Golf Lessons Beginners

Golf Lessons Beginners

This article is all about getting the basics right – golf lessons beginners covers how to save strokes knowing the basic rules of golf and a few tips thrown in – hopefully getting you ready for the golf season ahead!

Preferred Lies

This is one rule that really stumps a lot of golfers the dreaded ‘Preferred Lie’ because they are not sure of the rule or have never had the opportunity to ask anyone about the rule, they just meander along and play through their golf and not use the rule to their advantage.

Preferred lies normally come into effect in the colder winter months, they normally coincide with the daylight saving changes of the clocks or thereabouts, depending on the local rules at your particular golf course but that’s pretty much the rule.

Anyway, the other day a good friend of mine, he has been playing golf for many years and loves the games immensely as we all do, anyway he came into the clubhouse after his round the other day and said ‘it’s hard going out on there today with muddy golf balls and the muddy fairways’, my answer to that was ‘that’s OK if you have been on the fairway the majority of the time so you can lift clean and place the ball’ prior to your next shot.

He came back to me saying what is that the ruling because I haven’t cleaned or gave myself a preferred lie out there all day today! No wonder it was hard going out there!

Anyway, so let’s clarify the rule on the ‘preferred lie’ rule:

  • You can lift clean and place the ball on the fairway with no penalty during the winter months

  • You can lift clean and drop the ball if the ball is plugged through the green in the winter months

  • Some courses even allow lift clean and place the ball throughout the course with the exception of bunkers during the winter months too

  • But to be sure if you are not playing your home course then just ask for the current local rules

  • The preferred lie can also come into play outside of the winter months as well, this will be a local ‘ad-hoc’ rule due to some intense inclement weather and a lot of the fairways might have a lot of casual water on them – so the preferred lie could also come into play when this occurs

Local rules at all courses come into effect and can alter the outcome of your round, so well worth reading the back of the score card for the local golf rules when you are not playing your home course – it could save you a few points or a few strokes!

Stones in Bunkers

Golf Lessons Beginners - Stack of Golf Balls

We have all been there and experienced this scenario, the ball has gone into the bunker and a stone is conveniently located just behind the ball, read the rules on the back of the scorecard because the majority of the time you should be able to move the stone without incurring any penalty for the issue.

Some courses have local rules about other types of debris in the bunkers, but this is very much a ‘local rule’ and once again read the local rules or ask in the pro shop before teeing off, could save you a few more shots again!

Moveable Objects

Many golfers get a bit confused about this rule as well, they don’t know the answer so they just carry on and put up with scenarios and it costs them strokes and shots again!

The easiest way to explain this, is just say you had the TV crews at your golf course to televise an event? Well, there would be many moveable objects to deal with because the equipment they have brought with them is not a normal part of the golf course – so they are deemed as moveable objects.

These moveable objects could be obstructing your line of site towards the target, they could be impeding your golf swing, you ball could come to rest next to one of their TV structures, the list could be endless but hopefully you are getting the picture?

So to clarify, anything that is a moveable object and it not a permanent part of the golf course is deemed as a moveable object, so a ‘free drop not nearer the hole’ can be administered and without a penalty, so there we have it another stroke saving rule that could help you down the track.

Now you are thinking well that’s easy to remember – no sorry it’s not that easy! You know all those distance markers on the fairways, the stakes that mark lateral or water hazards well they are deemed moveable objects, so you can, in fact, pull them out of the ground if they are interfering with your swing, stance or line of sight, then play your shot then replace them once you have finished your shot – all without penalty – so some more stroke or point savings on your round.

Staked Trees

Another ‘grey’ area that seems to stump the average golfer is the staked tree rule, I am not too sure why but when I am playing I always have to help my playing partner find the most suitable drop point for relief from the staked tree.

To keep it simple, if your ball comes to rest near a staked tree it doesn’t have to be right up against the tree to get the free drop without penalty, if the staked tree is interfering with your backswing, follow through or your stance then you can take a ‘free’ drop without penalty.

The ‘grey’ area always seems to be where do they drop the ball. It’s quite simple, the ball needs to be dropped within two clubs lengths of the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole. So once you have picked the nearest point of relief not nearer the hole then mark with a tee, then once you have agreed on this point you can take the drop within two club lengths of the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole – simple yeah!

But prior to going down this track, you need to establish that the tree is, in fact, staked, pretty simple to notice a new seedling tree or young new tree with a protective cover on the outside of the trunk and a stake in the ground next to the tree.

Once again, if you are not sure always revert back to the scorecard that will cover all locals rules – 9 times out of ten all score cards mention the dreaded ‘staked tree’ – so further shots saved by just reading the local rules.

In this post I have covered pretty basic local rules, but the main one’s that can save you strokes in your round. Many golfers never use the rules to their advantage, watch the touring professionals on the TV and you will see that they use every rule to their advantage, so well worth reading the rules of golf before you next play a round of golf.

That about wraps up today’s tips on golf lessons beginners and how to save a few strokes on your rounds of golf, the next time you are out playing you may even shoot your best round ever by using the rules to your advantage!

Here is a link to another recent article that may help you with your golf game CLICK HERE.

As always, if you have any comments or feedback on this article please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below, I would be more than happy to respond to all questions left for my attention.

Have a great week and keep hitting it straight!



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