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USGA/R&A Finalize 2019 Rules of Golf

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 7:57 AM, iacas said:

I'll post my thoughts as I read through them. The first one is a bit out of order.

New (Two-)Stroke and Distance Local Rule for Lost/OB Ball

http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/golfs-new-rules-stroke-and-distance.html

This is the new stroke and distance rule that's not intended for higher level events. It allows you to drop in a very wide pie slice (going all the way to the fairway, no closer to the hole), with a penalty of two strokes (so you'd be lying three if it was your tee shot).

I really like this rule. It's a Local Rule, and so it won't affect the higher level events. What it does is provide an actual rule for leagues that have made up their own rules, and similar types of situations where players just make up their own rules on their own, and still allow you to turn in an actual score that's played under the Rules of Golf. It should eliminate the debate over whether the hole was an ESC hole or whether it was par + handicap, too.

What advantage do you think it offers on a one-inch putt?

No. Not really. In our testing if you can hit the ball to within about 3' (beyond the hole), the flagstick doesn't help or hurt. At faster speeds - a ball rolling out more than 3' past the hole - the flagstick starts to help.

Like this... but was not able to take it on hole 4 even though there is a local rule for the pump station by the two people @tehuti and I were playing with. They said "as long as you are not playing us for money".

Here's the scenario, I hooked my tee shot into the fence where it ended up behind a pump station. When I went to drop a full club outside the obstruction plus stance, the two other players said no line of sight to the hole was allowed? The local rule for the hole specifically stated relief from stance and swing. That meant fairway in this case. Yet they still objected to the local rule allowing me line of sight to the pin.

https://www.golfzing.com/sites/default/files/scorecards/sandimas.pdf

I noted, that local rule for hole 4 was in effect and that I had relief from it with no penalty. So, was this because they did not know the rules well enough themselves, or is there a precedence by which they said I could not take the written relief?

My next shot from a stupid first cut position with the pump station in the way of my follow through ended up hooking a 3i into the OB fence as I was not permitted to clear the pump station fully according to "their rules".

There is also no explicit local rule permitting the use of this new "Lost Ball/OB" rule (see scorecard with local rules). 

Would I have been permitted to take the fairway relief at the pump station tee shot and would I have been able to take the "local 2019 OB/lost ball" two strokes on the 3i shot? Also, did I do the wrong thing by not taking the written relief I was permitted, but not allowed by the other two players?

So, in the end, I ended up just taking ESC once they ruled it "if you're not betting against me, I don't care" philosophy 😕

I also wonder if I posted this round for handicap with so many ESC (3 total), if my handicap committee at my home club would be suspicious or not? I could probably just post 15 holes. It was a tough day of golf, so I'm not making excuses for my poor golf, but I don't want to get in trouble either...

 

On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:35 AM, iacas said:

It's not supposed to be used for serious competitions.

An if the guy hit it OB or lost it, he's still hitting 4. Yes, it does basically just let him pretend he hit his next tee shot in the fairway, instead of having to face the same tee shot he just hit OB again, but… it's not supposed to be used for serious competitions. Leagues, etc. should adopt the local rule.

If people object to "playing for money" with these local rules in effect doesn't this nullify this as a local rule? I can imagine everyone you play conveniently disallowing this rule even if not a serious competition?

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@Lihu, I don't know about relief in the fairway, but if your stance or swing was affected by the pump station, you were entitled to relief at the nearest point of relief, within an area one clublength in size (radius) no closer to the hole.

If a part of that relief put you in the fairway, cool.

If you took relief and the area of your stance or swing was still affected, you did not properly take complete relief.

This doesn't have much of anything to do with the 2019 Local Rule for a ball lost or OB, as far as I can tell.

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48 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Would I have been permitted to take the fairway relief at the pump station tee shot and would I have been able to take the "local 2019 OB/lost ball" two strokes after on the 3i shot? Also, did I do the wrong thing by not taking the written relief I was permitted, but not allowed by the other two players?

Oops, meant after, where I was near the green.

 

5 minutes ago, iacas said:

This doesn't have much of anything to do with the 2019 Local Rule for a ball lost or OB, as far as I can tell.

Oops, I meant after the 3i shot that went OB greenside? Should I have taken the relief on the fairway before the green? I gave up on that hole after the 3i hooked out anyway, but just wondering if the new 2019 rules covers it even if the Local rules did not explicitly include the new rule?

 

Also, I was wondering if people can restrict use of the new rules when "playing for money"?

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17 minutes ago, Lihu said:

but just wondering if the new 2019 rules covers it even if the Local rules did not explicitly include the new rule?

 

The 'new rule' is a Local Rule and has to be in force in order to use it.

Edited by Rulesman

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1 minute ago, Rulesman said:

The Local Rule has to be in force in order to use it.

So, I'm guessing that if everyone agrees to the explicitly written "local rules", then this OB/Lost Ball rule would automatically be in effect?

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50 minutes ago, Lihu said:

So, I'm guessing that if everyone agrees to the explicitly written "local rules", then this OB/Lost Ball rule would automatically be in effect?

The Committee at the course has to decide whether the Local Rule is in effect or not. It should be on the scorecard or otherwise posted. Otherwise you can't assume that the Local Rule is in effect.

If you're playing a little competition, you could basically be your own committee, but you'd all have to set the Local Rules and Conditions of Competition before you begin.

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On 1/16/2019 at 1:44 AM, Rulesman said:

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.

If 12 years in retirement hasn't completely eroded my right triangle solving skills, It appears that for each degree that you are off your aim, you would miss your mark by 17.5mm per meter of distance.  The longer the putt, the more total error, and the less useful such an aiming assistant would be.  I agree that such a short line is more of a mental help than physical.  If it helps make a more confident stroke, then have at it, but it really doesn't do much as an actual physical asset.

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I can't find a protractor but taking the the diameter of a golf ball, what is the gap between two lines diverging at 1 degree? 

Or another way, by what would you miss the target for each mm that you are off your aim.

Edited by Rulesman

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1 minute ago, Rulesman said:

Using the the diameter of a golf ball, what is the gap between two lines diverging at 1 degree?  

At what distance? And what's the diameter of a golf ball got to do with anything?

You guys can use SOHCAHTOA to figure this stuff out you know, right?

sin(1) = x/y

Plug in y as "ten feet" or something and you get: 120 * sin(1) = x; x = 2.09". Enough to miss a ten-footer if it's not hit with exactly dead weight.

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My trig goes back to when Adam was a lad so is pretty derelict now. I was guessing that Fourputt would have it off pat.

The circle is the size of a ball

 

Line.JPG

Edited by Rulesman

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I went to a Colorado Golf Association rules seminar today, and there were two interesting things that I wanted to bring up:

  1. If you are raking back-on-the-line relief, if you don't establish your reference point before you drop, your reference point is the point where you ball hits the course. So, if it rolls forward, you would have to redrop to avoid playing a ball from the wrong place.
  2. This is something that I didn't read into the new rule at all, but apparently the general rule on music is that it's now okay on the course. Only in the very specific circumstance where somebody is using it as like a metronome or with like earbuds to block out all distractions is it not okay.

The first thing strikes me as a pretty dumb thing that will probably get adjusted pretty quickly. I hope nobody gets in trouble with it in a high profile event, because that would be really bad. But, make sure you are marking your reference point with a tee if you are taking back-on-the-line relief. That will prevent this from being a penalty for you.

The second part was really surprising to me. I read the rule to mean that music still wasn't generally allowed, because I was operating under the assumption that music can help you with tempo or by eliminating distractions. There is a local rule that you can enact to prevent all music, so that's an option. But it's something I did not realize.

For what it's worth, one of the guys running the seminar was an advisory member of the USGA rules committee the past 3 years, so he knows what he's talking about.

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6 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

The first thing strikes me as a pretty dumb thing that will probably get adjusted pretty quickly. I hope nobody gets in trouble with it in a high profile event, because that would be really bad. But, make sure you are marking your reference point with a tee if you are taking back-on-the-line relief. That will prevent this from being a penalty for you.

I don't think that will get adjusted. The ball simply can't roll forward. Either mark or make sure the ball goes backward. If you drop twice and it goes forward both times (but the second was at or behind the first), you place.

6 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

The second part was really surprising to me. I read the rule to mean that music still wasn't generally allowed, because I was operating under the assumption that music can help you with tempo or by eliminating distractions. There is a local rule that you can enact to prevent all music, so that's an option. But it's something I did not realize.

I just asked about this, and the general guideline is that if you listen to music for a prolonged period, you must be doing it to gain some sort of advantage, so it's disallowed.

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12 minutes ago, Asheville said:

I think not marking on BOL could lead to gaming the drop.

What do you mean exactly? Game the drop how?

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12 minutes ago, Asheville said:

I think not marking on BOL could lead to gaming the drop.

Prior to 2019, did one need to mark the point of reference?  The entire process of determining the point has always been a bit of a guesstimate. Where a ball crossed the hazard line and subsequently determining a line from the flag through that point has never seemed to me to be especially precise.  Yes, a dishonest person can game the situation.  Why penalize someone for not dotting the "i"?

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6 minutes ago, Asheville said:

Chose a location on BOL that will likely result in drop-drop-place.

I think it's more likely that people will actually screw that up and play from a wrong place if the ball (with no marked reference point) rolls forward even an inch.

If they mark with a tee and drop really near the tee… IMO they're just as likely to need to place anyway. Especially given the added precision from dropping from only knee height.

4 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Prior to 2019, did one need to mark the point of reference?

No. But you don't have to in 2019, either.

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 8:42 PM, iacas said:

I don't think that will get adjusted. The ball simply can't roll forward. Either mark or make sure the ball goes backward. If you drop twice and it goes forward both times (but the second was at or behind the first), you place.

Right, it's easy enough as a relatively well-educated person on the rules to understand that. However, here are my issues with this. This is the only relief procedure where the reference point isn't a single fixed point (e.g., where the ball is, where the ball crossed the hazard, where your last stroke was, etc.). Unless you're dropping on the margin of the hazard, your reference point could, if you were to pick one before dropping, be in front of where your ball lands. It seems unnecessarily complicated and technical when the new rules did a really good job of making dropping less complicated.

I'm also having trouble seeing the reasoning behind doing this. Why couldn't the rules deem the reference point to be half a club ahead of and behind where you drop? Maybe there just isn't a good answer, so they chose this one.

Finally, from an optics perspective, god help us if someone gets this penalty in a high profile situation. I don't even want to imagine the outrage if someone gets penalized 2 strokes because a dropped ball went forward 6 inches or whatever.

On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 8:42 PM, iacas said:

I just asked about this, and the general guideline is that if you listen to music for a prolonged period, you must be doing it to gain some sort of advantage, so it's disallowed.

So I was still curious about this, and I e-mailed the guy who put on the seminar this question. He disagreed with you, and said it's okay. Here's the my e-mail:

Quote

On the rule on music, would listening to music for a prolonged period incur a penalty? Presumably, if you're playing music for a while, it's probably to help you in some sort of way. If I remember correctly, there was an interpretation in the prior rules that said that playing music during a stroke would incur a penalty because it was probably helping the player with tempo or by eliminating distractions. I am wondering if that is still there in some fashion? Or do we just to look to whether the golfer is using the music to eliminate distractions or help with swing tempo (and it doesn't matter if it's for 15 seconds or for, say, all 18 holes)?

His response:

Quote

So the Rules (4.3) now say that a player may listen to music during the round as background music. The Committee may enact a local Rule stating that this is not allowed, but in general listening to music is fine as long as it is not too loud and bothering someone else.

A player may not however use music to block out a distraction (i.e. headphones). That would be a breach of the Rule. Hope this helps!

 

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