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darrenram

Thoughts on rule proposals

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Full info here - http://www.golfshake.com/news/view/10846/RA_and_USGA_Modernise_Rules_with_Historic_Changes.html

but to summarise:

Highlights of the proposed Rule changes include:

  • Elimination or reduction of “ball moved” penalties: There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; and a player is not responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is “virtually certain” that he or she did so.
  • Relaxed putting green rules: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.
  • Relaxed rules for “penalty areas” (currently called “water hazards”): Red and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.
  • Relaxed bunker rules: There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.
  • Relying on player integrity: A player’s “reasonable judgment” when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong; and elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged.
  • Pace-of-play support: Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of “ready golf” in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play.
  • Simplified way of taking relief: A new procedure for taking relief by dropping a ball in and playing it from a specific relief area; relaxed procedures for dropping a ball, allowing the ball to be dropped from just above the ground or any growing thing or other object on the ground.

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Some great improvements in there! Some I really like and some I don't. It is about time rules used common sense and if someone does not gain an advantage they should not be penalised. 

 

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Agree with everything except flagstick! Strongly believe having the flag in on a downhill putt will take some level of skill out of the game. We could also have a negative effect on speeding up the game with this proposal, imagine the flag going in and out multiple times depending on the different angle of putts of a 3ball or 4ball ! 

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Like the outline but will wait to see the full wording.

One great change is allowing you to drop from a low height, specially in a bunker. The number of times I have had a flat lie in water and knowing if I take relief, a dropped ball would plug so playing it as it lay.

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Apart from the individual rule changes, it's the language, style and format I like. The players' guide seems like a good idea.

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Two things that have been completely ignored...

1) Ball laying in a divot on a fairway.   Simple rule change.  pick and place

2) Ball in a footprint in a bunker.   Lift ball and rake bunker, replace ball

I'm not that bothered about the flag being left in the hole while putting.  Sometimes the flag could deflect the ball further away from the hole.

Dropping the ball.  I didn't see any reason to change this rule, the one exception would be dropping in a bunker.  A player should not be penalised with a plugged ball in a bunker after having to take a drop!

The time spent looking for a ball will only change in top class competitions, the normal club golfer will still take an absolute age searching for his golf ball.

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1) Has been debated for years. The RBs don't like the idea so it will never happen. But no one has yet managed to define exactly what a divot hole is.

2) Similar to above. What is a footprint (as opposed to poor raking say)?

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