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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.)
It’s common knowledge that links lovers can eat their heart out in the United Kingdom and Ireland. There’s just one downside with hitting the links there: the weather is not always your best friend. So what if we told you there is a way to play links style courses with sun all year round? Portugal is the place to be. Fair enough – the courses we list below are not all ‘real’ links courses (what is a true links anyway?), but they do have links characteristics. So put your puristic links views aside for a moment and enjoy a round of golf on the best links style courses in Portugal. West Cliffs – 8.8/10 West Cliffs might be a fairly new course (Designed by Cynthia Dye in 2017), but it looks like as if it has always been there. The course, located a one hour drive from Lisbon, is the result of a long term study of the terrains conditions and characteristics to preserve the natural beauty and ecological balance of the site. The varied landscape and natural terrain was maintained as undisturbed as possible to create an unique and world class 18-hole seaside links golf course alongside the silver coast. Troia Golf – 8.4/10 In the heart of the peninsula Troia (just below Lisbon), you’ll find one of Portugal’s most engaging and challenging golf courses: Troia Golf. Designed by American golf architect Robert Trent Jones Senior, Troia Golf was elected one of the best golf courses in world. The Troia Golf Championship Course is an 18-hole, par 72 course, 6.317 metres alongside the beach with a magnificent sea view. Estela Golf Club – 8.2/10 The Estela Golf course is a links style course, situated on the stunning Minho coast of northwestern Portugal. The course was designed by Duarte Sottomayor, who started his career working with the world renowned Robert Trent Jones. Unlike the south of Portugal, where the summer can bring extremely high temperatures, at Estela the temperature rarely rises above 25ºC (80ºF). This all ensures excellent game conditions with good fairways and greens that are both firm and fast. From the back tees, the Estela course stretches over almost 6,300 meters (7,000 yards), with a par of 72. This is not a golf course for those strugling with the driver! Praia d’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort – 8.1/10 With year-round sunshine, a championship links golf course, luxury accommodation, world-class services and a wealth of Experiences to enjoy, Praia D’El Rey sets a new standard of excellence for Golf & Beach Resorts. Set along a beautiful sandy beach, less than one hour from Lisbon, Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort is perfectly integrated in an area of protected natural landscape, amidst lush fairways and the raw beauty of the stunning sea views over the Portuguese coastline. Even though some of the holes are more of a woodland kind of course, we did not want not to keep this beauty from you! Oitavos Dunes Natural Links Golf – 8.1/10 In 2001, the focal point of Quinta da Marinha was the Championship golf course Oitavos Golfe, designed by Arthur Hills to surround a 5-Star Hotel which opened in fall 2010. As the golf course became recognized internationally as a links experience, the decision was made to change the name to Oitavos Dunes to reflect the natural sand dunes, the impact of the Ocean and Scottish like playing conditions, which all contribute to the way many view Oitavos Dunes as a Natural Links Golf experience. Providing a true links experience, Oitavos Dunes’ setting is dramatic with magnificent views of the Sintra Mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and Cabo da Roca.
Hi. This is my first topic started on this website so I kind of have the jitters, lol. Anyway life is more than just golf, and all sports can be fun. I like watching thrilling videos on youtube sometimes to kill my time. I came upon this video showing the worlds best tow surfers challenging the worlds biggest waves that can be found at certain time periods each year. I guess during big storms in the open water when they come ashore they become massive. Some people end up killed or maimed for life for trying such dangerous feats. This footage is from Navare, Portugal.