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How Much "Simpler" Are the 2019 Rules, Really?

2019 Rules  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. Are the 2019 Rules of Golf simpler?

    • Yes, quite a bit.
      7
    • Yes, a little.
      18
    • No, they’re about the same.
      19
    • No, they’re more complex.
      2


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I voted about the same but in reality I had spend so much effort to learn the rules as they are now, any change is going to mean relearning those details again. The major feeling for me is how depressed I am they kept the flagstick in on the green rule. Why they needed to change this confounds me. 

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I agree with @mchepp 

38 minutes ago, mchepp said:

I had spend so much effort to learn the rules as they are now, any change is going to mean relearning those details again

The big challenge has always been educating players about all the rules which the game has.
So many players simply don't know rules as they are presently and probably will not take the time to read any changes.

I try my best as some are complex, others are simple for everyone. 

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I think a lot of us "understand" the rules of various games "colloquially". That is we understand the "gist" of the rules, but can't quote them chapter and verse. 

Read any sport's rule book and it will be just as obtuse as golf's! Think about it. Before that one Patriot's game had anyone here ever heard of the "tuck rule"? 

And the NBA drives me crazy. When I learned to play Bball it was "right, left, and up!" The instant your right foot hit the floor before releasing the ball it was traveling! Now they allow the "jump stop". My buddy's Son tried to argue w/me that these guys are so good they should be allowed to do that. My response was that if these guys are so good, they shouldn't need to do that!

I voted that it will be about the same, and, in addition, the vast majority of people who play golf will continue to ignore them. 

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4 hours ago, iacas said:

I think it being a "simplification" was massively over-sold. 🙂

I don't think they were too complex to begin with, though.

Exactly. 90% of the game can be covered by "tee it up between the two tee markers and not more than two clublengths behind them. Don't touch it with anything other than the club while hitting it and then hit the ball until it's in the hole." 9% can be covered by what to do if you lose it or hit it out of bounds, or need to take relief from something. One clublength if it's a free drop. Two clublengths if it's a penalty. Nothing difficult there. The vast majority of the complexity of the rules is down to the 1% of the time that someone does something stupid. The decisions book is basically entirely what to do if someone does something wrong. 

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I voted about the same. Easier to understand? Easier to follow? I don’t see any difference with the changes really.

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I think the rules are a bit simpler with removal of things like the double hit, hitting your own equipment, stepping on the ball during a search and allowing grounding of clubs in penalty areas (only bunkers have special treatment now) and maybe others that I can’t think of right now.

The new rules may also speed up play with shorter lost balls searches, local rule dropping in the fairway for OB and lost balls, flag left in while putting, etc.

If nothing else, the rules are easier to read and visualize with the diagrams and should be more approachable to new players. All in all, not bad.

ETA I voted simpler a little.

 

Edited by sjduffers

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I read through most of the changes and I don't think it will speed up play.

It actually might slow down play as golfers struggle to remember which rules apply. Especially in tournaments.

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I think the rules are simpler.  However, I don't think most people, including myself, fully knew all the nuances of the old rules and played under a basis that was close to the rules.  The new rules mirror how people really play and simplify the situations that you usually see, so yes I think that they work better (except for the flag stick thing - still don't get the change).

The biggest potential change, IMO, is the local rule option around "Stroke and Distance." Has anyone seen anything to indicate that courses are going to implement this local rule?

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9 hours ago, sjduffers said:

I think the rules are a bit simpler with removal of things like the double hit, hitting your own equipment, stepping on the ball during a search and allowing grounding of clubs in penalty areas (only bunkers have special treatment now) and maybe others that I can’t think of right now.

Those are still rules. It's still a ball at rest or in motion moved or deflected. It's just that the penalty is removed now.

You still have to replace the ball when you step on it during a search. You just aren't penalized. You still play the ball as it lies when you double-hit it or it hits off your bag.

That's not "simpler." That's just "less penalizing."

9 hours ago, sjduffers said:

The new rules may also speed up play with shorter lost balls searches, local rule dropping in the fairway for OB and lost balls, flag left in while putting, etc.

I think the flag one has the potential to slow down play. The others, I agree, will make golf slightly faster.

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I like the stroke plus distance change. I don't know if it will speed up play, but it my save the occasional hike back to the tee-box.

A related question, it seems a lot of folks are talking about the rule changes this year. How often do the rules get tweaked? Is this an every year thing, or is this a rare event? Will we get new rules again in 2020? 

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35 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

A related question, it seems a lot of folks are talking about the rule changes this year. How often do the rules get tweaked? Is this an every year thing, or is this a rare event? Will we get new rules again in 2020? 

The Rules are typically changed every four years, but a major change like the one we're undergoing now doesn't happen anywhere near that often. Those timelines are measured in multiples of decades.

Besides, the new handicapping system is coming out in 2020…

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I voted a little bit simpler. In many instances the Rule remains in the book but the implementation makes things more simple.  For example, damage to the green can now be fixed.  Previously one had to decide if it was a pitch mark or a deer track.  Similarly, one formerly was given relief from "burrowing animals".  Now I think there is relief from animal damage without deciding whether the culprit was a badger or a dog.

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I checked "simpler, slightly", primarily based on the revised language and the addition of more diagrams.  I'm not sure the rules themselves are really simpler, but I think the rule book (or phone app) will be easier to understand.  I also like the addition of a "players version" for easier reference, with quick links to the full rules as well as the new interpretations.

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5 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I like the stroke plus distance change. I don't know if it will speed up play, but it my save the occasional hike back to the tee-box.

A related question, it seems a lot of folks are talking about the rule changes this year. How often do the rules get tweaked? Is this an every year thing, or is this a rare event? Will we get new rules again in 2020? 

I was at a PGA/USGA Rules workshop a couple of weeks ago and asked Mark Reinemann, the Chairman of the USGA Rules Committee about the next revision. He thought 2022 would be next and then reverting to the four-year cycle.

Edited by Asheville
fat-fingered typing skills

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12 minutes ago, Asheville said:

I was at a PGA/USGA Rules workshop a couple of weeks ago and asked Mark Reinemann, the Chairman of the USGA Rules Committee about the next revision. He thought 2022 would be next and then reverting to the four-year cycle.

But again, to be clear, these will be small revisions, @ChetlovesMer.

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13 hours ago, iacas said:

You still have to replace the ball when you step on it during a search. You just aren't penalized. You still play the ball as it lies when you double-hit it or it hits off your bag.

 That's not "simpler." That's just "less penalizing."

Ok, perhaps in the ball search case, as you have to be aware “something” happened so that know you have to replace the ball. 

But in the other cases (play as it lies), it’s the definition of simpler, as it is no longer different (or a special case) from any other ball hit that now needs to be played as it lies. You don’t even have to be aware that it was a special case before: now it’s just like any other shot, where you hit it, go find it and hit it again! :-P

It’s not simpler from the standpoint of the number of times the ball is struck or moved, but it’s simpler from a rule standpoint (and also from the number of strokes used standpoint). 👍

 

Edited by sjduffers

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13 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I like the stroke plus distance change. I don't know if it will speed up play, but it my save the occasional hike back to the tee-box.

Sorry for the stupid question, but which one is this?

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