New Rules of Golf

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By Darius V

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  • 21 Replies
  1. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Well... It is now 2019 and the new updated Rules of Golf come into effect. It is going to take some time to get used to some of the new drop rules related to lost ball and "Penalty Areas". As I continue to study the new rules, I think the one I will find the most helpful will be the ability to remove stones from bunkers. Okay - I always did anyway unless I was playing in a tournament where it was not already allowed, but now the rule reflects sensibility as no one ever deserved to get hit by a stone flying out of the bunker. After going through the rule changes, which ones stand out for you as a great improvement to the game ?

  2. Todd J

    Todd J
    Calgary, Alberta

    I like the 3 minute lost ball search rule and the option to leave the flag stick in the hole. Anything to speed the round up.
  3. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    I am hoping the local rule for OB balls will really speed up play, although most of the folks i see hitting lots of OB balls never did the stroke-and-distance anyway.
  4. Trevor S

    Trevor S
    Calgary, AB

    I believe they will all help if they are put into practice. Too many times I see players searching for well over 5 minutes for their golf ball.
    The flag in rule will take sometime for players to adjust to as I feel it will be too much of a habit of pulling the flag out once everyone is on the green. I am not sure many groups are going to leave it in, or will leaving it in speed up play.

    In the end it is up to the people you are playing with to speed the game up. I will always drop hints or explain ways to make sure my foursome is keeping pace. Simple things like parking the cart at least pin high or at the back of the green goes along way in speeding up play.

  5. Deno

    Deno
    Hawthorne, NJ

    Taking the flag out rule only started in the 60's. Before that, The flag was allowed to stay in. I like giving the player the choice again.
  6. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    I am most worried about taking a drop at knee level. At age 60, not sure i can bend down that low. :)
  7. Deno

    Deno
    Hawthorne, NJ

    Good one Dale :)
    The old back over the shoulder drop was another odd position.
  8. Hari S.

    Hari S.
    Medicine Hat,

    I think the biggest benefit to help speed up the game will be being able to take a drop for a LB. Also, when I am playing practise rounds and hitting multiple shots from the same spot, I don't take out the flagstick and that also helps speed things up.
  9. Deno

    Deno
    Hawthorne, NJ

    My only problem with the new rules is that the USGA is trying to speed up the our game while tour pros and their caddies look over "maps" like battlefield commanders and walk the green from end to end and side to side afterwards. If we as public golfers did that much procrastinating, we would be called slow players. I always believed caddies shouldn't be reading putts and should be on the green only to remove and return the flagstick.
  10. Jason R

    Jason R
    Ottawa, ON

    I saw a large poster sized rules-change over the weekend during the coverage of the PGA Champions event. I am wondering if something similar (smaller) is available. I think generally the changes seem to make sense but it will take some time to adjust. Is there a penalty if you drop the ball from shoulder height out of habit?
  11. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Jason R said:

    I saw a large poster sized rules-change over the weekend during the coverage of the PGA Champions event. I am wondering if something similar (smaller) is available. I think generally the changes seem to make sense but it will take some time to adjust. Is there a penalty if you drop the ball from shoulder height out of habit?

    Jason - I agree that the poster depicting the rules changes would be a good thing to have at a golf course. We will all need time to adjust to the changes. As for your question about dropping the ball from shoulder height - There is no penalty for dropping the ball from shoulder height. The ball must however be picked up and re-dropped properly from knee height before playing it. If you drop the ball from shoulder height and then hit the ball before re-dropping properly you are penalized for playing a ball that has been improperly dropped. Hope that helps...
  12. Jason R

    Jason R
    Ottawa, ON

    ahh - that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification!
  13. PAZTOR

    PAZTOR
    Tillsonburg, ON

    Often when playing by myself I will leave the pin in when I putt. I like that it's am option now and I also think the drop for OB is a good rule.
  14. Michael M

    Michael M
    Ottawa, ON

    Be careful with this one Darius. Stones are loose impediments and you can still be penalized (1-stroke) if your ball moves as a result of moving a loose impediment. I questioned Golf Canada on this when I saw that they had done away with the Local Rule where stones in bunkers could be declared movable obstructions, for which there is no penalty if your ball moves. I highlighted the safety concerns, which I understood to be the main reason for the Local Rule in the first place, but the reply I received indicated that "safety wasn't considered any more an issue from bunkers than from courses with rocky terrain".
  15. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Michael M said:

    Be careful with this one Darius. Stones are loose impediments and you can still be penalized (1-stroke) if your ball moves as a result of moving a loose impediment. I questioned Golf Canada on this when I saw that they had done away with the Local Rule where stones in bunkers could be declared movable obstructions, for which there is no penalty if your ball moves. I highlighted the safety concerns, which I understood to be the main reason for the Local Rule in the first place, but the reply I received indicated that "safety wasn't considered any more an issue from bunkers than from courses with rocky terrain".

    Good point... I think that in daily play with "the guys" we will continue to move stones in bunkers as needed. Tournament play however will be a lot more different and it will be important to get clarification from the rules committee before starting. I know that in some of our tournaments we had a local rule to lift / rake / and place in some of our older bunkers where the liners had failed and the gravel was coming up with frost heaves.
  16. Todd J

    Todd J
    Calgary, Alberta

    Just can't seem to get my head around dropping on to the fairway after hitting into a penalty area/water Also already had two short putts bounce off the flagstick and out. Good news is I'm playing.
  17. Barry S

    Barry S
    Oakville, ON

    Can the flag still be tended and pulled out as the ball is approaching the hole, OR, does it have to be either in or out the whole put?
  18. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Barry S said:

    Can the flag still be tended and pulled out as the ball is approaching the hole, OR, does it have to be either in or out the whole put?

    Hopefully this explains it... The rules state : "There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole". A golfer has to decide prior to hitting his putt whether he wants to leave the flag in or have it out. If you choose to leave it out, it can be tended but must be removed before the ball reaches the hole.
  19. Todd J

    Todd J
    Calgary, Alberta

    Ok I'm officially over having the flagstick in on short putts. Another short dead center putt hits it and bounced out...positive it would have hit the back of the hole and dropped in.
  20. Jason R

    Jason R
    Ottawa, ON

    There was an interesting discussion on Golf Channel last week I think about the composition and thickness of the flagstick. I guess the PGA flagsticks are all (generally) fibre-glass and 0.75" thick. I am not certain but I am almost positive that the flagsticks at my course (under 2 feet of snow right now so tough to check!) are thicker than this and I am pretty sure they are some sort of aluminum at least at the base.
  21. Watching a video on the golf channel, they talked about leaving the flagstick in, and the increase putts made. I take the flag out a lot when I am off the green and chipping or putting as I don't like the shadows. After watching the video and the increase in putts made, I am going to have to learn to live with the shadows. The numbers were shocking. Leaving the flagstick in, increases your percentage of putts made by a wide margin.
  22. Michael M

    Michael M
    Ottawa, ON

    There has been a lot of good discussion about flagstick in or out and I haven't yet had a chance to play and test it out for myself. The numbers do appear to be in favour of leaving it in but I am curious how long the rule will remain in effect. The R&A and USGA are always on about the skill aspect of the player (eg banning anchored stroke, restriction on green maps etc). Now that we can leave the flagstick in, we can hit harder putts and rely on the flagstick to stop the ball. Does this not detract from the skill required to read the green and match the speed of the putt to the chosen line? Thoughts?

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