I dislike the title of this thread a bit, it seems to say that playing strictly by the rules is NOT fun. To me, it is fun, and I do my best to play by the rules just about all of the time. That doesn't mean anyone else should do the same, feel free to use whatever modifications make sense to you and your friends.
Having said that, my groups tend to play pretty liberal "preferred lies" through the winter. We post for handicaps year-round, but we still will often play LCP pretty much through the green, or in current rule terms, in the General Area.
This was 2 weeks ago in my room. 4 days of having some of the best pros in the country playing in 2 different divisions.
Jeffery DeLuna ended up winning both divisions. He had actually been in town for a week before the tournament, hanging around and playing locals for fun and profit as a fund raiser for his home in the Philippines that had just been hit by a typhoon.
Great guy and a pleasure to hang out with. We were pleased that he did well...
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I voted 3w/hybrid. The course I play most often has one par 4 that is 445y and routinely into the wind. I love the challenge of this hole as there are a few other very short par 4s to make up for it. I don't mind having one of two holes like this per round. Confidence wise I love my 2i and enjoy hitting it, but then my confidence wavers until I get back to my 6 iron or less.