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MEfree Challenge: New Rules of Golf - Simplified but not Fundamentally Changed - Page 7  

post #109 of 138
Thread Starter 

Here is a really good discussion of the 1960s rules change by USGA Vice President John Winters Jr.  My reading of it is that they wanted to LESSEN THE PENALTIES while having the same penalty structure for OB. lost ball, unplayable lies and hazards, but that the lost ball situation made it hard to reconcile the 4 because of the uncertainty about where the ball had in fact been lost.  I agree that this uncertainty causes definite issues.  However, we already make educated guesses about where balls cross into hazards, so why not make a conservative educated guess about where a ball is lost?  By doing that, all 4 situations could be played equal which is what the USGA wanted to do in the 60s (and what I would like to see now).

 

http://gsr.lib.msu.edu/1960s/1961/610204.pdf

The USGA for some time has sought
means to minimize penalties for the common errors-balls out of bounds, lost, unplayable, and in water hazards. There is
a sameness among these four situations the ball is made unplayable in one way or
another; the fault is the player's, and relief without penalty is out of the question. Logically, the penalties and pro-
.cedures should-be .similar.
post #110 of 138

The thing I see is that these changes will do nothing to speed up play, because the worst offenders aren't slow because they play by the rules.  They tend to not have a clue about the rules, about pace of play, about the players around them.  They rarely follow any rules aside from hit the ball with a club.  These are the typical weekend golfers and some are fast, some are average and some are slow, but most don't make any serious attempt to follow any sort of rules aside from what they set with their buddies on the first tee.  They may have learned some vague rule information by word of mouth, but most of it is wrong.  They are good with that and don't worry about it.  

 

Saying that MEFree's rules or any other modification will make courses play faster is just a straw man argument.

post #111 of 138
Thread Starter 

I doubt he had an OBs either, but what if he played more aggressively because he knew there was less of a penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

That point would only apply if Jack had to play under that rule during one of those wins.  I seriously doubt that he hit any ball out of bounds during a major win. a2_wink.gif

 

 

 

 

It was changed back because it was not considered to be equitable to have the same penalty for a ball which was not on the course as for a ball which was on the course but in a hazard - in other words it was wrong to penalize a ball in play as severely as a ball out of play.  Out of bounds and lost balls are both out of play, so the penalty should be stiffer to balance the offense.  The same thing I've been saying all along here.

Either you are wrong about why they changed it back or the USGA did a flip flop if John Winters is to be believed.  If you haven't read his entire article yet, you really should as it seems really well thought out.  

post #112 of 138
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

The thing I see is that these changes will do nothing to speed up play, because the worst offenders aren't slow because they play by the rules.  They tend to not have a clue about the rules, about pace of play, about the players around them.  They rarely follow any rules aside from hit the ball with a club.  These are the typical weekend golfers and some are fast, some are average and some are slow, but most don't make any serious attempt to follow any sort of rules aside from what they set with their buddies on the first tee.  They may have learned some vague rule information by word of mouth, but most of it is wrong.  They are good with that and don't worry about it.  

 

Saying that MEFree's rules or any other modification will make courses play faster is just a straw man argument.

I agree that my rules would not turn a 5 hour round into a 4 hour round.  You are correct that most don't play by the rules, but of the minority of us who try to, one reason we might not go back to the tee when we lose a ball is because of the time it takes.  In this way, the current rules do force players to make a choice at times between following every rule or playing a bit faster.  My rules would eliminate the need for that choice to be made.

post #113 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I doubt he had an OBs either, but what if he played more aggressively because he knew there was less of a penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

That point would only apply if Jack had to play under that rule during one of those wins.  I seriously doubt that he hit any ball out of bounds during a major win. a2_wink.gif

 

 

 

 

It was changed back because it was not considered to be equitable to have the same penalty for a ball which was not on the course as for a ball which was on the course but in a hazard - in other words it was wrong to penalize a ball in play as severely as a ball out of play.  Out of bounds and lost balls are both out of play, so the penalty should be stiffer to balance the offense.  The same thing I've been saying all along here.

Either you are wrong about why they changed it back or the USGA did a flip flop if John Winters is to be believed.  If you haven't read his entire article yet, you really should as it seems really well thought out.  

 

The entire penalty structure is based on negating any possible advantage gained by breaching a rule.  I don't really care what Winters said, I go on discussions I've had with current on course officials and USGA and PGA of America workshop instructors.  A ball in play but unplayable has a different status from a ball lost or out of bounds.  There is always the potential for a ball in a hazard to require a stroke and distance penalty if the hazard margin is directly in front of the spot from which the ball was played, or there is no reasonable dropping point which would satisfy the other options.  That potential would almost never apply to a ball out of bounds or lost, so now you are penalizing a player more harshly for keeping the ball on the course but in a hazard than for hitting it off the course or losing the ball.  That is simply a crime against equity.  

 

The penalty for hitting a ball out of play should never be better than the penalty for keeping the ball in play on the golf course.  This is a fairly simple concept and it doesn't take being a vice president of the USGA to see the logic in it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

 

I agree that my rules would not turn a 5 hour round into a 4 hour round.  You are correct that most don't play by the rules, but of the minority of us who try to, one reason we might not go back to the tee when we lose a ball is because of the time it takes.  In this way, the current rules do force players to make a choice at times between following every rule or playing a bit faster.  My rules would eliminate the need for that choice to be made.

 

 

In that case I still stick to the current process that for an unfinished hole, you mark the most likely score and play on.  Changing the rules is not necessary.

post #114 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I agree that my rules would not turn a 5 hour round into a 4 hour round.  You are correct that most don't play by the rules, but of the minority of us who try to, one reason we might not go back to the tee when we lose a ball is because of the time it takes.  In this way, the current rules do force players to make a choice at times between following every rule or playing a bit faster.  My rules would eliminate the need for that choice to be made.

They won't reduce it to four hours on their own, but if pace of play is as big a concern as some claim it to be, then we need to start somewhere. 

post #115 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I doubt he had an OBs either, but what if he played more aggressively because he knew there was less of a penalty

Either you are wrong about why they changed it back or the USGA did a flip flop if John Winters is to be believed.  If you haven't read his entire article yet, you really should as it seems really well thought out.  

It's an interesting read.  Except it looks like that article was written right at the start of the change for OB (bringing it in line - via an optional local rule - with hazards) but the end of an experiment with the lost ball rule.  Sounds like they tried that one out in 1960 and it failed.  I'd be curious to read an essay by that same guy at the end of the 1961 experiment and his logic as to why they changed it back.  My favorite part of that article, though, is general, and sums up my thoughts pretty well ...

 

 

Quote:

Frequent Rules changes, especially on a trial basis, are generally undesirable.  But an open mind and a willingness to venture into new areas can be productive in any activity. Not so long ago the Rules did not recognize lateral water hazards; now they receive special treatment in the Rules. The 14-club Rule was not introduced until 1938; it is now a fundamental. The abolition of the stymie was an outgrowth of various experiments.  The putting green traditionally was "allground, except hazards, within 20 yards of the hole;" only in late years has it been defined as ground "specially prepared for putting." We must be willing to try new approaches.

post #116 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post  In this way, the current rules do force players to make a choice at times between following every rule or playing a bit faster.  My rules would eliminate the need for that choice to be made.

Again I think it comes down to your situation, the courses you play are somewhat unique. You probably wouldn't have these concerns if you played the urban courses most of us play. We aren't playing at courses cut into the mountains, at least not frequently. The only time I really lose balls is hitting them into yards at my parents club. Most of the time I can spot the ball just can't retrieve it. Just once in 2013 have I hit a ball and had no idea where it ended up and it was because I lost it in the sun late in the afternoon as I hit the ball west. Everything else is stock procedure dealing with hazards and OB. The OB at our course is in full sight, there's no mistaking it when it crosses the white stakes. Playing a provisional and making drops is mundane at best. Honestly I wish I had your "problems". I look forward to losing balls in July :).

post #117 of 138

I agree that going back to the tee really slows things down and it helps when people hit provisionals. However, I also agree that people playing by the rules is not the cause of slow play. I think that the rules are good as they are but for the sake of pace of play I wouldn't be opposed to a rule that allowed for a drop for a ball out of bounds if it was a 2 stroke penalty. That would keep the severity of the penalty the same and yet allow you to not have to take the walk of shame. In fact it would provide some interesting choices because if you hit one OB, you can take your drop and 2 stroke penalty but likely be playing out of the rough or try to hit another shot off the tee and into the fairway but risk putting another one out of bounds.

post #118 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

The entire penalty structure is based on negating any possible advantage gained by breaching a rule.  I don't really care what Winters said, I go on discussions I've had with current on course officials and USGA and PGA of America workshop instructors.  A ball in play but unplayable has a different status from a ball lost or out of bounds.  There is always the potential for a ball in a hazard to require a stroke and distance penalty if the hazard margin is directly in front of the spot from which the ball was played, or there is no reasonable dropping point which would satisfy the other options.  That potential would almost never apply to a ball out of bounds or lost, so now you are penalizing a player more harshly for keeping the ball on the course but in a hazard than for hitting it off the course or losing the ball.  That is simply a crime against equity.  

 

The penalty for hitting a ball out of play should never be better than the penalty for keeping the ball in play on the golf course.  This is a fairly simple concept and it doesn't take being a vice president of the USGA to see the logic in it.

The logic is there if you are comparing a shot that is hit straight and just a little short versus any shot that is sliced into oblivion.  But it doesn't take into account arbitrary things like the fact that this particular course just so happens to own that canyon and call it a hazard whereas that course doesn't so they call it OB.

 

I play a course that has a couple of par 3's over water and also scrub brush/bushes to the right of the holes that they call a lateral hazard so the penalty for going (for all intents and purposes - here's your opening) clear off the course can very well be less severe than it is if you shoot at the flag and come up a bit short.  The presence or absense of a property lines seems pretty random to be a basis for crimes against equity.

post #119 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

The entire penalty structure is based on negating any possible advantage gained by breaching a rule.  I don't really care what Winters said, I go on discussions I've had with current on course officials and USGA and PGA of America workshop instructors.  A ball in play but unplayable has a different status from a ball lost or out of bounds.  There is always the potential for a ball in a hazard to require a stroke and distance penalty if the hazard margin is directly in front of the spot from which the ball was played, or there is no reasonable dropping point which would satisfy the other options.  That potential would almost never apply to a ball out of bounds or lost, so now you are penalizing a player more harshly for keeping the ball on the course but in a hazard than for hitting it off the course or losing the ball.  That is simply a crime against equity.  

 

The penalty for hitting a ball out of play should never be better than the penalty for keeping the ball in play on the golf course.  This is a fairly simple concept and it doesn't take being a vice president of the USGA to see the logic in it.

The logic is there if you are comparing a shot that is hit straight and just a little short versus any shot that is sliced into oblivion.  But it doesn't take into account arbitrary things like the fact that this particular course just so happens to own that canyon and call it a hazard whereas that course doesn't so they call it OB.

 

I play a course that has a couple of par 3's over water and also scrub brush/bushes to the right of the holes that they call a lateral hazard so the penalty for going (for all intents and purposes - here's your opening) clear off the course can very well be less severe than it is if you shoot at the flag and come up a bit short.  The presence or absense of a property lines seems pretty random to be a basis for crimes against equity.

 

Course design shouldn't factor into a rules discussion, aside from concerns whether the course is properly designed for playability.  You certainly don't change the rules to accommodate a poor design.

post #120 of 138
Frankly, if your position is that this change is bad because all changes are bad, I'm not sure that there is any value in this conversation.

I think Tristan's solution is a good middle ground, though. Maybe the rule could be that if you go ob or think its lost, you can take a provisional,but if you leave the teeing area you lose the right to retee and have to play within 2 club lengths with a 2 stroke penalty. That solves my problem-not wanting to walk back to the tee when a ball is unexpectedly lost-but also protects the penalty structure some seek to preserve. It wouldn't help golfingdad much, though.
post #121 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

Frankly, if your position is that this change is bad because all changes are bad, I'm not sure that there is any value in this conversation.

I think Tristan's solution is a good middle ground, though. Maybe the rule could be that if you go ob or think its lost, you can take a provisional,but if you leave the teeing area you lose the right to retee and have to play within 2 club lengths with a 2 stroke penalty. That solves my problem-not wanting to walk back to the tee when a ball is unexpectedly lost-but also protects the penalty structure some seek to preserve. It wouldn't help golfingdad much, though.

 

Okay, for a lost ball you are dropping 2 clublengths from what????

 

I have no issue with considered and reasonable rules changes, proposed and written by people who know and understand all of the ramifications.  Even if proposed by anyone who can support and justify the logic behind his proposal without actually changing the basic principles.  

post #122 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Ok, so which 5 Keys to the Golf Swing would change?  What changes to Evolvr's online lessons would you make if these rules were implemented tomorrow?  Who do you think would be OWGR #1 a year after these rules were implemented?

 

You sure do love your straw men don't you?

 

I said fundamentally change the GAME. I did not say "fundamentally change the swing we make to play the game."

 

Your rules fundamentally change the GAME. They don't "simplify" the rules - they modify them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

My point is that while these rules are fundamentally different than the current rules, the game is still basically the same- hitting a little white ball into a hole in as few strokes as possible.

 

You do realize you also just described pool, basically. Or mini golf. The rules define the game. You can't change the rules without changing the game.

 

You were tasked with SIMPLIFYING the rules, not changing them for the sake of appeasing players who kick their golf balls, fluff them up, take mulligans and gimmes, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

The rules I proposed are much closer to what I see the majority of golfers doing on an everyday basis than the current rules.

 

You really do yourself NO favors by saying THAT is your reason.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

Here is the disconnect.  You feel that the rules are not fundamental to the game. I dispute that. The rules ARE the game. They are what define the game. And the basic fundamental principles of the game are what determine how far those rules can stray without it becoming a different game.

 

QFT.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

I contend that a ball out of bounds is nothing similar to a ball lost in a water hazard.  A lost ball is not remotely like a ball which lies unplayable.

 

Yup too.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

David is right that a lot of players roll the ball, etc. I like playing the ball down and do think that hitting from a variety of lies is part of the challenge of the game.

 

In other words, you're changing the game to suit you, not others. You like playing the ball down but others don't. So then they should come up with their "simplified" (which you've redefined to be a synonym for "highly modified") rules, and maybe we should play with them? And then some players like mulligans, so they should come up with THEIR "simplified" (modified) rules, and we should play by THOSE rules. And suddenly we're just sitting in a bar saying "I shot 64!" without even going out on the golf course, because really, why bother?

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Change ‘em all. “Probably the whole book of the rules of golf should be changed,” Nicklaus said on Golf Channel’s Morning Driveprogram Wednesday. “If you try to figure it out, it should be common sense, yet common sense never seems to prevail.”

 

I disagree with Jack. Again, 99.9% of the time a basic understanding of the Rules will carry the day. Name the last complicated ruling you saw on the PGA Tour. I can't think of one. And I can't think of the last time I had to consult the rules book on the course - for myself or any other player, including having just HEARD about a situation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I don't think this is a fair comparison to what Mefree is proposing.  He's not talking about making the hole bigger, the ball bigger, the grooves bigger, nothing at all to do with how you actually play the game.  He's simply suggesting a couple of different (minor) rules in reference to penalty situations.

 

Those rules changes fundamentally change the game.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Assuming we can all agree that he would ditch his "you can drop anywhere you want to" idea and replace it with "two club lengths" I thinks its perfectly fair to say that his proposed changes ARE NOT (even remotely) changing the game fundamentally.

 

Nope. I can't agree to that. What about going back on a line from the spot to the ball? Re-hitting?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

On the course you play most often Dave, how many holes would you change your strategy if you were playing under my rules?

 

FWIW there are several at my course. And virtually every course in Florida would have vast numbers of players hitting far more houses since OB isn't really a big deal anymore.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

It would definitely change the way I play because the risk would be minimized. I suspect a rule change like that would also affect course ratings.

 

It could change the ratings on some courses a LOT.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

And I believe you're making a bit of a circular argument when you say "you cannot propose to change a rule because then it would be against the current rule."  Of course it's different from the current rules, it's a rule CHANGE.

 

But that's all beside the point. MEfree was tasked with SIMPLIFYING the rules, not "changing" them so significantly.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

But there is still nothing FUNDAMENTALLY different in how most people would play if the distance part of stroke and distance were taken out of the equation.

 

How you play the game is not the same as the game itself. Little League baseball is not the same as women's professional softball, but you "play" the game the same way. Baseball is also not cricket.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

What about the rest of you.  How often would you change your playing strategy with less of an OB/LB penalty?

 

That's irrelevant.

 

Again, you were tasked with simplifying the rules, not making wholesale changes to them.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

Okay, for a lost ball you are dropping 2 clublengths from what????

 

I have no issue with considered and reasonable rules changes, proposed and written by people who know and understand all of the ramifications.  Even if proposed by anyone who can support and justify the logic behind his proposal without actually changing the basic principles.  

 

Ditto on both parts.

 

MEfree, you've proven 100% unsuccessful at meeting the challenge given to you.

post #123 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

 

He's not an expert on RULES, other than his experience with playing under them. In that vein he has no more expertise than any other professional golfer, or even most amateur golfers who regularly play in tournaments - and he probably has less expertise than people like Rulesman and Fourputt (and myself to a lesser degree) who have actually studied the rules. All you need to do is read through the Rules and Decisions one time, and you'll have just as much knowledge of Nicklaus with respect to every imaginable circumstance. 

 

Nicklaus says the rules don't use "common sense". I find it hard to believe that anyone who has a good understanding of the rules would say that. He just sounds to me like a grumpy old man (not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm one myself) who doesn't understand that the rules do make sense, and that "simplifying" them, while still keeping them equitable and not significantly changing the game, is harder than it sounds.

 

You don't make any sense.  What is your point by repeatedly asserting that you know the rules of golf better than Jack? Its kind of funny because every time you say it I picture you closing your eyes and tapping your heels together hoping that it comes true.  But I dont see the relevance.  This is not a discussion about what the rules are or how they are applied.  This is a discussion about whether this proposed rule would simply the game, without fundamentally changing it.  Its also a discussion about whether GOLF would be improved by eliminating stroke and distance.  You have not explained how a deeper understanding of the rules would affect either of those.

 

You're also probably wrong.  If the rules are clear and sufficiently simple, then why do you need to "study" the rules to understand them?  If the rules are clear and simple, then why would someone who has played as much professional golf as Jack not understand them?

 

 

 

I swear if you respond to this by saying "Jack isn't an expert on the RULES" ......

 

Don't put words in my mouth. I never "asserted", repeatedly or even once, that I know the rules better than Jack. I said (and you can read it right there above your post), that he "probably" has less expertise than me. I base that belief on the fact that Jack has said the rules are not "common sense"...  and on the likelihood that he, unlike me, has better things to do than be a rules expert - assuming he even has any interest in that. I on the other hand enjoy reading the rules and decisions.

 

I only joined the conversation because someone (not sure if it was you or not) was using Nicklaus' opinion has a supporting argument for rule changes. I (and others) gave reasons for why I don't think his opinion is any more relevant than anyone else's.

 

I also never said the rules were simple. I said simplifying them is harder than most people think.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

.... All you need to do is read through the Rules and Decisions one time, and you'll have just as much knowledge of Nicklaus with respect to every imaginable circumstance.

 

I have an awfully hard time agreeing with this one.  That would be like saying that somebody who's just graduated from college with straight A's is just as much an expert in engineering as somebody who has been practicing for 30 or 40 years.

 

Experience counts for an awful lot in my book.  Way more than reading it in a book.

 

That's a bad analogy.  The Decisions contain the sum total of every known case of where the Rules were insufficient and needed to be interpreted. Every time a new, previously unconsidered situation arises, any Decision or ruling that was made is added to the Decisions. So, any "experience" Jack has with rules situations exists in the Decisions. If knowing the rules and their application is a function of experience at all (and not just a matter of having access to a rule book), then Jack still has less experience than someone who has studied the rules and their history, taken courses on them, passed tests on them, etc. All Jack has done is play golf under the rules, just like every other tournament golfer has also done.

post #124 of 138

I will also add one thing: the rules of Disc Golf are still relatively "simple" despite being modeled somewhat on the Rules of Golf, yet they contain words like "stuff" to describe a player's equipment, and are still very, very young. They continue to grow more and more complex as more and more situations arise.

post #125 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

That's a bad analogy.  The Decisions contain the sum total of every known case of where the Rules were insufficient and needed to be interpreted. Every time a new, previously unconsidered situation arises, any Decision or ruling that was made is added to the Decisions. So, any "experience" Jack has with rules situations exists in the Decisions. If knowing the rules and their application is a function of experience at all (and not just a matter of having access to a rule book), then Jack still has less experience than someone who has studied the rules and their history, taken courses on them, passed tests on them, etc. All Jack has done is play golf under the rules, just like every other tournament golfer has also done.

I don't think so.  I don't disagree, however, that his opinion shouldn't merit higher standing because he's so good of a golfer.  I agree with you that he has the same experience as all other tournament golfers ... that have played tournament golf for as long as he has.  All of those guys have more experience, in my opinion, than any one person who's simply read the rules.

 

I've read the rules (certainly not every decision though), but I have learned a heck of a lot more, and have made a point to learn a lot more, once I started actually playing in tournaments this year.

 

Erik:  WTF with the avatar??

post #126 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

FWIW there are several at my course. And virtually every course in Florida would have vast numbers of players hitting far more houses since OB isn't really a big deal anymore.

 

There are several holes at your home course with dog legs, which if you cut, you'd be flying over OB?  Or just several holes where OB comes into play?

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