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USGA/R&A Introduce "Modernized" Rules

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1 hour ago, David in FL said:

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!

I do too. A stroke and distance penalty is all that makes sense to me for OOB or lost balls.

50 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?

Yeah, I doubt they knew what they were talking about.

I really, really, really doubt they're going to allow a ball that you find in the woods to be treated as a "lateral water hazard," particularly since I think they're going to lump all water hazards into one thing. Unlike with water hazards, there's no defined edge to "the woods" or "the rough" or whatever area of the course you found your ball on that you want to not play out of.

Such a change would, IMO, greatly violate the core principles.

16 minutes ago, Pardner said:

I realize that with the old rules, a found ball is not "lost".

That's not true at all.

If you top your ball five feet in front of you and then put another ball into play, that original ball is lost, even though you can see it the whole time.

Quote

A ball is deemed "lost" if: 

a.

It is not found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player's side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it; or 

b.

The player has made a stroke at a provisional ball from the place where the original ball is likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place (see Rule 27-2b); or 

c.

The player has put another ball into play under penalty of stroke and distance under Rule 26-1a27-1 or 28a; or 

d.

The player has put another ball into play because it is known or virtually certain that the ball, which has not been found, has been moved by an outside agency (see Rule 18-1), is in an obstruction (see Rule 24-3), is in an abnormal ground condition (see Rule 25-1c) or is in a water hazard (see Rule 26-1b or c); or 

e.

The player has made a stroke at a substituted ball.

Only "a" deals with a ball that you can't find, and even in that case, you can find the ball, but if it's at 5:10, it's lost.

17 minutes ago, Pardner said:

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.

I haven't heard anything like that, and I think he's wrong.

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Hmmm, I hope they make the rules more easy, not the game of golf. 

To me treating all water hazards the same is 'making the rules more easy', but grounding in a bunker would make the game more easy.

If they make the game more easy, it could also make a difference on course and slope rating...

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35 minutes ago, MacDutch said:

To me treating all water hazards the same is 'making the rules more easy', but grounding in a bunker would make the game more easy.

A little, but you still won't be able to improve the lie.

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

A little, but you still won't be able to improve the lie.

Being able to test the sand with a practice swing strikes me as significant...

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

Being able to test the sand with a practice swing strikes me as significant...

I agree with this for sure.  No two course have the same feeling sand.  Maybe even bunkers come out different in how soft the sand is.  It would definitely make it easier to predict how the ball comes out.

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3 minutes ago, phillyk said:

 It would definitely make it easier to predict how the ball comes out.

Is it really a function of the rules to make playing a shot easier?

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12 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Being able to test the sand with a practice swing strikes me as significant...

Maybe you still won't be able to do that, but you'll be able to move loose impediments, drop out of it if you take an unplayable, etc.

Though that would make the bunker a weird thing, too… not a hazard, but kinda a hazard.

To the point of whether it's significant or not, I've heard the Kiawah Island situation (where nothing was a bunker) played a role in the consideration.

4 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

Is it really a function of the rules to make playing a shot easier?

Good point. The shot is still what it is.

Note that Code Two says:

Quote

11-6. TESTING CONDITION OF HAZARD

Before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether a bunker or a water hazard) or that, having been lifted from a hazard, may be placed in the hazard, the player must not test the condition of the hazard (or another hazard of the same type) by probing the ground in the hazard or by touching the ground in the hazard with practice swings.

Code Two also says:

Quote

11-2. REMOVAL OF LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS

loose impediment may be moved without penalty. If the removal of a loose impediment causes the ball to moveRule 15 applies.

 When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment may not be moved for the purpose of influencing the movement of the ball — see Rule 11-4.

But I suspect we'll see tomorrow.

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2 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

Is it really a function of the rules to make playing a shot easier?

I don't want it to be easier.  I like that bunkers are treated as being a hazard.

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As someone who's relatively new to competition and semi-serious golf, I think it would remove a huge barrier to the game if the rules were made easier to interpret (and remember). I don't think they need to compromise, but simplification would certainly help.

 

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2 minutes ago, b101 said:

As someone who's relatively new to competition and semi-serious golf, I think it would remove a huge barrier to the game if the rules were made easier to interpret (and remember). I don't think they need to compromise, but simplification would certainly help.

 

It's been demonstrated through a great many discussions on this forum that for the most part, no real simplification is possible without some compromise.  The problem is that the complex variety of situations that can occur on the many and also varied environments that courses exist in are what has led to the complexity of the rules.  To make the rules simpler without some standardization of the courses we play would be impossible without compromise.

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Just now, Fourputt said:

It's been demonstrated through a great many discussions on this forum that for the most part, no real simplification is possible without some compromise.  The problem is that the complex variety of situations that can occur on the many and also varied environments that courses exist in are what has led to the complexity of the rules.  To make the rules simpler without some standardization of the courses we play would be impossible without compromise.

Thing is, 'a great many discussions' in a rules section of a golf forum is a pretty limiting field. Maybe then there will be some compromise. Personally, I feel that the complexity of the rules is something that still worries me at odd occasions during a round and I can't help but feel that it's a barrier to others getting into the sport or enjoying it as much as they would. 

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1 minute ago, b101 said:

Thing is, 'a great many discussions' in a rules section of a golf forum is a pretty limiting field. Maybe then there will be some compromise. Personally, I feel that the complexity of the rules is something that still worries me at odd occasions during a round and I can't help but feel that it's a barrier to others getting into the sport or enjoying it as much as they would. 

There is a lot of expertise on the rules among the members here.  I've had similar discussions on other forums, but rarely with the same depth of understanding of the Rules of Golf and of The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf.  We have several experienced rules officials and teaching pros who contribute regularly.

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1 minute ago, Fourputt said:

There is a lot of expertise on the rules among the members here.  I've had similar discussions on other forums, but rarely with the same depth of understanding of the Rules of Golf and of The Principles Behind the Rules of Golf.  We have several experienced rules officials and teaching pros who contribute regularly.

Agreed, that's not the point I was trying to make though. Whilst there'll be a number of people on here that understand and can implement the vast majority of these rules, there'll be so many casual players out there, or even serious players, that don't. I got into the sport to swing a club and enjoy myself, rather than bury myself in a book wondering what to do next... It's an extreme simplification, but the point I'm trying to make is just that I think making things easier for a large number of golfers would be a good thing.

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58 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

Is it really a function of the rules to make playing a shot easier?

I don't think that is a good point. A hazard is a trap where you don't want to be in, when playing golf. You are supposed to play smart and try to avoid that. In the hazard there is punishment. Don't make it more easy by changing the rules.

Golf is hard, let it stay that way.

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11 minutes ago, b101 said:

Agreed, that's not the point I was trying to make though. Whilst there'll be a number of people on here that understand and can implement the vast majority of these rules, there'll be so many casual players out there, or even serious players, that don't. I got into the sport to swing a club and enjoy myself, rather than bury myself in a book wondering what to do next... It's an extreme simplification, but the point I'm trying to make is just that I think making things easier for a large number of golfers would be a good thing.

And as has been pointed out many times, most of those casual players won't pay any attention to the rules no matter what changes are made.  They play by what they've picked up here and there over time and don't worry about what the book says.  That's unlikely to change just because the book is rewritten.  

Most golfers never even open up a rule book.  No more than the kids in a sandlot ball game read the rules of Baseball.  It's when players get interested in competition, even if it's somewhat casual among a group of friends, that they begin to take the rules more seriously.  It's those players who will be most affected by making the rules easier to understand.  

I'm neither for nor against change until I see the reality of what is going to be proposed.  If I can go out and play by the new rules and still feel like I'm playing the game I've played for 40+ years, then I'll be okay with it.  Otherwise I may have reservations.

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22 minutes ago, b101 said:

Thing is, 'a great many discussions' in a rules section of a golf forum is a pretty limiting field. Maybe then there will be some compromise. Personally, I feel that the complexity of the rules is something that still worries me at odd occasions during a round and I can't help but feel that it's a barrier to others getting into the sport or enjoying it as much as they would. 

I doubt that anyone in the history of the game has read the rules and then said "Damn, that's too complicated.  I'm not going to try that silly game!".

What happens a great majority of the time, is that one casual player introduces another casual player to the game.  Neither ever really learn, or play by any but the most rudimentary of rules, and those are often incorrect.  And that's just fine, but it would be silly to change the rules of the game, to somehow try to accommodate those that already have shown no desire to play by the rules of the game.

Can some complexity be reduced, while maintaining the integrity of the game?  Maybe.  We'll have a better idea tomorrow, but as @Fourputt said, much of the complexity comes from the nature of the game itself and the ever changing environment in which it's played.

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2 hours ago, Fourputt said:

It's been demonstrated through a great many discussions on this forum that for the most part, no real simplification is possible without some compromise.

Depending on what you mean by compromise, you may be surprised by tomorrow.

And I'll urge you, @Fourputt, to try to look at things not like an old codger or an old rules guy, but to look at things from a fresh perspective and to really, truly ask yourself if the Principles are challenged or changed, and to try to see whatever we hear tomorrow as a good step.

And a step, to be clear, that they're going to listen to feedback on for a year or so to tweak and change.

2 hours ago, MacDutch said:

I don't think that is a good point. A hazard is a trap where you don't want to be in, when playing golf. You are supposed to play smart and try to avoid that. In the hazard there is punishment. Don't make it more easy by changing the rules.

You still have to play the shot out of the sand. The Rules will not say "free drop (or place) out of sand."

2 hours ago, Fourputt said:

And as has been pointed out many times, most of those casual players won't pay any attention to the rules no matter what changes are made.

It really depends.

If the Rules are made simpler, more people will understand a greater chunk of the Rules. There will be less confusion. There will be less bad information given.

Previous attempts to simplify the rules either sought to go too far (i.e. the "rules in one page" thing we had here, with no takers) or barely changed the rules enough to matter.

I think the USGA/R&A might be hitting a sweet spot here in the middle of those. Maybe. We'll see.

2 hours ago, Fourputt said:

I'm neither for nor against change until I see the reality of what is going to be proposed.  If I can go out and play by the new rules and still feel like I'm playing the game I've played for 40+ years, then I'll be okay with it.  Otherwise I may have reservations.

Just try to be open-minded. :-)

I don't think, for example, you'll have a problem with all water hazards being condensed into a single type, but if you have an issue with a change to loose impediments in bunkers or placing instead of dropping, then you might have a big problem (maybe) tomorrow. :-)

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