Unlike sports such as baseball, basketball, and football, golf does not have a referee to walk around the course and make sure that everyone is following the rules. And trust me, in the game of golf, there are literally hundreds of detailed rules as outlined by the official rulebook created by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
Therefore, it is clear that players on the golf course should be well-educated on the rules that apply to the game. Having said that, let’s talk about one very basic regulation that everyone should have a simple understanding of, including beginners.
No Touching The Hazard Area
This rule pertains to a situation where a player as unfortunately shot his ball onto a hazard area. Hazards are not where you want your ball to be and sometimes it can be almost impossible to get it back into play.
What happens is that some golfers try to sneak a “touch” of the hazard ground before swinging for the ball. This gives that player an unfair advantage by helping them with information about the ground area before trying to shoot their way out. There is a term for this and it is called “grounding the club”.
Lets take one common hazard as a perfect example here; the sand trap. Fortunately, sand traps are probably the easiest of hazard areas to knock the ball out of. So let’s say that you hit your ball into this area and before making your swing you drive the club into the sand to feel the texture. Doing so is against the rules because a player could get a decent idea of the consistency of the sand, thereby helping him to consider what type of shot to make.
You have to keep in mind that hazards are there as sort of a punishment, so to speak, for hitting the ball incorrectly. It is what makes the game of golf challenging. So anytime you are unfortunate and have your shots end up in the rough, the sand pit, or any other hazard area, be a good sport and adhere to the rules of the game. You’ll be a much better player for it and cheating will not become a regular habit.