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USGA/R&A Introduce "Modernized" Rules


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The USGA and R&A are hosting a teleconference (I'll take part and may "live blog" it if possible this Wednesday, March 1, at 8:30am eastern time. It's scheduled to last one hour. Purpose: The

I'm on the call now. Man, with the NHL trade deadline AND this coming out today, I'm going to have a lot of browser tabs open. Process began about five years ago. I'd heard much longer. I'm

They're hard in part because the sand itself can vary so much from day to day, course to course, and even bunker to bunker.  I think that testing the firmness and depth could provide a significant adv

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I look forward to hearing your debriefing, comments, and opinions from this!

I really like the idea of grounding in hazards, particularly.

Also removing loose impediments - also interesting.

What do you mean by "dropping eliminated?" So you mean the actual physical act of dropping from shoulder height and instead you can kind of just drop it however?

It would be nice to cast a wider net over ground-under-repair. Especially for the local muni's. Sure some of them have local rules but it would be nice it there was a blanket rule now.

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9 hours ago, jkelley9 said:

What do you mean by "dropping eliminated?" So you mean the actual physical act of dropping from shoulder height and instead you can kind of just drop it however?

This was the one thing that I was also wondering about.

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18 minutes ago, David in FL said:

My biggest concern is that some of the key Principles could be compromised in an attempt to "soften" or simplify the game.  I hope not...

This is my concern too.  For me, part of my enjoyment of the game is having these rules discussions, both on and off the course, and trying to play within even the most obtuse and frustrating of them.  If they do some things like eliminating 2 stroke penalties and dumbing down some of the other procedures and prohibitions, it simply won't be the same game.  Although the rules have changed and grown over the years, the underlying principles have remained fairly constant.  If some of those rumors are true, that will no longer be the case, and I might as well retire my copy of Tufts to file 13.  

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18 minutes ago, David in FL said:

My biggest concern is that some of the key Principles could be compromised in an attempt to "soften" or simplify the game.  I hope not...

I don't think that they will have to violate the Principles.

About the only thing in my list of rumored changes above that might do that is the dropping of two-stroke penalties, but even that's not really a core principle, but one of the working principles.

Some might say that grounding your club in bunkers is going to violate the principles, but that's only true if bunkers remain hazards. De-classify them as hazards and the same types of things apply: you can't improve your lie, but you can take practice swings, remove loose impediments, etc.

21 hours or so. Like I said, I'll try to "live blog" the call here if possible.

P.S. Even some of the two-stroke penalties don't seem to violate the working principles should they be shifted to one-stroke penalties. For example, practicing on the course? Yes, we can think of some extreme situation where you could gain 1.5 strokes worth of knowledge or something to hit a practice shot, but is it really something that deserves two strokes? Would making it one really violate the working principle that the penalty should be greater than the greatest possible advantage gained? I don't know. Food for thought?

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25 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't think that they will have to violate the Principles.

About the only thing in my list of rumored changes above that might do that is the dropping of two-stroke penalties, but even that's not really a core principle, but one of the working principles.

Some might say that grounding your club in bunkers is going to violate the principles, but that's only true if bunkers remain hazards. De-classify them as hazards and the same types of things apply: you can't improve your lie, but you can take practice swings, remove loose impediments, etc.

21 hours or so. Like I said, I'll try to "live blog" the call here if possible.

P.S. Even some of the two-stroke penalties don't seem to violate the working principles should they be shifted to one-stroke penalties. For example, practicing on the course? Yes, we can think of some extreme situation where you could gain 1.5 strokes worth of knowledge or something to hit a practice shot, but is it really something that deserves two strokes? Would making it one really violate the working principle that the penalty should be greater than the greatest possible advantage gained? I don't know. Food for thought?

If you declassify bunkers as hazards, then wouldn't you open up the option of declaring your ball unplayable and dropping outside of the bunker?  In some cases that could easily result in a better advantage than the one stroke paid...

You're right though.  We'll wait and see....

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5 minutes ago, David in FL said:

If you declassify bunkers as hazards, then wouldn't you open up the option of declaring your ball unplayable and dropping outside of the bunker?  In some cases that could easily result in a better advantage than the one stroke paid...

You could say the same thing of lies you get now. Your ball is wedged between some rocks or in a tree trunk, you take an unplayable, drop ten feet back, and are in the fairway or light rough.

No different.

In those situations it's as if the Rules consider that you've advanced your ball to point A, so paying a price to go sideways or backward is still paying a price.

Otherwise, what, you're going to have someone assess the true value of getting out of a situation? You can't, because a player can declare his ball unplayable at almost any time, for any reason.

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15 minutes ago, iacas said:

You could say the same thing of lies you get now. Your ball is wedged between some rocks or in a tree trunk, you take an unplayable, drop ten feet back, and are in the fairway or light rough.

No different.

In those situations it's as if the Rules consider that you've advanced your ball to point A, so paying a price to go sideways or backward is still paying a price.

Otherwise, what, you're going to have someone assess the true value of getting out of a situation? You can't, because a player can declare his ball unplayable at almost any time, for any reason.

I'll be curious to know if the discuss the oft debated OOB rules.

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5 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I'll be curious to know if the discuss the oft debated OOB rules.

Never happen.  Nor treating a divot as ground under repair.

But then, what the hell do I know...?

 

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2 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Never happen.  Nor treating a divot as ground under repair.

But then, what the hell do I know...?

 

I don't want either to happen. I am just curious if they discuss. Those two get the most chatter here, but I agree with them as they are.

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Just now, boogielicious said:

I don't want either to happen. I am just curious if they discuss. Those two get the most chatter here, but I agree with them as they are.

True, but the chatter generally comes from those that really don't understand the rules, let alone the Principles behind them.

God, I hope I'm not proven wrong!

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I played in a Golf Channel AM Tour tournament last weekend and we were told that two of the upcoming changes would be in affect.  1. We could fix spike marks (anything) on greens.  I'm all for this personally and it seems pretty easy to interpret.  2.  A lost ball (found ball in the woods, etc.) or ball NOT OOB can be treated as a lateral water hazard.  So, I've been thinking about this one a little.  How do "provisional" balls fit with this.  What if you hit a provisional and get to your spot and decide that you'd rather play your provisional?  Is that legal?  I doubt it.  Are provisionals' still allowed if the OOB question is not on the plate.  I should have asked these sort of questions when it was brought up, but it caught me off guard quite frankly.  What say you ole mavins of the rules?

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22 minutes ago, Pardner said:

I played in a Golf Channel AM Tour tournament last weekend and we were told that two of the upcoming changes would be in affect.  1. We could fix spike marks (anything) on greens.  I'm all for this personally and it seems pretty easy to interpret.  2.  A lost ball (found ball in the woods, etc.) or ball NOT OOB can be treated as a lateral water hazard.  So, I've been thinking about this one a little.  How do "provisional" balls fit with this.  What if you hit a provisional and get to your spot and decide that you'd rather play your provisional?  Is that legal?  I doubt it.  Are provisionals' still allowed if the OOB question is not on the plate.  I should have asked these sort of questions when it was brought up, but it caught me off guard quite frankly.  What say you ole mavins of the rules?

If you find your ball, it's not "lost".  Even if you had played a provisional ball, you must play the original ball.

I don't recall any discussion/rumors surrounding a different treatment of lost balls.  You can't simply drop where you think the ball should be, because, well, it's lost, and by definition, you don't know where it is. :-) 

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I realize that with the old rules, a found ball is not "lost".  You either had to stroke and distance it, or play it where it lay.  We were told this will change and we could use the forth coming rules now.  Rule 2 being ... Woods, etc. are treated like lateral water hazards.. Hence, my provisional ball confusion.  I'll ping my golf channel director and see what he has to say ... he's pretty good at responding.

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