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USGA/R&A Introduce "Modernized" Rules

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8 hours ago, Fourputt said:

It's different from placing int that you won't be able to just perch the ball up on a couple of blades of grass to tee it up.  Even from just an inch, the ball will settle at least a bit.  The best benefit I see from this is when dropping in a bunker - you won't automatically get that fried egg lie that you get after dropping in a bunker from shoulder height.

In 40 years of playing I don't think I've ever taken a drop in a bunker...

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5 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

In 40 years of playing I don't think I've ever taken a drop in a bunker...

I had to in a pro-am last summer. Ball was absolutely buried near the back lip (I had just enough room to go in a small arc to get away from the back edge). Horrible.

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So...overall, I think the rules are a (significant) net positive.

Most fall into the "sure, no big deal" category.  Among the few that I'm probably going to keep thinking about:

  • The flagstick rule
  • "Penalty areas" and the need for red vs. yellow hazards
  • Bunker rules
  • Dropping height

Some of my thoughts - flagstick and dropping height - are hesitation about the proposed changes (maybe they go too far).  Others make me wonder...once you've gone this far, why not go "all-in"? 

For example, maybe you could eliminate separate treatment of bunkers altogether?  Is the skill of playing from the sand truly fundamental to the game?

Anyway...good stuff, and I'm excited to ram 3-foot putts into the flagstick for double bogey!!!

:offtopic::

Spoiler

 

40 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

In 40 years of playing I don't think I've ever taken a drop in a bunker...

IMG_0774.JPG

:surrender:

 

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31 minutes ago, iacas said:

I had to in a pro-am last summer. Ball was absolutely buried near the back lip (I had just enough room to go in a small arc to get away from the back edge). Horrible.

I took one last year in a tournament. I was in the back of a bunker, and I had no swing. There was a bush right behind the bunker. I fortunately got a free drop because it was ESA back there. I got a terrible fried egg lie, though, and still made a double bogey. 

I may have taken an unplayable if I didn't get the relief from the ESA. I may have tried to putt sideways or something, I don't know. But I've taken a drop.

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10 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

So...overall, I think the rules are a (significant) net positive.

Most fall into the "sure, no big deal" category.  Among the few that I'm probably going to keep thinking about:

  • The flagstick rule
  • "Penalty areas" and the need for red vs. yellow hazards
  • Bunker rules
  • Dropping height

Some of my thoughts - flagstick and dropping height - are hesitation about the proposed changes (maybe they go too far).  Others make me wonder...once you've gone this far, why not go "all-in"? 

For example, maybe you could eliminate separate treatment of bunkers altogether?  Is the skill of playing from the sand truly fundamental to the game?

Anyway...good stuff, and I'm excited to ram 3-foot putts into the flagstick for double bogey!!!

:offtopic::

  Hide contents

 

IMG_0774.JPG

:surrender:

 

Ouch.  As brutal as that looks though, if there isn't a lot of rough between the bunker and green, and if the pin is cut in the middle or other side, I would probably play that shot.  What's the worst that could happen, right?  :whistle:

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8 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

In 40 years of playing I don't think I've ever taken a drop in a bunker...

Ironically, I had one two years ago about the same time we had a significant discussion thread about dropping in a bunker here on TST. There was a lively thread about it that IIRC Erik started. Then in my league round that week, my ball plugged under the lip on a par 3. I remember laughing when I saw it. What are the odds!

I dropped and it rolled back to a nice lie. Still got a double though.

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I'd like to ask a question of the group. 

Did the USGA and the R&A make the right decision?

They stated first off that their desire was to find a way to make golf rules apply to everyone. I guess they somehow got the PGA Tour to go along? Or does the compromise favor the pros, since none of the rules changes are going to make much difference to them. How often does the ball move on a pro on TV, in a year?

Is this just kicking the can down the road, because the game the professionals can play really isn't accessible to the person who might enjoy playing the game if it weren't so hard, so expensive, and so time consuming. At some point, will they have to rethink this and come up with a different set of rules? Or go on with the blind eye that most people don't follow the rules?

Obviously, I think not differentiating is a mistake and from that point, the changes don't go far enough. 

Just my opinion. It is what it is.

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I think they did a terrific job.  I don't think the problem is that the rules make the game too difficult.  Instead I think there were three problems that are addressed there: 1) legalese; 2) too many different rules for different circumstances; 3) unnecessarily penal rules (i.e., penalties for mistakes that are innocent and didn't give you an advantage).  The new rules don't completely eliminate these problems, but they help.  And they do so without changing the nature of the game. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

I'd like to ask a question of the group. 

Did the USGA and the R&A make the right decision?

They stated first off that their desire was to find a way to make golf rules apply to everyone. I guess they somehow got the PGA Tour to go along? Or does the compromise favor the pros, since none of the rules changes are going to make much difference to them. How often does the ball move on a pro on TV, in a year?

Is this just kicking the can down the road, because the game the professionals can play really isn't accessible to the person who might enjoy playing the game if it weren't so hard, so expensive, and so time consuming. At some point, will they have to rethink this and come up with a different set of rules? Or go on with the blind eye that most people don't follow the rules?

Obviously, I think not differentiating is a mistake and from that point, the changes don't go far enough. 

Just my opinion. It is what it is.

These rules aren't just for pros or am's.  It's for the game.  To make the game more accessible and easier to understand.  The PGA Tour can either accept the rules the USGA and R&A make or go their own way.  Ultimately, it's up to the Tour to decide.

The bold is one of the reasons why they are doing this.  Most people don't follow the rules, but if they now see that they are easier to understand, people may want to compete more and simply play more.  We don't want golf to be elitist that only a select few understand and play; it should be something everyone can understand, play, and have fun doing so.  These changes are attempting to address that.

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1 minute ago, dsc123 said:

I think they did a terrific job.  I don't think the problem is that the rules make the game too difficult.  Instead I think there were three problems that are addressed there: 1) legalese; 2) too many different rules for different circumstances; 3) unnecessarily penal rules (i.e., penalties for mistakes that are innocent and didn't give you an advantage).  The new rules don't completely eliminate these problems, but they help.  And they do so without changing the nature of the game. 

 

I would tentatively tend to agree with this.  I still have some reservations, but for the most part I don't have any issue with most of the proposed changes.  The flagstick rule is the one glaring exception - I think that is a mistake. 

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14 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

Did the USGA and the R&A make the right decision?

On the whole I think that yes, they did.

14 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

They stated first off that their desire was to find a way to make golf rules apply to everyone.

Where did they "state" this? Because the Rules right now already "apply to everyone."

14 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

I guess they somehow got the PGA Tour to go along?

Huh?

14 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

Obviously, I think not differentiating is a mistake and from that point, the changes don't go far enough. 

How much farther could/should they have gone, in your opinion?

I suspect the changes you'll recommend would violate the principles. And benefit people who probably already don't really follow the rules anyway.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Where did they "state" this? Because the Rules right now already "apply to everyone."

I was watching the Golf Channel at four o'clock in the morning when they announced the changes. Just lucky. My life sucks.

4 minutes ago, iacas said:

How much farther could/should they have gone, in your opinion?

I suspect the changes you'll recommend would violate the principles. And benefit people who probably already don't really follow the rules anyway.

This sounds pretty stuffy. Who knows what the PRINCIPLES OF GOLF! means? Who cares? Get the ball in the air, into the hole. That's the principle for most people. If you can't handle that, then I don't know what to tell you. Now you know what it's like to be on the wrong side of history. The numbers, which we both know, show that this is only a band-aid on hemorrhaging.

Here's what you're up against. There are people out there who laugh when I have said "If I lose two balls on one hole, I don't play it." Now, you can criticize my humor, but most--MOST--people who play golf know what I'm saying. Hell, they laugh when I say that losing a ball is enough penalty, those things are expensive! If you aren't laughing, then maybe you're principled to death. I don't know, and it doesn't matter.

Nothing I say is going to change anything. When I play alone, which is most of the time and is all the time my preference, I don't pull the flag. It's a waste of time. If this rule change doesn't survive, then don't expect these rule changes to bring in new people--which is how an activity grows--or keeps people playing who are on the verge (always) of quitting.

Yes, the game needs to be simpler. It's hard enough as it is. What you believe is right for you, but is it right for the game we both love? I don't know. I'm just being as objective as I can be.

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31 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

I guess they somehow got the PGA Tour to go along?

The PGA Tour has 'gone along' for years. Their hardcard says all competitions are played to the Rules of Golf as specified by the USGA.

But I hope they would anyway as they have been involved all the way through.

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43 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

I was watching the Golf Channel at four o'clock in the morning when they announced the changes. Just lucky. My life sucks.

This sounds pretty stuffy. Who knows what the PRINCIPLES OF GOLF! means? Who cares? Get the ball in the air, into the hole. That's the principle for most people. If you can't handle that, then I don't know what to tell you. Now you know what it's like to be on the wrong side of history. The numbers, which we both know, show that this is only a band-aid on hemorrhaging.

Here's what you're up against. There are people out there who laugh when I have said "If I lose two balls on one hole, I don't play it." Now, you can criticize my humor, but most--MOST--people who play golf know what I'm saying. Hell, they laugh when I say that losing a ball is enough penalty, those things are expensive! If you aren't laughing, then maybe you're principled to death. I don't know, and it doesn't matter.

Nothing I say is going to change anything. When I play alone, which is most of the time and is all the time my preference, I don't pull the flag. It's a waste of time. If this rule change doesn't survive, then don't expect these rule changes to bring in new people--which is how an activity grows--or keeps people playing who are on the verge (always) of quitting.

Yes, the game needs to be simpler. It's hard enough as it is. What you believe is right for you, but is it right for the game we both love? I don't know. I'm just being as objective as I can be.

Play the ball where it lies. Play the course as you find it. 

This is not advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics. It is very basic. If you can't understand that, take up bowling.

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51 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

I was watching the Golf Channel at four o'clock in the morning when they announced the changes. Just lucky. My life sucks.

This sounds pretty stuffy. Who knows what the PRINCIPLES OF GOLF! means? Who cares? Get the ball in the air, into the hole. That's the principle for most people. If you can't handle that, then I don't know what to tell you. Now you know what it's like to be on the wrong side of history. The numbers, which we both know, show that this is only a band-aid on hemorrhaging.

Here's what you're up against. There are people out there who laugh when I have said "If I lose two balls on one hole, I don't play it." Now, you can criticize my humor, but most--MOST--people who play golf know what I'm saying. Hell, they laugh when I say that losing a ball is enough penalty, those things are expensive! If you aren't laughing, then maybe you're principled to death. I don't know, and it doesn't matter.

Nothing I say is going to change anything. When I play alone, which is most of the time and is all the time my preference, I don't pull the flag. It's a waste of time. If this rule change doesn't survive, then don't expect these rule changes to bring in new people--which is how an activity grows--or keeps people playing who are on the verge (always) of quitting.

Yes, the game needs to be simpler. It's hard enough as it is. What you believe is right for you, but is it right for the game we both love? I don't know. I'm just being as objective as I can be.

Near as I can tell from your recent posts, you are one of those who is likely to be unaffected by anything they do with the rules, because by your own admission, you play as you like and don't bother with them.  You are NOT the reason for the rules changes, and I don't think that anyone realistically thinks that simpler rules will by themselves bring more people into the game.  

Beginners don't worry about rules - all they are concerned with is figuring out how to to get the clubhead to the ball and the ball to the hole.   They are out to have fun with their friends, and sometimes that fun just happens to include golf.  

Rules interest and education comes sometime later after the basic forms of the game have gotten stuck in their psyche.  These rules changes are aimed at those players who have developed enough interest to take their game to the next level.  The game managers are hoping to help those semi-serious casual players become more involved in the proper forms of the game.  Maybe pique their interest just a little bit sooner because the new format is a bit easier for the average player to make sense of.

I see the change as an attempt to encourage casual players to get more involved, more serious about golf, and maybe then those players will then bring more of their friends into the game - sort of an end run rather than a straightforward recruitment.  I still feel that the biggest deterrent to bringing new players into golf is cost.  The rules have almost nothing to do with whether or not a player first picks up a club.

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I'm ok with most proposed changes, except for the flagstick one, for the reasons I've read here.

However, when browsing other forums I see no objection whatsoever against that particular change. The opposite really, almost everyone seems to like it.

 

Did any of you take the survey yet? http://www.usga.org/rules-hub/rules-modernization/feedback-landing-page.html
There are some questions on OB in there that suggests they were/are at least thinking about changing the OB-rule. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Big_in_Belgium said:

Did any of you take the survey yet? http://www.usga.org/rules-hub/rules-modernization/feedback-landing-page.html
There are some questions on OB in there that suggests they were/are at least thinking about changing the OB-rule. 

I did take the survey, and saw the same thing.  My opinion, I don't think the penalties for OB and lost ball should be changed.  I also gave my name and email, should they choose me to follow up with later on.

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