Video Series

Video Transcript

Rule 13 in the rule book covers the idea of playing the golf ball as it lies. Rule 13 in the rule book covers the idea of playing the golf ball as it lies. It’s one of the most fundamental topics in the game of golf is that when we find that golf ball, we have to play it where it is. We can improve our lie or our situation. But there's some sort of special rules that go along with that that govern certain different situations. So as I find my golf ball here, I am in the semi rough, thirty yards off the green. I just went ahead with a nice little pick shot onto the green. It would be expected that when I set up to this ball, I’d probably want to take a practice swing.

But it's important to notice that I shouldn't take my practice swing so close to the golf ball that I would improve its position. I wouldn't want to be seen standing here, taking practice swings, chopping into the long grass to then make my shots onto the green and easier. It’d be better if I stood just a few inches further back, maybe a foot further back, took my practice swings. So it can improve my position, then step up and hit the ball. Another rule that's governed by rule 13 is the fact that you are allowed to put your golf club down behind the golf ball.

So as I address the golf ball this time, I'm going to bring the club in and I'm going to settle it behind the ball there before I start my swing. That's okay. One thing I'm not allowed to do is tamp down this area more than is deemed necessary to improve the position. I'm certainly not allowed to tamp down this area to then make my shot any easier. So you’d have to be quite careful with that as well. So grounding the club fine, tamping down the area that would be a bit more of a problem. It's going to move my ball to a slightly separate situation now and put it just here.

Now in this position, I've actually got something that's going to affect my backswing. So if I make a back swing from here, I'm going to hit this. It’s just a little weed, but it could be a tree branch or something of that nature. Now I'm not allowed to bend it. I'm not allowed to pull it out. I am not allowed to break it. If it was loose, maybe this one down here is loose. No, it's not actually. It's attached. That one's attached. But if it was loose for example this loose grass this, I'm allowed to pick that up and throw that away. That's classed as a loose impediment. It's not attached. It’s not fixed.

It's not growing, but this stuff is actually attached and it’s growing. So again if I made a swing and hit this and it broke and it bent and it gave me a better opportunity to hit the golf ball, penalty time I'm afraid. And even if I hit this in my practice swing, so I knock that over in my practice swing, then I set up and suddenly I’ve got a nice easy swing to hit the golf ball, that would give me a penalty as well. So you got to watch out for whether you are doing that probably accidentally, you are probably not going to be doing that deliberately, but accidentally that would be a problem as well.

So it’s really important we play the golf ball as it lies. Now I talked a minute ago about how touching the ground with the golf club just before you hit the ball, that would be okay. That's if you're not in a hazard. If you're in a water hazard or if you're in a bunker, we've got big problems with that. We're not allowed to touch the ground before the golf ball whether in a hazard or in a bunker. Now particularly noticeable in a water hazard, yes if it's full of water you know you're in a water hazard. But sometimes this could be on the bank of a stream or a river and although you're not standing in the water, that could be some red stakes or some white stakes or sorry yellow stakes or red stakes in this area, the demarcation that you are in the hazard.

If you're in the hazard, even if you are standing on the grass, you can't touch the club down onto the floor because you're inside the hazard. So you would have to hover the golf club, keep the club in the air before you make your swing. And again if you were to hit the grass on the backswing in a hazard, that's going to be a penalty. So be really careful when you're playing the ball as it lies particularly in water hazards.