There has been a lot of conversation about the rules of golf and how there should be one set of the rules for recreational golfers and another set for competitive or professional golfers. The idea is that most amateurs don’t play by the rules anyway, so we should just change the rules to make things “easier.”
The following is an excerpt from the late Teaching Professional Harvey Penick’s book And If You Play Golf, You’re My Friend:
I was watching four of my University of Texas players getting ready to hit on the first tee one afternoon in the early spring. They were discussing whether to play “winter” rules or “summer” rules. “What do you think, Coach?”
I said, “Well, you boys can go play golf. Or else you can make up some other game and go play that, instead.”
They understood my meaning. In the game of golf, the ball is played as you find it.
My job as a Teaching Professional is to teach people the game. Teaching the rules is part of that. If people don’t know the rules it is my job to teach them the rules and how to continue to play by them.