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If you could change ONE rule, what would it be? - Page 4

post #55 of 329
After reading through this entire thread and thinking on it for the last day or so, I can honestly say that I wouldn't change a single rule. Sure, there are rules that need minor tweaking or clarifications but that's what the Decisions already do. Additionally, the rules are revised every four years (hopefully clarifying things and taking into account the last 4 years of decisions, at least I believe that is the intent of the revisions). Let's not forget, there is always the option of calling in a rules official when a rule is in doubt. When calling in an official is not an option the solution is simple, hole out with multiple balls, obtain a ruling after the fact (that is how most small tournaments and the MNHSL accounted for rule questions during the course of play) and, once a ruling has been agreed upon with an official, sign your card and turn it in. Anyway, I digress... on to a few specifics that I've come up with.

Remember Webb Simpson? He was the one penalized in May when his ball moved while addressing it on the green. This resulted in a 1 stroke penalty and, ultimately, Bubba Watson ended up winning in a playoff. The USGA appears to agree with Webb that this is a bad rule (see the linked article, O'Toole even states that a change in this rule could come as early as the 2012 revision). Personally, I disagree that even this rule should be changed. Changing the rule creates a grey area. Did the ball move because of the conditions or because of the manner that the player addressed the ball? When playing in conditions like that, when greens are fast and hard, players should adapt and "address" the ball accordingly (don't ground your club and you haven't officially "addressed" the ball, problem solved). Take, for example, the 1950 US Open. Hogan managed to avoid a penalty under this exact rule by adapting his game to the conditions. Personally, I do not believe that this is a rule that needs to be, or should be, changed.

Or, how about another blunder, the 2010 PGA Championship? Should we allow one to ground their club in a hazard? Obviously not. Grounding one's club in a hazard is an obvious means to test the conditions. Had Dustin Johnson actually read the local rules sheet before the tournament started, I bet that this would have been a non-issue. He would have likely error-ed on the side of caution and not grounded that club. Not being able to ground your club in a hazard is a good rule and it should remain intact. In fact, here's some unpopular opinion I'm sure, I'd take it one step further and do away with rakes and favorable bunker conditions altogether. Hitting your ball into a "sand trap" is no longer much of a penalty. In some cases, your odds of getting up and down out of a modern bunker are better than your odds of getting up and down from thick green side rough. Henry Fownes was on to something with his furrowed bunker rakes at Oakmont. Too bad that it didn't stick.

Maybe eliminate a penalty that a lot of weekend golfers HATE; stroke and distance? This comes up primarily with balls out of bounds and lost balls. Most weekend guys that I know will instead drop a ball in the vicinity of their lost ball or roughly where their first went out of bounds. Some will take a 2-stroke penalty (thus hitting 4 if it was their tee ball that was lost), others take only a 1-stroke penalty stating that it shouldn't be any worse than hitting a ball in the water. Others won't take a penalty at all, after all losing a ball was penalty enough or such and such a group must have hit my ball instead... Whatever. For those of you who would eliminate this penalty from the game I ask you; what is a fair alternative? If I hit my ball off the course and into somebody's kitchen window, what's a fair penalty? If I hit my ball so deep into the woods or long grass that it can't be found, what's a fair penalty? Stroke and distance is pretty fair if you ask me. Sure, there are times when I've sailed a ball deep into the fairway only to find that my ball is nowhere in sight when I get there, that's a bad break and you can't go altering major rules to account for that "once a year" situation (that could be solved by golfers properly identifying and only playing their own ball).

I think that the rules of golf have evolved quite well. Rules that were bad or are no longer applicable, have been removed (for example; In the past you couldn't mark your ball on the green which could effectively stymie your competitor [the 1913 US Open is a pretty famous example of this rule, Vardon effectively stymied Ouimet at one point during the playoff]. The rule was, and still is, just fine for match play but, for stoke play, it's unquestionably unfair and has thus been changed.). The evolution of these rules over time has resulted in a very solid rulebook with few, if any, holes that need addressing. If you like, we could discuss specific equipment and technology rules. I'm sure that would spark a debate on all sides.
post #56 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrdroc View Post

 
There are plenty of courses that don't have the mix on the carts. What about people that walk, you want them to carry the mix around with them. Also, not every divot is a clean divot (with a 1/2" off dirt underneath) and even if they are, a lot of times, its replaced and doesn't take so the grass dies and it becomes a divot again.


I've never been to a course that didn't have mix on the carts. If the course you're playing has a rule that players must fill their divots and a player decides to walk, that player should be required to carry the mix. A player shouldn't be able to ignore a rule simply because he decides to walk.
 

 

post #57 of 329

Now that I think about it, the course I played on Sunday didn't have mix on the carts.  I've played three rounds there so far this season and have never seen mix bottles anywhere.  They do have bins of mix on the tee boxes, though.  Regardless, I prefer to walk and don't feel like piecing together the disintegrated divots that I always end up with, so I just carry an old Gatorade bottle full of mix in my bag. 

post #58 of 329

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsknicks1 View Post

I've never been to a course that didn't have mix on the carts. If the course you're playing has a rule that players must fill their divots and a player decides to walk, that player should be required to carry the mix. A player shouldn't be able to ignore a rule simply because he decides to walk.
 



Aaah . . . no, there is no way a bottle of mix (unless it's Coke for my rye) is gonna get carried around by people walking unless they have a pull/push cart. Consider all the wear and tear on the course already saved by walkers if people need a reason to justify this perceived disparity. Walkers already do enough for the sustainability of the course, the game, and the environment.

post #59 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Aaah . . . no, there is no way a bottle of mix (unless it's Coke for my rye) is gonna get carried around by people walking unless they have a pull/push cart.

 

Why not?

 

post #60 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by ochmude View Post



 

Why not?

 


I just said why not. If you disagree, then that is your choice. Whether someone is skiddish about putting a potentially contaminated bottle into their bag is another matter. Thank goodness my local courses get treated with enough respect by the players, and have decent enough grounds crews, that this isn't a requirement (there is mix on all the tees). When I'm on vacation though, this might be an argument waiting to happen - luckily I hear that walking is banned at most resort courses so I won't be playing there anyway.

post #61 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post




I just said why not. If you disagree, then that is your choice. Whether someone is skiddish about putting a potentially contaminated bottle into their bag is another matter. Thank goodness my local courses get treated with enough respect by the players, and have decent enough grounds crews, that this isn't a requirement. When I'm on vacation though, this might be a argument waiting to happen - luckily I hear that walking is banned at most resort courses so I won't be playing there anyway.


I must not be reading your post correctly, then.  You mentioned not carrying mix unless you had a pull/push cart.  To me that suggested an issue with the weight of the bottle, but I wasn't certain so I asked why not.  Now you mention the possibility of a contaminated bottle.  So apparently my initial interpretation (issues with carrying the weight) was incorrect.  I do not see where you specifically cited your reason, so I don't even know what I might be disagreeing with. 

 

post #62 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post



Aaah . . . no, there is no way a bottle of mix (unless it's Coke for my rye) is gonna get carried around by people walking unless they have a pull/push cart. Consider all the wear and tear on the course already saved by walkers if people need a reason to justify this perceived disparity. Walkers already do enough for the sustainability of the course, the game, and the environment.


This. I've also found walkers to be more likely to replace divots and fix ball marks. Not sure why that is but the pattern seems to stick year after year.

I highly doubt that I'd be willing to carry a bottle of mix with me either. When I take a divot, I replace it. If the divot that I take shreds and can't be replaced, so be it. Chances are, there's a great deal of grass left in the divot and it will fill in quickly anyway.

On another note... Hasn't this thread gone a bit off topic?
post #63 of 329

 

I don't think filling divots is a rule, it's a courtesy.  

 

I walk whenever possible.  I replace my divots whenever possible, and I fix any ball marks on greens I encounter.  I fill divots with mix, if the divot is destroyed and mix is available.     But, I don't carry my own mix because of the weight and convenience.    Frankly, those of us who are aware of the issues are most likely not the problem, and any attempt to change behavior of the clueless is futile.  

 

The problem of idiots not raking the traps is probably even worse.  It happens a surprising amount even at nice courses.    When my ball settles into a deep footprint, it pretty much eliminates the chance of getting up and down, and sometimes even getting out of the trap.

 

 

As for the OB comments earlier:  The OB stakes didn't move.. they were there when you addressed the ball and should play into your choice of club and line.  No one forced you to use driver, if you decide to take the risk, take your punishment like a man.   If I don't like the OB placement (e.g. all the courses with homes hugging the fairways) I avoid those courses.

post #64 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post



Aaah . . . no, there is no way a bottle of mix (unless it's Coke for my rye) is gonna get carried around by people walking unless they have a pull/push cart. Consider all the wear and tear on the course already saved by walkers if people need a reason to justify this perceived disparity. Walkers already do enough for the sustainability of the course, the game, and the environment.


That has absolutely nothing to do with whether a given course has a rule about filling your divots. Does that also mean you don't have to repair your ball marks on the green because you "Already do enough for the sustainability of the course"?
 

 

post #65 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsknicks1 View Post




That has absolutely nothing to do with whether a given course has a rule about filling your divots. Does that also mean you don't have to repair your ball marks on the green because you "Already do enough for the sustainability of the course"?
 

 


As I said before...
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebby View Post

... I've also found walkers to be more likely to replace divots and fix ball marks. Not sure why that is but the pattern seems to stick year after year...
post #66 of 329

Is this mix in golf carts/on tee boxes thing common? Because I've certainly haven't seen it here (Ireland). If people make a divot they replace it...if its in bits they pick up the bits and replace it. Simple.

post #67 of 329

I'd make the hole bigger!!!!!

post #68 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by deasy55 View Post

Is this mix in golf carts/on tee boxes thing common? Because I've certainly haven't seen it here (Ireland). If people make a divot they replace it...if its in bits they pick up the bits and replace it. Simple.



down here a divot will not grow back, the mix is to fill in the space

post #69 of 329

I read most of these and found the discussion educational.  I would like to contribute but I find that changing most of the rules I can think of would create more headaches than it would solve (like trying to define a sand fill divot so it can be called ground under repair or trying to decide where a ball is lost) any problems.  But I do think one rule could be fixed that came to light when Julie Inkster got disqualified for using an artificial device (a weighed ring on her club) to loosen up after having to wait a many minutes (a half hour?) to tee of due to slow play.  This was during the round so she was disqualified.  I guess I don't see a problem with what she did and how it gave her any advantage of any sort.  This is rule 14-3 and it doesn't make any sense to me for play that is unduly delayed, but not suspended.  Maybe waiting around 20 minutes to hit your next ball isn't an issue for you 20 somethings but get 50 or 60 something and try it.  What is the difference between putting a weigh on the end of a club and swinging a few times to loosen tight muscles Vs leaving the club cover on and swinging it, other than the club cover might fly off?  Even if you think it should be a violation is disqualification the appropriate penalty? So I think the rule isn't fair and to me doesn't make sense.  

post #70 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 
Given the choice between re-hitting and a two-stroke penalty, I'd re-hit (the current rule) every time.

If I go over a green and OB with my second shot, I'm lying four and am still not on the green with your rule. Under the current rule, you lie three in the fairway and can hit the green or something. Similarly on drives: OB is usually near trees. I'd rather hit my third shot in the fairway than drop it amongst trees or way offline.

I know I said I'd keep quiet, but c'mon now, this just doesn't really make sense. I'm all for discussing rules changes or throwing ideas out there, but please put some thought into 'em, guys. Rules that are vague ("what is a divot?") or which are worse than the current ones (this one) don't strike me as being very good suggestions.


How is a divot vague? Its a mark on the course made by a golf club, i.e. not naturally there.  In professional tournament play, relief would not be at the discression of the player anyway, so I dont see how this rule could be taken advantage of in a bad way.  Now in casual play, yes your buddies would probably screw you over it, but they do anyway with other rules so this one wouldnt be different.  Im not saying I agree with the rule just, just that its a valid suggestion.
 

 

post #71 of 329

The etiquette rule forbidding you from slamming your club into the ground. It's good therapy!

post #72 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by deasy55 View Post

Is this mix in golf carts/on tee boxes thing common? Because I've certainly haven't seen it here (Ireland). If people make a divot they replace it...if its in bits they pick up the bits and replace it. Simple.



 I live in Florida and I don't think I've ever played a course that didn't have it. Back to the OP, I think the divot should be concidered ground under repair (Fairway only) and you should be able to back the ball out.

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