So? Good for them. If they want to play a game resembling golf, more power to 'em. That doesn't mean we need to change the Rules of Golf to suit them. If that were your position, the speed limits would be about 10 MPH faster than what they say everywhere, because that's the speed everyone drives, right? Except then everyone would drive even faster, just as they'd abuse your new rules too.
Sure it does. It's an unfinished hole.
Where does it say "usually only a stroke or two"?
And Fourputt, since you know you can concede a hole at any point in time, if you pump three balls OB and concede the hole to your opponent, what is HE to do? Does what he is to do change if he pumped a ball OB himself already? And what are you to do? In that case, both of you have played the hole entirely under the rules, and neither of you have left the tee!
The principles of the rules state that you play your ball from tee to hole. Not doing so is not following the principles of the rules, and thus it isn't really covered by the handicap manual, unless you use the clause:
You all are agreeing that this doesn't apply. I disagree. I'm going to be traveling in about a half hour, so I won't be a further participant before Sunday at the soonest. I wish you all good luck trying to find a consensus.
This is precisely the point at which you go wrong.
I just reread the relevant section of the manual for the dozenth time just to make sure I wasn't missing something. Here's what it says, plainly and simply:
I don't see how there's any way to interpret that other than as long as you have been playing under the principles of the rules prior to the point where you stop playing the hole, it's an unfinished hole.
In fact, note that it even makes a distinction between conceding a stroke and otherwise not completing a hole. (I bolded the "or" to highlight that.) So I also can't see how you can say that the manual states that it's an unfinished hole only when "a certain part of the hole (usually only a stroke or two) is conceded". The manual clearly indicates there are other ways to have an unfinished hole.
Game, set, and match IMO.