The Original Rules of Golf Revisited

Back in 1744, in-between swills of whisky and claret, the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers came up with the “13 Original Rules of Golf.” One need only to look at Rule 2: “Your tee must be on the ground,” to know they were consuming mass quantities of liquor.

After all years, it’s time for a new “13 Rules of Golf.” Here’s my shot at it:

  1. After a round, no golfer shall say what they shot unless asked. No one cares! The penalty for breaking this rule is to buy a round of drinks for everyone within earshot as well as the college tuition for their heirs.
  2. Any golfer yelling “Fore!” after an errant shot must yell “Fore!” before their ball actually hits the ground. The decibel of the shout must be louder than Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” to JFK. For failing to live up to this standard, the offending golfer will immediately be put on a PT boat about to be hit by a torpedo in the middle of the South Pacific.
  3. Saying the tired cliché: “Hit it, Alice!” after leaving yet another putt short of the cup, the offending golfer shall have to write a 1,000-word essay on the fact that the actual phrase is: “Hit it, Aliss!” and refers to Peter Aliss leaving a putt short in a crucial Ryder Cup match.
  4. Any golfer caught whistling in an irritating manner while playing golf (and in recorded history the only non-irritating whistling is the opening theme of The Andy Griffith Show) shall lose the use of their putter and driver for the remainder of their golfing life. Remember, if the Golf Gods wanted you to whistle they would have given you wings and a beak.
  5. The penalty for the wearing of spandex by any male during a round of golf is the electric chair. No exceptions.
  6. Any golfer begging: “Is this good?” on the putting surface shall have to play 20 rounds of miniature golf before being allowed back on a real golf course.
  7. The failure to replace your divot will result in having to place the offending divot down your trousers for the remainder of the round. For a second infraction of this rule, the other golfers in the group shall have the option to glue two divots on the side of the offender’s face like muttonchops.
  8. Any golfer wearing shorts must take a long look in the mirror before venturing to a golf course. If veins on exposed legs look like the grid of the U.S. Highway system or a Shar-Pei or both, long pants are mandatory. Failure to live up to this norm will result in the wearing of a bee-keeper suit while playing for the rest of your golfing years.
  9. A golfer giving unsolicited swing advice to playing companions shall be barred from the game for the remainder of their life as well as golf in heaven (or hell) if it exists. No exceptions.
  10. The failure to rake a bunker after hitting out of said bunker shall result in having the equivalent amount of sand placed into the golfer’s shoes forthwith. The shoes must then be worn for a fortnight, even while bathing.
  11. The failure to pay up on a golfing wager shall result in the deadbeat being tied to the roof of the vehicle used to pick up range balls. The pro shop shall supply free range balls to any golfers wanting to take advantage of this situation.
  12. Failure to repair your pitch marks on a green shall result in having to hit your shots with garden tools for a year. All drives must be played with a weed-whacker.
  13. Any golfing saying: “I didn’t quite get all of it,” after hitting a drive of 250 yards or longer shall be required to replay their drive with a Nerf Ball. If this golfer is male and repeats this infraction a second time, they will be required to play the next hole in spandex, which according to Rule 5, results in the electric chair. No exceptions.

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