Folks are very fond of myths. It's quite puzzling how we, though knowing they're not entirely true, still follow them. It could be because that's what we're used to doing, or we're afraid of some odd consequences if we don't follow them.
Even in things where there are a given set of rules, some myths exist. Just like golf.
Golf is a very technical game. Golfers play according to the rulebook, but unknown to some, they practice things they thought are part of the rules but in actuality are not.
Here are some of the most common golf myths:
1. Using a rangefinder is permitted by the Rules during play - You must be using this distance measuring device. However, Rule 14-3 bars strictly prohibit their use unless the Committee has acted even though in typical games, the Committee allows the use of such devices but with restrictions.
2. Before starting a new hole with a different ball, you must first inform your opponent in match play or your fellow competitor in stroke play – Players do this to show kindness but technically speaking, there are no rules that say you have to do this. It’s a bad idea to inform them in case they question you if the given ball is yours or not.
3. If anyone else replaces the ball, the player is penalized. Other than the player, if a person marks and lifts a player’s ball on the putting green, he must replace it – This is completely untrue. Under the Rule 20-3, the player, his partner, or the person who marked and lifted the ball - must replace it. If any person aside from the three replaces the ball, the player should correct the mistake or else, he will be penalized.
4. A ball is not back in play when it is replaced on the putting green until the ball marker is removed – False. Actually, as soon as the ball is replaced, it is back in play. The marker is useless when the ball has been replaced. Professional golfers leave the marker in place then swindle with the orientation of the ball – but this is an acceptable procedure. However, after having been replaced, if the ball is blown away from the marker, it should be played from its new position.
5. The type/brand of ball you use to start your round must also the same type/brand of ball for the whole round – This is true only when the “one ball rule” is applied. But this is almost never in effect for any game except only during PGA Tour and other events for skilled players.
Watching golf on TV or observing how others do it could be helpful in improving one's play. The danger in it lies only in the possibility of copying the wrong practices. Though they're not necessarily harmful, they are unnecessary and a waste of time. But don't fret. Even experienced golfers follow these myths. That's why it is important to not only have SKILLS in the sport, but KNOWLEDGE as well.