New rules of golf

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By Alex Z

  • 11 Replies
  1. Have you had a chance to see the new rules? Personally I like them alot. I would have liked to have seen a free lift and place rule though if your ball lands in a fairway divot.

    Would love to hear everyone elses thoughts.

  2. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Alex - I also like most of the changes. Particularly the one that removes the penalty for double hitting the ball and now only counting the stroke used to strike the ball. For those of us who sometimes get a bit handsy that double hit can get costly now and them. I don't do it often, but it certainly is embarrassing when it happens :)
    I believe that many of the rules will certainly help with pace of play without taking away from the original in intent behind the rules, and that is a good thing !
  3. FJL

    Kitchener, ON

    Hey there Alex!

    Good topic.... Do you have a link to the article of the new rules?
  4. Trevor S

    Trevor S
    Calgary, AB

  5. FJL

    Kitchener, ON

    Thanks you Trevor!
  6. Dino J

    Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    In general, I like the new rules. In particular, the rule about dropping a ball with a penalty stroke rather than having to go back to the tee and replay the shot for a lost ball. Most casual players are doing this anyway so I am glad that they made this provision for a "local rule".

    I really do wish though that the governing bodies would get their heads wrapped around the importance of being able to take a free drop from fairway divots ... they are not naturally occurring conditions on a golf course, but rather man-made. It also has the properties of being a "ground under repair" situation.

    The fundamental purpose of Rules in any sport is to proactively set the terms and conditions to allow all competitors to compete in as fair a condition as possible. No one competitor should have an advantage over another and forcing someone to play from a Fairway Divot is one of them.

    The first competitor had that competitive advantage of playing from a "pristine" fairway whereas the following competitor was denied that opportunity. Not really fair to the subsequent player, hence the "GUR" designation and the relief that should flow from it. Anyway, just my thoughts! :-) A photo below to illustrate my point.
    Post Image
  7. Here are my thoughts,
    I reckon that a player who does not put the course back in the same position it was prior to their stroke should be penalised. They are in effect changing the condition of play for the whole field behind them.

    There is no reason that a divot cannot be filled correctly with sand/soil,
    A pitch mark repaired Or a bunker correctly raked after escaping the pot.
  8. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Dino - As much as I agree with your concern about divots, I can just imagine the discussions on the course about when a divot is no longer a divot. Would a divot still be considered a bad lie if it has been filled with sand ? What if the sand is not flush with the remainder of the fairway ? How about if they replaced the divot and tapped it down? The ground under the ball would not have the same strength allowing the club to bounce off the fairway as it would an inch or two off to the side. What if the divot was replaced but the player thought the ball was still affected by the seam ? Just so many questions (and potential arguments). I personally hate having to play from a divot but mostly because I find it sad that someone would take a divot and not bother to put it back (or fill it if the course provides sand). I just can't see an easy way to resolve the issue.
    Any suggestions ??? Do you and your gang establish your own rule around the issue already ?
  9. Trevor S

    Trevor S
    Calgary, AB

    Darius, I really like your thinking towards the diviit rule. I have never thought of it that way as a GUR ruling. I think you have something here and should start planting the seed with the R & A.

  10. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Hey Trevor... It was Dino that suggested the GUR rule. I was merely attempting to question the difficulty with trying to enact the free relief issue around divots. ie: When is a divot a divot and when is is just a lump on an imperfect fairway?
    GUR would certainly work, but how much white paint would be needed for a tournament ?
  11. Dino J

    Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    Hi Darius ... I hope this posting finds you well!

    I understand the perspective that you have articulated. It is a contrast of competing "ideals" ... the principle of playing the ball as it lies vs. allowing competitors to play in as fair and consistent manner as possible without "outside interference".

    I suspect that this debate goes back to before the days of Old Tom Morris and more -- to the first time an old Scotsman hit a ball that landed in a hoof mark from a sheep in the middle of the pasture!

    The counterargument is: what is a "ball mark" on the green? What is an animal mark on the green? What is a "spike mark" on the green? What is a natural depression? Should we allow players to fix damage from crows and ravens eating chafer beetles in the soil beneath the greens?

    Why do the revised Rules of golf allow for a competitor to repair those "GUR" type of situations so that all competitors can putt from a relatively fair and consistent surface? Previously, it was only ball marks. Now it will be spike marks and animal damage.

    Why do we say these repairs are fine on the green, where they are far more common than from a fairway divot? Is it a matter of more people saying that the rules need to reflect reality?

    In casual play, no one really seems to care about their ball landing in a fairway divot - 99% of the people I see or get paired with pull the ball out and say "I'm paying for this course, I will take my ball out of the divot if I so choose".

    In competition though, the Local Committee is responsible for marking out GUR conditions, Lateral Hazards, Water Hazards, Out of Bounds areas, etc. Obviously, there are the staked areas, but then there are the spray painted areas as well to demarcate these "hazards" etc.

    From my perspective, if a competitor is not going to be penalized for failing to repair their FAIRWAY divot, then why should the following competitors be penalized by having to play from it?

    I think a Fairway divot is just as recognizable as a "ball mark" on the green or a poorly repaired ball mark on the green. If there is sand in the divot (as a repair) then clearly it is a divot. If the divot has been replaced then it will be clearly recognizable as a divot.

    In more professional tournaments or more competitive tournaments, the grounds crews are out repairing divots after a day's round or in the early wee hours. Use some spray paint to mark fairway divots for the purpose of the tournament.

    Personally, during our active season, I play my ball out of the Fairway divots, forever silently praying and hoping that karma gets the player that never repaired it! :-)

    Trevor S. -- I actually did send a lengthy submission on this point to the R & A, the USGA and to our Golf Canada representative on the Rules Revision Committee. I received a very nice reply from the USGA - it was very nice and complimentary as well.
  12. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Dino - Thank you for a very well reasoned argument supporting your position. I am a believer ! Now if we could only get the RCGS to make that tweak to the rules. I too silently curse those who refuse to take the time to replace a divot !!!

    One of my favourite quotes from your discussion was
    "From my perspective, if a competitor is not going to be penalized for failing to repair their FAIRWAY divot, then why should the following competitors be penalized by having to play from it? "
    It reminded me of one of my friends who suggested he should not be penalized for a lost ball. His theory was that eventually someone would find it and keep it. Therefore it was actually a stolen ball since the ball was not returned to him and why should he be penalized for someone stealing his ball :)

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