For all those who didn’t know not “grounding your club in a bunker” was even a rule

August 16, 2010

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Commenting on pro-golfer Dustin Johnson’s unlucky gaffe during the PGA Championship this weekend <a href=""><em>USA Today</em></a>‘s Mike Lopresti asks:</p>
<blockquote><p>This letter of complaint is for the gods of golf: Which one of you has Dustin Johnson ticked off?<br />
You’ve shown this kid no mercy. What next, the rack?</p></blockquote>
<p>Just in case you missed the headlines of nearly every sports section in every major media outlet this morning, on the eighteenth hole, with Johnson poised to walk away with the 2010 Wanamaker Trophy, he was unexpectedly issued a two stroke penalty after “grounding his club in a bunker.” And while to most, it may seem that the “gods of golf” are unmerciful and capricious in their decree, there are some important steps one can take to appease their wrath, including picking yourself up a copy of Jeffrey S. Kuhn and Bryan A. Garner’s <a href=""><em>The Rules of Golf in Plain English, Second Edition</em></a>.<br />
While this might not have helped Dustin Johnson, who according to all accounts simply didn’t know he was in a bunker, it will help many, I’m sure, who had no idea that “grounding your club in a bunker” was even a rule to begin with.<br />
Read more about the book after the break, or see the book’s special <a href="">website</a>.<br />
Update: And for all those mobile device-toting golfers out there <em>The Rules of Golf in Plain English</em> is also now available as a <a href="">Kindle</a> e-book.</p>
<p><span id="more-1655"></span><br />
In <em>The Rules of Golf in Plain English</em>, Bryan A. Garner, American English language and usage expert, and Jeffrey S. Kuhn, volunteer USGA rules official, have translated the knotty Rules with the encouragement and permission of the United States Golf Association. The result is a modern, readable version that offers, for the first time, clear guidance to both amateurs and professionals.<br />
Based on a 338-word set of thirteen rules written in 1744, the official Rules have grown, over two and a half centuries, to 40,000 words. Numerous contributors and a complex revision process have rendered these Rules so opaque and stylistically inconsistent that a companion volume—the 600-page <em>Decisions on the Rules of Golf</em>—has been published to help golfers navigate them.<br />
Both lawyers and avid golfers, Kuhn and Garner recognized the difficulties that the language of the Rules of Golf created, especially in a sport that expects players to call penalties on themselves. By reworking the Rules line by line, word by word, they have produced an accessible resource that no golfer—from the duffer to the pro—should be without.</p>
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