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The New Golf Rules for 2018 Explained and Simplified


Golf, like everything else in life, is ever evolving. And 2018 has a few exciting changes to the rules of the game as we await the  game-changing rule changes for 2019 to be published. Back to the new golf rules for 2018, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) made a joint statement announced some significant changes to take place in the game of golf effective on January 1, 2018.

The 2018 new golf rules changes are being implemented as a “local rule,” meaning they affect each golf course differently according to the unique conditions of the course. The two golf governing bodies and the major professional golf tours deemed these changes too necessary to put off. The new golf rules are taken into effect as local rules until then.


First Major Change in 2018 Golf Rules: Wrong Score for Hole

New golf rules

The key change in rules is a new exception to Rule 6-6d, which relates to a player recording a wrong score for a hole. Here’s what rule 6-6d and its exception say:

“The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score for each hole on his scorecard. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.

Related Post: Golf Facts You Probably Never Heard Of

Exception to the rule:

If a competitor returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken due to failure to include one or more penalty strokes that, before returning his scorecard, he did not know he had incurred, he is not disqualified. In such circumstances, the competitor incurs the penalty prescribed by the applicable Rule and an additional penalty of two strokes for each hole at which the competitor has committed a breach of Rule 6-6d. This Exception does not apply when the applicable penalty is disqualification from the competition.”

In the new golf rules, you will no longer be the two penalty shots for signing an incorrect scorecard if you as the player are not aware of violating the rule when you sign the card. The new rule is penalizing the number of strokes for the infraction itself.

Lexi Thompson's four-stroke penalty

A classic example of how unfair the previous rule was, is the heart-wrenching story of LPGA player Lexi Thompson during the ANA Inspiration tournament (an LPGA Major) in April of 2017. She has penalized four strokes for wrongly replacing her ball on the 17th green during the 3rd round of the tournament. The 2-stroke penalty was for the infraction itself, while the other 2-stroke penalty was for signing an incorrect scorecard at the end of the round.Unfortunately for Lexi, she was unaware of the initial infraction at the time of play. The infraction came to light when a television viewer sent an e-mail to the LPGA alerting them about it. Poor Lexi didn’t become aware of the infraction until after the 12th hole in the final round – the following day. This meant she went from leading by two strokes to trailing by two strokes. She bravely rallied to tie the event at the end of regulation play. Eventually, Lexi lost to South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu in a dramatic (and teary) playoff. Lexi is not the only one to have suffered from this rule. It also bit Tiger Woods, as well as Dustin Johnson.

When scoring golf, it is also vital to understand penalties. You can read up our post on the fundamentals of golf scoring.


Second Major Change in 2018 Golf Rules: New Video Review Protocol

new golf rules

The second significant change in the 2018 rules of golf is an off-spin of the first rule.

This new golf rule strips viewers of their power to direct how the game plays out. It happens when the viewers are sending their observations of infractions in a game – live or recorded. The sponsoring organization cannot take directives from a viewer’s comments.

The new golf rules will be implementing these video review protocol for events under the patronage of the professional golf tours that were part of the group responsible for drafting the changes. These include the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour, and the PGA of America. They have also encouraged other organizations that run televised golf events to adopt the protocol.

Some officials are to monitor the video broadcast of a tournament. It will help identify and resolve any rules issues as they may arise.


New Golf Rules – A Better Game for Everyone

These new golf rules are very much welcome amidst some resistance to changes. It’s a win-win situation for players and viewers alike. The game of golf has just become better. It will undoubtedly go a notch higher as the 2019 changes roll out on the 1st of January 2019. Fore!


Golf Facts You Probably Never Heard Of

There’s certainly nothing wrong with having some pop culture knowledge up your sleeve. This is especially true about the sport of golf. As one of the oldest sports in the world, golf’s history is quite rich and varied. There are details about its history that are still up for debate, but it’s quite evident that it has already made an indelible imprint on society. So today, we have a massive list of golf facts that you probably never heard of.

Related Post: Golf Jokes: Break The Ice With These Funny Puns And One-Liners

Knowing these golf facts can make you look like a real connoisseur, even if your game is nothing to write home about. With that said, let’s move on to some interesting facts about golf.

Fun Golf Facts You Probably Don’t Know

  • The word “caddy” comes from the French word “cadet” which means student. “Cad-Day” is the correct pronunciation.
golf facts
Phil Mickelson and his caddy Jim “Bones” MacKay.
  • There’s a 12,500 to 1 chance of making a hole-in-one. Making two holes in one in a single round are approximately 67 million to 1. Getting hit by lightning is a far better chance.
  • Modern-day golf as we know it has originated in Scotland during the 15th century.
  • Golf, along with javelin throw, is the only sport that was played on the moon. Back on February 6, 1971, Alan Shephard of the Apollo 14 hit a ball one-handed using his 6-iron.
  • Feeling sorry for your high handicap? Don’t worry because 80% of golfers will never have a handicap of less than 18.
  • Golf allows only 14 clubs in a golfer's bags at one time during a round.
  • Back in the day, women get to have fun too. It was January 9, 1811, at Musselburgh, Scotland when the first-ever women’s golf tournament was held. The winner received a fishing basket while the two runner-ups won a silk scarf.
  • Making a hole in one on a par-five is called a condor and has only been verified four times.
  • In 1975, Coby Orr of Littleton, Colorado is the youngest player to have made a hole in one. He was five years of age.

Fun golf facts featuring celebrities

  • Tiger was eight years old when he made his first hole in one.
  • Phil Mickelson is a well-known left-handed golfer although he’s in fact, right-handed. Phil, as a child, studied his father while playing. It then shaped his own game. He never used right-handed club during his golfing career.
  • Mike Austin made the most extended ever professional golf drive in 1974. The ball traveled at an impressive 470 meters.
  • Actor Samuel Jackson is a big golf enthusiast. He has a contract clause that he must be allowed to play golf twice a week whenever he shoots a movie.
golf facts
Samuel Jackson is a big golf enthusiast.
  • We all know her for massive hits like “The Power of Love” and “My Heart Will Go On” but did you know that Celine Dion is a huge golf fan? Not only that, but she also owns a course, the Le Mirage Golf Club.
golf facts
Did you know that Celine Dion is a huge golf fan?


Fun facts about golf courses

Golf Facts
Walking in an 18-hole golf course (approximately 4 miles) is a good exercise
  • It is in Morococha, Peru where you can find the highest golf course in the world. The Tactu Golf Club sits 14,335 feet above sea level. The players suffered conditions like altitude sickness and nosebleeds leading to the course closing in 1993.
  • In America, making a hole in one means buying a round of drinks for your buddies. However, in Japan, golfers face the necessity of getting a hole in one insurance. Having insurance means that the lucky golfer can afford the cost of food and drinks for the celebration. Not so bad for an annual payment of $65 for $3,000 of food and beverages – that is if you make that shot.
  • If you walked on a typical 18-hole golf course instead of riding the cart, you would approximately walk four miles. Yup, golf is a good exercise alright.
  • The most extensive golf course is the Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzen, China. It is a twelve-course 18-hole course resort with a total of 216 holes. On the other hand, the world’s longest golf course is the Nullarbor Links in Eyre Highway, Australia. It is an 18-hole par 73 golf course along the 1,365 kilometers of the Eyre Highway. The average distance between holes is 66 kilometers.

Fun facts about golf balls

golf facts
Image source: Pixabay
  • Golf balls travel faster during hot weather. The hotter the weather, the more resilient the rubber becomes which increases the ball’s elasticity.
  • A regulation golf ball has 336 dimples. The dimples are designed to reduce turbulence and allow the ball to travel further.
  • Golf balls were originally made from leather and stuffed with chicken or goose feathers. After feathers, golf balls were then made of wood.

Wrapping Up

And that wraps up our list of golf facts. So did you manage to learn something new about the sport? Do you have fun trivia that you can share? Let us know in the comments.

For more information about golf or courses, in particular, check out AtTheTee.com. From course listings to golf resources, it’s a great golf website for veterans and newbies alike.

Golf Jokes: Break The Ice With These Funny Puns and One-Liners

For the rest of the world, golf is a low-energy activity that is only played to relax. Serious golfers know that sentiment is far from the truth. Our sport is a tough one to master and requires a high level of skill and precision. Plus, the competitive atmosphere of the game can make casual spectators think that this is a really serious sport.

In reality, every golfer needs a good laugh every now and then, considering the intense seriousness of the sport. This is why we have compiled some of the best golf jokes that the internet has to offer.

Although you could probably get away with simply quoting Happy Gilmore, Tin Cup or Caddyshack, it certainly won’t hurt to improve your repertoire of golf jokes. Whether you’re playing with your boss or a client, feel free to use the following jokes to break the ice.

  • Golf Puns and Funny One-Liners

Here are some gold quick funnies from ThoughtCo:

Golf is a lot like taxes: You go for the green and wind up in the hole.

Wife: I'm sick and tired of your obsession with golf!
Husband: Why, is it driving a wedge between us?

Why do golfers hate cake? Because they might get a slice.

A good golf partner is one who's always a little bit worse than you are.

Q: How bad do you want to be a good golfer?
A: I have a driving ambition.

I'm not a bad putter, I just can't catch a break.

If you golf on election day, be sure to cast an absent-tee ballot.

A good golf partner is one who's always a little bit worse than you are.

Golf is what you play when you're too out of shape to play softball.

Q: How bad do you want to be a good golfer?
A: I have a driving ambition.

I like my women like my golf game; in the mid-80's with a slight handicap

I only hit two good balls today… I stepped on a rake.

Q: Is he a bad golfer?

A: It's a fore-gone conclusion.

Golf is the perfect thing to do on a Sunday because you will spend more time praying on the course than if you went to church.

  • Tiger Woods Golf Jokes

golf jokes

Tiger Woods is definitely the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of golf. However, when we think of Tiger Woods these days, it can’t be helped that the jokes would revolve around his DUI incident and cheating scandal. Here are the best ones we got:

I heard Tiger Woods got a DUI…

He should have picked a different driver.

Q: How do you “Tiger-proof” a golf course?

A: By strategically placing fire hydrants around it.

What's the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a golf ball 400 yards.

There’s a new drug out which not only improves your sex life; it also improves your golf game. It’s called TIAGRA.

Just wasted $20 on the latest Tiger Woods DVD “My Favourite 18 holes.” Turns out it was all about golf.

Tiger Woods is so rich that he owns lots of expensive cars. Now he has a hole in one.

Tiger has a new movie coming out. It's called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hydrant.

Tiger Woods was arrested for DUI…

He was three shots over.

  • Long Golf Jokes

Here are some long golf funnies that we have found. Again, these are pretty lengthy so you better brush-up on your storytelling skills.

From PGA:

  • Small World

Two men ran out to the course for a quick nine after work. They get to the tee and see two ladies playing ahead of them.

One of the men complains that the ladies will slow them down and says he is going to ask if they can play through. He goes halfway to the ladies and turns back.

The other man asked what was wrong. The man said, “I can't go up there that's my wife and my mistress.”

So the other man says he will go. He goes halfway and comes back. His partner asked what happened and the man replied, “Small world, huh?”

A Baptist pastor decides to play hooky on a Sunday to play golf. He's playing the best golf of his life when an angel asks God, “Are you going to let this slide? Do something!”

So God says, “Watch this.”

The pastor hits a 425-yard tee shot and the ball goes in the hole for a double eagle. The angel asks, “Why did you reward him?”

God says, “Who is he gonna tell?”

  • Baptist Pastor

A Baptist pastor decides to play hooky on a Sunday to play golf. He's playing the best golf of his life when an angel asks God, “Are you going to let this slide? Do something!”

So God says, “Watch this.”

The pastor hits a 425-yard tee shot and the ball goes in the hole for a double eagle. The angel asks, “Why did you reward him?”

God says, “Who is he gonna tell?”

From Reddit:

  • An Engineer, a Priest, and a Doctor Plays Golf

An engineer, a priest, and a doctor are trying to enjoy a round of golf. Ahead of them is a group playing so slowly and inexpertly that in frustration the three ask the greenkeeper for an explanation. “That’s a group of blind firefighters,” they are told. “They lost their sight saving our clubhouse last year, so we let them play for free.”

The priest says, “I will say a prayer for them tonight.”

The doctor says, “Let me ask my ophthalmologist colleagues if anything can be done for them.”

And the engineer says, “Why can’t they play at night?”

  • Tough Course

When you hit an atrocious shot (and I mean atrocious, this is reserved for the tops and shanks of the shot spectrum) you just look your playing partner square in the eye, say “tough course,” and shrug it off.

  • Wrapping Up

Personally, when it comes to golf jokes, I would just tell my golfing buddies, “Wanna hear a joke? Just watch my short game.” Hopefully, we have brightened your day and add a few gems to your golf jokes repertoire. Have a good golf joke to share? Feel free to make us laugh in the comments.

Looking for a good golf resource for courses? Check out AtTheTee for a directory of golf courses that might be near your area. Also, check out the blogs for some entertaining golf articles.

The History of Golf in America

If you are serious about golf, then you owe it to yourself to learn about its rich history. Almost all modern sports have origins that can go as far back as thousands of years – the history of golf is indeed no different. Up to this day, the very history of golf is still unclear and is always up for debate.

Today, we’re going to highlight some of the most critical events in the history of golf in America, as well as the people who pioneered in this sport.

The Birth of Golf

Modern golf has originated from the eastern coast of Scotland in the Kingdom of Fife during the 15th century. This event is a very early incarnation of golf where players would hit a stone over a sand course. Rabbits use a primitive club or stick to track.

During the 15th century, while Scotland was preparing to defend itself from an invasion of the Auld Army, King James II of the Scottish parliament has banned the sport in 1457. This is because many people would neglect their military training so that they could play the game. Many people have ignored the ban, and it was only in 1502 that King James IV of Scotland (1473 -1513) has granted the royal seal of approval to the sport. He became the very first golfing monarch.

Golf became an official sport in 1744 when the Gentleman Golfers of Leith formed the first golf club and arranged a yearly tournament. Duncan Forbes is the creator of the rules for this tournament. One of the original 13 rules are as follows (this should sound familiar to most golfers out there):

If your Ball comes among water or any watery filth, you are at liberty to take out your Ball & bringing it behind the hazard and Teeing it; you may play it with any Club and allow your Adversary a Stroke for so getting out your Ball.

Golf Comes to America

The history of golf in America goes back to 1657, thanks to the arrest of a pair of drunk gentlemen who took part in an incident involving a ball in Albany, New York. However, it won’t be until 1743 (a year before the formation of Company of Gentleman Golfers) that there was a shipping record of 432 golf balls and 96 golf clubs delivered to a Mr. David Deas in Charleston, South Carolina. Leith Scotland sent the shipping order. There are also rumors of the formation of an association in Savannah, Georgia around the same time.

The formation of the first permanent golf club was in 1888 in Yonkers, New York. It was the royal and ancient St. Andrews Golf Club. The founder was the transplanted Scotsman, Mr. Johnny Reid, along with the collective nicknamed “Apple Tree Gang.” Reid and his friends were big enthusiasts of the game. According to records, they played in a 3-hole golf course that started and ended near the landmark of a large apple tree. Many consider Johnny Reid to be the father of American Golf.

The Other Father in the History of Golf in America

Many people will insist that Charles Blair Macdonald is the one who deserves the honors of being the Father of American Golf. He is a golf enthusiast,  a golf course architect, and a writer. The Golf Journal considers Macdonald as the “True Pioneer of American Golf.” He’s the man responsible for the creation of the pivotal Chicago Golf Club, the very first 18-hole golf course in America.

In 1982, Charles Blair Macdonald persuaded 30 Chicago business associates to contribute $10 (a princely sum at the time) for the development of a 9-hole golf course. This particular course will eventually become the Downers Grove Golf Course.

History of Golf in America
Charles Blair Macdonald. [Image source: Wikimedia Commons]


The United States Golf Association or USGA was founded on December 22, 1894. Formerly called the Amateur Golf Association of the United States, the organization was founded after Macdonald finished second in two national amateur championship event. In 1895, Macdonald was able to win his first championship which happens to be USGA’s first official tournament. A day later, Horace Thomas Rawlins won the very first U.S. Open Championship. He outplayed ten other athletes for the $150 championship prize.

Also in 1895, Lucy Barnes won the very first U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, an essential event in the history of golf in America.

Birth of the PGA

The PGA or the American Professional Golfers Association was founded in 1916 by Rodman Wanamaker, a department store owner. Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, the PGA is made up of over 28,000 professional golfers. In October 1916, the PGA held its very first championship tournament and had prize money of $2,580. Wanamaker is responsible for donating a trophy for the competition which will eventually be named in his honor.

The Rest is History

Thus, golf went on its way to become one of the most prestigious recreational sports in America. If you want more information about our sport, check out AtTheTee for a wealth of golfing information especially regarding courses.

Knowing the history of golf in America is good, you may want to know now what a perfect golf swing looks like by studying the well-known players and their historical playing styles. You can use this information to help refine and improve your golf game.

Picking a Good Golf Caddie

Golf caddies make golfing easier and more enjoyable, but they do more than just carry your golf bags. From offering suggestions on the best clubs to determining the yardage, caddies play a huge role in determining the success of your round of golf.

The three fundamental rules of all golf caddies are “show up”, “shut up”, and “keep up”. Choosing a caddie can be the best or worst decision that you make on the golf choose.

A good golf caddie should know what to say, and most importantly when to say it. He/she should help you focus after a good round and help you rebound after a very awkward shot.

Part confessor, friend, psychiatrist, nursemaid, and valet, a caddie is an absolute mix of personalities who sticks next to you on the golf course through thick and thin.

Qualities of a Good Golf Caddy

1. Pick the Right Golfing Tools

Your caddy should be able to help you decide on which golf club to use from a bag full of different types of quality clubs. They should also present the clubs in a way that allows you to easily pick one after every shot, except on the green.

2. Know the Golf Course

One of the advantages of using a caddy is utilizing his/her knowledge of the golf course. A good caddie is especially important if it’s your first time to play on a particular course.

With a great understanding of the ground and terrain, your caddie knows the most appropriate line for your drives, the distances to hazards, and the slopes on the greens. This will save you lots of strokes and give you more information on your game.

3. Help You Assess a Situation on the Course

A good caddie should give you good golfing advice that is specific to your style of play. Once he/she has seen you play a few holes, he/she will have a good idea of when you should lay up, when you should go for a carry, and when to offer other course management tips.

Sometimes, you may need some help in assessing the difficulty of a hole. A caddie should have a better understanding of the golf course and can offer you useful insights before making that crucial shot (and avoid sand traps).

4. Provide the Much-Needed Support

On the course, you might have your loyal fans politely cheering you on, but the real support will come from your caddie. They are the ones who’ll be with you on the course the whole time. Their help and push should make reaching the 18th hole a reality.

A caddy serves as an on-course psychologist, and this will tremendously boost your morale and help you think positive even when things are tough. They should complement your best swings and shots – these little things make the most difference.

5. Should be Experienced

Get a caddy who has been on the golf course for several years.

For instance, if you are playing on a new golf course, reading the greens can be a stressful endeavor.

However, an experienced caddie should have seen every possible putt on that specific green and should be able to advise you on speed and line. This will save you a lot of shots on the putting surface.

6. Have Abundant Knowledge of the Locality

Notably, if you are looking for something to do locally, why not ask your caddy? Stuck and need help? Ask your caddy. Do you need to know the best locations for taking photos on the golf course? You caddy knows them. Do you want to go shopping for your golf attire? You guessed that right – ask your caddy!

Having a caddy with immerse information of the area around the golf course is definitely an added advantage.

Etiquette Towards Your Golf Caddie 

For the best golfer-caddy relationship, here are some guidelines you need to follow:

  • Always introduce yourself to the caddie. Let them know a thing or two about you and what you love during your golfing sessions.
  • Do not engage your caddie if you are going to spend your round discussing private or business matters with family or other associates.
  • Respectfully listen to what your caddy has to say, even if you won’t follow their advice.
  • Always let your caddy handle the flagstick.
  • Tip your caddy if you enjoyed your rounds. This will motivate them to offer better services next time.

Golf caddies are valuable to anybody who wants to have a good time on the golf course. They can also make or break your rounds. In some cases, you may develop a long-lasting friendship with your caddie that goes beyond the golf course.

With these tips, you can be sure to find the best there is.