Florida has the highest number of golf courses in the country, and as one of its fastest growing cities, Tampa is home to a breathtaking golf infrastructure. Are you planning a weekend getaway with your colleagues in one of the luxurious golf courses in Tampa? Chances are, you are a casual golfer who just heads out to the turf to relax and socialize. Now the question is, should you follow all the United States Golf Association (USGA) rules?
The answer is ‘No’.
USGA is not for Casual Golfers
The USGA rulebook was designed in December 1894 in order to churn out and determine the best golfers in the US. From top golfers to rising amateurs, it has now become necessary for everyone to follow the golfing guidelines mentioned by the organization. In fact, the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) has adopted it too. But what about the ones who take up this sport just for fun?
Consider the basketball league organized in your locality for the little ones. Does the tournament adhere to every guideline of the game? Majority of the rules are modified in order to promote the fun element and encourage the young participants into adopting the game professionally. Why can’t there be slight modifications for casual golfers as well? Casual golfers often get puzzled with these complex rules, and as a result, recent years have seen a dip in recreational participation due to the lack of flexibility.
As a casual golfer, you can surely bend a few golfing rules. After all, the earliest record of golf in the US goes back to the late 18th century and USGA made an appearance after almost a century! This makes the rule less sacrosanct than you thought they are, doesn’t it?
How Do You Change Your Game?
Let’s show you the way.
Don’t be a Proponent of Slow Play
Golf is a slow game for the patient souls, isn’t it? According to the USGA, for instance, a golfer gets a stroke penalty if his shot goes into the woods or outside the boundary fence (out-of-bounds areas). He has to take the next shot with a new ball from the spot he took the previous swing. If it was the first shot, the next one will be counted as the third one after considering the stroke penalty. Why can’t you just take the shot from the edge of an out-of-bounds area, and move on with game? Why do you need a colleague to tend the flag? If the ball hits the flag during the stroke from the putting green, consider it to be in and continue to the next hole.
Golf courses in Tampa are equipped with numerous hazards in the forms of bunkers and water bodies. While professionals enjoy the challenges posed by these hazards, a casual golfer may not find them very inviting. What’s the solution? Change the rules and make them easier. Talk to your colleagues and determine the rules you can negate in order to make the game easier and more enjoyable.
The bottom line is, the USGA rulebook was never written for a casual golfer. So if you are one, feel free to make your own rules and enjoy the game. Most of the golf courses in Tampa offer stay-and-play packages, where you can stay in luxury club villas and take delight in top-notch facilities. But when you and your colleagues head out to the greens, don’t be hesitant to modify the standard rules. The USGA rulebook is for professional golfers; as a casual golfer, you can surely make certain changes in order to enjoy the beauty of golf in one of the best places in the US.