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USGA/R&A Finalize 2019 Rules of Golf

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40 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

This doesn't surprise me.  Under the previous rules, it seemed like the players were fixing a lot of "ball marks" at times.  So maybe the new rule just codified the existing practice.

I agree that there were no major rules issues, but I think we'll need to wait and see a few more tournaments before we draw too many conclusions.  In particular, I think that repairing the greens might look different when we go from this field of 33 players to full field events with 144 players.  

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I’ve played a couple time under the new rules. I have mixed thoughts on it. Sure it can help a bit sometimes but I see it slowing things down. Numerous times there was confusion.....you want it in or out? Four times each green. Now this was playing with three strangers. In a regular group I imagine everyone could anticipate the wants of others

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1 hour ago, chilepepper said:

I’ve played a couple time under the new rules. I have mixed thoughts on it. Sure it can help a bit sometimes but I see it slowing things down. Numerous times there was confusion.....you want it in or out? Four times each green. Now this was playing with three strangers. In a regular group I imagine everyone could anticipate the wants of others

I think its also a matter of communication.  If everyone tells the others what his preference is, each time, its not that tough.  The player nearest the hole should always be prepared to pull or replace the flag as necessary.  If the flag is out for the first guy, and in for the next guy, its easy to have the flag back in the hole with a second of the first ball stopping, virtually no delay at all.  

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I've had 5 rounds under the new rules. The first couple, everyone wanted the flagstick out, so I just played along. This past Saturday's round, everyone played with the flagstick in. Yesterday's round we had people that wanted it in, and others with it out. I didn't want to hold up play so I played it as it was. If they had taken it out, then I putted with it out, if it was in, I said leave it. I like it in when I putt now. I think I putt more aggressively with it in.

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A question arose on the Aimpoint Facebook page:   

New rule: 10.2

You or your caddie must not set an object down anywhere on or off the putting green to show your line of play. This is not allowed even if that object is removed before your stroke is made.

Do you think it includes those ball markers with a line on them to help you align the line on your ball?

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40 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

A question arose on the Aimpoint Facebook page:   

New rule: 10.2

You or your caddie must not set an object down anywhere on or off the putting green to show your line of play. This is not allowed even if that object is removed before your stroke is made.

Do you think it includes those ball markers with a line on them to help you align the line on your ball?

The way that is phrased, it could include the ball with a line on it.

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14.2c/1 – Ball May Be Replaced in Almost Any Orientation


When replacing a lifted ball on a spot, the Rules are concerned about only the location. The ball may be aligned in any way when being replaced (such as by lining up a trademark) so long as the ball’s vertical distance to the ground remains the same.

For example, when using a Rule that does not allow cleaning, the player lifts his or her ball and there is a piece of mud sticking to it. The ball may be aligned in any way when replacing it on the original spot (such as by rotating the interfering mud towards the hole).

However, the player is not allowed to replace the ball in an alignment so the ball rests on the mud unless that was its position before it was lifted. The “spot” of the ball includes its vertical location relative to the ground.

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2 hours ago, dennyjones said:

New rule: 10.2 You or your caddie must not set an object down anywhere on or off the putting green to show your line of play. This is not allowed even if that object is removed before your stroke is made.

Do you think it includes those ball markers with a line on them to help you align the line on your ball?

As said, the ball is excluded but seemingly not a lined ball marker

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4 hours ago, dennyjones said:

Do you think it includes those ball markers with a line on them to help you align the line on your ball?

I do not think it includes those, no. I don't think that gets into pointing out the line of play, because even a player using a coin would be able to orient two of the letters around the outside - maybe the "U" and the "A" in "United States of America" or something - to point in a direction.

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On 1/10/2019 at 8:57 AM, Rkrider99 said:

I've had 5 rounds under the new rules. The first couple, everyone wanted the flagstick out, so I just played along. This past Saturday's round, everyone played with the flagstick in. Yesterday's round we had people that wanted it in, and others with it out. I didn't want to hold up play so I played it as it was. If they had taken it out, then I putted with it out, if it was in, I said leave it. I like it in when I putt now. I think I putt more aggressively with it in.

In my round yesterday with other club pros, they started with wanting pin out.  After putting with it in once or twice, they started making a few.  Could have been better alignment too, I don't know, but the entire back 9, we left pin in on putts outside of 15ft.

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20 minutes ago, phillyk said:

In my round yesterday with other club pros, ...

Do you think anyone did more repair work on damage to the green along their putting line than what they would have done in the past?  Or was the golf casual enough that no one was overly concerned?

As we golfers become more aware/used to the Rules changes, I wonder if some will take this change to the extreme.

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21 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Do you think anyone did more repair work on damage to the green along their putting line than what they would have done in the past?  Or was the golf casual enough that no one was overly concerned?

As we golfers become more aware/used to the Rules changes, I wonder if some will take this change to the extreme.

Problem with this time of year on freeze/thaw greens is that you see every foot print at the end of the day.  We wouldn't have had enough time to fix every spike mark.  I fixed a few bigger holes from spikes, but it was casual enough that we didn't care too much.

I don't think it will be that extreme.  I think there may be one or two extra marks max that can now be fixed.  There aren't usually too many marks along the line of putt. If people try to fix everything up to a foot wide of their line, then we might be waiting a while.

Edited by phillyk

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In our round yesterday, I talked everyone into leaving the pin in. I think it affected 2 of the guys. It appeared that they were aiming for the hole area between the pin and the left or right edge of the cup, instead of just aiming for the center of the pin. They were just missing everything on the right or left edge. A couple of the times they mentioned that it was a mental thing that they needed to overcome, and by the end of the round they were taking the pin out for their putting.

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

I do not think it includes those, no. I don't think that gets into pointing out the line of play, because even a player using a coin would be able to orient two of the letters around the outside - maybe the "U" and the "A" in "United States of America" or something - to point in a direction.

This appears to be an "intent" situation.  If the intent is to mark the ball, then no issue.  If the intent is to assist with alignment, then there might be an issue with the new rule. 

First, in the definitions the rules no longer appear to differentiate between line of play and line of putt.  Line of putt no longer seems to exist in the new rules.  Everything is based on line of play now, which is not necessarily a straight line as it once was deemed to be. 

The rule has also changed to expand the prohibition for indicating line of play.  The entire green is now off limits for placing any object for the purpose of indicating the line of play.  Taking that at face value, it seems to me that placing a ball marker which has an alignment feature on it, and orienting that feature with the line of play could be construed as in opposition with new rules 10-2b(2).  The ball seems to be the only object that is exempted from this prohibition.

Edited by Fourputt

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5 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

The rule has also changed to expand the prohibition for indicating line of play.  The entire green is now off limits for placing any object for the purpose of indicating the line of play.

You couldn't place an object even OFF the green in 2018, so I don't think the prohibition has expanded at all.

5 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

new rules 10-2b(2).

The new rules have a . between the first two numbers. 10.2b(2).

I don't agree that a ball marker with a line on it indicates the line of play.

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4 hours ago, Asheville said:

rules@usga.org has been asked about the use of a ball-marker with a line.

I'll let you all know when I get a response.

That will be good. I was discussing it with out club committee yesterday and was asked to contact the R&A but they are so under resourced it could take weeks.

I must admit though I have never seen how such a short line (even on a casino chip) can be used accurately to point to a target a couple of yards or more away. No doubt someone can do the math and calculate how much the ball will miss by for every mm error in placing the marker and per metre of travel.

Edited by Rulesman

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