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Rules, Rules, Rules

Libre

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Jul 29, 2007
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The Rules are the most important part of golf.

The Rules define what golf is, and if they change or become diluted, golf changes its character. How do you know we’re not supposed to hit basketballs with canoe paddles into the water hazards, but instead, we hit golf balls at the holes with the flags in them? The Rules.


I’m not saying I’m against any changes, but when you’re changing something that’s been around for centuries, you need to fully understand what you’re doing. And two of the rules changes are terrible, in my opinion.


Before I retired, one of my duties was to write “rules”. Specifications, actually, on designs for technical equipment. Not sports rules to be sure, but I learned how to write strong rules, how to avoid ambiguous rules, how to construct rules that do what is intended and are difficult to defeat, while still following the rule.

I’m serious.

I can say, “I’m going out and I’ll be home after 11.”

Then I don’t return for 5 years. I have not broken my promise.

I really think about this stuff a lot.


Does a rule become ridiculous if you obey it to the letter?

My best example. I put up a sign on my cubicle wall (before I retired) that said:

DO NOT READ THIS SIGN


There was a sign on a door that said:

THIS DOOR MUST REMAIN CLOSED AT ALL TIMES


It occurred to me that they could eliminate the sign AND the door - and problem solved.


I’ve applied my rigorous approach to the changes regarding the flagstick rule and the double hit rule – I think they’re bad changes and the former rules were better, more precise, and harder to get around.


Did you hit the flagstick while on the green? Did you hit your ball while it was in motion (double hit)? If so, there are penalties. If not, no penalties. Let’s all remember the stakes out there for the pros are huge.


I realize that you could knock it off the green by hitting the flagstick but that is far from the point. If the player himself decides, standing over a 3 foot downhill, down grain, down wind putt that he’s leaving the stick in to use as a backstop – is that legal now? Suppose a player hits a putt, sees it rolling off course, and extends his putter face so the ball hits it and rolls in the hole? Is this legal? And why wouldn’t we expect a player to exploit these loopholes? Sportsmanship? There are going to be disputes and more disputes.


It brings in questions of intent. Nobody knows your intent. A great deal of the game relies on your self policing - I'm aware of that. But in these two cases - the prior rules only relied on the outcome: you hit the flagstick or you didn't. You double hit your ball or you didn't. Now they have to time the interval between the first and second hit. Ridiculous. Can you do what another poster suggested, say your two strokes were really a double hit? Of course that is not what the rule is supposed to allow, but who knows where the boundaries are? And it’s not as though it’s a trivial point, as championships and millions of dollars can depend on the outcome of these disputes and decisions.


Rules, Rules, Rules
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limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
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Oct 18, 2006
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Limp, can you interpret?
So... you want the long version of short version?

http://www.usga.org/content/dam/usg...w Rules of Golf for 2019 (11.8.17 update).pdf

1.) Golf is a game of honor. Every rule in the book can be broken if someone wants to do so.
2.) One of the reasons given for golf rounds being down across the globe is the time it takes to play a round. Many of the rules changes are assumed to pick up the pace of play... not inhibit that pace of play.
3.) The pdf put out by the USGA explicitly uses the term "accidentally". Leaving the flagstick in to purposely stop the ball or laying the flagstick down behind the hole would not fit the definition of "accidentally".
4.) I applaud the USGA/R&A's attempt to speed up the pace of play. I'm one that would like to see some of these common sense rules changes... if those rule changes do make the game more enjoyable for those considering taking up the Game. Let's give it a try..........
 
OP
Libre

Libre

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Ok, let’s see how fast everyone plays, now that you can accidentally hit the flagstick on the green.
That’s really going to speed things up.
 
Last edited:

ualtim

Carrollton, TX
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The flag stick rule will speed up play as you no longer have to go pull the flag when everyone is far away from the hole. You can all lag your putts up without fear of the penalty if you actually get it to the hole. If you ever played in Florida and watched how long it takes some of these retired folks to amble across the green to pull the pin and return to their 100 ft putt you would see the value and time savings. :D
 
OP
Libre

Libre

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Jul 29, 2007
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The flag stick rule will speed up play as you no longer have to go pull the flag when everyone is far away from the hole. You can all lag your putts up without fear of the penalty if you actually get it to the hole. If you ever played in Florida and watched how long it takes some of these retired folks to amble across the green to pull the pin and return to their 100 ft putt you would see the value and time savings. :D
I hadn’t thought of that and you’re absolutely right. In fact I play alone quite often (right, right, bc nobody will play w me), and I hate wasting time by walking all the way to the hole on a lengthy putt - and with nobody to tend - makes much more sense to leave it in. And I’m one of those retired folks - but in Nre Mexico, not Florida.
So I changed my mind on this.
Good rule change.
I always reevaluate my positions when presented with compelling arguments.
 

TEA Time

Grumpy Gilmore
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Mar 23, 2011
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C'mon January! :cool:

41684538_10156868655532160_6958694210409070592_n.jpg
 

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