House Rules

Eric Aldrichby Eric Aldrich, PGA Head Golf Professional
Bolingbrook Golf Club

What excites us about getting up at sunrise and carving out at least six hours of our day to play a sport that continually beats us up?  And how does this same sport keep us coming back for more?  Is it the exercise?  The fellowship?  The competition?  It surely isn’t enjoyment, is it?  How can we possibly take pleasure in playing something so difficult and something that takes so long to play?  But in the end, and at the detriment of future golfers, golf must be enjoyed.  But how?  One of the best ways to enjoy the game of golf more – Don’t play by the rules.

Yes, you heard me, a PGA Golf Professional, correctly – don’t play by the rules. Now I am not suggesting that you do not understand the rules, I am merely stating that when you play your round, do not become enamored with conforming to the rules on every shot.  Think about the last time you played H.O.R.S.E. in the driveway with your children; did you play by the rules?  Doubtful.  When your toe crossed the line when bowling with friends, did you accept the penalty?  No way.  In fact, I would venture to guess that with most activities you do, you employ “house rules”.  Why?  Because it adds to the enjoyment of the game.

Starting in 2016, the USGA will adopt the anchor ban.  As a promoter of golf, I am disappointed that the United States governing body on golf would implement a rule banning something that makes the game easier for many.  So with that said, if anchoring makes you play better, then why not?  Along those lines, if you hit one out of bounds, why not take a drop and help you move the game along?  Maximum two putt, sure.  Two off the first tee?  Who doesn’t!?  The average golfer does not play for competition and therefore, must be able to enjoy themselves on the golf course.  Until a player wants to play competitively, house rules should be in order.  Even during a competition round, what’s wrong with a ball drop on the green side of the hazard?

The number one way to enjoy the game of golf more – Leave the ego on the driving range and Tee It Forward.  Move up one to two boxes and I guarantee you play quicker, score lower and leave wanting even more out of this great game.  Isn’t that what it is suppose to be about?

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