The Original Rules of Golf Revisited

By: David Wood

Back in 1744, in between swills of whiskey and claret, the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers came up with the "13 Original Rules of Golf." One need only to look at Rule 2: "Your tee must be on the ground" to know they were consuming mass quantities of liquor. Where else could one tee a ball - on the Space Shuttle?

After all these ensuing years, it's time for a new "13 Rules of Golf." Here's my shot at it:

1. After a round, no golfer shall say what they shot that day unless asked. No one cares but you! The penalty for breaking this rule is to buy a round of drinks for everyone within earshot as well as the college tuition for their heirs.

2. Any golfer yelling "Fore!" after an errant shot must yell "Fore!" before his ball actually hits the ground. The decibel of their shout must be louder than Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to JFK. For failing to live up to this standard, the golfer will immediately be put on a PT boat to be hit by a torpedo in the middle of the South Pacific.

3. After saying the tired clich´┐Ż: "Hit it, Alice!" after leaving yet another putt short of the cup, the offending golfer shall have to write a 1,000-word essay on the fact that the actual phrase is: "Hit it, Aliss!" and refers to Peter Aliss leaving a putt short in a crucial Ryder Cup match.

4. Any golfer caught whistling in an irritating manner while golfing (and in recorded history the only non-irritating whistling is the opening theme of "The Andy Griffith Show") shall lose the use of their putter and driver for the remainder of their golfing life. Remember, if the Golf Gods wanted you to whistle they would have given you wings and a beak.

5. The penalty for the wearing of Spandex by any male during a round of golf is the electric chair. No exceptions.

6. Any golfer begging "Is this good?" for his next putt shall have to play 20 rounds of miniature golf before being allowed back on a real golf course.

7. The failure to replace your divot will result in having to place the offending divot down your trousers for the remainder of the round. For a second infraction of this rule, the other golfers in the group shall have the option to glue two divots on the side of the offender's face like muttonchops.

8. Any golfer wearing shorts must take a long look in the mirror before venturing to a golf course. If the veins on your exposed legs look like the grid of the U.S. Highway system, a Shar-Pei or both, long pants are mandatory. Failure to live up to this norm will result in the wearing of a beekeeper suit while playing for the rest of your golfing years.

9. A golfer giving unsolicited swing advice to playing companions shall be barred from the game for the remainder of their lives as well as golf in heaven (or hell), if it exists. No exceptions.

10. The failure to rake a bunker after hitting out of one shall result in having the equivalent amount of sand placed into the law-abiding golfer's shoes forthwith. Those shoes must then be worn for a fortnight, even while bathing.

11. The failure to pay up on a golfing wager shall result in the deadbeat being tied to the roof of the vehicle used to pick up range balls. The pro shop shall supply free range balls to any golfers wanting to take advantage of this situation.

12. Failure to repair your pitch marks on a green shall result in having to hit your shots with garden tools for a year. All drives must be played with a weed-whacker.

13. Any golfing saying "I didn't quite get all of it," after hitting a drive of 250 yards or longer shall be required to replay their drive with a Nerf ball. If this golfer repeats this infraction a second time, they will be required to play the next hole in Spandex which, according to Rule 6, results in the electric chair. No exceptions.

Well, these are just my ideas for new golfing rules. I'd love to hear yours at before I send them off to the R&A.

David Wood - writer, corporate speaker, and humorist - is the author of the soon-to-be published book "Around the World in Eighty Rounds." With several appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman," Wood combines humor with his love for golf and adventurous travel. For comments or inquiries on having him speak to your group, contact David at His website address is