouldn't be penalized.
Sunday league rounds though, strict rules of golf plus local rules.
When I play I play by the rules
The group I play with always has something on the line. So we play by the rules of golf. Play it down and putt it out. That is the only way to truly set a valid handicap.
I started this topic more out of curiosity than anything. The main group I play with a couple of times a week, we play for a small sum of money and more for pride than anything. We do take a mulligan on the first tee only if needed. We play the ball down and play by the rules of golf with the following exception of moving a ball sitting on a tree root or rocks. When in this position we do not improve the position e.g., on a root behind a tree, you move the ball off of the root but still have the tree blocking your forward progress, etc. Other than the above mentioned we play by the rules of golf. This is a case of when in Rome do as the Romans. The other group I play with is at a public muni and there is no money on the line and this group does everything I mentioned at introduction topic and more. I still play as in the first scenario and have no issues doing it. My point is I would say that 90% of golfers that play this game do not play strictly by the rules. The Team Titleist members who have responded so far proves this point. We all hate slow play and we do bend rules on occasion to keep ahead of that group behind us. We all hate that some person left his foot prints in a bunker, did not use a rake and our ball is sitting down in his heel mark. We all play for fun and to say to those that you play strictly by the rules, I give you two thumbs up. But really, those that play strictly by the rules, when you loose a ball do you really go all the way back to the last spot you hit that ball from and hit another ball as the foursome behind you wonders what the heck you are doing ?
T.TigerThe group I play with always has something on the line. So we play by the rules of golf. Play it down and putt it out. That is the only way to truly set a valid handicap.
Personally, I believe you should play by the USGA rules when you are playing the game, tournament or not, because all of these rounds go into your handicap calculation. When taking liberties on the course, you are only cheating yourself. If you improve your lier, are given putts, etc., how will you be able to execute these shots when it matters?
Regarding slow play, I do not believe playing by the rules hinders fast play at all. If you think there is a chance a ball may be lost or out of bounds, simply hit a provisional shot from where you made your original shot before you leave to look for the original ball. I can play as fast as anybody wants to play and playing by the rules does not damper that ability.