The Most Important Rule

Rule 13: Ball Played as It Lies. Easily the simplest rule to keep from breaking, but unfortunately also the most broken one. This rule is to me the true foundation of the game. Quite simply you place your ball on your tee prior to hitting your tee shot, and then do not touch it again until you mark your ball for your first putt on the green. Seems simple enough, but I challenge you to take note of how many times a ball is moved out of a divot or “rolled over” in the rough during any given round at your local club. “Winter Rules” as they are called by most are not rules at all, they are simply a set of provisions to allow you to break the rules. Sure, ensuring yourself a “perfect lie” before every shot it tempting, but why not try to play the ball “down?” Yes, there will be bad breaks, but look at all of the opportunities you will have to learn to hit new or different shots that are dictated by a lie you may have just moved it out of before. If you convince everyone in your foursome to do the same then the best player will still win, and each of you will be winners for honoring the traditions of the game.