Whether completely new to golf or a seasoned professional, chances are you may not actually know the golf rule book as well as you think. You may feel like you know the rules well enough to play, but there are actually some weird golf rules that could actually have an effect on your score.

One of the quirks of the sport is its extensive list of rules, many of which are fairly strange and widely unknown. Whether you hit your ball into a bunker or at your opponent, there is a rule for what to do next. Here is our round-up of some of the weirdest golf rules that could cost a few strokes on your final score.

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1. Ball moving under water

If you hit your ball into the water and the current begins to move it, you are allowed to take a stroke at that ball as long as you do not intentionally wait for it to leave the relief area.

2. Morning dew cannot be wiped

If you get dew on your golf balls, you’d better think twice before wiping it off. Doing so is a violation of rule 13-2 and can cost two strokes.

3. Mixed up balls

Got two balls in one spot and cannot tell which one belongs to you? According to rule 12-2, both balls have to be forfeited. Each player is penalized with a stroke and has to replay the shot from their previous position.

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The best way to avoid these weird rules

If learning about golf for the first time, all these different rules can seem a bit mind boggling. Between all the rules about identifying and moving your ball, it may feel like you are being set up to gain strokes left and right. Fortunately, many of them can be avoided by just hitting the ball in the fairway.

Staying out of the bunker and the water is a general practice in golf, but it also protects you from a lot of the most confusing rules. Staying out of the water is an easy way to avoid having to figure out what to do when the water starts to move your ball. Perfecting your swing will help you make sure your ball always lands where you want it to. For more information on improving your swing, check out our post on the difference between a golf swing and a baseball swing.

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