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  1. We're in that special hell of rules controversies with the implementation of the new Rules of Golf. There have been some growing pains with the new rules, and that has allowed the golf media to tee off on its favorite target, the USGA. Which, to be fair, can make itself an easy target: https://www.golfdigest.com/story/despite-harsh-words-from-some-tour-pros-usga-pleased-with-roll-out-of-new-rules-of-golf. That aside, I wanted to talk about the "controversy" about the knee-height drop that the Rules now require. Rickie Fowler got a one stroke penalty for dropping from shoulder height this past weekend. Cue the complaining from him: https://golfweek.com/2019/02/22/rickie-fowler-hit-with-one-shot-penalty-for-illegal-drop-at-wgc-mexico-championship/ I can forgive him - he just had a brain fart, probably didn't gain an advantage in this situation, it cost him money. I'm always annoyed when I get a penalty, personally, and it's absolutely never my fault, okay? But cue the pearl clutching from the media: https://www.golf.com/news/2019/02/25/backstopping-pro-tours-under-policed/ I'm here to tell you that this is wrong, and knee-height drops actually make a ton of sense. One of the best things the new Rules do is simplify dropping. Now, all you have to do when dropping is land the ball in the relief area (without touching you or your equipment before hitting the ground) and ensure the ball comes to rest in the relief area. If you don't do this, you have to redrop. Pretty simple. Yes, you have to figure out what your relief area is, but that's pretty simple, too. (For a fuller explanation of this, see Rule 14 and the definitions in the Rules of Golf.) The old rules were much more complex. Specifically, if your ball rolled to one of 9 areas after you dropped it, you had to redrop. For example, if your ball rolled more than 2 club lengths away from where your ball hit the ground, you had to redrop. You had to know all of these 9 areas to know if you needed to redrop or not. So, the new way is simpler, right? Instead of learning 9 different triggers for a redrop, you only have to learn 1. Great! Why am I talking about when you have to redrop? This is why we're dropping from knee height. Generally, under the new Rules, your ball cannot go as far after hitting the ground as it used to without triggering a redrop. Dropping from knee height reduces the chance that a redrop will be necessary. It also means that a ball has less of a chance of embedding in sand when you drop it. It makes a ton of sense, really. Now, you might say, that's all fine, but why not allow dropping a ball from anywhere above knee height? I think you could easily game the rules to be able to place the ball when you really want to by simply dropping from shoulder height instead of knee height. Think about dropping on a side slope, for example. You're much more likely to have to redrop and place if you drop the ball from a higher point. Sure, this is rare, but why take the chance? We're all on the same page, right? Knee-height drops make a lot of sense. (If you want to know more about the changes to dropping, this is an excellent article that talks about this in a bit more detail: https://rulesgeeks.com/2018/12/30-days-of-2019-rules-changes-day-16-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball-in-playing-it-from-a-relief-area/) Now to the point of all of this: golf media, please take 5 minutes to understand the rule before issuing a HAWT TAKE about the rule. The USGA has a one page sheet that explains the rule: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/new-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball.html. You don't come off very well when you fail to read that. I know it's fun and easy to just mindlessly bash the USGA, but they do get things right. This is one of them. (Oh and by the way, the Rules are actually really good, as a whole. Maybe I'll talk about that in another post later.)
  2. Reshafted my Apex CF16s with KBS Tours before the weekend. For my first time reshafting golf clubs, the job went pretty smoothly. Mostly. Learned that being able to put golf clubs together and being able to build a set of clubs are two completely different things. Pulling the heads and prepping everything was pretty straightforward. I bought shaft pulls so I had to clean out the epoxy from the inside of the shafts, too. The ferrules aren't as clean or nice looking as they can be, but honestly I don't care that much. Not looking to sell these anyway. Mixing the epoxy was pretty easy, too. I wasn't sure how much I was going to need so I just mixed a little at a time as I needed. The only part that gave me some trouble was shimming the shafts. The shafts I bought are tapered and CF16s are parallel bore, so I had to shim the tips. I opted to go with fiberglass drywall tape because I read that it is actually better than brass shims, but that was a bit of trial and error in working with the stuff and a whole lot of mess. I also didn't bother with swingweighting and didn't get any tip weights to put it. I don't think it will matter too much anyway, as I have read that KBS shafts are a bit of a pain to swingweight properly because they are counterbalanced. That and I don't own a swingweight scale. I'm increasing the static weight of the clubs by 25g, so that is going to significantly alter the feel anyway. I'll get some lead tape if I need to play around with the feel more. I also hardstepped them once. Once they cured for 24 (actually 36) hours, I twisted them to check the bond and didn't find any issues. Installed some brand new PURE DTX grips on them with the alignment slightly anticlockwise from the clubface so that the club is slightly open at address if I line up my hands with the grip. Swung them around in the yard and they feel great. Never really knew how different heavier shafts would feel until I got that fitting done and I feel the club so much more with these now. Will test them out on the range during the week. Hopefully none of the heads come flying off
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