Play it where it lies

by Hillary Evans, Clinical Hypnotherapist

Rule 13-1 is one of the most fundamental and one of the most universally disliked rules of golf. It is found on page 64 of the complete Rules of Golf as approved by the United States Golf Association and R&A Rules Limited. It clearly states:

“The ball must be played as it lies, except as otherwise provided in the Rules.”

Why People Don’t Like the Rule

There are several reasons, which are all variations on a theme:

That’s not where I intended to hit it.

It’s not where I want the ball to be.

It’s too hard (substitute “impossible”) to hit the ball from there.

I won’t win the hole if we have to hit it from there.

It’s fair to assume that hitting into a bad lie was not part of our plans for the day. At least it has never been part of mine. But, it happens.

The Rule Applies to Everyone

The annals of golf are filled with stories of balls landing in trees, on rocks, in birdbaths, and even in a man’s shorts! That’s right. Phil Mickelson drove one off the tee that caromed off a tree and landed just inside the right leg of a spectator’s shorts. You have to wonder who was more concerned about the lie, Mickelson or the spectator!

The point is that no one is exempt from playing it where it lies. Although the rule is thought to have given rise to the development of the popular duffer’s overhand shot out of the woods.

Understanding the Rule – Understanding Life

Play it where it lies is arguably the most important rule of golf because it is most reflective of life in general. We have an innate drive to want to have control over every situation. The problem is that we don’t. Sometimes circumstances get in our way. Sometimes those circumstances are results of our own actions. Sometimes the result of external forces. It doesn’t really matter. The rule applies to where it is. And it is what it is.

Experience has taught me that every golfer would like to have more control over their game and that every golfer who wants that also wants to have more control over everything else in their life. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s part of what I help people do. But that control has to take Rule 13-1 into consideration.

Rule 13-1 is Just Like Life

If golf were poker, Rule 13-1 would probably say that you have to play the cards you are dealt. Poker, golf, and life all operate by that same fundamental rule. Life is not about the situation. It is about what you do with it.

You see, you can’t always control where your ball goes or where it lands or where it lies. But you can control what you do with it from that point. As I work with my clients to improve their golf game through hypnotherapy, I am also really helping them to improve their lives. That happens almost unintentionally as clients address their feeling, correct their thinking, resolve inner conflicts, and face both golf and life with the realization that we must deal with life from where it lies.

I would be honored to help you come to grips with the concept of playing from where it lies. It can improve your golf game, your business, your relationships, and your life. Whether you schedule a consultation at my office in downtown Charleston or arrange for a session via phone or Skype, the benefits of hypnotherapy are waiting to be discovered. Call 843-252-0573 or contact me at to start today.