The Rules Thread............

The Rules Thread............

Postby Addington Arnie » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:03 pm

There have been a few interesting rules related stories today so I thought I would kick off a thread as Styles suggested a few days back. This caught my eye from Jack Nicklaus from a interview on the Golf Channel this morning (courtesy of http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2011/1/19/jack-probably-the-whole-book-of-the-rules-of-golf-should-be.html):

“Probably the whole book of the rules of golf should be changed. If you try to figure it out, it should be common sense, yet common sense never seems to prevail. A USGA rules official said that it was much more difficult to pass the test to be a rules official than it was to pass the bar exam. There’s no reason for that. The game should be simple. People should be able to understand the rules and the rules should be common sense.”


Here are the Traditional Rules of Golf basics:

TRGA BASICS

Play the ball as it lies.

You may putt with the pin in the hole. There is no attending the pin... pull it, or leave it in.

If you are off the green, the pin stays in.

You may give and receive advice on the course, but are not required to do so..

You may tap down spike marks, ball marks, and fix the cup.

Drops are taken facing the hole and over the shoulder.

There are no provisional balls.

Lost ball, out of bounds, lakes, brush and hazards are viewed as universally unplayable. The player plays the next shot with a one stroke penalty from the center of the fairway perpendicular to where the ball is last believed to be resting (not where the ball last crossed a hazard or boundary or bounced to), and then proceeds backwards 30 yards. If a player finds his ball in a hazard, the player may play the ball from where it lies without penalty and proceed.

A player my not play a shot from beyond any obvious golf course boundary such as a road, fence or a backyard.

Casual water offers a free drop from the fairway only, but the player must go backwards 15 yards and within the general vicinity of the golf ball.

Players are not disqualified for signing incorrect scorecards. The score must simply be corrected. The player and competitor should know what score was made.

Disputes on the course as to where drops should be taken or other disputes, should be resolved within the group first, but if a dispute still continues, the tournament rules official will hear both (all) sides after the round, and decide if the player received a significant unfair advantage. If the official deems the drop was significantly questionable, a one stroke penalty may be assessed and the decision will be final without contest.


What would the game lose, if anything, by adopting this simplified set of rules?
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby BomGolf222 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:49 pm

Lost ball, out of bounds, lakes, brush and hazards are viewed as universally unplayable. The player plays the next shot with a one stroke penalty from the center of the fairway perpendicular to where the ball is last believed to be resting (not where the ball last crossed a hazard or boundary or bounced to), and then proceeds backwards 30 yards.


Just glancing over them here, I don't like this one because it opens up the option of having no real challenge with a big lead and couple of holes to play. Say if you had a 4 shot lead with 2 to play and the last few holes have crap everywhere off the tee, but nothing up by the green, the way you could lose with conventional rules is by spraying a few tee shots and re teeing or walking back to the tee etc. When you hit one in the crap or ob, the next shot(3 of the tee) can be fairly nerve wrecking especially when the trouble is still in the same place. That's a challenge. With the trga rules, you now have the option to spray your last 2 tee shots and take your medicine(kinda like waking a batter that a pitcher doesn't want to face- a rule I don't like) and make a couple of easy 5's if they're par 4's and take your win. You could even throw in a double. Obviously that's a very specific situation, but variations of that could happen on any hole at any time. I don't think it's a good rule for tournament golf.
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby impact_bag » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:57 pm

The only rule that I find "on the edge" for me is the flag in/out rule. I find myself agreeing with macs that it could potentially slow play down rather than speed it up. Some guys wanting in some guys wanting it out. I say the current rules of golf are fine. I see the point of the rule, but I can also see its downside.

Otherwise I think this is fine. I doubt it would affect my score much.
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby twomasters » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:06 pm

What happened with the flag in/flag out rule is such below:

When you were a long way from the pin you just left the flag in to save anyone having to attend it...that way they could worry about their own putt and it saved on foot traffic around the hole and lots of twoing and froing by everyone whilst on the green

THEN

When everyone was close to the hole (inside 10 or 15 feet for eg) the flag was pulled and you would putt out normally

the only time I left the flag in for a short putt was when I lagged a long 50 footer up next to the hole from the fringe on a par 5 and just tapped it in for birdie from a foot away so Lag could then keep the flag in for his long upcoming putt.... so the flag didn't have to come out and be laid down and then picked back up and put in again...it was really easy and painless

If someone watches The Masters from 1960 in The Vault under Arnold Palmer Majors (or it's probably on youtube) all the players basically putted with the flag in from long range and then it was pulled when everyone was up close...so it is no different to what happened then
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby twomasters » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:18 pm

As for the out to the fairway and walk back 30 yards and drop......it wasn't such a bad thing...thankfully I never had to do it!!

The OOB penalty probably gets off a little light in this sense sure.....but the unplayable and the water hazard penalty drop are worse off because instead of sometimes dropping right next to the green with a hazard relief you are now 30 yards farther away mostly with a much tougher pitch shot over a bunker and from an awkward distance.....or with an unplayable instead of taking club length relief you are now 30 yards farther away again with a much more difficult shot upcoming
I think on the basis that it is easy and everyone can do it without thinking "is this a lateral hazard or a water hazard"...and "where did it last cross the hazard" and "where is my line of sight backwards from the flag"...it was basic, simple and easily understandable for all players...still stroke and distance..

I can see the points about why this may seem strange but quite frankly it was easy for all to understand and there really was zero chance of a rules infraction or cheating with a generous drop to gain an advantage on the next stroke like so many are prone to do...
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby BomGolf222 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:52 pm

Interesting take on the hazards by the green. So are there technically no hazards as such? Is it that basically if you can't find your ball you figure out where it was approximately and then go 30 yards back? I was wondering in terms of grounding your club, are there still hazard lines and do the regular rules apply when you're in them- re: grounding the club etc.?
I still think that it's too easy with the tee shots, though like everything else, if everyone has to do the same then it's even, I suppose. I would still feel like there'd be a significant removal of pressure on the tee with that drop rule, and I'd feel like I'm getting a very good deal with the drop, though maybe that's just me. I would look at altering that somehow if I was in charge- I haven't thought too much about it but I imagine there's a fairly easy amendment to that. I also think Macs point is a good one- though it seems a rare enough occurrence that it wouldn't be a huge deal. Maybe?
Overall I think they're great rules, and they appear to help with the flow of the game. I wonder why they introduced the pin out on the green rule to begin with- does anyone know that was happening that made them address and change that rule? I wonder was it TV influenced. It seems that a flag in the way of a camera while someone was putting out would impede on the scene. Anyone know the story there?
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby TeddyIrons » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:48 pm

I think these are wonderful rules.

Bom, regarding playing out the last two holes scenario, I think many golfers today could choose to play an iron off the tee and have no risk at all, bogeying both holes and taking the cheque.

I imagine the pin-in/pin-out rule may slow things down until players get used to leaving it in - once they realize that leaving it in is not a disadvantage they will happily leave it in even for short putts, in my opinion.

What about situations where we accidently move our ball? Do we just replace it?

What if a player is in the rough and caught improving his lie by patting down the grass behind the ball? This is where the rules can start to get complex.

However, if we were to apply the TRGA rules to the society golf where I play, I think we could reduce our rounds from 5 and a half hours (yes, that's right, 5 and a half hours) by at least 1 hour. So much time is spent playing provisionals, looking for golf balls, slow green etiquette, etc.
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby BomGolf222 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:17 pm

Bom, regarding playing out the last two holes scenario, I think many golfers today could choose to play an iron off the tee and have no risk at all, bogeying both holes and taking the cheque.


Teddy,
But the onus on accuracy, one way or another, is removed. In the heat of competitive tournament golf, that's a pretty big deal to say the least.
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby Range Rat » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:33 am

I think this is a good thread for sure. I hope it just doesn't cover the Gay Rodeo Rules :lol:

Only saw this once in what I think was a professional tournament, and I thought it was a bit of a stretch on a rule. Forgot who it was...but they hit into a greenside bunker in which the hole had 2 greenside bunkers. This guy went into the bunker which did not contain his golfball and proceeded to test the sand with the club. Is that permissible, and if so, why?
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Re: The Rules Thread............

Postby Steb » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:31 am

Not permitted. 13-4a says the player must not test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard. However if you blast a ball out of one bunker into another bunker, the restriction no longer applies in the first bunker, so you can rake the sand (as would be in the interests of speedy play.)
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