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Is it time for a real-world alternative to the USGA? - Page 3

Poll Results: Is it time for an alternative to the USGA?

 
  • 13% (4)
    Yes
  • 86% (25)
    No
29 Total Votes  
post #37 of 93

Go out and try it, you may will be surprised. If more people moved up others would follow. I'll never understand why golfers that struggle don't move up. I followed a group of young guys last night. With rare exception they were either kicking through weeds looking for balls or short and in play. It was simply too much course for them from the tees they played. Their approach shots were longer than they hit a drive on most holes. They played from tees recommended for golfers in the 5-11 range and I am certain none broke 50 on that side, I only played 9. There are two sets of "mens" tees in front of those tees.

post #38 of 93

Okay, so here's my take on what's being said by those that have an issue with the USGA.  Basically you want to create a new game, with less rules and that is simpler to play, like those who thought baseball was too difficult and created softball or basketball leagues that use 8' nets instead of 10' so short people can dunk too.

 

In this new game, "fungolf" there would be some rules but they wouldn't be as penal as the current ones, they wouldn't restrict equipment or swing methods but you want it to be taken seriously so a rules organization would have to oversee it to lend it credibility.  You want to post scores and carry a handicap but that handicap would have no impact on real golf handicaps, just as batting averages in softball don't carry over to hardball.

post #39 of 93
Evidently I am having browser problems as it would not let me vote. I would have voted "no". In my opinion the USGA and R&A have done a decent job over the years of maintaining the spirit of the game and the body of rules that define golf. I don't agree with some of the equipment rules of late, nor possibly the reasoning behind it, but that is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water. For the record, I don't use a long putter, and I can't spin the ball out of the rough, so I am neither harmed nor benefitted by the aforementioned equipment rules. As Erik said, you hurt yourself more with some old worn square groove wedge than with a new conforming one.

I do believe there is a perceived bifurcation of the rules, whether or not it is real. The perception is that there is one set of rules for USGA sanctioned events and another set of rules for everyone else. Yes, the fact that committees can adopt the condition of competition for any event, plus the time limitations basically make bifurcation or not moot point, but the perception is there and that bothers folks who want to play the game, one game for all. The truth is though, when you play in any competition, USGA official, local scramble, or club championship, you play by the rules on the rule sheet. The rules sheets need to say USGA rules apply except, and the committees need to be aware of all the exceptions not just which ditches have a free drop.

Personally, I think the groove rule was not necessary, but if they did it they should have just set a date for implementation and let that be that. These multiple dates just added to the confusion, and if a committee did not want to use it that soon, they could just except it on the rules sheet for an event.

As I said in the other thread on rules, the one I gripe about is stroke and distance for OB or lost ball. I don't have a problem with the rule itself, just that it slows play.

Personal gripes aside, I think the USGA is still needed and relevant, even if I don't agree with all their decisions.
post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

Go out and try it, you may will be surprised. If more people moved up others would follow.

A few years ago, TST encouraged everyone to play from the forward tees on 9/18 (which was a weekend that year). I think I hit 4 GIR in a row and 5 of 6 at one point in the round. I should do that again; that was fun.
post #41 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

If you want more of a break, take it! Nothing is stopping you. Police won't come out and arrest you. Play the illegal balls or clubs, or kick your ball. Just don't tell us that you broke 90… the same way a home run hit off a Cy Young award winner is not the same as one hit in your softball beer league.

And seriously, people need to get over the Tiger Woods "boulder" thing. He was smart at the time - it met the criteria of a loose impediment, and satisfied published Decisions:

23-1/2



Large Stone Removable Only with Much Effort



Q.
A player's ball lies in the rough directly behind a loose stone the size of a watermelon. The stone can be removed only with much effort. Is it a loose impediment which may be removed?



A.
Yes. Stones of any size (not solidly embedded) are loose impediments and may be removed, provided removal does not unduly delay play (Rule 6-7
).





23-1/3



Assistance in Removing Large Loose Impediment



Q.
May spectators, caddies, fellow-competitors, etc. assist a player in removing a large loose impediment?



A.
Yes.



 



Also, if you scroll past the incredibly large title… http://www.usga.org/news/2009/january/10-Years-After-Tiger-s-Loosem-Impediment-Ruling-At-Phoenix-Open/ sheds some light on the situation.



A lot of people assume that decision 23-1/3 resulted from Tiger's situation. They would be wrong....
Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsonsean View Post

Ah, there it is: the mean-spirited vitriol I sort of expected. My handicap is honest and I play by the rules of golf. My question was out of curiosity, and my curiosity was satisfied. I'm bowing out of this discussion. Thanks to everyone who supplied constructive input.

Huh....? z4_blink.gif
post #42 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

A lot of people assume that decision 23-1/3 resulted from Tiger's situation. They would be wrong....

As I remember, it isn't still in effect and has been reversed. Did that have anything to do with Tiger?
post #43 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


I'm curious, how has the groove rule affected you? You're obviously not competing in any event where you would be required to play with clubs conforming to the new rules. What am I missing?

Fair enough.  I like to play older irons....Ping in particular as of late.  I am limited (because manufacturers are limited) by the groove rule to 2 clubs to replace any that may become damaged/worn or to fill-in missing clubs.  Not 2 clubs per order but 2 clubs per my lifetime of owning the set.  I'd like to fill-in the set with a gap wedge and sand wedge but then I'm forever prevented from replacing a damaged or worn club in the future and we know wedges won't last forever (although many Ping wedges seem almost indestructible) and accidents happen.

 

But even if the groove rule had no impact on me and even if I buy a new conforming set in the next 10 years (probably will), what's the point in having a rule that doesn't do what it was intended to do? 

post #44 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shindig View Post

As I remember, it isn't still in effect and has been reversed. Did that have anything to do with Tiger?

I don't understand. Decision 23-1/3 has not been reversed and is currently published.....as quoted by @iacas above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topper View Post

Fair enough.  I like to play older irons....Ping in particular as of late.  I am limited (because manufacturers are limited) by the groove rule to 2 clubs to replace any that may become damaged/worn or to fill-in missing clubs.  Not 2 clubs per order but 2 clubs per my lifetime of owning the set.  I'd like to fill-in the set with a gap wedge and sand wedge but then I'm forever prevented from replacing a damaged or worn club in the future and we know wedges won't last forever (although many Ping wedges seem almost indestructible) and accidents happen.

You're not limited in your ability to buy anything as far as I know. There are dozens of options available to obtain older clubs, even in new condition other than directly from the manufacturer.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topper View Post


But even if the groove rule had no impact on me and even if I buy a new conforming set in the next 10 years (probably will), what's the point in having a rule that doesn't do what it was intended to do? 

What is your understanding of what the groove rule change was intended to do? Why do you think that it's had "zero" affect?




.
Edited by David in FL - 5/29/14 at 6:05pm
post #45 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

A lot of people assume that decision 23-1/3 resulted from Tiger's situation. They would be wrong....
 

 

Yeah.  I wish that they hadn't changed that decision after the boulder ruling.  It used to refer to a large fallen tree which a competitor enlisted assistance in moving - the same situation, but not involving Tiger so it couldn't be attributed to kowtowing to him.  Now everyone thinks that the USGA knuckled under to Tiger's influence, when actually the decision had been on the books for a long time before he gave it notoriety.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

A lot of people assume that decision 23-1/3 resulted from Tiger's situation. They would be wrong....

As I remember, it isn't still in effect and has been reversed. Did that have anything to do with Tiger?
 

No it is has not been reversed.  I don't know where you would get that idea.  Erik quoted it above.

post #46 of 93
I voted NO because I believe there is a real need for organizations like the USGA and R&A else soon it won't be grooves or anchored putters, but laser equipped putters with microprocessors and Aimpoint firmware that one has to work at missing putts with. How about shoulder fired drivers that even us seasoned citizens can shoot 350 yards? Some would say it wouldn't get that bad, but without a controlling body there would be nothing to stop it.

On a more positive note, there is little keeping you from enjoying your i10s except in high level competitions.
post #47 of 93

I feel sometimes golfers use the rules and USGA as scapegoats for their inability to play the game like the pro's.  For 99% of us, golf is a recreational sport that is self governed.  If you want to use non-conforming equipment, swing methods, and modify other rules you should do so if that will improve your overall enjoyment.

 

I'm not anywhere near a good golfer but what attracted me to golf is that it's a sport that is much like life, you get out of it what you put into it.  Some people want to take shortcuts but I relish the tiny victories.  I played 9 today and on the 8th hole, I blew up and scored a 8 on a par 5.  On the 9th hole, I hit a 240 yard drive right to the middle of the fairway, hit a 170 yard approach shot just to the 2nd cut of the green, chipped up close and one putt for a par.  It's moments like that which define golf and life for me.  If I didn't play by the rules, it wouldn't mean as much to me.

post #48 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJim View Post

I voted NO because I believe there is a real need for organizations like the USGA and R&A else soon it won't be grooves or anchored putters, but laser equipped putters with microprocessors and Aimpoint firmware that one has to work at missing putts with. How about shoulder fired drivers that even us seasoned citizens can shoot 350 yards? Some would say it wouldn't get that bad, but without a controlling body there would be nothing to stop it.
 

I agree with this.  While I don't always agree with the USGA I do think such an organization is necessary or soon technology will make us all scratch golfers without the necessity to practice or have any athletic skills.

post #49 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

No it is has not been reversed.  I don't know where you would get that idea.  Erik quoted it above.

I thought they changed it so that it had to be people in the group (players, caddies, and rules officials), not spectators. I have literally no idea where I got that from though. I have no idea what caused me to think that, but if I find out, I'll share with anyone who wants.
post #50 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

No it is has not been reversed.  I don't know where you would get that idea.  Erik quoted it above.

I thought they changed it so that it had to be people in the group (players, caddies, and rules officials), not spectators. I have literally no idea where I got that from though. I have no idea what caused me to think that, but if I find out, I'll share with anyone who wants.

 

This is one of the biggest problems with the way that so many people see the rules.  They only know what their buddies have told them, or what they think that they might have read somewhere, or what some announcer said on TV, or on some cases what their pro told them.  Any of those sources can be from just barely okay to wildly fictitious.  Even trained rules officials have been known to make mistakes, but usually on the more obscure rules.  They are solid with the basic rules needed to play golf in competition.  Most of the complications only arise when you have already screwed up and have to try and add penalty strokes after breaching two or 3 rules consecutively, or breaching a rule then playing on and having to figure out how to go back and correct it.  If you had known the simple procedure in the first place, the complication would never even come up.

 

Most players couldn't tell you the correct options for a drop from a lateral water hazard, and that is a symptom of one of the biggest problems with the game.  It's not that the general playing rules are that complex, it's that too many players are told or read that they are impossible to understand, and as a result, they never even bother to try to get it right.  I could take you out on the course and teach the proper drop rules for all situations in a half hour.  You could learn them for yourself in not much more time on the USGA website.  I'd say that more than half of the mistakes made by the casual golfer are in taking relief, both with and without penalty.  

 

If you don't care that you are doing it wrong, fine.  But I speak to those who would actually prefer to get it right.  It takes a lot less effort than a single practice putting session, and will likely save you a lot of time and stress on the course to make the attempt.  Here are several videos that can help:  Rules Videos

post #51 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shindig View Post

A few years ago, TST encouraged everyone to play from the forward tees on 9/18 (which was a weekend that year). I think I hit 4 GIR in a row and 5 of 6 at one point in the round. I should do that again; that was fun.

I participated and easily broke 80, something that was well out of my reach at the time. It was a short course but still. If I played those tees today I'd be able to drive the green on all but a few par 4's. It was eye opening and something about the experience changed how I played for the better at the time. I don't doubt that experiment had something to do with the upcoming book.
post #52 of 93

Going to try and be constructive here:

 

Do I agree with how all of the USGA/R&A rules are implemented? No.

Do I have to ability to play by a different set of rules if I wanted to? Yes. But I could not report that score for my HC.

 

Here are my .02, I do believe that most people complain about the rules due to their inability to play golf at the level they think they should. Somewhere on the interwebs someone posted about how they could go far par or better on a PGA course with a caddy. They were a near scratch golfer and after playing Pinehurst No. 2 figured out real fast they were going to struggle to just break 80. We, as amatuers, already get a break on the courses we most play; the distances are usually less than that of a PGA course, the fairway and rough are nowhere near as difficult, and the greens are MUCH slower. I want to break par like everyone else, am I going to? Most likely not, but if I ever do, it will be because I followed the USGA rules and played every shot to the best of my ability. 

 

I never thought that not adhering to the rules would bother me, was I wrong. A few weeks ago, I participated in a golf outing that had money of the line for best net score. I am not sure if the people in my group did not understand USGA rules but the person who beat me did not adhere to the stroke and distance rule. We were a little slow (by about 20-30 min) and I know his shot went OB but they did not hit a provisional and when they got to the spot where their ball landed they just dropped and took a penalty. It may have not been a lot of money, but I should have won.

 

Ultimately,  I am all for the bifurcation of rules. I dont care that some people think some of the minor differences in rules in other sports (3 point line in basketball, in bounds rules in football, etc) aren't the same as differentiating between amateur and pro golfers. ITS THE SAME! Even if one rule is different, the game is changed. One foot in bounds in college is good, not in the NFL this completely changes the outcome of the games. The 3 point line is MUCH further back between high school and the pros. Please tell me how this would be different than bifurcating the rules in golf?

 

sorry for the long rant. FORE! 

post #53 of 93

First thing to say about the USGA's is that they're a lot better to deal with than the state PGA's. OK neither are that sharp at answering telephones and both seem to think that throwing a message into a voicemail is customer service, but outside of California's IT industry (who lead the way) this kind of detached abbrogation of service seems to be the norm in the US (probably because you can't tip over a phone!). I know I posted it elsewhere, but it came as a shock when I had to ring round the apex Scottish courses last week. Only Nairn failed to answer the phone, and on the follow up, only the Trump International (American owned of course) failed on the follow up. Try that in America and you'll get a human answer who puts you through to the correct person, who then speaks with you, about 25% of the time, not 95% as I did in Scotland, which did surprise me, as I'd never ever associated the UK with customer service, and had always regarded the USA as leading in this field. Golf clubs themselves are the worst of the lot incidentally. That so many are seemingly closing down doesn't really surprise me. Cut yourself off from your customers and you will lose trade and opportunity

 

Specifically the USGA's in my experience vary tremendously between states, and even between divisions within the same state

 

Some are very engaging, and doubtless take a world view of golf and do their best to promote it's wider participation. These tend to be what I'd call the old-fashioned American pioneering types who still have a perspective as to what they're doing and probably recognise they're there to serve the members interests. In some cases they're incredibly well run and produce top quality activities, and a sight better than anything we have in Europe

 

Others are much less so, and leave me with the impression that they've increasingly evolved to serve their own existance be it through restrictive practises or ring fencing. In these cases I think the members are being short changed as they've become subordinated to sustaining the situation that serves GA

 

On balance though, I think they're pretty good and an invaluable buffer to have in the structure. Without them, your club golfer would only have the PGA, and they can't see outside their professional prism. My own feeling with the GA's is that some might need reforming a bit though, as some might have grown tired and complacent in some areas. I also detect they could do with more staff as well!!! I do feel however that the reform needs to come from the membership. I think most of them will listen, but they strike me increasingly as managing the games administration on auto-pilot rather than necessarily developing it with dynamic and imaginative interventions. 

 

Probably as much as I dare say

post #54 of 93

Here's a question for y'all playing on the loose impediment rule.  I think I know what the answer is, but it creates an interesting tension between the intent of the rule and practicalities of maintaining pace of play.

 

The February ice storm in Augusta took out more than just the Eisenhower tree--it took down trees and limbs at courses all over the area.  This resulted in piles of cut trunks, branches, and limbs piled a few steps into the tree line at most area courses.

 

So, you hit your ball into the tree line.  You're only a few yards into the tree line, so you have a clear shot.  However, your ball has come to rest near a pile of cut branches and trunk so that it affects your stance or swing.  What do you do?

 

Option 1:  spend five minutes (or more) moving a woodpile.

Option 2:  recognizing it would be extremely inefficient to move the woodpile, and the course is crowded while people are waiting, take a drop a few feet away.

Option 3:  decide that you cannot move the impediment without "unduly delaying play" and either take a penalty drop or try to play it as it lies.

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