One of the things that I find most unbelievable about the PGA Tour is how many of the players don’t know the rules. If I was out there playing on tour, you can bet I’d know the rules backward and forward. As I tell the players on my team: knowledge of the game can win matches.
It can also lose them. Briny Baird was DQ’d from the Honda Classic because he did not fully understand the new rules on lift, clean and place.
I think the most important rule for the hacker to remember has to do with your options when a ball goes into a hazard. Most people just drop the ball on the edge of the hazard where it went in.
But there are two other options: You can drop the ball anywhere behind that point keeping a straight line between the hole, the point where the ball crossed the margin of the water hazard; or, you can play again from where you hit the ball into the hazard.
These last two are useful if you have a preferred distance. Lets say that the water hazard is 60 yards from the green. Your shot from the edge of the hazard would be a tough three quarters swing from rough.
Instead, you could take the ball back along the line to a distance that you are sure of—say 100 yards. You might even be in the fairway.
If you already hit the ball from a preferred distance, you might just want to hit it again from that spot.
If its a lateral hazard, you also could drop within two club-lengths of the point where the ball crossed the margin of the hazard or a point on the opposite side of the hazard equidistant from the hole.
Again, you want to take the option that leaves you with the best lie at a distance that you are sure of.