Understanding the rules of golf is very important for all golfers. I studied the rules and feel that if wanted to be competitive golfer, I needed to know the ins and outs of the rule book. I feel that I understand the rules well and that I have saved many strokes because I knew the details and how to implement the rules. Regardless of how confident I felt, I still made mistakes that cost me a stroke or two. Fortunately, it did not cost me a match or a tournament.
The biggest mistake I made over the years (and several times as a matter of fact) was accidently grounding my club in a hazard. Of course this is not a problem any more with a change to rule 17, but before to 2019 it was a challenge for me. Where my problem arose was not paying attention to the depth of my ball in long grass. As I prepared to make a shot, I push my club too far down and touched the hazard. Of course I called the penalty and after berating myself for making a silly mistake, I moved on. It is the nature of making a rules mistake.
Another rules mistake that cost me was double hitting the ball on a chip. This foolish infraction was caused by trying to help the ball to the target. Not only did I gain extra strokes, but my ball was far off target. Fortunately new rule 10 eliminates the extra stroke, but not being off target. At least I have a putt for par instead of a bogey.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. All golfers make rules mistakes. Regardless of your experience, there are times when rules infractions happen. The best thing to do is accept our mistake, call the penalty on ourselves, and focus on not making another rules mistake.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links.