Golf Rules Always to the Fore
By Niall O’Shea
Rory McIlroy hit the headlines over the weekend over his reaction to an incident regarding the rules of golf. He suffered a two shot penalty for an incorrect drop, a penalty that ultimately had a big bearing on his second place finish. McIlroy was penalised for standing on the boundary of an obstruction, in this case a spectator crossing point on the fairway. Local PGA professional Padraig Dooley however had a different take and defended the rules of the game, many of which have endured over time.
Padraig from Drive Golf Performance has taken the PGA Advanced Rules and Refereeing course is well placed to give an opinion on the rules of golf. He explained: “The requirement to take full relief from an immovable obstruction or abnormal ground conditions is far from stupid. Both Rules 24 & 25 allow for relief from the conditions if it interferes with not only the ball but the stance and area of intended swing as well. If there wasn’t a requirement to take full relief, the player by not taking full relief could drop and if not liking the lie could re-drop as many times as required to get a good lie as the player would always be entitled to relief. This isn’t really a stupid rule.” McIlroy had commented that “There are a lot of stupid rules in golf and this is one of them”. While Dooley spends most of his time teaching, his is acutely aware of the importance of the rules and the influence they have in every game “all the rules of golf are well thought out and have a lot of history and cases behind them, none can be called stupid”.
While many golfers think that the Rules of Golf are complex, the Glanimre based teaching professional doesn’t agree; “A very good working knowledge of the rules doesn’t take too long to grasp. There are 34 rules, it might take 15 minutes to get reacquainted with each of them. An hour each evening in the winter months will mean it just takes over a week to get a great deal of the knowledge that will help every player.” It should also be noted that the Rules of Golf booklet can be downloaded for free from the R&A website.
Working from their own extensive facility in Riverstown, Padraig and his brother John have built a large customer base in under two years. In addition to lessons, also offer junior lessons, custom fitting and golf fitness programmes. Padraig is a qualified junior golf and golf fitness coach, both qualifications coming from the renouned Titleist Performance Institute. Padraig’s final bit of advice is “Why not grab a rule book while watching the TV and during the ad breaks, read a rule, you never know when it might save you a stroke or two.”