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Rules of Golf Publication
10th November 2010
Written by Brian and James Follett

GolfToday publisher Stuart Barber writes - Dry dusty stuff you might think but how many of us who play golf actually know the rules of the game we play. Not many I'd judge! - In earlier days I used to be the administrator of a number of events on the European Tour.

I recall vividly when during a Martini International at Wentworth , Seve Ballesteros - the eventual winner - Brian Barnes and George Will were playing the last round of the tournament being the leading 3 players. On the 4th hole George Will was in trouble on the right in amongst the trees. None of the players knew whether he could drop under penalty or had a free drop because of the boundary fence -was it an immovable object or not? Eventually John Paramour the referee gave his ruling and play continued.

Us mortals don't have the ability to call on a referee and I've certainly been in situations where with 3 of us playing there have been at least 2 and sometimes three different interpretations of the rules.

There are free rule books readily available and you can also carry round the excellent R & A's official "Decisions on the Rules of Golf"

But and it's not meant as a criticism A)The book is quite large and B)You have to find out whether and which rule you might contravene or to what relief (if any) you may be entitled to. However "Play your Golf by the Rules" is of a size that it can easily be carried round the course.

Also it is easy to find the answer to your problem. Instead of setting the rules in numerical order, the main 28 rules in common use show the problem for example "Divots" and then provide a concise answer to the question.

So we commend this very useful book to all of us who play the wonderful game of golf and more to the point in the spirit of the game and in accordance with the rules that govern play.

In his "Foreward" to the book Nick Price writes "I believe that this book is highly commendable because of its content, layout and ease of reference thus providing golfers, both beginners and experienced golfers with a comprehensive and simple understanding of the Rules and Etiquette of golf. This book will enable golfers to use the Rules to their full advantage and still "Play the Game" in the True Spirit it was intended".

Brian Follett writes - I have written a comprehensive, simply structured book on the Rules of Golf and have obtained the necessary Copyright Licence from the R&A for distribution of the book in their areas of jurisdiction.  It has been also been vetted by the USGA and approved for distribution in the United States & Mexico.

The USGA were most encouraging and believe that the more Rules books in the public domain the better it is for the game of golf. Also, we were encouraged by many of our fellow golfers to write the book and have received invaluable input from them. Many of them have asked for copies of "Play Your Golf by the Rules" as they have found it easy to read and understand and it has created an enormous interest in acquiring a greater understanding and knowledge of the Rules.

When we started to compile the book outline we soon realized the need for a "Most Helpful Rules - A Quick Reference" edition that can be carried on the course and allows the golfer to quickly and easily access the Rules and Etiquette of the game. The book covers the 28 Rules of Golf that affect a player during play and comprises of, in alphabetical order over 200 of the "Most Helpful Rules" and some of the more useful and interesting Decisions.

Other interesting information regarding the Rules and other aspects of "golfing lore" such as "The History of the Rules of Golf" and a "Glossary of Golfing Terms" have also been included. We believe that the books format we have developed will be of tremendous benefit to both new, longstanding and professional golfers alike and will greatly encourage many more golfers to become more au fait with the Rules and will thus benefit the game and encourage it to be played in the true spirit it is intended.

Resume concerning Brian Follett:-

I am an accountant by profession who has been an avid golfer for some 30 years. Having been involved in the game for all those years my knowledge of the Rules was, I believed acceptable, much the same as more than 90% of golfers worldwide.

The R&A Rules section visited South Africa to give a 2 day course on the Rules and I decided that it may be worthwhile attending the course which I did. I soon realized that my knowledge of the Rules was totally inadequate if I wished to play the game in the spirit it is intended. Considering that the Rules covering the playing of the game run into 100 pages, that is, without taking into account the Decisions on the Rules which are over 400 pages.

After completion of the course I soon realized that I, as were most golfer worldwide totally ill-equipped to play the game within the Rules. It was at this stage that I decided to spend some time and study the Rules and become more competent in this area. I soon realized that the Rules as presented in the Rules book do not make it easy for your average weekend golfer, and even for golfers at a higher level, including I believe professionals to attain a greater understanding because of their complexity and the format in which they are presented.

Owing to this considerable lack of understanding and knowledge about the Rules we attempted to compile a book using as simple a style, language and layout format as was possible which we believed will encourage many more golfers to become more familiar with the Rules.

In order to "simplify" the Rules we soon realized the need for a "Most Helpful Rules - A Quick Reference" edition that, as I've written above, can be carried on the course and allows the golfer to quickly and easily access the Rules.

We believe that the book really does provide an easy understanding of the rules. As such it gives every golfer at whatever level they play the game the opportunity to know the rules and when in doubt have an easy reference guide.

As we wrote earlier this will benefit the game and and help preserve the integrity of golf at all levels.

Dales Hayes who won 6 European Tour events, the European Order of Merit in 1975, as well as the Soth African PGA Championship 3 times writes
"Rules that govern golf often cause more discussion than the game itself.I don't believe there is a golfer who hasn't at some point been faced with a situation where he simply did not know what to do. This book gives all golfers an easy way to find out. It's fun to read and your knowledge of even the most complex Rules will be much improved. This book should be required reading for every golfer. Now enjoy "Play your Golf by the Rules"

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