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iacas

Questions For My Rules Seminar (2019)

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I answered Rick's question, so here are two others I was also able to clarify today.

1. Music on the Course - If you're playing music on the course you're subject to penalty. Nobody's gonna care in most league play or for handicap rounds, but most tournaments will disallow it by rule and if you're caught playing music for a long time, they'll likely ask you to turn off the music because if your answer is "we just like Bob Marley" that could be "improving your mental state" which could affect your play. And of course the etiquette side of things is just that nobody else should be able to hear your music for any real amount of time. If you're driving by and the noise of your cart would distract them anyway (i.e. so they don't make a swing), it's irrelevant if they can hear your music for a few seconds.

2. 4.1b(4)/1 and Harold Varner III - The difference is quite literally that the clubs or components are being carried FOR the player. There's no rule against assembling a club on the course.

  • If a player begins the round with 12 clubs, he can yell over to the equipment van as he walks down the third fairway and say "bring me 10 shafts and 10 hybrid heads" and assemble one or two clubs for use on the fourth tee when they bring them to him. He cannot have the guy walk around for a few holes as he's then carrying parts FOR the player.
  • Harold Varner III could have had his agent bring out clubs or components and he could have chosen one or assembled one. That the walking scorer was carrying the club shaft FOR Varner III was the problem.

Still on the docket:

  1. Agreeing to leave a ball in place "to help a player" (15.3a).
  2. Ball "embedded" in a sand-filled divot.
  3. Advice rule changed "that could influence" to "intended to influence".

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Here are the other three answers.

1. Agreeing to leave a ball in place "to help a player" (15.3a). - Though the original intent of the rules writers was to "simplify" the language from "to assist" or "in a position to assist" to "to help," they now acknowledge that the way the rule is written is that the language says the players have to say that the agreement was "to help" someone.

So, I/we were wrong from what I/we were saying earlier about how that language wasn't part of the agreement, because reading the rule that way would not be the simpler way to read that sentence as written.

They also admitted that the Interpretation about being DQed for "If the players know that they are not allowed to make such an agreement, but still do it, they are both disqualified under Rule 1.3b(1) for deliberately ignoring Rule 15.3a." is a bit odd given the above - you're first having to figure out if they left a ball to help someone and then trying to see if they knew that was against the Rules (which… if they say yes, why would they have just admitted to it in the first question)?…

Off the record, they admitted that it's not worth the fight, but they don't like how PGA Tour players (and now LPGA Tour players) are starting to be as bold as to make public statements about how it's fine, like Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, etc. have done. They're happy, off the record, to see increasingly how often commentators and announcers are saying something about it.

This is a tough rule to write, because there are times when "because we wanted to speed up play" is a valid reason, even if a ball is pretty close to the hole, and how infrequently balls actually DO end up being hit/helping. It may be the toughest rule to write, in fact.

Tagging @DaveP043 here.

2. Ball "embedded" in a sand-filled divot hole. - Pretty tough to have, as the ball would have to bounce in or fly in and splash in a sand-filled divot hole and remain in it for that to count as embedding in its own pitch mark. So again, like I said, pretty unlikely.

3. Advice rule changed "that could influence" to "intended to influence". - Just as it says. If a player says "oh, no, I was just venting" after they yell out "I shouldn't have tried to get over that bunker!" even if their teammate or friend has yet to tee off on that hole, they aren't penalized. I preferred the older rule, but it was also tougher to enforce, as you'd have a hard time getting a player to buy into the fact that he could be penalized for saying that before. Now he just has to say something other than "I was trying to let Steve know not to try to hit it over the bunker like I did" to avoid a penalty.

So the rule is "simpler" because it lets the player escape a penalty much more easily, and you have to pretty blatantly breach the rule to be penalized here (or under 15.3a) now.

Edited by iacas
Submitted prematurely

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18 hours ago, iacas said:

 

3. Advice rule changed "that could influence" to "intended to influence". - Just as it says. If a player says "oh, no, I was just venting" after they yell out "I shouldn't have tried to get over that bunker!" even if their teammate or friend has yet to tee off on that hole, they aren't penalized. I preferred the older rule, but it was also tougher to enforce, as you'd have a hard time getting a player to buy into the fact that he could be penalized for saying that before. Now he just has to say something other than "I was trying to let Steve know not to try to hit it over the bunker like I did" to avoid a penalty.

So the rule is "simpler" because it lets the player escape a penalty much more easily, and you have to pretty blatantly breach the rule to be penalized here (or under 15.3a) now.

 

So it appears that this rule is far less penal than it used to be.  It puts less onus on the player having to be careful how he says certain things.  The old rule would penalize a play for simply asking what club another player used even if he got no answer, and I don't see that any more.  That stipulation always seemed a bit much. 

I've developed a habit of saying very little about my own shot until all players have played from that general location.  I never mention what club I hit, or even whether I felt that I hit it well or poorly, simply because that could influence my opponent, and that could be a penalty under the old rule.  I'll probably not change all that much, just to cover myself, but there does seem to be more wiggle room under the new rules.

Edited by Fourputt

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Well, my score begins with a 9 so I’m relatively pleased.

Rick, yes, but I like the change.

And you still can’t ask.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Well, my score begins with a 9 so I’m relatively pleased.

Well done, you should go to the 85+ one next year.

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42 minutes ago, RemyM said:

Well done, you should go to the 85+ one next year.

I think I was eligible for that one after my first test. My scores have gone higher each time. Which is never a given, but certainly wasn't this time with the new Rules.

Fortunately unlike some I don't have 30 years of history knowing the old stuff to their core.

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4 hours ago, iacas said:

Well, my score begins with a 9 so I’m relatively pleased.

Rick, yes, but I like the change.

And you still can’t ask.

What rule is that in the book?  I read the full rule 10.2, and I even checked the interpretations and definitions without seeing any place that prohibits asking. 

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44 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

What rule is that in the book?  I read the full rule 10.2, and I even checked the interpretations and definitions without seeing any place that prohibits asking. 

advice.jpg

10.2a

Breach of Rule 10.2 is the General Penalty (loss of hole, two strokes).

Edited by iacas
fixed JPEG

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

advice.jpg

10.2a

Breach of Rule 10.2 is the General Penalty (loss of hole, two strokes).

 

I need to work on reading comprehension.  I was looking for the specific wording like was in the old rule (in the decision, I think?).  One day you'll start having these senior moments too.... wait for it.  🤣

Edited by Fourputt

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20 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

I need to work on reading comprehension.  I was looking for the specific wording like was in the old rule (in the decision, I think?).  One day you'll start having these senior moments too.... wait for it.  🤣

I hear ya. Honestly, I was like… "Rick, c'mon man, the word "ask" is right there!" 😄

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On 3/15/2019 at 5:48 AM, iacas said:

Someone can bring them an assembled club. Like always. This isn’t really a change.

One question of clarification on this point (clubs carried for the golfer).

I thought it was previously still prohibited if the player had, for example, an extra set of clubs or specific components set aside for him. I was under the impression that if you had your second bag of clubs in the trunk of your car, or on the tour van, you would be unable to use those specific clubs because they were there for you specifically and nobody else.

I ask if the wording changed to being a club carried on the course, but still allowing clubs set aside off the course, because I encountered this specific situation once in a tournament. My driver shaft broke mid-round during the 2015 city championship, and because it was the second time one of those driver shafts (Grafalloy Bi-Matrix, both had the epoxy between the graphite and metal fail) failed in the same summer I had taken to carrying my old driver in the trunk of my car whenever I went golfing just in case. When the tournament officials were consulted it was determined I could not use my old driver from my car because it had been brought for my specific use, rather than being available to any player, and that I had to instead borrow a driver from the course's head pro.

I could be completely wrong here, which is why I was wondering if this was a change that was made specifically with regards to clubs taken from a player's own locker or other clubs that were specifically his but not physically on the course itself (even if on the premises or in the parking lot).

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You got hosed. That wasn’t and isn’t against the Rules now. I’m surprised you went along with them.

The clubs weren’t being carried for you or by you. They were sitting in your trunk.

Old:

4B5D8B2A-C0EF-4618-993B-B12DEAA9582B.jpeg

New:

9F1E1FB5-8F5F-4CA0-8526-28F7EDE2AF8B.jpeg

You can’t replace a club you broke if you had 14 now to start, but if you start with 12 or 13 you can assemble or retrieve a club on the course that came from almost anywhere. Or have it brought to you.

They don’t want you to have a second caddie, carrying clubs or parts of clubs for you.

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Thanks for the clarification.

I went along with it because I didn't have the decision book on hand to understand exactly what was meant by "carried by or for the player". It appears that the term "carried" is used quite literally, meaning that the components or club is being carried around on the course by someone. The decision the tournament organizers came to was that "carried" was used more closely to the way it is in retail operations, meaning that if it was stocked or present specifically for you then it was disallowed. Makes sense that they'd use that meaning of the word since the  tournament organizers were just the PGA pros that handle the retail operations for the 3 city courses, but a little disappointing that they didn't know the rules well enough to understand otherwise.

Either way, I was "lucky" that in my scenario there wasn't much reason to insist upon a literal interpretation of the rule. I had a 4-shot lead through 27 holes (54 hole tournament, one at each of the 3 city courses), but my best guess is the damage occurred on the 28th hole and I didn't notice until the 2nd hole of the 3rd round. The "break" was weird because the shaft didn't actually separate into two pieces, it just got loose enough that the two pieces would slip and let the clubhead rotate whenever I hit the ball (or when I finally noticed the grip was no longer lined up and twisted the clubhead 180 degrees with my hand to confirm what happened).

From the 10th hole of the second round onwards I couldn't hit anything but a snap hook with the driver, including on the range and despite being able to still fade, draw, and even slice a 3-wood just fine, so I'll just blame the 6th place finish and 3 balls in hazards off the tee on the driver to protect my pride 😁. The replacement driver worked out well too, since the pro had the same model (G30, he was PING staff) with a white tie shaft that provided similar high launch and low spin characteristics to the Bi-Matrix (but without a critical shaft failure, thankfully).

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