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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.)
To play with GAME GOLF Live Leaderboards (FREE!) Step 1: Download the GAME GOLF app iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/game-golf-gps-tracker-rangefinder/id682389516?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.gameyourgame.game Step 2 (for new users): Watch this tutorial to learn what GAME GOLF is about and how to use the app iPhone: https://gamegolf.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2063184-video-full-tutorial-and-other-insights?b_id=7261 Android: http://support.gamegolf.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2072722-video-manual-entering-a-round---free-version?b_id=7357 Step 3: Ask everyone to watch the video at the top of this post and give it a run! GAME on! GAME GOLF IS THE FIRST DEVICE TO MAKE MANUAL SCORECARDS A THING OF THE PAST San Francisco, July 18, 2016 – Are you tired of trying to round up and write down the scores in your foursome after every golf hole? Launching today, GAME GOLF has upgraded its system with the world’s first full-round Live Leaderboard that brings tournament-quality, automatic shot tracking to amateur golfers. The system is now able to instantly record every shot taken by you and your golfing buddies and electronically track your scores in the most popular game formats. The new Live Leaderboard works with the award-winning golf shot tracker, GAME GOLF LIVE, and the GAME GOLF App. On the GAME GOLF App, one golfer chooses the course and type of game the group will play (stroke play, match play or team variations of both, with more games to come in the future); then invites his golfing buddies to join, via the App, his/her phone’s address book or players in the GAME GOLF system.. The other golfers accept and start playing their round, tagging shots to the LIVE device or App as they normally would. At the end of each hole, players can pull up the Live Leaderboard to see everyone’s scores, automatically tracked and updated as they move through the course, along with all of the stats on their own shots. “Nearly every player has mentioned that if they didn’t have to record their scores they could just play and have fun,” said John McGuire, CEO of GAME GOLF. “We are the only system that requires no manual entry of information; and unlike some other devices, we track the entire round, not just the activity with your driver. We have freed you to concentrate on your game and enjoy playing with your friends.” The Live Leaderboard has several features that allow for seamless play. It automatically accounts for handicaps among the players that are loaded into the GAME GOLF system. If a player drops out after nine holes of play, they can easily be removed from the game, while maintaining the other players’ scores. All stat-tracking and display features of GAME GOLF LIVE and the App operate as usual. Editing while in play remains very easy. Users can easily move through screens that show the Leaderboard, or can jump to particular holes or examine particular club statistics. When the round is complete, golfers can share scores and bragging rights through social media. An additional upgrade is an enhanced rangefinder. “We have removed the toggle button, so now players quickly tap and hold to display the rangefinder and can zoom to 2x the rangefinder’s scope,” added McGuire. In the past month, GAME GOLF LIVE also added features that put the device at the top of the technological pack when it comes to analyzing your game the way the pros do, including a new Pin Placement feature that allows golfers to zoom in on each green and drag the pin to its precise location, and new Auto Hole-Switching which tracks a golfer’s movements from hole to hole, automatically updating the system. Winner of a Golf Digest 2016 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Game Analyzers and the only wearable analyzer on the Golf Range Association of America (GRAA) annual list of “2016 Top 25 Teaching and Training Aids,” the GAME GOLF App is free and can be downloaded to any iOS or Android phone or smart watch (Apple & Pebble, Android coming soon). Special summer pricing allows golfers to pick up GAME GOLF LIVE for $249 US MSRP (regularly priced at $299) at GAMEGOLF.com, in golf specialty shops and more than 800 green grass pro shops; and on #AmazonLaunchpad. For more information or to view videos of GAME GOLF in action, visit GAMEGOLF.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @GAMEGOLF and on Instagram at @GAME_GOLF, #GAMEGOLF. http://www.gamegolf.com/products/en-us/gamegolf?s=compete&v=f67cc7f
2016 TST Partner GAME GOLF is excited to kick off 2016 with two AWESOME contests: #1: WIN AN IN-PERSON LESSON WITH GOLF GURU MARK CROSSFIELD IN LAS VEGAS Yes, you heard correctly!! GAME GOLF and Mark Crossfield (@4golfonline) are teaming up again to offer another amazing prize giveaway! Following the success of our UK giveaway with Mark back in Spring 2015, we have decicded to team up again and offer TWO lucky winners in the US the chance to meet with Mark for an in-person lesson in LAS VEGAS to review their GAME GOLF stats. In short...... The Prize (for the Two (2) Grand Prize Winners) will include: One in-person golf lesson with PGA golf instructor Mark Crossfield on January 31st, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Coach airfare for one One Nights’ accommodation at a 4 Star hotel One GAME GOLF LIVE system More info here. #2: PGA TOUR PRO JIM FURYK TEES IT UP FOR THE LAUNCH OF GAME GOLF LIVE Last month, we introduced the world’s first wearable, real-time automatic shot tracker for both iOS and Android smartphone platforms, called GAME GOLF LIVE. As part of the introduction, 2003 US Open Champion and GAME GOLF Pro Jim Furyk has teamed up with us to offer two Grand Prize winners’ tickets to the 6th Annual Jim Furyk & Friends Concert and Celebrity Golf Classic on March 13 and 14 2016 at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Furyk has been involved with GAME GOLF since we launched; and his golf rounds using the system can be publicly viewed and followed by all our GAME GOLF users. The annual fund-raiser, hosted by the Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation and sponsored by AT&T and Web.com, among others, has a goal to raise more than $1 million. On Sunday, the Furyk & Friends Concert will be a private event for golf participants and their guests where local chefs prepare food highlighting their favorite delicatessen. On Monday, golfers will tee it up with some of the biggest names from the PGA TOUR and beyond at Sawgrass Country Club. Proceeds from the event support specific projects, including providing food for at least five elementary schools through Blessings in a Backpack, Community PedsCare, Operation Shower, Wolfson Children’s Hospital and many other charitable projects. Each Grand Prize also includes round-trip travel and accommodations for two, as well as one round of golf for two at Sawgrass Country Club, best known for being the host of the Tournament Players Championship from 1977 to 1981, as well as numerous other tournaments for the Florida State Golf Association, Jacksonville Area Golf Association, the Women’s Western Amateur Golf Association, Florida State Golf Association and other national and college events. To enter this competition, contestants must a minimum of one 18-hole golf score(s) through the GAME GOLF LIVE device ONLY (which must be synched to the GAME GOLF system). After the first score is entered, the contestant will be eligible to win the Grand Prize. Any additional score(s) entered within the Sweepstakes period will not grant an additional entry. More info here.