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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.)
Hello everyone, This is my first post in the forum. I am here because my 14-y-o son is an avid golfer, and I need driver advice. My son has been playing golf since he was 6. Neither his dad nor I play golf really. He picked it up on his own after playing Mario Golf on his Game Boy. He started hitting balls with sticks, so we got him plastic clubs, which he wore out in 3 days. At age 7, he wanted to be just like Tiger, so he was dying to compete. He played his first tournament when he had just turned 7 and I think he placed 7th out of 14 boys. Soon after, we moved to Nashville and he played the TGA Tour every summer and did pretty well. (I caddied so I did learn some stuff.) He has a hearing/speech disability (APD - Auditory processing Disorder) that made it hard for him to make friends when he was little. Golf was great for him because it gave him confidence and he made friends through golf. The kids respected him for his talent and kindness and looked past his speech. After 4 years in TN, we moved back to New England, and he kind of lost his motivation. He'd play a couple of courses a year with The First Tee, but he didn't have the passion that he used to. (Honestly, Tiger's infidelity issues and attitude disappointed him, and that had something to do with it.) Now he's going into high school and can try out for the team, and he seems to be excited about golf again and has been practicing quite a bit! His clubs were all too short. He's in men's clubs now, and I find myself in the position of getting new clubs. His dad and I are divorcing right now, but still living together. It's very difficult and it's been hard on my son and his little brother. Money is really tight. I am just hoping I can get him the clubs and equipment that he needs and will feel confident with. (His old clubs were US Kids Golf Tour & Ladies' Nike Dymo driver & wood cut down.) I purchased a set of irons off Craigslist. They are Titleist DCI 822 OS, and he seems to like them. ($50 for the set - great deal!) The set is missing a sand wedge, so I need that. I also need a driver and 3 wood, and he really wants a specific Odyssey putter. (Not to mention a bag, shoes, etc.) Today we went to a local golf shop that has a virtual golf thingy (I don't know the term, sorry) and he tried out some different club heads. He hit well with the M2 driver, R flex, 10.5. The tech said something about "one notch from +2" or something, but I don't know what that means. He was hitting at 130-140 yards. (He's 5'7" and a string bean.) I cannot afford $400 for the M2. Can anyone suggest a club that is affordable that perhaps I can buy used? How about a decent 3 wood? Thank you so much for the advice! :) PS - I can upload a video of his swing from today if that helps.