VIII If you should lose your Ball, by its being taken up, or any other way, You are to go back to the Spot where you Struck last and drop another Ball, and allow your Adversary a Stroke for the Misfortune.
(And if your Adversary has been seen taking up your Ball, you may strike your Adversary wi' a bit crook, teeing him upon the Ground.)
IX No Man at Holeing his Ball, is to be Allowed to Mark his way to the Hole with his Club or anything else.
(And if you do, man, the greens committee will chew you out.)
XII He Whose Ball lyes furthest from the Hole is Obliged to play first.
(This is a good rule, but I'll tell you, the public course players are going to relax it a little.)
XIII Neither Trench, Ditch or Dyke made for the preservation of the Links, Nor the Scholars' Holes or the Soldiers' Lines, shall be Accounted a Hazard, But the Ball is to be taken out, Teed and played with any Iron Club.
(Oh, swell, Duncan. So how come you let me make eight passes at it yesterday in the Soldiers' Lines with no relief?)
Well, you know what happens. You let one private club get started and down the road another pops up. The noblemen and lairds of Fifeshire couldn't stand it that we had The Company of Gentleman Golfers, and some rules, especially, they said, when everybody knew St. Andrews was the cradle of golfe. So in hardly any time at all they formed The Society of St. Andrews Golfers, which later would become known as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. And you know what happened after that. They had the sport by the old gutta-percha and never would turn loose of it.
A lot of arguments have gone on through the years about the history of the game—where it began, who molded the first cleek and so forth. Over at Muirfield, where The Honourable Company still hangs out, they say that the R&A would still be the Greensboro Jaycees if the Edinburgh code of golf hadn't, been written. And at the same time, over at Prestwick on the West Coast, they like to say that the R&A wouldn't have anything to do but run the St. Andrews city championship if Prestwick's members hadn't decided to invent the Open Championship and stage it the first 12 years of its existence. The Open Championship, of course, is what a lot of crass Americans would call the British Open today.