Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'rules'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Welcome
    • Welcome, Everyone
    • The TST Blog
  • The Clubhouse
    • Golf Talk
    • Tour Talk
    • Member Outings & Meetups
    • Golf Courses and Architecture
    • Destinations and Travel
    • Rules of Golf
  • The Practice Range
    • Instruction and Playing Tips
    • Member Swings
    • Swing Thoughts
    • Reading Room
    • Fitness and Exercise
  • The Pro Shop
    • Clubs, Grips, Shafts, Fitting
    • Balls, Carts/Bags, Apparel, Gear, Etc.
    • Member Reviews
    • Marketplace
  • The 19th Hole
    • Disc Golf, Foot Golf, Etc.
    • Sports
    • Geek Zone
    • The Grill Room
    • Announcements & Tech Support
  • Michigan Golf's Golf Course Reviews
  • Michigan Golf's Topics
  • Apple Fans's Discussions
  • Wisconsin Golf's Discussions
  • Upstate New York's Topics
  • Central Florida Golfers's Discussions
  • General Architecture Fans's Discussions
  • Oklahoma Golfers's Discussions
  • Ohio Golf's General Discussion
  • SoCal Golf's Discussions
  • Missouri Golf's Discussions
  • Missouri Golf's TopicsThe eNewsletter of the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association
  • Mid-Atlantic Golf's Discussions
  • European Union Golf's Discussions
  • European Union Golf's Europe golf Courses
  • Mevo Owners's Discussions
  • MA Golf's Courses
  • MA Golf's General Western/Central MA Golf Discussion
  • Golf Collectibles's What do you collect?
  • Minnesota Golf's What are your home courses?
  • Minnesota Golf's WITB?
  • Minnesota Golf's Thoughts on AM Tours in Minnesota

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Product Groups

  • TST Supporter Options
  • TST Sponsor Options

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Handicap Index

Found 53 results

  1. One of our holes in our resort golf course has a wide water area on the left and trees and swamp on the right. Both sides have been designated as red marked penalty areas. Balls hit into either penalty area are allowed a drop area which is in front of all the tees and on the fairway. On the left, the water stretches the entire hole and it is 30 - 40 yards wide. Across the water are houses. Should a golfer who hits his tee shot into the penalty area and further into the houses is he allowed the drop area or must he re-tee. As a follow up if the answer to the above is re-tee, How certain must that Golf be that the ball did not completely cross the hazard as line of sight is sometimes blocked by shrubbery. Another interesting point made by the head pro was what happens on that hole if a ball is sliced to the right across the red line and way up over the trees and swampy area. No one knows whether it came down on the golf course or on land not owned by the golf course.
  2. http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization.html http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/text/an-overview-of-the-rules-modernization-initiative.html Now that the finalized 2019 rules are out, we'll use this topic to take over for the previous one, which was here: Here are the major changes: Ball at Rest Ball in Motion Taking Relief Areas of the Course Equipment Playing a Ball When to Play During a Round Player Behavior
  3. I think the USGA/R&A got this one completely wrong, and it's one of the two rules changes for 2019 that I absolutely hate. One of the great things about golf is that it's a self-policed game. At every level of the sport, we're supposed to call penalties on ourselves and know the rules. Rule 6-1 - the first rule in "The Player" - is "The player and his caddie are responsible for knowing the Rules." In the 2019 Rules, that says "Players are responsible for applying the Rules to themselves:" Except that they're not, really, because there's absolutely no further penalty to be had if they fail to play by and apply the Rules to themselves. In 2019, all you have to do is claim ignorance of a rule, and if nobody catches you, you get away free and clear. Worst case scenario* - you're caught and the strokes you actually incur (but no additional strokes) are added to your score. Outside of not wanting to get a reputation as a cheater, there's no longer any incentive to apply the Rules of golf to yourself in 2019 and beyond. Only a few short years ago, as you may know, failure to include a penalty stroke meant you posted a score for a hole lower than what you shot, and you were DQed. That rule still exists… so long as you don't claim that you didn't know you broke the rule. Only recently, the rule was changed to add two strokes additionally to each penalty you incurred. The rule got softer. It went from a DQ to an additional penalty. Fine - there's still incentive to know the Rules. Had Lexi brain farted and put her ball down nearly an inch from where it was a second prior, and added the two-stroke penalty to her score, she'd have likely won that major and been hailed as Bobby Jones was in 1925: At the 1925 U.S. Open, Bobby Jones moved his ball slightly while setting up for a shot. No one saw it, but Jones was adamant that the ball had moved and assessed himself a one-stroke penalty, costing him the win, as he went on to lose in a playoff. Praised for his classy move, Jones quipped, “You might as well praise me for not robbing banks.” No, nowadays, we have Lexi Thompson playing the role of the victim, and the press willingly going along with it. Lexi did breach the rules. Did it suck that she gained no apparent advantage (though why did she move the ball so much? to avoid a spike mark or something we couldn't see?)? Yes. But the Rules, except for a few instances, don't care about the "potential" advantage. Normally playing a ball from further away is a disadvantage, but when Tiger Woods dropped two yards back it was, to him in that moment, an advantage. The Rules can't (and thus rarely do) determine whether an "advantage" is gained - one man's advantage is another man's disadvantage. If you drop on a sideslope instead of a flat lie where you're supposed to drop, is that an advantage or a disadvantage? The Rules can't - and thus almost never do - decide. They simply say "you dropped and then played from a wrong place in breach of the Rules. That's a penalty." The full (relevant) portion of the Rules is: (3) Wrong Score for a Hole. If the player returns a scorecard with a wrong score for any hole: Returned Score Higher Than Actual Score. The higher returned score for the hole stands. Returned Score Lower Than Actual Score or No Score Returned. The player isdisqualified. Exception – Failure to Include Unknown Penalty: If one or more of the player’s hole scores are lower than the actual scores because he or she excluded one or more penalty strokes that the player did not know about before returning the scorecard: The player is not disqualified. Instead, if the mistake is found before the close of the competition, theCommittee will revise the player’s score for that hole or holes by adding the penalty stroke(s) that should have been included in the score for that hole or holes under the Rules. This exception does not apply: When the excluded penalty is disqualification, or When the player was told that a penalty might apply or was uncertain whether a penalty applied and did not raise this with the Committee before returning thescorecard. The exception is the big thing here, the big change from even 2017. It says that, if you claim that you didn't know that hitting it OB was stroke and distance and you fail to include the "stroke part," no problem. It says that if you claim not to know that you couldn't hit a practice shot while playing a round after you flub an approach, no sweat. It says that if you drop a ball in a wrong place when dropping on the wrong side of a cart path and gaining a much better lie, or two club lengths from the edge of a yellow penalty area, or two yards back like Tiger did at the Masters… or anything else… that doesn't matter at all! You're all good! That part above about how players are responsible for knowing and applying the Rules? They didn't actually mean that. There's no long any incentive, outside of perhaps not wanting to be seen as a serial cheater, to know the Rules of Golf. Not the ones that can penalize you, anyway. Sure, there are still incentives to know when you get free drops away from cart paths and things like that, but players are now actively incentivized to not only play ignorant, but to actually BE ignorant to the Rules of Golf. If they're not caught, they get away with it. If they are caught, why, they only get the penalty they actually incurred. Nothing more. You're obligated to pay taxes. If you fail to pay, and you're caught three years later… you don't just pay what you originally owed. You owe what you originally owed, plus interest, plus additional penalties. I get that the USGA/R&A are trying to treat players as honest, but in going to this length they've gone much too far. They're actually rewarding the dishonest players. They're rewarding the ignorant players. This saddens me greatly. 😢 P.S. Yes, the poll choices are highly biased. Tough. It's my poll, and I don't think there's an argument to be made. 😄
  4. So on March 16-19, @GolfLug and I will be attending another USGA/PGA Rules seminar. I currently have a list of three things to ask about, but I'm curious if there are others: Prolonged use of music on the course. Etiquette? If not to aid you in playing, why? Balls "embedded" in sand-filled divots. Agreeing to leave a ball in place "to help a player." I might feel I know how they'll be answered, but I've told people I'd ask, and share the generalized response… Any others? If they're clear, I may just say "no, that's clear" and shoot the idea down pretty quickly.
  5. That's the bottom tweet, but the whole exchange looks a bit more like this: We've known that professional golfers are often not the most knowledgeable of the Rules, and so this Twitter conversation shouldn't surprise anyone. This topic exists to share stories of pro golfers and the 2019 Rules. That means we might find ourselves discussing a pro golfer screwing something up, talking about the Rules changes, doing something under the 2018 Rules accidentally, whatever. Here's another example: PGA Tour players preparing for new rules, Bryson DeChambeau more than others - Golf Digest I'll pin the topic for now, as I expect the beginning of the year might see a flurry of activity, while I also suspect it will die down by about March or April. Though video of pros putting with the flagsticks in at Augusta National or any other major championship will be particularly fun to see… BTW I recommended to Brittany that she check out RulesGeeks.com. You should as well.
  6. But still have complexities. I noticed yesterday there is an illustration that indicates that a ball in the wall or face of a bunker is not in the bunker, but no clear discussion of what this means. To be clear, the illustration has the ball clearly in the sand of the bunker wall, not the grass/lip area,
  7. The 2019 Rules of Golf were pitched to many as not only a “modernized” version of the Rules, but also a rules package that encouraged faster play AND were simpler. I don’t think they’re that much simpler. Nor can they be, really. A few of the disparate penalties were coalesced, others changed… otherwise, not much simpler. Again I don’t think they CAN be much simpler. The NFL still may not know what a catch or roughing the passer is, the NHL can’t define goaltender interference or “head shots” very well, etc. Rules are complex especially when you play such varied fields, formats, etc. as golf.
  8. Questions: 1) How many penalty strokes did this player incur in 2018? What are they? 2) How many penalty strokes would this player incur in 2019? What are they? Notes: Don't look at the answers before giving your own answer. Here (below) or on Twitter. I think that the drop he takes to start the sequence is allowed in 2018 (and 2019). I'm not sure why he's dropping, though; maybe the ball is embedded in a closely mown area? Every answer I've seen takes no issue with that part.
  9. https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/2017/rules-modernization/downloadable-material/Certain Topics or Proposals Not Addressed in the Proposed New Rules of Golf for 2019.pdf That may be one of the easiest to read and best documents out there. It casually bats away a number of assorted complaints and things about "why didn't they change this" or "why can't I drop from a divot hole," etc. I encourage everyone to take ten minutes to read it.
  10. Had a question about the new caddy rule and lining up a player. I understand it for the most part but if I am standing in front of my player for example on a putting green and the hole is between us once they take there stance would I be able to direct them verbally since I am not standing behind the player. Also could I direct them from some other position like from the side. I guess does this rule just prohibit giving alignment advice from behind the player? Was just a bit confused on this. Thanks for help on this and here is the rule. 2019 Rule: Under Rule 10.2b(4): The current prohibition will be extended so that, once the player begins taking a stance for the stroke, and until the stroke is made, the player’s caddie must not deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason. There will be no penalty if the caddie accidentally stands on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball, rather than in trying to help in lining up. Reasons for Change: Although a player may get advice from a caddie on the shot to be played, the line of play and similar matters, the ability to line up one’s feet and body accurately to a target line is a fundamental skill of the game for which the player alone should be responsible. Allowing a caddie to stand behind a player taking a stance so as to direct the player how to line up undermines the player’s need to use his or her own alignment skills and judgment. We believe that an appropriate line is drawn between allowing advice from a caddie and prohibiting the caddie from being involved in directing the player in the act of taking a stance to play the ball.
  11. Here is the video: Here are some photos from the video: I thought watching live (well, watching the first time, recorded on my DVR later in the evening) that he had improved his lie. You can certainly see more of the ball after he soles his club than before. But I'm leaning toward "inconclusive." This type of activity reportedly occurs frequently on the PGA Tour and people look the other way all the time.
  12. Ugh: I posted this in the other topic, but… if you don't know the rules, shut the heck up. The ball is holed as soon as it goes in the hole and beneath the level of the lip and comes to rest. They don't rip the flagstick out because it's a hack, amateur thing to do that risks pulling the whole cup out and damaging the cup, the lip, the hole, or whatever. Ugh. The other incident was today, too: C'mon guys. If you don't know the answer, don't talk.
  13. Phil Mickelson has found himself in breach of the Rules of Golf once again. At least he didn't lie about it and insult his fans afterward. Just a brain fart this time around. Unfortunately that clip also includes the announcers bumbling through stuff. Of course you can violate a rule without a ball in play. Of course you can violate a rule on the tee box. C'mon guys. These rules aren't that difficult, and… if you don't know, don't give your opinion.
  14. Hello everyone, I apologize if I'm posting in an inappropriate location as this is my first post, but I have a question regarding the Rules. I understand a person cannot place an object on the "line of the putt" at any point to help aid in a putt, but I was wondering if it's a rule violation to place a marker behind the hole while aligning the ball markings. It's easier to line the markings up with a smaller item sometimes than with the entire hole, and it would be placed directly behind the hole just while aligning the arrows on the ball. Rule 8-2b states one cannot place a mark on the "line of the putt," but "line of the putt" is defined as not extending past the hole, meaning that placing a mark behind the hole wouldn't violate this rule, as long as the mark was removed before the stroke was made. Thanks!
  15. 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.
  16. http://golfweek.com/2018/02/07/the-forecaddie-pga-tour-takes-stand-with-bunker-liner-rule/ I'm glad, mostly, but without spending too much time looking into this… the bunker liner is man-made, and an obstruction, and the Rules of Golf grant you relief for obstructions for your stance, too. Isn't this a Rule 24 issue? Again, only two minutes of thought here, but I don't consider a bunker liner an abnormal ground condition.
  17. I've never been a fan of the "intent" stuff in the Rules of Golf. There are a few, like the Hideki situation, where they just muddy the waters and let a player who is less than honest skate. I looked for the word "intent" in the 2019 proposed rules PDF and found only four instances: 1. 3.2 - Match Play 2. 5.5a - Practice during play 3. 14.4 - Dropping, etc. 4. Definition of "Replace." Good! One of the places intent has mattered was the definition of a stroke. That definition still includes "intent" without using the word: Obviously other versions of the word "intent" can appear, like "intended." I searched for "inten" as well and came up with 23 pages in addition to the four above. Some non-notable ones included using equipment in an abnormal or "unintended" way, the area of the "intended" stance or swing (this version, re: the stance or swing, accounted for many of these), when the player intends or doesn't intend to stay in his stance to make a swing, etc. One of those searches even turned up "maintenance." Heck, the only notable - and barely at that - time the letters "inten" appear other than the four times above are in the definition of Line of Play - the definition is the line on which the player intends for the ball to go. This could affect whether they improve or mark their line of play. These tend to be pretty obvious, though. Otherwise it appears the word has been removed - thankfully - from a lot of rules, like the 1-2 one, and for the better. What do you guys think?
  18. https://www.golfdigest.com/story/this-latest-usga-equipment-decision-might-bring-artificial-intelligence-closer-to-competition The title is "This latest USGA equipment decision might bring artificial intelligence closer to competition" Arccos (and eventually, GAME GOLF) has a "virtual caddy" system that can tell you what club to hit and where to hit it. I don't think the USGA is saying that's allowed. If I read the Golf Digest story, it reads to me that the ability to tell you the yardage is allowed (it's the same as a GPS app)… but the article is written very confusingly. I don't understand how the recommendation "off the tee" is legal (but for an approach shot, it's not?) because "those recommendations can be made before a round begins." What about on the second tee? The round has already begun. It then goes on to say: But that's what the caddy does: offer club selection information/advice. It later adds: Okay… so that means it can't say "you're hitting your clubs shorter today, so instead of a 7-iron here, hit a 6-iron." Fine. That's easy enough. So… Is the "ruling" basically saying the Virtual Caddie, before you begin your round, can make a recommendation for what you should hit off each of the 18 tees before your round? I.e. it can't use information "live" from that round, and it's basically published "before" your round and doesn't change. If so, big whoop. Who cares about that? That's not a "virtual caddy." That's just a tiny bit of pre-planning, and for all you know the course is playing softer or firmer or the wind is in a different direction that day. Am I reading that right? Or did I miss something? The headline and the writeup are not very well done, IMO.
  19. This is for the discussion of this portion of the new Modernized Rules. Areas of the Course When to Replace a Ball That Moves on the Putting Green Repairing Damage on the Putting Green Touching Line of Play on a Putting Green Ball Played From Green Hits Unattended Flagstick in Hole Areas the Committee May Mark as Penalty Areas Touching or Moving Loose Impediments or Touching the Ground in a Penalty Area Expanded Use of Red-Marked Penalty Areas Elimination of Opposite Side Relief for Red Penalty Areas Moving or Touching Loose Impediments or Touching Sand in a Bunker Unplayable Ball in Bunker
  20. Yesterday on the first green I found a swarm of yellow jackets stinging (and attempting to lift) a large millipede. The more the millipede twisted around and fought back, the more yellow jackets arrived to help.. dozens of yellow jackets came swirling in one after the other, like fighter planes in an old movie. My ball was 2 feet from the cup, and the insects were swarming just on the opposite side. In other words, they were not technically in the line of my putt, but they were still swarming around me in my stance. What do the rules say about this situation? I know that on the green you do not take a drop, but rather place the ball. Where would I place the ball in this case? Am I entitled to any relief? How is this handled? For those of you who don't know what Yellow Jackets are, they are highly aggressive, meat-eating wasps that live in nests (i.e., they are not solitary wasps). When I was 16 I stepped into a nest and was stung dozens of times; later when I painted houses in college I was stung dozens of times more.. so please do not question my toughness - getting stung by these little bastards is NOT a pleasant experience. FWIW I read the rule about insect nests in the bunker, I don't think that applies on the green, because the green is not a hazard.
  21. http://www.golf.com/tour-news/2017/06/01/rules-arent-made-be-broken Quotes in red are from the article… No. 1. Video should be used in rules disputes almost never. No. 2. Magnified video should never be used at all. No. 3. The rules officials at the PGA Tour/USGA/LPGA should be ashamed of themselves for hijacking these events. No. 4. Penalties should not be assigned after players sign their scorecards. No. 5. TV viewers at home (and who are these people anyhow?) should not be permitted to influence the outcome of a golf tournament, as it is unfair to the players who get more TV time, and also because it's weird. … Here's an easy solution to the various problems outlined here: Play by the rules. Had Thompson marked her ball correctly in the first place, there would never have been an issue. Really, it's a world-gone-soft that turned Thompson into a victim here. The rule that governs marking a ball on a green could not be more straightforward: Mark, and return the ball to where it was. She didn't do that. … Like Woods, I used to think that the use of videotape, and the whole call-in thing, was strange. But 20 years ago, Davis Love III helped me understand, with impeccable logic, why it makes sense: A player should want his or her scorecard to be as accurate as possible, and more scrutiny will only help make a player achieve that goal. Love's worldview shows an elemental understanding of the game that defines his life. In other sports—in football, in basketball, in baseball, in hockey—trying to get away with something is part of the game. Golf is the complete opposite. Also, what kind of champion would you have if broadcast TV showed a winner hoisting a trophy, and YouTube showed, for example, that same golfer carrying 15 clubs? Indeed, what's so hard about playing by the rules? They're not "unfair" because everyone is subject to the same RULES. No, not everyone is subject to the exact same conditions, but that's never been the case, and attempting to do that is a foolhardy endeavor that will always fail. But everyone can - and should - play under the same RULES of the game. "My side" of the debate is often characterized as saying "the rules are the rules, period, end of story," but that can be said in two different ways. Did Lexi deserve a penalty? Absolutely, per the rules, she did. The Rules don't leave leeway to say "well, but it probably didn't really help her, maybe, so can't we just this one time not penalize her…?" They're written and applied, and that's the way it must be for the rules as they are. That statement does not mean that everyone (or that I) support every rule written and back it 100%. There are a few rules with which I have some quibbles, though understanding where the rules come from and the underlying principles tends to minimize anyone's beef with too many of the Rules.
  22. Rule 7-1b prohibits a competitor from practicing on a "competition course" prior to a round or play-off of a stroke play event. Great, and I have no problems with this -- if I'm a later tee time, it isn't fair that I might be able to get to the course at the same time as someone in the first group, wander over to the 18th green during his or her round, and see how that bunker that fronts the green is playing today. I keep the rules book italics above because competitor and course are definitions in the Rules. In fact, rule 33-2 tells the committee to define accurately the course. That's also great and I have no problems here either. If the golf complex we're playing has one eighteen-hole course, the interaction is fairly straight-forward: get there and you may use the range and other designated practice areas. There's probably limited benefit (at most) to four hours on the range before a round compared to a normal warm-up range session, so the early tee times aren't disadvantaged here. But when they have multiple courses in the complex, this is less clear to me. My home course (18 holes, regulation) shares a parking lot and a name with a nine-hole par-3 course that measures under 1000 yards. Is this a decision for the committee to make, whether competitors may play the par-3 course prior to their round? My reading of this says that the committee should define (under rule 33-2) the course, so they could prohibit it. Alternately, since we aren't using those holes, would they not be part of the course? Or because they're in the complex, are they always? That ends the question I'm actually worried about in the short-term. I love my club (and I haven't asked my club committee what the rules on this are -- this isn't the result of a dispute or anything), but I live a bit further away than I used to. Time was I could easily plan my day to get there an hour before my tee time. Now with traffic, if I have a later tee time, I'm more likely to get there 3 hours early to avoid risking a traffic delay that could cost me warm up time or even my spot. And it makes me wonder what I'm going to do with the difference. Thinking about this has caused me to come up with two other related questions though. There's another complex near me that has two 18-hole regulation courses. If we had a tournament there, how would the other course be treated? If I had a noon tee time at course A, would I be within the rules to make a 6am tee time at course B and play it day-of? What if that complex, rather than using an established 18 hole course, finds a route around the complex using eighteen holes, some from A some from B? Would playing on one of the 18 excluded holes be permitted, even though most days they'd be part of the same course as some of what I'd be playing? My instinct is that this has the same answer as the previous question, but I'm not sure what that is. Thanks in advance for any help on these interactions. Finding help for this on Google was surprisingly tough (or perhaps I'm just not good at it) -- I mostly found standard explanations of the main rule. The Tufts book explained why the rule exists, but that didn't help me figure out what the ruling should be.
  23. Here's a thread where we can all speculate and share data and thoughts and discuss "theories" and hypotheses… I've shared parts of this in other topics, but I hope to collect everything here, while simultaneously simplifying my position (maybe? hopefully?). I'd previously written a post about how you should almost always leave the flagstick in when you're given the opportunity to (without penalty). It, when you're off the green, tends to help you far more often than it hurts. The flagstick typically slows the ball down and lets it fall into the hole or at least stay closer than it otherwise would have. Then few weeks ago, the USGA and R&A published their proposed rules changes for 2019 (talk about those in the Rules of Golf forum), and one of them was to abolish the two-stroke penalty for striking the flagstick (in the hole) after a stroke from on the putting green. A Dave Pelz study from decades ago backs this up, as does basic physics (collisions lose energy). This, I immediately felt, had the potential to massively change the game of golf. My experience, the research I've read, and talks with others in the sciences and in golf have virtually convinced me of this. The USGA/R&A seem to be ignoring this, saying only "On balance it is expected that there should be no advantage in being able to putt with the unattended flagstick in the hole:". I think they're wrong. The rule is proposed among many to speed up play, and while I admire the USGA's/R&A's desire to speed up play, I'm not even sure it will do that - many have said it may slow play in most instances because where we currently take the flagstick out and put it back in once per hole on most holes, we may find situations where different players prefer the flag in or out and change its status when it is their turn to putt. This topic will not discuss pace of play - just the potential (or real) advantages to be gained. I think these potential advantages will affect two types of putts: Short-medium putts from 4-6', with lesser benefits out to about 10' or 12'. These are putts where players are somewhat or quite likely to hit the hole and, thus, the flagstick. Long putts from 25+ feet. Currently "tap-ins" are about 2' out, but if the first bullet point becomes an issue, and "tap-in" range extends to 4' or 5', the importance of getting your 30-footer to a foot or two diminishes greatly. In this topic, I'd like to explore the pros/cons, the physics, the data, the science, the mentality/psychology… and all of that stuff. I'd like to discuss the theory, the hypotheses, etc. behind this "advantage." This topic isn't about pace of play. It's not about whether we play golf into a "hole" and that this violates some sacred idea or something. It's just about the "advantage." First, some stipulations: There are few regulations on flagsticks. Circular in cross-section, not super dampening like foam or something, not strongly tapered… that's about it. I'm only suggesting a change from 12" past capture speed to about 3' to 4' past capture speed. Do not take me saying "bash it at the stick" or things like that as suggesting that I think players should hit a 5' putt with enough speed to go 10' past the hole. There's some grey area here because greens stimp at different speeds, uphill putts stop closer to the hole than downhill putts traveling the same speed at the hole, etc. Grey areas are unfortunately unavoidable. Players all have different psychologies. Some players will be struggle to do things other players can do more easily. Let's jump right in. Credible arguments for this proposed rule creating an advantage: The flagstick slows the ball by a greater factor than it decreases the time the ball spends suspended over the hole. Unless you have exceptional distance control, effective capture speed can remain about the same. Hitting the ball more firmly allows for a larger margin of error. It also reduces the tendency of a slow-moving putt to "wobble" or be moved off-line due to imperfections. Players, particularly poorer putters, leave a lot of putts from 6' to 15' short. This change would let them be more aggressive. The situations where the flagstick should be removed (it leans too much, it's moving around a lot in the wind) almost never occur. The flagstick offers an aid - it gives the player yet another point or two at which to aim. Credible arguments against there being any advantage: Three putts from short range may increase. Poor putters miss the hole from short range and will miss a lot of the come-backers. Hitting putts faster eliminates the putts that would fall at the outer "edges" of the hole with slower capture speed. These putts don't touch the flagstick, and lip out with faster speeds, but would fall in the "edge" or "side" with slower speeds. Let me take a look at the "pro" list above. 1. The flagstick slows the ball by a greater factor than it decreases the time the ball spends suspended over the hole. Simply put, the ball has to fall 0.84" or so to fall into the hole. Gravity is a constant, so this becomes a matter of time - time which the ball is unsupported and able to fall (another grey area: the ball can be "supported" partially along the "side" of the ball, slowing its descent). But back to the idea of time… Time for an object to fall 0.84 inches is about 0.066 seconds. So what can affect the time it takes? Two things: the speed the ball is traveling (faster = less time), and the route it takes over the hole (going straight across the middle of the hole provides the longest route and the most time to fall) - taking a cord along the edge provides a much shorter route. Many who think they should take the flagstick out when they are chipping from off the green say "the flagstick takes up room in the hole." It does, and so no ball can take a "long" route through the middle of the hole - it will be deflected. So, the question becomes this: how does the flagstick function to affect the time the ball spends unsupported over the hole? It's not as simple as subtracting the diameter of the flagstick from the 4.25", because the ball will contact the flagstick with its outer edge. If you imagine a ball that's hit directly at the flagstick, it will only spend about 2.1" unsupported by the ground - 1.035" from the time the center of the ball goes over the front lip until the front side of the ball hits the stick, and another 1.035" on its way back directly the way it came. The first 1" will be much shorter in time because the ball is moving much more quickly. 2.1" of travel does not afford the ball very much time to drop, and yet… we've all seen a ball rocketing at the flagstick, smack into it dead-center, and fall. In testing I've done, I've rolled balls with as much as 20' past capture speed on a flat portion of a green stimping at about 10 and had them repeatedly fall in to the hole. I shouldn't have to tell you… none of the balls rolled at the same speed went into the hole with the flagstick removed. Thus, the conclusion is simple: the flagstick dampens the speed of the ball by a significantly larger factor than it reduces the distance (and time) that the ball spends in free-fall. A few working physicists have supported this statement in my talks with them, though none have gone beyond preliminary calculations to quantify this, or to measure how advantage declines as you move away from direct hits, though one added that even a "half-ball hit" (he knew I played pool/billiards) should be pretty close to the same math - the ball traveling farther and thus having more time help to offset the less direct impact. Grey areas: 1. Flagsticks differ in their composition. I was using a pretty traditional flagstick, but some courses have wooden flagsticks, metal flagsticks, fiberglass, etc. 2. I'm unsure of how long this holds - It's obvious that a ball that overlaps the flagstick by 0.01" will act almost as if there was no flagstick in there, and regular capture speed rules will basically apply. 2. Unless you have exceptional distance control, effective capture speed can remain about the same. From this thread… … you'll see that a ball putted only 1' past the hole has only the center 2.6" of the hole. At 2' past, the capture width of the hole shrinks quickly to 1.9". Those look like this: Now, obviously that ball rolling 1' past isn't even close to hitting the flagstick, but it's still going to drop (in a pure physics standpoint). The ball hit 2' past is going to hit the flagstick if one was there, but even the edge of the ball isn't passing over the center of the hole (the ball is 1.68" in diameter). (These numbers are part physics, part experimental data, and come from Mark Sweeney.) A ball rolling 3.5' past the hole has an effective capture width of only about 1.2". That looks like this (the flagstick is pictured here simply for continuity): Losing 1.4" is significant (0.7" on both sides) to 0.8" (0.4" on each side) is fairly significant, and that's why, under the current rules, I've suggested people understand and read the capture speed topic, and to strive to deliver the ball with the speed that takes it only a foot or two past the hole. The question is now… what's an effective capture width with the flagstick in the hole and the ball rolling at about 3.5' past the hole? Obviously we need the ball to impact the flagstick enough to slow it down, so let's make an educated guess (based largely on the tests I did last fall, and yes, I know, you're going on a little faith here, but @david_wedzik and I will test thoroughly soon, hopefully this Friday). In my testing, and again I intend to document this fully very soon with Dave, 1.8" provided sufficient flagstick-ball contact to get putts to fall with the flagstick in the hole. "But we've lost 0.8"!", you'll say. And you're right. But remember, that's if you're able to deliver 1' past capture speed. Add just a little and hit your putt with 2' past capture speed and your 2.6" wide target drops down to 1.9" - basically the same width as the picture above. Also, that 0.8" you lost is not the same value. Huh? Consider that PGA Tour players make 77% of their five-foot putts. If we place a bell curve over the effective capture width of the hole, it would look something like this: PGA Tour pros hit the center of the hole more often than they hit the edges of the hole. They don't use whatever size capture width they are given evenly - that's why they make the majority of their putts from 5'. The outer edges - where we're relying on a slowly rolling ball to fall in - don't have the same value as the center of the hole. Bad putters make only about 50% of their putts from 5'. Their bell curve might look like this: Note: the center of the hole is still more important, but the edges are relatively more important. Bad putters hit the center of the hole less often and hit the edges or miss completely more often. If you're still awake at this point, you're correct that 2.6" is wider than 1.8". Even 1.9" is wider than 1.8". If you putt a ball with 3.5' past speed 1.1" off-center, it will miss the flagstick and be traveling too fast to go in. You're correct! But… here's the important thing… With the flagstick in, delivering the ball with 2' past speed within the 1.9" zone or 1' past speed within the 2.6" zone, and the ball will still fall. The flagstick is not hampering your ability to do this at all. There's no negative here - the only negative is if you choose to hit the ball with faster than 2' past capture speed… at which point the flagstick begins to help. At 3' past capture speed, without the flagstick the capture width of the hole shrinks to 1.4". Leaving the flagstick in gains 0.4". It’s insurance in case you hit the ball a little too firmly. If I had to boil down the “is it an advantage” thing to one thing, there it is. This is an important point, so I'm going to hammer it again. If you want to keep putting the way you’re putting now (without the flagstick), do it… but leave the flagstick in, because it will not hurt you if you have good distance control, and WILL help you if you don’t. There's literally no downside here (assuming one of those two conditions - flagstick leaning a LOT or high wind and a jostling flagstick - aren't met). Grey areas: 1. Ball speed vs. roll-out distance on different stimps is not linear - a ball rolling at a speed of x on a stimp 8 green and rolling out 2' past is not rolling 8x/12 if it rolls out 2' on a stimp 12 green. This is why a ball can roll out 3' but still fall in the sides of the hole at Augusta National: the ball is rolling slowly. 2. Players aren't robots. They won't control ball speed to 1' exactly. If they could, and people could read greens perfectly, and greens didn't have imperfections, I'd say take the flagstick out for these putts! 3. Hitting the ball more firmly allows for a larger margin of error. It also reduces the tendency of a slow-moving putt to "wobble" or be moved off-line due to imperfections. Let me address the second part first. In the last 6-12" of a putt, the ball has a tendency to wobble. It's moving more slowly, and minor imperfections can have a large effect on a ball. That's why, though the ideal capture speed is "dead weight" making the hole its full 4.25" wide, it's impractical because you'd leave too many putts short and the ball behaves unpredictably near the hole. Whether you call it the Dave Pelz "lumpy donut" or just the minor variations in the putting surface due to the fact that grass is not a perfectly flat, smooth surface (nor are golf balls, for that matter)… the ball can divert from its path quite a bit in the last foot of its travel. Hitting the ball more firmly makes the path more consistent and thus more predictable. Go ahead… roll a ball on a putting green and watch the last foot of its roll. It'll divert relatively easily, and more so on the slower, bumpier greens many average golfers play. Now, regarding the margin of error… time for more math. Gravity pulls a ball down the hill. If the hill had 0% slope (i.e. dead flat), it would not pull a ball at all. The acceleration due to gravity would be 0 distance/time^s. If the hill had infinite slope (i.e. was a vertical wall), acceleration would be x distance/time^2 (or 9.8m/s^2 if you want to use those units). Any slope between those two points: 0% and infinite %, will be between 0 and x. More slope = more acceleration downhill (i.e. more break). Hitting a ball more firmly means that a ball gets to the destination (the hole) in less time. This lower amount of time means that differences in gravity due to a slight mis-read or a slight error in your start line can be reduced. I'll use some generic units here for distance and time, "d" and "t" because the specific units aren't important. Let's imagine that for a 2% slope, a putt breaks 100d/t^2. A 1% slope will be about 50d/t^2, and a 3% slope about 150d/t^2. Let's imagine two kinds of putts. One takes 10t (time units) to get to the hole (the one we hit firmly), and the other takes 12t to get to the hole. This chart shows how far the ball will deviate due to acceleration (from physics, the ball will travel d = 1/2*a*t^2). I've left the units off just to make the numbers convenient to use, so we could be talking about micrometers per hour squared (though given the units I chose, mm/sec^2 might be relatively close units). Putt Time 1% (50) 2% (100) 3% (150) Delta 10t 2500d 5000d 7500d +/- 2500d 12t 3600d 7200d 10800d +/- 3600d Let's assume the pro reads a putt as 2%. If he plays it firmly, and he's off by 1%, his ball will deviate from the line he read by 2500 distance units (say, 2.5cm). If he's wrong by that same 1%, but hits the ball more softly, and it takes longer to get to the hole… he's going to be off by 3600 distance units (say 3.6cm). A 120% difference (1.2) in time becomes a 144% (1.44) gap in the line. The firmer putt gives our golfer here a larger margin for error in his read. In graphic form, putts would look something like this, where the middle line of each is the proper read (this isn't to scale or the top and bottom blue and red lines would actually be a bit farther apart): If our golfer chooses to hit the ball at 2' past speed (red) or 4' past speed (blue), and 2500d translates to 0.75 inches offline (a make, with the flagstick in, as it is within the 1.8" zone), then his error will send his slower putted ball (red) 1.08" (0.75 * 1.44) offline, which is not within the 1.9" width allowed for a make. He'll miss with the slower putt, and make (comfortably) with the blue putt. In other words, and simplified… when you putt a little bit firmer, a putt has less time to deviate from the line before it reaches the hole if you misread the putt slightly. The faster putt gives you more margin for error in misreading your putt. Good players have known this for a long time. That's why PGA Tour pros rap the ball in the back of the hole (even without the flagstick). That's why you hear "I'll just firm it in and take the break out of it." They're not hitting the ball with 6' past speed… they just hit it with 3' past speed or so, to increase the margin of error on their read. Yes, they're comfortable at hitting their lines to within a small percentage, but as we know already, PGA Tour players make 77% of their putts, and that includes all putts… whether they misread them, hit them too softly or too firmly, etc. So > 77% of the time, they are able to hit their line pretty darn well. Within about half a degree, that number is actually well into the 90% range. 4. Players, particularly poorer putters, leave a lot of putts from 6' to 15' short. This change would let them be more aggressive. Higher handicap golfers leave a lot of their putts short from 6-15'. Just look at this chart, which pretty much matches what @david_wedzik and I have charted: On that chart, you'll see that the 90s golfer leaves over 10% of their 8' putts short of the hole, and nearly 30% of their 15' putts have no chance of going in because they don't even reach the hole! In a chart (there's no real scale here, but you may pretend the vertical line is at 15' or so), these results may look like this, with green representing good golfers, and red representing bad golfers: If leaving the flagstick in and making the come-back putt easier increases the confidence of the two groups to where they can hit their putts with the pace to go just one foot further, we might see a chart that looked more like this: As you can see here, this means 10-20% of their putts that previously came up short will now reach the hole and have a chance to go in. Now, not all of that 20% will go in, but if even half did, it would be a HUGE bonus. Hell, if even a quarter of the 20% went in, bananas! Who wouldn't want to make 5% more putts from 15' (where the 90s shooter only makes 20% right now… despite leaving nearly 30% short of the hole). Ah, but what about an increase in three-putts? Even without the flagstick, 90s shooters three-putt from 12-15' less than 5% of the time. That number is not going to double by adding one foot of pace to the putts, and even if it did double, it would still only break even if just a quarter of those 20% of putts that now reach the hole fall in. Plus, the flagstick will make the come-back putts easier to make. This advice, btw, to make sure you get your 6-15' putts to the hole, applies whether the flagstick is in or out, under the proposed rules or the current rules. This is advice you should follow now, and advice which would only be more relevant and important should this proposed rule actually be put into place in 2019. 5. The situations where the flagstick should be removed (it leans too much, it's moving around a lot in the wind) almost never occur. I debated even leaving this one in here. The first four reasons are pretty strong, IMO. But it's here, and I'll try to be quick about it. The flagstick impedes a ball going in under two very rare circumstances: The flagstick leans toward you so much a ball will not fit between it and the hole. (If it leans toward or away from you a little, it's actually even more advantageous than if the flagstick is straight up and down. So we're only talking about a LOT of lean, and only toward you, in this case.) The flagstick is jostling around in the hole because of high winds or something so it could knock your ball away. (Even this one requires perfect "bad" timing - if the flagstick is jostling away from your ball at the time of impact, your chances of holing the putt are increased even more over a steady flagstick left in.) So, if one was forced to make up some advice about putting with the flagstick in, and they understood ALL of the above five points, they would still conclude that you should leave the flagstick in, even if the advice was not allowed to add the addendum "unless one of these two situations exists." These two situations almost never occur. The ball is almost always helped by the flagstick being in the hole. 6. The flagstick offers an aid - it gives the player yet another point or two at which to aim. I've seen advice on shorter putts about aiming at a small blade of grass at the back of the cup, or where you want the ball to enter the cup, or other sorts of things. Jordan Spieth, for a number of years (he may still do it, I don't know) used to look AT the hole when putting short-ish putts… So, and yes, this is a very small reason or "pro," but that's why it's #6 and only gets three paragraphs: a flagstick can offer another thing at which to aim. It provides visual certainty as to where the middle of the hole is, and players and caddies can say things like "right edge of the stick" or "half a ball outside the stick" or whatever. For straight-ish putts, the flagstick is in the middle of the hole, and obviously offers a nice aiming point. Never mind that the flagstick shadow can be quite helpful in aiming. There have been a number of times when teaching AimPoint classes or playing by myself that where the flagstick shadow was on the green, on the edge of the hole, etc. was helpful in offering an aim point for my putting. In summary… Here's the deal… With the flag out, at 1' past, the capture width of a hole is 2.6". At 2' past, it's 1.9". At 3', it's 1.4", and at 4' it's 0.9". With the flag in, at 1' past, the capture width of a hole is 2.6". At 2' past, it's 1.9". At 3', it's 1.85", and at 4' it's 1.8". At 5', it's 1.7". For good putters, who can reasonably control their start lines to +/- about 0.9" at the hole, adding a little pace to their short-ish putts can remove some wobble, provide more margin for error on their reads, and allow them to make more putts. The flagstick offers a significant advantage. For poor putters… even if you just keep putting the same way you are now (except please take our advice on not leaving so many makeable putts short - hit them just a little harder), leaving the flagstick in can not hurt you, and on the putts you "goose" a little, can only really help you. Maybe you're confident from 4' at hitting the flagstick, but not from 6'. Or from 3' but not even 5'. Either way, it can't hurt you, and can only help you… just not as much as it can help a good putter. The "cons" above assume everyone's going to be smacking the ball at the hole so it runs out several feet farther than it does now. The cons above can be completely eliminated if everyone just putts as they do now, and recognizes situations where hitting the ball a bit firmer and using the flagstick is advantageous. There's no downside here. Not if you're smart enough to take the flagstick out (or re-center it in the hole) when it's leaning 30° toward you… And that is why I'm opposed to this rule. It's only really an advantage. The USGA and R&A are wrong that it will offer no advantage, and in fact, I would imagine that it will offer the biggest advantage to the better players. Despite the fact that, say, they make 77% of their five-footers while the 90s golfer makes 50%, and thus have a smaller range to improve (23% versus 50%), I still imagine, if this rule passed and was instituted, that we might see that 77% go up by a larger percentage than we see the 50% increase. In truly closing, look, this post was composed over three days, and multiple hours, and many, many stops and starts. I retain the right to fix any errors, tweak my conclusion, and otherwise to edit. For anything that affects the actual points and isn't just grammatical or spelling in nature, I'll note it publicly in this topic discussion. I encourage everyone to read this over, and to consider what I've said, and to discuss. I think this is important, and I think the USGA/R&A are risking seriously altering the game if this proposed rule sticks. I'm fighting this fight because I care about golf, and I do not think that we should be playing into anything but a hole, ultimately, for the shots that are more likely to go in - putts from on the green. I'd support a rule that let you keep the flagstick in the hole for putts outside of a certain distance, like 20', because for those I could perhaps be swayed by pace of play arguments… but I don't think such a rule will exist because then we'd have to be able to measure 20' or 7 yards or some distance pretty accurately (and often quickly).
  24. bkuehn1952

    Rules

    I enjoy Rules discussions. One learns a few things and also experiences another’s perspective. I started playing competitive golf late in life (35 or so) but I made it a point to learn the Rules well before I ever entered a tournament. Frankly, I see no point in playing any game without a clear understanding of the Rules. Collecting double the rent on an unimproved Monopoly or “castling” in chess are details and one can play either game without knowing the rule. One is likely, however, to see more success if one is aware of all the “details”. Still, for all our efforts we all stub our toes on occasion. A discussion about Rules recently got me thinking about my top Rules snafus. I cleared a long cross hazard off the tee and got to my ball. It was just where I thought it would be, having barely cleared the hazard. Yep, “Titleist” was clearly visible. I laid up short of the next hazard because of a poor lie. Then I discovered that the “Titleist” I had hit was not my “Titleist”. That was the last time I have done that, so far. I and my other three competitors were finishing up a decidedly indifferent one day tournament. The organization that ran this particular event had a condition of competition that every foursome was to finish the round within 4 ½ hours or, if over that number, finish within 12 minutes of the prior group. As usual, every group suddenly stepped on the gas with about 3 holes left. For whatever reason, we just could not be bothered with sprinting between shots on the last holes. As we turned in our cards, the official said, “everyone in the group has been assessed a one stroke penalty.” He got ready for a tirade but we all shrugged and said, “okay.” He was momentarily stunned and then smiled. “I have never had 4 people accept a penalty so easily.” That was, however, the last time I was penalized for slow play. In the final round of our three day City Championship, I was surveying my severely downhill putt for par. As I addressed the ball, it rolled a ¼ turn. I had not touched it but back in the day, after taking one’s stance and grounding the club, any movement was on you. I announced the penalty and, fortunately, was aware enough to move the ball back to its original position prior to playing the next shot. I stopped grounding my club on the green for several decades. We were playing a tournament at my home course. I typically played the “White” tees but for this event, it was “Blue.” The driver of the cart I was sharing drove up and parked next to the “White” tees. I had honors. You can guess the rest. My pre-shot routine now includes checking the tee color. Of course, I have made both the ride and walk of shame back to the tee after losing my tee shot and neglecting to hit a provisional. Some might say I hit too many provisionals but honestly, I don’t plan to ever make that walk back again in a tournament. With the proposed changes to the Rules, I am getting ready to go back to “school.” There will undoubtedly be fresh opportunities for me to “step in it” a far as Rules breaches. Still, it won’t be because I did not continue to study and attempt to understand the Rules.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...