Want to just go ahead with it? Here’s what the “Rules of Golf” say about playing outside the turn
Once upon a time, in the days when my job consisted largely of using a pen and paper, we depended on a postman to tell us what our readers wanted. If you get a lot of messages, this is a topic for discussion. If the postal bag is empty, forget it.
Now we have all kinds of ways to communicate, email and social media to name a few, but the topic of today’s rules comes straight from Google.
Since you’ve clicked this into your numbers, we’ve got the stats to prove it. And when there are enough people typing the “Rules of Golf Ready” into their computers, it’s time to fill in the blanks and start writing!
So here’s everything you need to know about golf ready…
What is ready golf and what do the rules of golf say about it?
If you’ve never read R&A’s Pace of Play guide, you should definitely give it a skim. There are all kinds of anecdotes out there, including some that will make some of you a little confused – the suggestion of reducing the roughness to move things around is my personal favorite.
But, early on, they give a definition of Ready Golf and say it is as follows: “A term used in the game of putt, which indicates that players should play when they are ready to do so, rather than following the strict procedure of ‘should play furthest from the hole first'” in the rules of golf.
They give a lot of examples of this in action, as shorter hitters go longer hitters need to wait and play before helping someone else find their ball and put it down if that means standing near someone’s line.
Now that you understand what off-the-shelf golf is, what does the rulebook say about it?
It is covered by Rule 6.4b(2): Safe and responsible exit from the role. Not only are you allowed to play outside of your turn in a hits game, the rule states that you are encouraged to do so in a “safe and responsible manner.”
The rule gives some examples of this in action, such as if two or more players agree to it for “convenience or to save time”, or if they are very close to the hole and just want to get rid of it, or if they are simply willing to go and the player furthest from the hole is not Also – “so long as the player does not endanger, distract or interfere with any other player.”
But, despite its popularity, Ready Golf isn’t free for everyone. In fact, Rule 6.4b(2) also states that if a player who must play is ready and able, and indicates that they want to go first, the other players should “generally wait for that player to play”.
There are other limitations as well. If two players agree to play out of the turn to give one of them an advantage, for example, they will both receive a two-stroke penalty.
Other than that, though, there are no penalties under the rule whether or not you play out of the role under Rule 6.4b(1).
The situation is also different in the match game, where the order of play is of paramount importance. There, if you don’t stick to the normal playing order, your opponent can cancel your hit and force you to play again.