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Following the Rules= A Good Way to Piss People Off - Page 2

post #19 of 103

It's not as if it's a "free" choice anyway.  There is effectively a 2-stroke deterrent to prevent people from abusing the provisional option.

post #20 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

It's not as if it's a "free" choice anyway.  There is effectively a 2-stroke deterrent to prevent people from abusing the provisional option.

Exactly, I'm not sure why some people are looking at this as if it is a get of jail free rule or something. I would much rather take the time to locate my ball to play 2, for example, rather than 3 off of the tee. Especially if there is a small chance that I have a decent opportunity to play a legitimate second shot.

I have seen many amateurs not understand this ruling though and typically take "2" from the tee, which doesn't even begin to make sense to me. 

post #21 of 103
Thread Starter 

I think I did blow it going back to the tee after the whiff...I counted the whiff as part of my score, but it didn't occur to me at the time that it also meant I lost the option to go back to the tee.  A brain-fart on my part similar to Tiger at Augusta this year but both are still examples of how the rules are more complicated than they need to be.  

 

Had I just gone ahead and played my provisional for handicap purposes as if I had never found the first one (before the whiff), I potentially could have made a "5" on the hole (assuming I could get up and down in 2 from 150 yards which I had already done a few times that day).  I believe I am able to take up to a 7 under ESC, so pre-whiff, I am not sure that playing the provisional would have been a legit option as far as handicap scoring.

 

I agree with Rusty that abandoning your original in favor of a well played provisional is a choice that can be influenced by how well the provisional turns out.  Last year, on #11 at Keystone Ranch, a 300 yard par 4, I hit my original pin high in long grass and played a provisional to 4 feet.  After seeing how long the grass was and how difficult a second shot it would be, I didn't look very hard for my original and sunk the 4 footer for par.  Had the provisional not been so good, I would have tried much hard to find the original.  As BPLewis said, it is not a free choice so I don't have a problem with the player having this option and don't see how allowing the player to keep this option AFTER finding the original would really hurt the game (although I think there might be an even better way to do it that wouldn't require the player to go back and play a 3rd tee shot).

 

A question regarding not "finding" your original and playing a provisional.  In the situation the other day, could I have spotted what turned out  to be my ball in the woods on 18 but not positively ID the ball before assessing my shot and then still abandon it in favor of the provisional?  i.e. other than the low hanging branches, the ball was sitting clean and I could see it from 15 yards away.  Instead of walking right to it and IDing it, could I have walked behind and to the side and seen that there was no good shot and then left it in favor of the provisional?  AKA, how certain can you be that it is your ball and still abandon it?

post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

... but both are still examples of how the rules are more complicated than they need to be.  

I have tried to back you in the past on some of these alternative rules ideas, but each time, after the rules experts have explained the reasoning behind them, I find myself agreeing with them.  So I will agree with your statement above, with my alterations. c2_beer.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

A question regarding not "finding" your original and playing a provisional.  In the situation the other day, could I have spotted what turned out  to be my ball in the woods on 18 but not positively ID the ball before assessing my shot and then still abandon it in favor of the provisional?  i.e. other than the low hanging branches, the ball was sitting clean and I could see it from 15 yards away.  Instead of walking right to it and IDing it, could I have walked behind and to the side and seen that there was no good shot and then left it in favor of the provisional?  AKA, how certain can you be that it is your ball and still abandon it?

Hmmm, that's an interesting question.  I don't know the answer but am going to guess anyways (I treat some of these as little pop quizzes until somebody who knows what they're talking about gives away the real answer) that if you see a ball, you have to identify it as yours or not.

post #23 of 103
Thread Starter 

I should add that the group behind us was nowhere in sight, so the only players I help up were the threesome I joined.

post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Had I just gone ahead and played my provisional for handicap purposes as if I had never found the first one (before the whiff), I potentially could have made a "5" on the hole (assuming I could get up and down in 2 from 150 yards which I had already done a few times that day).  I believe I am able to take up to a 7 under ESC, so pre-whiff, I am not sure that playing the provisional would have been a legit option as far as handicap scoring.

 

Under your circumstances it would not be a legit option.  That is why in my post I said I would have played out with the provisional and posted a 7 no matter what resulted from the 2nd ball.  Once you found your 1st ball, your options changed and playing the provisional already played technically wasn't under the rules of golf.  

 

You could, of course post your "most likely result" for handicap purposes.  But I believe the most likely result would have been a 6.  IMO, that stroke isn't a big enough deal to really fret over.

post #25 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I have tried to back you in the past on some of these alternative rules ideas, but each time, after the rules experts have explained the reasoning behind them, I find myself agreeing with them.  So I will agree with your statement above, with my alterations. c2_beer.gif

 

 

I am not saying that most rules don't have some sort of logical explanation.  Simpler rules might be different (and may even make certain holes play easier/harder) which might offend some purists. BUT I think the rules could be sim;ified without having much impact on the fundamental nature/object of the game or altering the current OWGR.  The benefit would be to increase the number of players who understand and follow the rules (which is a very low % currently) as well as some chance to speed up the pace of play.

 

As it stands currently, some players who would like to follow the rules are pressured to ignore some at times so as not to be "one of those guys" (to quote a previous poster). 

post #26 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I am not saying that most rules don't have some sort of logical explanation.  Simpler rules might be different (and may even make certain holes play easier/harder) which might offend some purists. BUT
 I think the rules could be sim;ified without having much impact on the fundamental nature/object of the game or altering the current OWGR.  The benefit would be to increase the number of players who understand and follow the rules (which is a very low % currently) as well as some chance to speed up the pace of play.


As it stands currently, some players who would like to follow the rules are pressured to ignore some at times so as not to be "one of those guys" (to quote a previous poster). 

It doesn't get much more simple than play the ball as it lies and count each and every stroke. Yet those are the 2 rules that are most violated.
post #27 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

 

A question regarding not "finding" your original and playing a provisional.  In the situation the other day, could I have spotted what turned out  to be my ball in the woods on 18 but not positively ID the ball before assessing my shot and then still abandon it in favor of the provisional?  i.e. other than the low hanging branches, the ball was sitting clean and I could see it from 15 yards away.  Instead of walking right to it and IDing it, could I have walked behind and to the side and seen that there was no good shot and then left it in favor of the provisional?  AKA, how certain can you be that it is your ball and still abandon it?

 

Once a ball is found in the area where your ball is thought to be, you are required to examine it and identify it if it's your ball.  That's what got Phil in his case at Torrey Pines.  He didn't want to look for it, but once a ball was found, he was required to verify whether or not it was his.

post #28 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I am not saying that most rules don't have some sort of logical explanation.  Simpler rules might be different (and may even make certain holes play easier/harder) which might offend some purists. BUT I think the rules could be sim;ified without having much impact on the fundamental nature/object of the game or altering the current OWGR.  The benefit would be to increase the number of players who understand and follow the rules (which is a very low % currently) as well as some chance to speed up the pace of play.

 

As it stands currently, some players who would like to follow the rules are pressured to ignore some at times so as not to be "one of those guys" (to quote a previous poster). 

I know, but what I am saying is that each time I've read one of your "Why don't we just do it this way because it would be much simpler" threads in the past, my first though is usually something along the lines of "Yeah!  Why not?  That makes perfect sense!"

 

But then fourputt comes along and says something all logical and stuff (what a jerk!) like:

 

"It really isn't making a choice between two balls though and that's all the rules care about. Since you don't know the precise situation of the original ball, you are simply choosing to not find out. Once the original ball is found, then you lose the option of playing with the provisional ball because rules do not allow you to choose between two balls in play. The rules don't allow a player to have more than one ball in play at a time."

 

Which usually causes me to go "Oh, that's why."

 

I don't think the golf rules are confusing on purpose.  I think they are as simple that they can be, and yet still make sense and be fair.

post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

As soon as I decided that my best option was to go re-tee, I would have, in the interest of time and out of courtesy to others, just played the one that was already in the fairway.  I understand that that would not fly in a tournament, but in a casual round I'm playing by myself where nothing is on the line, the fact that I've already hit a shot from the correct location would be good enough.

 

This exactly.  Obsession with the rules goes to some silly extremes in casual rounds.  I understand that not everyone is willing to either just take a drop in a crappy spot and play it like a hazard (+1, playing 3) or take a drop out in a reasonable but not great spot (+2, playing 4, like you'd reteed and hit a decent but not good shot) if they lose a ball unexpectedly, insisting on going back and re-teeing.  But if you've ALREADY hit a provisional and you find the original but it's unplayable, then it's fully just silly not to take the already hit provisional.

post #30 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I know, but what I am saying is that each time I've read one of your "Why don't we just do it this way because it would be much simpler" threads in the past, my first though is usually something along the lines of "Yeah!  Why not?  That makes perfect sense!"

 

But then fourputt comes along and says something all logical and stuff (what a jerk!) like:

 

"It really isn't making a choice between two balls though and that's all the rules care about. Since you don't know the precise situation of the original ball, you are simply choosing to not find out. Once the original ball is found, then you lose the option of playing with the provisional ball because rules do not allow you to choose between two balls in play. The rules don't allow a player to have more than one ball in play at a time."

 

Which usually causes me to go "Oh, that's why."

 

I don't think the golf rules are confusing on purpose.  I think they are as simple that they can be, and yet still make sense and be fair.

I think it is more about mind-set- yes it is possible to defend/explain each individual rule but would the game be hurt by having a simpler set of rules.

 

Whether it is golf or the tax code, it seems to me that rules are always added on to and never simplified.  While there may be a reason or explanation for each rule in golf and the tax code, there are also benefits to make both simpler.  Golf originally had 13 rules on one page of paper- would you enjoy golf any less if we went back to those rules?  Who do you think would be world #1 if we went back to those 13 rules?  

 

For the record, I think there could be some tweaks to the original 13, so that is not exactly what I am proposing, but I the game could benefit by having simpler rules.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post

 

This exactly.  Obsession with the rules goes to some silly extremes in casual rounds.  I understand that not everyone is willing to either just take a drop in a crappy spot and play it like a hazard (+1, playing 3) or take a drop out in a reasonable but not great spot (+2, playing 4, like you'd reteed and hit a decent but not good shot) if they lose a ball unexpectedly, insisting on going back and re-teeing.  But if you've ALREADY hit a provisional and you find the original but it's unplayable, then it's fully just silly not to take the already hit provisional.

I agree but this is not currently an option under the rules of golf.  

 

One reason that I like to play by the rules as much as possible in casual rounds is so that tournament rounds don't seem that much different.  I think it is possible to get into bad habits by playing too much by "casual" rules golf.  i.e. A guy I played with growing up finished 2nd in the JR World and 3rd in the So Cal Amateur back to back weeks but made a blunder in another tournament by picking up a 6 inch putt after having played a number of casual rounds consecutively.  For me it is more psychological than physical, but if I don't play by the rules regularly, then playing by the rules is an indication that it must be time to get nervous and choke.  Being in the habit of holing all putts, etc makes a tournament round feel more similar to a casual round for me.

post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I know, but what I am saying is that each time I've read one of your "Why don't we just do it this way because it would be much simpler" threads in the past, my first though is usually something along the lines of "Yeah!  Why not?  That makes perfect sense!"

 

But then fourputt comes along and says something all logical and stuff (what a jerk!) like:

 

"It really isn't making a choice between two balls though and that's all the rules care about. Since you don't know the precise situation of the original ball, you are simply choosing to not find out. Once the original ball is found, then you lose the option of playing with the provisional ball because rules do not allow you to choose between two balls in play. The rules don't allow a player to have more than one ball in play at a time."

 

Which usually causes me to go "Oh, that's why."

 

I don't think the golf rules are confusing on purpose.  I think they are as simple that they can be, and yet still make sense and be fair.

I think it is more about mind-set- yes it is possible to defend/explain each individual rule but would the game be hurt by having a simpler set of rules.

 

Whether it is golf or the tax code, it seems to me that rules are always added on to and never simplified.  While there may be a reason or explanation for each rule in golf and the tax code, there are also benefits to make both simpler.  Golf originally had 13 rules on one page of paper- would you enjoy golf any less if we went back to those rules?  Who do you think would be world #1 if we went back to those 13 rules?  

 

For the record, I think there could be some tweaks to the original 13, so that is not exactly what I am proposing, but I the game could benefit by having simpler rules.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post

 

This exactly.  Obsession with the rules goes to some silly extremes in casual rounds.  I understand that not everyone is willing to either just take a drop in a crappy spot and play it like a hazard (+1, playing 3) or take a drop out in a reasonable but not great spot (+2, playing 4, like you'd reteed and hit a decent but not good shot) if they lose a ball unexpectedly, insisting on going back and re-teeing.  But if you've ALREADY hit a provisional and you find the original but it's unplayable, then it's fully just silly not to take the already hit provisional.

I agree but this is not currently an option under the rules of golf.  

 

One reason that I like to play by the rules as much as possible in casual rounds is so that tournament rounds don't seem that much different.  I think it is possible to get into bad habits by playing too much by "casual" rules golf.  i.e. A guy I played with growing up finished 2nd in the JR World and 3rd in the So Cal Amateur back to back weeks but made a blunder in another tournament by picking up a 6 inch putt after having played a number of casual rounds consecutively.  For me it is more psychological than physical, but if I don't play by the rules regularly, then playing by the rules is an indication that it must be time to get nervous and choke.  Being in the habit of holing all putts, etc makes a tournament round feel more similar to a casual round for me.

 

 

With taxes, you could easily make changes to the underlying principles without changing the purpose, of raising money for the government.  Nobody really cares how it's done, and if a simpler, more efficient method can be found which costs less to manage while still being fair and accomplishing the goals, it's all to the good.  With golf, if you start to monkey with the basic principles, you can quickly lose what made the game great in the first place.  Propose a simplified set of rules which are workable and don't change the game beyond recognition and even the USGA would probably listen.  But to think that such modifications exist which havn't been considered and rejected during the last 200 years is a bit naive.  Golf is an inherently complex game, and simplifying the rules can't come without making major changes in the way the game works.  Basically, to simplify the rules you have to eliminate portions of the game, change the definition of what constitutes a course, or portions of it.  You would have to change procedures, and in particular change penalty procedures in a way that defeats the basic thinking behind the penalty assessment.  You would make the game easier (meaning less difficult to play, not necessarily less difficult to understand), and in the process it would no longer be golf.  

 

My feeling is, if you picked up the game in the first place for what it is, then why do you want to change it into what it is not?

post #32 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I think it is more about mind-set- yes it is possible to defend/explain each individual rule but would the game be hurt by having a simpler set of rules.

 

 

 

If it was up to you what would you suggest that would make it less complicated regarding this situation? Just curious. Really just sounds like a bad bounce to me.

post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post


With taxes, you could easily make changes to the underlying principles without changing the purpose, of raising money for the government.  Nobody really cares how it's done, and if a simpler, more efficient method can be found which costs less to manage while still being fair and accomplishing the goals, it's all to the good.  With golf, if you start to monkey with the basic principles, you can quickly lose what made the game great in the first place.  Propose a simplified set of rules which are workable and don't change the game beyond recognition and even the USGA would probably listen.  But to think that such modifications exist which havn't been considered and rejected during the last 200 years is a bit naive.  Golf is an inherently complex game, and simplifying the rules can't come without making major changes in the way the game works.  Basically, to simplify the rules you have to eliminate portions of the game, change the definition of what constitutes a course, or portions of it.  You would have to change procedures, and in particular change penalty procedures in a way that defeats the basic thinking behind the penalty assessment.  You would make the game easier (meaning less difficult to play, not necessarily less difficult to understand), and in the process it would no longer be golf.  

My feeling is, if you picked up the game in the first place for what it is, then why do you want to change it into what it is not?

He hit a provisional, he looked for original, found it, missed it, decided he couldn't play it.... It was a casual round where he was holding up strangers. Go to the provisional and play it. For god sake it was a nothing round and followed the rules in spirit! Nobody is going to have problem with his actions and if they do they need to see a shrink! Lol
post #34 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I think it is more about mind-set- yes it is possible to defend/explain each individual rule but would the game be hurt by having a simpler set of rules.

Maybe not hurt, but definitely changed.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

But to think that such modifications exist which havn't been considered and rejected during the last 200 years is a bit naive.

Right.  My thinking is that they started with the original 13 rules as a basis, without being able to foresee what different scenarios could pop up.  Then as time went on, they tweaked and tweaked as needed and did their best to keep it as simple as possible.

 

I don't think the rules are intentionally convoluted (like some portions of the tax code probably are ;)) or confusing ... it's just a really complex game.

 

And, as fourputt mentions ... probably at least part of the reason we all love it so much.

post #35 of 103
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

 

With taxes, you could easily make changes to the underlying principles without changing the purpose, of raising money for the government.  Nobody really cares how it's done, and if a simpler, more efficient method can be found which costs less to manage while still being fair and accomplishing the goals, it's all to the good.  With golf, if you start to monkey with the basic principles, you can quickly lose what made the game great in the first place.  Propose a simplified set of rules which are workable and don't change the game beyond recognition and even the USGA would probably listen.  But to think that such modifications exist which havn't been considered and rejected during the last 200 years is a bit naive.  Golf is an inherently complex game, and simplifying the rules can't come without making major changes in the way the game works.  Basically, to simplify the rules you have to eliminate portions of the game, change the definition of what constitutes a course, or portions of it.  You would have to change procedures, and in particular change penalty procedures in a way that defeats the basic thinking behind the penalty assessment.  You would make the game easier (meaning less difficult to play, not necessarily less difficult to understand), and in the process it would no longer be golf.  

 

My feeling is, if you picked up the game in the first place for what it is, then why do you want to change it into what it is not?

I understand where you are coming from, but guess I look at it differently.  

 

For good players, 90% of the time it is about hitting the ball, playing it as it lies and holing it out with most of the complicated rules coming into play less than 10% of the time.  For bad players, the complicated rules might come into play more often, but are beyond their ability level.  So to me, golf is about trying to hit the ball solid/straight, playing it as it lies and holing it out in as few strokes as possible.  Yes, there is strategy involved and rules that are more/less penal do have an effect on strategy choices, but adding, modifying or eliminating some rules is not going to change the essence of the game in my mind.

 

I am not proposing this, but let's say you eliminated all penalty strokes (except for improving your lie or moving your ball closer to the hole).  Do you think the game would be too easy?  I might shoot a couple shots lower on average but still think Tiger would kick my a**.

post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I am not saying that most rules don't have some sort of logical explanation.  Simpler rules might be different (and may even make certain holes play easier/harder) which might offend some purists. BUT I think the rules could be sim;ified without having much impact on the fundamental nature/object of the game or altering the current OWGR.  The benefit would be to increase the number of players who understand and follow the rules (which is a very low % currently) as well as some chance to speed up the pace of play.

 

You've been asked to show examples of simplifying the rules in a way that doesn't fundamentally change them and have, thus far, been unable to.

 

We've also refuted your last point or belief that the players would suddenly start playing by the rules if they were only made simpler. They would not - unless your simplified rules included gimmes, mulligans, moving your ball out of that "unfair" lie and propping it up in the rough, nudging it in the fairway, etc.

 

To the people who want to follow the rules, 99.9% of the time they can with some VERY simple guidelines. Play it as it lies. Know a few basic procedures.

 

Specifically, I don't remember the last time I had to look at the rules book. I know a bit more than the average rules-abiding guy, but still. It's been years since I've had to look up the Rules on the golf course.

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