Lawyers are supposed to be experts at deciphering convoluted rules. But even lawyers can be confounded by the rules of golf. Thus, the golfers among you will be pleased to learn that two lawyers have translated the rules of golf into plain English and made them available through a mobile app, ready to consult whenever a knotty question arises.
Out this week is the mobile version of the book, The Rules of Golf in Plain English, by lawyers Jeffrey S. Kuhn and Bryan A. Garner. Kuhn, besides being a lawyer, is a volunteer USGA rules official who has officiated at a number of USGA championships. Garner you no doubt know for his prolific writing and speaking on language and usage and as editor of Black’s Law Dictionary.
The mobile version was published by The University of Chicago Press together with Ready Reference Apps. The book can be purchased for $9.99 from within the free Rulebook app for iPhone and iPad. (This is the same app I’ve written about before that provides the mobile version of The Bluebook.)
First published in 2004 and with a revised third edition out in 2012, The Rules of Golf in Plain English is the authors’ attempt to bring clarity to golf’s often byzantine rules. Since the original 338-word set of 13 rules written in 1744, the official rules are now more than 40,000 words long.
“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,” a press release for the app explains. “By reworking the rules line by line, word by word, they have produced a resource that no golfer—from the duffer to the pro—should be without.”
To purchase the mobile version of the book, first install the Rulebook app. You will then be able to purchase it from within the app.