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


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if you hit the fairway, you shouldn't be penalized if your ball lands in a divot. You should be allowed to move it without penalty.

lie in the rough.. ball kicked out from the trees is irrelevant--players are supposed to repair their divots (replace the, fill them with mix, w/e). somebody shouldn't basically be penalized for succ

How do you know where to drop if your ball is lost? How do you define a "divot", and at what exact point does a divot no longer become a divot?

Tennis players get two serves to get the ball in play. We should get two chances to get our drive in the fairway.

A buddy of mine is fond of saying, "If golf was supposed to be easy, it would be called tennis!" :-D

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For recreational golf I would like all stakes to handled as if they are red ... So when you shank it out of bounds ... Drop where it exits ... Take a penlty stoke and for the love of god keep moving forward ... Should never be a reason for recreational golfer to go back to the tee box, or where they last hit it ...
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The Virtual Certainty part of 26-1. There are enough courses with water that is blind from the point of view of the golfer that this rule comes into play a lot.
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Kind of what I was thinking but said in maybe a better way. I was thinking stroke OR distance for OB. I think you should hit the ball in play, but just count the strokes, or drop where it went out for 1 stroke. More in the interest of speeding up play than anything else. In other words you would hit 2 off the tee or 3 from the drop.
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Stroke and distance.  A stroke is enough of a penalty.

I highly recommend the book The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf by Richard Tufts. It explains in elegant detail exactly why stroke and distance is the appropriate penalty under various scenarios.

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I highly recommend the book The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf by Richard Tufts. It explains in elegant detail exactly why stroke and distance is the appropriate penalty under various scenarios.


Richard evidently never played behind a foursome that all hit the ball OB, played provisional that weren't much (if any) better and then spent 20 minutes looking for their golf balls. ;-)

I realize my opinion isn't popular but I don't care how many penalty strokes they are assigned just as long as they keep moving and get out of the way. I would eliminate the provisional altogether and move them up where the ball went out and add 2 strokes (and figure I was being generous).

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MS256 I am with you ... However, my thought for recreational rules is to encourage faster play ... By treating white stakes as red, it would hopefully encourage the person to move forward, take a stroke and drop, instead of hitting 3 from the tee ...
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MS256 I am with you ... However, my thought for recreational rules is to encourage faster play ... By treating white stakes as red, it would hopefully encourage the person to move forward, take a stroke and drop, instead of hitting 3 from the tee ...

I've never seen a recreational golfer take a stroke and distance penalty by returning to the original point.  If he hasn't played a second ball before he goes forward, then he's going to drop where he feels like dropping and play on from there.  If you have seen that, then you play in a very different world than the rest of us.  Half the time the casual golfer doesn't even know the provisional ball rule, so he isn't going to lose time playing one of them either.  He isn't going to play any faster or any slower based on your rules or on the actual rules.

As has been stated before, it's a foolish idea to change rules to accommodate the casual player, because he doesn't care about the rules anyway.  The recreational golfer plays by rules that he heard from his friend, or brother, or father - you get the idea.  He's never seen or wanted to see a rule book, and he isn't going to care if you change a few rules for him.  He's going to continue to play as it works for him.  The odds are very good that he would never even know that you changed any rules to help him.

I like to play by the rules.  I've done so for many years.  Yet in a recreational round, I don't return to the previous spot when a ball is unexpectedly lost. I drop, add 2 strokes for a score within my group and play on.  If I'm playing the round for handicap, I'll adjust that hole score based on the requirements of the USGA handicap manual.  If I feel that I've hit into a questionable area, I'll play a provisional ball (which I do more than 90% of the time) and when I get to where I lost sight of the original, I'll give it a quick look.  If the ball seems unlikely to be findable or playable, then I just go play on with the provisional ball(if you can't afford to lose a few balls then maybe you should take up tennis).

It would be more sensible to devote our efforts to training slow players in good pace of play etiquette rather than in making ourselves feel good by changing rules that won't have any effect on them anyway.

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Not sure I'd call changing a rule in golf for the casual player foolish, since we make up the majority ... Secondly wasn't the topic "if you could change ONE rule what would be" ... Sorry, but I was stating which rule I'd change ...
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Not sure I'd call changing a rule in golf for the casual player foolish, since we make up the majority ... Secondly wasn't the topic "if you could change ONE rule what would be" ... Sorry, but I was stating which rule I'd change ...

What he is saying is that most of the people who would benefit from a rule change like this wouldn't even know it was a rule because they typically don't know the actual rules. I was surprised at my lack of knowledge of the actual rules when I joined this forum because what I thought I knew was handed down from my dad and those who he plays with. What they play is "winter rules" all the time and I didn't realize it. They routinely take drops for OB and lost balls. Sometimes not even taking a stroke because "the ball shouldn't have been lost it was right here!" So changing that rule to speed up play won't really make an appreciable difference because those people typically already do it :-P

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What he is saying is that most of the people who would benefit from a rule change like this wouldn't even know it was a rule because they typically don't know the actual rules. I was surprised at my lack of knowledge of the actual rules when I joined this forum because what I thought I knew was handed down from my dad and those who he plays with. What they play is "winter rules" all the time and I didn't realize it. They routinely take drops for OB and lost balls. Sometimes not even taking a stroke because "the ball shouldn't have been lost it was right here!" So changing that rule to speed up play won't really make an appreciable difference because those people typically already do it :-P

You'll be surprised with your lack of knowledge of winter rules too :-D

Winter Rules are local rules employed during adverse weather conditions in order to protect the course... there can be many variations but the club will always list what makes up the local "winter" rule whenever the club deems them in place.

The most common winters rules are

Lift, clean and place on fairways within six inches

Placing in the rough

Bunkers out of play etc

Routinely taking drops for OB and lost balls is certainly not winter rules...They are playing No Rules....

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Richard evidently never played behind a foursome that all hit the ball OB, played provisional that weren't much (if any) better and then spent 20 minutes looking for their golf balls.

I realize my opinion isn't popular but I don't care how many penalty strokes they are assigned just as long as they keep moving and get out of the way. I would eliminate the provisional altogether and move them up where the ball went out and add 2 strokes (and figure I was being generous).

You're advocating changing the rule, because people don't abide by the current rule.  I really don't care about people who choose not to play by the rules.  They can do anything they like.....and if it speeds them up, so much the better, but let's not change the rules of golf in an effort to accommodate their unwillingness to play by the rules in the first place!

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You'll be surprised with your lack of knowledge of winter rules too

Winter Rules are local rules employed during adverse weather conditions in order to protect the course... there can be many variations but the club will always list what makes up the local "winter" rule whenever the club deems them in place.

The most common winters rules are

Lift, clean and place on fairways within six inches

Placing in the rough

Bunkers out of play etc

Routinely taking drops for OB and lost balls is certainly not winter rules...They are playing No Rules....

Which is why I put winter rules in quotes, because they called them winter rules not because they were literally winter rules. They roll the ball, fluff up their lie, etc and call it "winter rules"...

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Which is why I put winter rules in quotes, because they called them winter rules not because they were literally winter rules. They roll the ball, fluff up their lie, etc and call it "winter rules"...

Ah ok, it read to me that you bought into their "winter rules". They should rename it "Winner Rules" because with that much cheating, you can't lose ;)

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