Full disclosure, I am a senior rules official for the Florida State GA. I have played the Am a few times. In my experience, very few players are aware that there really is a book of golf rules. Most of them go with the “Somebody told me…” or “I heard that…” or “My buddy always does…” Most of the time they are incorrect in both interpretation and application. I have stopped interjecting because they won’t believe me anyway.
One year I witnessed the pro at the course give a bad ruling. I politely informed him that he was giving bad information. Of course, he took umbrage, so I suggested that he pull his rule book and check rule# 26 (at the time). I left but the guys involved told me the next day that he did indeed get out the book and correct the error.
When you decide to play in this kind of “tournament” be ready to put up with players who don’t know and don’t care. When you advise them, they get upset and say they are just out to have some fun. Good for them. Most of us invest a pretty good amount of money for their fun, and they are oblivious to playing by the rules.
Each player should be given a phone number that goes directly to the rules chairperson, not the local pro. Most issues can be settled over the phone. We even will have players send pictures sometimes. I have not played in a few years and doubt that I will again as I have witnessed and proven outright cheating without any resolution. It’s a shame for us players who stick to the book and play fair.