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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.)
Golfzon, maker of high-end golf simulators that are extremely popular in South Korea, will conduct a $1 Million Shootout during the PGA Merchandise Show on Jan. 25-27 in Orlando. A hole-in-one will earn the player $1 million, and if nobody makes an ace, the winner of the three-day competition will take home a Golfzon simulator worth approximately $50,000. The competition includes daily qualifying rounds at 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Jan. 25-26 and again at 9 a.m.-noon on Jan. 27. The 10 participants who hit their shots closest to the hole each day will compete that afternoon to win $10,000 and other cash prizes. The three daily winners advance to Friday’s finals, in which each player will take one shot at the $1 million prize for a hole-in-one. Whichever player gets closest to the hole, even without a hole-in-one, is guaranteed to win the simulator. Golfzon (booth 3251 at the PGA Merchandise Show) will promote its new curved-screen simulator and its moving swing plate. The Golfzon Vision Curved is a 23-foot-wide screen with full HD quality and the capability to expand to 50 feet wide. "Anyone have an extra $50K they could donate to ME"
TST will be at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show, and this is the thread for all of the coverage. I'll be doing mostly things with LSW, 5SK, and KickX… but occasionally I'll meet up with @WUTiger and @SavvySwede who will be bringing all of the action your way. If there's something you'd like them to check out, post it here. For all of their coverage, follow this topic! It's going to be a blast!
@david_wedzik and I will be at the Medicux/KickX booth, #1615, at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show. I'll be there most of the time, and Dave will be there a bit more often. (I'll occasionally be away to do some TST stuff.) http://www.pgashow.com/en/Exhibitors/1032704/Medicus-Kick-X-Golf Stop by! Bring your copy of LSW if you'd like for us to sign it!