With spring approaching, many area golfers will find themselves participating in some sort of competitive golf surroundings.

When playing in a golf tournament, outing, or a “friendly” match, I encourage you to have a working knowledge of the rules of golf. Knowing the more common rules of golf will always prove valuable to you and your playing partners’ benefit.

Here are a few of the basic rules of golf and their explanations for procedure.

• Know the difference between a water hazard and a lateral water hazard.

A water hazard is defined by yellow stakes and or lines. If your ball finds itself in a water hazard, you may (1) play from the original spot with penalty of one stroke; if the shot was played from a tee you may re-tee; (2) play the ball without grounding your club with no penalty; this can be done if the ball is resting on the shoreline or embankment; (3) drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point your ball last crossed the hazard in line with the hole, add a penalty stroke.

• If you ball has crossed a lateral water hazard identified by red stakes or lines you may proceed as illustrated in options 1, 2, or 3 above, or additionally (4) drop a ball within two club-lengths of the point of entry, or (5) a spot on the opposite side of the margin, each adding a penalty stroke.

• Lost ball — Go back to the point where the original was played.

• Out of bounds — Defined by white stakes, lines and or course property boundaries, proceed in the same manner as you would if the ball is lost.

• If your ball is in a bunker, keep in mind that a bunker is a hazard and grounding your club is under penalty of one stroke.

• If you’ve caused your ball to move, i.e. kicked it, replace your ball to its original spot and add a penalty stroke. If a playing partner has moved your ball there’s no penalty, but you do have to replace your ball to the original spot.

• Keep in mind when taking a drop, extend your arm fully out at shoulder’s height and drop your ball no nearer to the hole.

• You get free relief of your stance or swing from any man-made object that is immovable, i.e. cart path, electrical box.

• When taking a drop, remember if it came with a penalty stroke you can drop within two clublengths, if your drop is free from receiving relief you can drop with in one clublength.

The rules of golf and their decisions can be lengthy and difficult to follow. However, not knowing the rules of golf is no excuse. Having a bit of knowledge of the basic rules will always work in your favor, whether it be from knowing your options on the golf course or rightfully assessing an opponent.

For more information on these and more rules of golf, log onto www.usga.org and take an interactive rules of golf quiz.

Here at Raven Nest Golf Club, the tournament opportunities are numerous. Throughout the season golfers can play in events while supporting local organizations.

Additionally for the recreational golfer, we are pleased to be offering men’s, women’s, and junior golfer developmental and tournament programs. Please look for more information as spring comes closer.

Weekly drawing winners

Congratulations is due to our weekly drawing winners Ron Anglemeyer and George Kinkelar. To enter yourself into our weekly drawing simply drop off a business card or come in and fill out a customer information card.

Hole in one

Nice shot! Ron Proctor scored his second hole in one Saturday, Feb. 4, on the 8th hole, which measures 158 yards. He found the hole with his 7-iron.

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