10 Most Violated Rules

Nearly every sport has someone who tells contestants when they have made an infraction. But in golf, players double as officials, calling violations on themselves. Can you imagine a baseball player telling a pitcher, 'Cancel that home run; my foot was outside the batting box line.'?

However, some rules seem to be harder to understand than others and, as a result, are more frequently violated (if not always called). The following is a list of the 'ten most violated rules':

Rule 4-4 - excess clubs

Rule 16-1c - tapping down spike marks

  • Rule 8-1 - giving and asking for advice
  • Rule 20-2 - dropping and re-dropping
  • Rule 24-2 - taking relief from immovable obstructions (especially cart paths)
  • Rule 25-1 - taking relief from casual water and ground under repair
  • Rule 26-1 - taking proper relief from water and lateral water hazards
  • Rule 28 - when a ball is unplayable
  • Rule 3-3 and 27 - playing a second ball vs. playing a provisional ball
  • Rule 2-5 - making a valid claim

Forty years ago, Golf Digest asked the same question to Joe Dey, then executive director of the USGA. Apparently, not much has changed in 40 years:

  • Rule 8 - giving advice and indicating the line of play
  • Rule 24 - dropping a ball from a cart path
  • Rule 26 - taking a ball from a water hazard and dropping it along 'the line of flight'
  • Rule 13 - improving the lie by moving growing things beyond the limit allowed
  • Rule 16 - tapping down spike marks
  • Rule 27 - procedure for a lost ball
  • Rule 24-25 - taking relief from immovable obstructions and GUR
  • Rule 27 - playing a provisional ball
  • Rule 28 - procedure for an unplayable lie
  • Rule 6 - undue delay in looking for a lost ball