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Practice swings are OK
Golf news
Graham Lewis - photo by Photo provided.

Golf is fun, whether playing solo or with others. Having a basic understanding of the game’s rules makes it easier to enjoy the experience and improve your skills. In this periodic column, I provide brief explanations of golf rules and answer commonly asked questions.

Question: Griffin and Kline are playing in a stroke play tournament. On the third hole there is a long wait on the tee. Griffin takes out his sand wedge and begins to practice chipping on and around the tee box area. Kline tells him that practice between holes is not allowed and they will be penalized. Is Kline correct?

Answer: No. Rule 7-2 of the USGA Rules of Golf says a player may practice putting or chipping on or near the putting green of the hole last played, any practice putting green or the teeing ground of the next hole to be played in the round. This practice must not be made from a hazard and must not unduly delay play. Griffin may not play golf as much as he would like, but he knows this rule.

Tip of the week: Make an effort to leave the golf course in better shape than it was when you started your round. Repair at least one other ball mark besides yours and, if needed, rake your foot prints and those not raked by others when you leave the sand bunker.

As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf.


Lewis is a certified teaching professional and a member of the United States Golf Teachers Federation. E-mail him at

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