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The USGA and R&A are hosting a teleconference (I'll take part and may "live blog" it if possible this Wednesday, March 1, at 8:30am eastern time. It's scheduled to last one hour. Purpose: The USGA and The R&A will host a joint media teleconference on Wednesday, March 1 regarding the Rules of Golf Modernization initiative. Participants: Thomas Pagel, Senior Director, Rules of Golf & Amateur Status, USGA David Rickman, Executive Director – Governance and Chief of Staff, The R&A The expectation is that the rules will see massive, sweeping changes that greatly simplify and reduce the number and complexity of the Rules of Golf. Reportedly some of the changes may be: All water hazards will have four options (play it as it lies, stroke and distance, line back from last crossed point, two clublengths). Dropping may be eliminated. Measuring anything via clublengths may be eliminated (it will be interesting to see how that works if so…). Stroke play penalties will apply to match play, with the score coming at the end of the hole. Bunkers will be treated very differently (ability to move loose impediments, possibly take practice swings or ground clubs?) One stroke penalties almost exclusively. Kinder, gentler rules (like the 18-2 Local Rule) that relies more on player integrity to determine intent and fault. DMDs may be acceptable by rule for all rounds. Three (3) minutes for search instead of five (5). Could look very similar to http://simplegolfrules.com/CodeTwo/?showfile=CodeTwo.html minus the "points" system. Remember, those are a list of the rumors and "maybes." We'll know more shortly. It's expected that these Rules will undergo a long comment period, and the USGA/R&A are looking to enact the rules in 2019. The old thread discussing this was renewed again in early January: This will be the topic of record from now on. I'll lock the other thread as it was largely speculative, and in less than 48 hours, we'll have actual information to talk about. Update: 3/2/2017 - https://cl.ly/063A3i0a0q0d There is a PDF of the teleconference call that took place March 1 at 8:30am eastern time.
When we work with students, we often tell them that we don't expect them to hit the first 20 or 30 balls "better" or even as good as they were before, we just expect them to hit them "differently." Sometimes that "difference" is better, but often it's worse. The difference is often (not always… it depends very much on what the change is…) an insight into how good a golfer can ever expect to be. You see, some golfers are just better at what @david_wedzik and I call "finding the golf ball." Finding the golf ball just means that a golfer has that "something" that lets them hit the ball reasonably solidly even when not making their normal golf swing. For example, if I put the ball six inches closer to a golfer, or on a sidehill lie, or make them grip down five inches on their 7-iron, or completely change their grip… golfers who can find the golf ball will still, far more often than not, be able to hit the ball pretty solidly. You can test yourself by doing some different things. Here are a few tests. Complete them all with your 6-iron: Hit the ball with just your right and just your left hand. Put three balls down about six inches apart and perpendicular to your target line. Address the middle ball normally, then try to hit either the outside or inside ball. Put a ball on top of a pencil (the normal kind, not a golf pencil) and hit it. Put your hands four inches apart on the grip. Make an exaggerated swing where you sway way off the golf ball and move your head a foot back on the backswing. If you can do these things and hit the ball "okay" (you're not looking to hit the ball as well as usual… just on the clubface and occasionally solidly), you have the ability to "find the golf ball." That doesn't guarantee anything, but you are more likely to have a higher ability ceiling. Golf is still an athletic endeavor: hand-eye coordination, muscle control, proprioception, etc. are still important. If you cannot, you can still be a great golfer, but you may need more time and possibly more determination/effort to improve, as changes won't take hold as quickly.