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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Kyle Harris on December 02, 2017, 11:51:02 AM

Title: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 02, 2017, 11:51:02 AM
I've always posited that the golf rules are both simple and not especially in need of modification.

ESPN.com has a American Gridiron Football Rules quiz that demonstrated my point beautifully. For the record, I got 2 out of 6.

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/20785847/2017-football-rules-quiz-smart-nfl-ref

Absolutely NONE of these rules are as self-evident as any rule in golf.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: John Connolly on December 02, 2017, 11:57:10 AM
Totally agree that the NFL rulebook is bloated and obscure. Just like golf's.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 02, 2017, 12:05:40 PM
Totally agree that the NFL rulebook is bloated and obscure. Just like golf's.

There isn't a situation in golf that isn't covered by:

1. Play the course as you find it, the act of preparing for a stroke may not improve your circumstance.
2. Don't touch your ball until it is in the hole.
3. You may not use the rules to advance your ball nearer the hole, only a stroke.
4. You must be able to locate the specific location of your ball anywhere on the golf course excepting a water hazard, in which case you must be able to determine where it entered the hazard, if this cannot be done, refer to #3.
5. If you must replace or move your ball, add one stroke to your score for the privilege, refer to #3 then drop within two club-lengths.

In most other games, there are no base assumptions. I applied the "position of the ball is more important than the player" in the out-of-bounds case, but forgot the differing rules for out-of-bounds in regard to Offense and Defense, and Kicking and Receiving teams, etc. etc.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 02, 2017, 08:14:17 PM
There isn't a situation in golf that isn't covered by:
Marking your ball on a putting green is not covered by the quasi-principles you listed. Or if you hit it into an obstruction, etc.

I've never thought the Rules were all that complicated, but (for the most part) I like the 2019 proposed, simpler, clearer rules.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Pete_Pittock on December 03, 2017, 12:56:07 AM

There isn't a situation in golf that isn't covered by:
Marking your ball on a putting green is not covered by the quasi-principles you listed. Or if you hit it into an obstruction, etc.

I've never thought the Rules were all that complicated, but (for the most part) I like the 2019 proposed, simpler, clearer rules.
1 thru 5 is supposed to cover everything. With that stipulation, marking the ball on the putting green is covered under point 2.
You can't. Obstruction covered under point 5. It directs reflief thru penalty.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Mike Sweeney on December 03, 2017, 04:42:55 AM
There isn't a situation in golf that isn't covered by:
Marking your ball on a putting green is not covered by the quasi-principles you listed. Or if you hit it into an obstruction, etc.



I think "Rules by Kyle" is not allowing marking on the green, on purpose. This allows the return of "The Stymie" -https://www.thoughtco.com/what-was-a-stymie-in-golf-1561087


Ignoring the damage to the green questions, there is no way to create "equity in the field" when three people are playing in a 3-some and the rest are in foursomes. Those players in the threesome will always have one less obstruction to avoid on all 18 holes and greens.


Thus, I like "Rules by Kyle" and I would add in the ball on the green questions to protect the field and greens. I realize I just added time to the match and reduced strategy on the greens.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 03, 2017, 05:19:05 AM
Etiquette, not rule, would dictate you continue putting until your ball is holed and therefore out of the way.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: A.G._Crockett on December 04, 2017, 08:29:51 AM
Totally agree that the NFL rulebook is bloated and obscure. Just like golf's.

There isn't a situation in golf that isn't covered by:

1. Play the course as you find it, the act of preparing for a stroke may not improve your circumstance.
2. Don't touch your ball until it is in the hole.
3. You may not use the rules to advance your ball nearer the hole, only a stroke.
4. You must be able to locate the specific location of your ball anywhere on the golf course excepting a water hazard, in which case you must be able to determine where it entered the hazard, if this cannot be done, refer to #3.
5. If you must replace or move your ball, add one stroke to your score for the privilege, refer to #3 then drop within two club-lengths.

In most other games, there are no base assumptions. I applied the "position of the ball is more important than the player" in the out-of-bounds case, but forgot the differing rules for out-of-bounds in regard to Offense and Defense, and Kicking and Receiving teams, etc. etc.

Kyle,
With all due respect, there are plenty of situations that aren't covered by these five "base assumptions".  Otherwise, we wouldn't need a spiral bound decision book on the Rules that covers approximately 1000 such situations.

There are white, red, and yellow stakes on almost every golf course, and the meanings, options, and penalties vary accordingly.  There are public roads, and there are cart paths.  There are fans around greens, there are out buildings, there are fences, and there are sprinkler boxes and sprinkler heads and flagsticks, and on and on and on.  Players mistakenly hit each other's golf balls from time to time, or can't find their own, or are using the same one as a fellow competitor, or don't think they will be able to find their original ball, but then do find it.  Incorrect drops are taken, wrong scores are recorded, and on and on and on.

I think that the question of whether or not the Rules of Golf are simple relative to other sports is open for debate, and I think you could put together a quiz on the Rules of Golf similar to the you provided for football that would be far harder and more arcane than the football quiz.  The USGA has such quizzes available on the website, and they are at times pretty mystifying.

I coached high school basketball for 39 years, which is about the same length of time that I've been playing golf.  For MY money, the rules of basketball are far and away more easily mastered than the Rules of Golf, if only because less stuff happens on a 94x50 court than on a 150 acre golf course with trees and creeks and sand and pavement and greens and so on.  And I feel the same way about the rules of baseball vs. golf, fwiw.  Football is a bit of different story because of the amount of contact in close quarters, but even that set of rules is more easily mastered that golf.

As to the proposed revisions of the Rules of Golf, it is the first time in my memory that the USGA has made a concerted effort to do what the rule-making bodies in the other sports most typically do: treat like situations alike, and seek to remove judgement calls whenever possible.  Personally, I would have liked to have seen the USGA go even farther with the revision proposals and find a way to have a single rule for the various situations that arise with red, yellow, and white stakes, but it may be that the proposal to allow the use of red stakes without a water feature is an effort to do just that.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 04, 2017, 08:46:01 AM
Totally agree that the NFL rulebook is bloated and obscure. Just like golf's.

There isn't a situation in golf that isn't covered by:

1. Play the course as you find it, the act of preparing for a stroke may not improve your circumstance.
2. Don't touch your ball until it is in the hole.
3. You may not use the rules to advance your ball nearer the hole, only a stroke.
4. You must be able to locate the specific location of your ball anywhere on the golf course excepting a water hazard, in which case you must be able to determine where it entered the hazard, if this cannot be done, refer to #3.
5. If you must replace or move your ball, add one stroke to your score for the privilege, refer to #3 then drop within two club-lengths.

In most other games, there are no base assumptions. I applied the "position of the ball is more important than the player" in the out-of-bounds case, but forgot the differing rules for out-of-bounds in regard to Offense and Defense, and Kicking and Receiving teams, etc. etc.

Kyle,
With all due respect, there are plenty of situations that aren't covered by these five "base assumptions".  Otherwise, we wouldn't need a spiral bound decision book on the Rules that covers approximately 1000 such situations.

There are white, red, and yellow stakes on almost every golf course, and the meanings, options, and penalties vary accordingly.  There are public roads, and there are cart paths.  There are fans around greens, there are out buildings, there are fences, and there are sprinkler boxes and sprinkler heads and flagsticks, and on and on and on.  Players mistakenly hit each other's golf balls from time to time, or can't find their own, or are using the same one as a fellow competitor, or don't think they will be able to find their original ball, but then do find it.  Incorrect drops are taken, wrong scores are recorded, and on and on and on.

I think that the question of whether or not the Rules of Golf are simple relative to other sports is open for debate, and I think you could put together a quiz on the Rules of Golf similar to the you provided for football that would be far harder and more arcane than the football quiz.  The USGA has such quizzes available on the website, and they are at times pretty mystifying.

I coached high school basketball for 39 years, which is about the same length of time that I've been playing golf.  For MY money, the rules of basketball are far and away more easily mastered than the Rules of Golf, if only because less stuff happens on a 94x50 court than on a 150 acre golf course with trees and creeks and sand and pavement and greens and so on.  And I feel the same way about the rules of baseball vs. golf, fwiw.  Football is a bit of different story because of the amount of contact in close quarters, but even that set of rules is more easily mastered that golf.

As to the proposed revisions of the Rules of Golf, it is the first time in my memory that the USGA has made a concerted effort to do what the rule-making bodies in the other sports most typically do: treat like situations alike, and seek to remove judgement calls whenever possible.  Personally, I would have liked to have seen the USGA go even farther with the revision proposals and find a way to have a single rule for the various situations that arise with red, yellow, and white stakes, but it may be that the proposal to allow the use of red stakes without a water feature is an effort to do just that.

I am curious to hear your interpretation on "Traveling" in regard to the complexity of the Rules of Basketball. How about what constitutes a "Balk" in Baseball?

As for your points regarding hazards, my rules cover them rather succinctly. I simplify the options presented in the rules of golf. There is nothing compulsory about a free drop, nor is there a penalty situation not covered by playing the ball from the original spot. That's about as clear and concise and simple as we can get. So yes, my rules cover all your situations , it's just not in a way you find palatable - and that is the contradiction to the simplification crowd. The simplest course of action is already codified as an option.

Oh. Wait. That means you might shoot a 98 in lieu of your standard 94. Or it means you have to select the necessary set of tees for your game. Or you have to play around an obstruction. All of the above probably speed things along, too.

If you approach any situation in the game with the idea that you can only advance the ball with a club and that if you must touch your ball you add a stroke you'll figure it out, and quickly at that.

And that's the difference between the rules of golf, which have simple, clear, concise, and equitable options available and the other sports and games. Golf offers options which you may employ if you so chose. If you want simple, then choose the simplest option.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: A.G._Crockett on December 04, 2017, 10:19:04 AM
Totally agree that the NFL rulebook is bloated and obscure. Just like golf's.

There isn't a situation in golf that isn't covered by:

1. Play the course as you find it, the act of preparing for a stroke may not improve your circumstance.
2. Don't touch your ball until it is in the hole.
3. You may not use the rules to advance your ball nearer the hole, only a stroke.
4. You must be able to locate the specific location of your ball anywhere on the golf course excepting a water hazard, in which case you must be able to determine where it entered the hazard, if this cannot be done, refer to #3.
5. If you must replace or move your ball, add one stroke to your score for the privilege, refer to #3 then drop within two club-lengths.

In most other games, there are no base assumptions. I applied the "position of the ball is more important than the player" in the out-of-bounds case, but forgot the differing rules for out-of-bounds in regard to Offense and Defense, and Kicking and Receiving teams, etc. etc.

Kyle,
With all due respect, there are plenty of situations that aren't covered by these five "base assumptions".  Otherwise, we wouldn't need a spiral bound decision book on the Rules that covers approximately 1000 such situations.

There are white, red, and yellow stakes on almost every golf course, and the meanings, options, and penalties vary accordingly.  There are public roads, and there are cart paths.  There are fans around greens, there are out buildings, there are fences, and there are sprinkler boxes and sprinkler heads and flagsticks, and on and on and on.  Players mistakenly hit each other's golf balls from time to time, or can't find their own, or are using the same one as a fellow competitor, or don't think they will be able to find their original ball, but then do find it.  Incorrect drops are taken, wrong scores are recorded, and on and on and on.

I think that the question of whether or not the Rules of Golf are simple relative to other sports is open for debate, and I think you could put together a quiz on the Rules of Golf similar to the you provided for football that would be far harder and more arcane than the football quiz.  The USGA has such quizzes available on the website, and they are at times pretty mystifying.

I coached high school basketball for 39 years, which is about the same length of time that I've been playing golf.  For MY money, the rules of basketball are far and away more easily mastered than the Rules of Golf, if only because less stuff happens on a 94x50 court than on a 150 acre golf course with trees and creeks and sand and pavement and greens and so on.  And I feel the same way about the rules of baseball vs. golf, fwiw.  Football is a bit of different story because of the amount of contact in close quarters, but even that set of rules is more easily mastered that golf.

As to the proposed revisions of the Rules of Golf, it is the first time in my memory that the USGA has made a concerted effort to do what the rule-making bodies in the other sports most typically do: treat like situations alike, and seek to remove judgement calls whenever possible.  Personally, I would have liked to have seen the USGA go even farther with the revision proposals and find a way to have a single rule for the various situations that arise with red, yellow, and white stakes, but it may be that the proposal to allow the use of red stakes without a water feature is an effort to do just that.

I am curious to hear your interpretation on "Traveling" in regard to the complexity of the Rules of Basketball. How about what constitutes a "Balk" in Baseball?

As for your points regarding hazards, my rules cover them rather succinctly. I simplify the options presented in the rules of golf. There is nothing compulsory about a free drop, nor is there a penalty situation not covered by playing the ball from the original spot. That's about as clear and concise and simple as we can get. So yes, my rules cover all your situations , it's just not in a way you find palatable - and that is the contradiction to the simplification crowd. The simplest course of action is already codified as an option.

Oh. Wait. That means you might shoot a 98 in lieu of your standard 94. Or it means you have to select the necessary set of tees for your game. Or you have to play around an obstruction. All of the above probably speed things along, too.

If you approach any situation in the game with the idea that you can only advance the ball with a club and that if you must touch your ball you add a stroke you'll figure it out, and quickly at that.

And that's the difference between the rules of golf, which have simple, clear, concise, and equitable options available and the other sports and games. Golf offers options which you may employ if you so chose. If you want simple, then choose the simplest option.

Kyle,
I'm sorry if I've offended you by attempting to discuss your post.  There seems to be a fair amount of sarcasm directed my way in the above reply, and I don't see the reason for that.  I guess I'm confused; I thought you were saying in the original post that you consider the Rules to already be simple and not in need of change, but in the above reply, it seems that you are advocating fewer options, at least in regards to hazards and OB.  What am I missing?

I'm not part of any "simplification crowd" when it comes to the Rules of Golf.  I play a LOT of golf, including a lot of low-level senior tournament golf, and I'm constantly amazed at how often something comes up that neither I nor any of my fellow competitors are 100% sure about.  It is just amazingly easy for experienced golfers who actually have a decent working knowledge of the Rules to be confused by a situation that confronts them during a round.  And fwiw, a four shot difference in my score matters to me; with no apologies, it matters A LOT!

The examples of traveling in basketball and the balk in baseball are apples and oranges to the golf rules.  Traveling is a VERY simple rule that is a very difficult judgement call for a referee when big, fast athletes are moving at high speed; I know of no analogy on the golf course.  Basketball coaches routinely go back over game film and use slo-mo and pause buttons to try to figure out whether or not the referee was correct, but the rule itself is quite simple. (Please don't tell me about the NBA!) The term "balk", on the other hand, is sort an umbrella term for a number of actions that a pitcher might take to deceive baserunners (only two of which come up regularly), and again, almost all involve a degree of judgement by an umpire that doesn't compare well to anything that I know of in the Rules of Golf.  But in any case, that there are complex rules in other sports doesn't tell me much about should or shouldn't happen to the Rules of Golf.

I find the proposed revisions to be very interesting, whether or not I agree with each one, and I'll be curious to see which ones actually make it into the Rules in 2019.  More that simplifying the Rules per se, I think these changes might be aimed at bringing the Rules more in line with the way golfers actually play the game outside of tournament play.

You picked one of the examples that I gave of things not covered by your base assumptions, namely the various options and penalties arising from red, yellow, and white stakes on a golf course.  This is what you wrote:
"There is nothing compulsory about a free drop, nor is there a penalty situation not covered by playing the ball from the original spot. That's about as clear and concise and simple as we can get."
Forgive me, but I don't know what this means.  Are you advocating only one sort of stake, and only one option?  If you are not, then how are different stakes, different options, and different penalties covered in your "rules".  There is good reason for red stakes vs. yellow stakes, which is why the options are different.  There is good reason to treat a ball that is out of bounds differently from a ball that is in a hazard, which is why the penalties are different.
 

So how do you propose to cover things like these without some complexity?
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Mike Sweeney on December 04, 2017, 10:24:05 AM

Otherwise, we wouldn't need a spiral bound decision book on the Rules that covers approximately 1000 such situations.




That is Kyle's exact point. We don't need a spiral bound decision book with 1000 variables.


I remain consistent in the belief that the greens need to be protected. Yes, etiquette can cover 99% of play on the greens, but in tournament golf, people will not be so nice. :)
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Ken Moum on December 04, 2017, 12:27:39 PM
While I agree with Kyle about his basic rules, it's clear that most of the folks on GCA aren't willing to give up all the complications added by the modern love of stroke play.  (FWIW, in match play it's possible to play with even fewer rules than Kyle suggests. I'll make a separate post about that.)


Anyway, in 1982 the USGA and Golf Digest worked together to create a set of rules that would fit on the back of a bag tag.  They called them the "Golden Rules."  I used to have one of the tags.


They are:


If you can't get around using these rules, then you do indeed think golf needs to be more complicated than I do.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Ken Moum on December 04, 2017, 01:02:00 PM
Okay, it is possible and probably big, dirty fun to play match play with one rule.

Rule 1. You hit the ball without touching until it is in the hole

Decisions on Rule 1: Can I? No. you cannot.

If cannot play your ball, you lose the hole.

Now, if you think it's not possible to play by that way, understand that a gathering of folks who participated in the first golf discussion group, rec.sport.golf.

The gathering was called RSG Ohio and Match Play Madness was held in honor of C.B. MacDonald.

See.... http://matchplaymadness.com/mpm.txt
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Rick Lane on December 04, 2017, 01:07:18 PM
That's does sound like dirty fun!   A couple buddies and I also started playing lately where you are no allowed to know any distances.   No sneaking peeks at distance plates in fairways, etc.   Walk to your ball and try to estimate distance.   Its great fun.   
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: A.G._Crockett on December 04, 2017, 01:14:28 PM
While I agree with Kyle about his basic rules, it's clear that most of the folks on GCA aren't willing to give up all the complications added by the modern love of stroke play.  (FWIW, in match play it's possible to play with even fewer rules than Kyle suggests. I'll make a separate post about that.)


Anyway, in 1982 the USGA and Golf Digest worked together to create a set of rules that would fit on the back of a bag tag.  They called them the "Golden Rules."  I used to have one of the tags.


They are:

  • Play the ball as it lies;
  • Don’t move, bend, or break anything growing or fixed, except in fairly taking your stance or swing. Don’t press anything down;
  • You may lift natural objects not fixed or growing, except in a water hazard or bunker. No penalty;
  • Movable man-made objects may be moved. For immovable objects, you may take relief by dropping away from them within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole, except in a water hazard or if the object defines out of bounds. In a bunker, you must drop in the bunker. No penalty.
  • You may take relief from casual water, ground under repair, burrowing animal holes or casts, anywhere except in a water hazard. On the putting green, place at the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole; otherwise drop within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, no nearer the hole. In a bunker, you must drop in the bunker. No penalty.
  • In a water hazard or bunker, don’t touch the water or ground with your hand or club before the stroke.
  • If you hit your ball into a water hazard and cannot find or play it, either drop behind the point where the ball last crossed the hazard margin or at the place where you played the shot. On the tee, you may tee the ball. One penalty stroke. If you hit into a lateral hazard, you may also drop within two club-lengths of the point where the ball last crossed the hazard margin, or, within two club-lengths of an equivalent distant from the hole on the opposite margin. One penalty stroke.
  • When you hit your ball out of bounds or can’t find it after five minutes of searching, add a penalty stroke, goback and drop a ball at the place where you played the shot. On the tee, you may tee the ball. If you think you have hit your ball out of bounds or lost it outside a water hazard, play a provisional ball before searching for the first one.
  • When you have an unplayable lie, you may drop a ball at the place where you played the previous shot, adding a penalty stroke. On the tee, you may tee the ball. Alternatively, drop within two club lengths, no nearer the hole, or any distance behind the unplayable spot, keeping it between you and the hole. If the ball is in a bunker, you must drop in the bunker, under either of the alternative options. If you can’t play your ball from a water hazard, see Golden Rule No.7.
  • You may repair ball marks and old hole plugs on the putting green that are on the line of your putt, but not spike marks.
If you can't get around using these rules, then you do indeed think golf needs to be more complicated than I do.

You can of course "get around" using only those 10 rules.  Carried to it's illogical extreme, you can get around without ANY rules.  And maybe we should all agree that there are major differences between casual play and competitive play in regards to rules.

But the idea that the Decisions book makes golf and the Rules MORE complicated doesn't wash.  I am fairly confident that anybody who has played a fair amount of golf and played by the Rules, has come across a variety of situations that require clarification beyond each one of these 10 statements.

Is frost casual water?  What about snow in a bunker?  What about a spilled cup of ice in the fairway?  My ball hit the cart path and is scarred; can I replace it?  I want to take a drop outside the margin of the hazard, but the cart path is in my drop zone; what do I do?  I want to drop my ball away from the edge of the cart path, but stand on the path because that will put my ball in the best position; can I do that?  Is an area of crushed gravel used to enter and exit the fairway considered to be a cart path?  Our opponents left one ball on the green near the hole while the other player chipped up from off the green; is that ok?  I want hit my bogey putt away from the hole to get on the same line as my partner so he can see how his birdie putt will break; is THAT ok?

I could go on for the next few days, but you get the idea.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 04, 2017, 03:35:36 PM
A.G. Crockett,

I re-read my post and my tone and word choice was certainly in poor taste. I'm sorry and you did not offend me in the least. In fact, I realized I forgot to respond to your thoughtful message from last week!

Your replies have helped me finally put into a concrete thought what had only been a nebulous idea about what truly is the difference between the Rules of Golf and rules for other games/sport. Perhaps it is that we take an epistemologically different view of how to handle the situations that arise on a golf course during the course of play.

On one hand we can confront a situation with the question: "How do the rules help or suggest we act in this situation?
On the other hand we can confront a situation with the question: "How can I play a stroke to act in this situation?"

The overall point here being that the choice is ultimately on the player. There are no outside agencies which compel behavior other than the choice of the player. If the player so chooses to seek relief, they may, but in doing so they are selecting a more complex action than by simply pulling a club and extracting the ball from whatever peril it may lay.

With my idea of not using the rules to advance the ball, as well as playing the course as one finds it, it should be intuitive infer that the ball shall be dropped within the nearest point of relief (namely, you've eliminated from influence the very thing from which you are relieving the ball) and no nearer the hole.

If the ball cannot be located, or is located off the golf course, it should be intuitive that the simplest, and most equitable, course of action is to replay from where the initial shot was played.

That's not terribly complex and it is completely codified within the rules as a whole.

I also got to thinking that perhaps much of the confusion with golf is the way in which we come to learn the game, as well as the time of out lives in which we learn the game, as compared to other sports. Children understand games like soccer, football, baseball, basketball, et. al. because they are very frequently learned at a young age when all learning is more fluid and skills are more easily picked up. Any American who has attempted to explain Baseball to a foreign national can certainly understand what I mean!

As a thought experience, imagine if you had picked up the game using my rules at an extremely young age while learning that the golfer should use strokes to maneuver the ball and not the rules. How much simpler would the actual procedures be to learn with the base understanding of my principles?

I suggest MUCH easier. Perhaps this is ultimately where the USGA has dropped the ball - by not creating opportunities for "pick-up" style Golf accessible to youth. 

Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 04, 2017, 03:37:01 PM
As an aside I am largely supportive of the 2019 Proposed Revisions because of the introduction of the Penalty Area. I love the implicit different made between Bunkers and the Penalty Area and the freedom of the word hazard to apply to bunker.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 04, 2017, 06:57:21 PM
As an aside I am largely supportive of the 2019 Proposed Revisions because of the introduction of the Penalty Area. I love the implicit different made between Bunkers and the Penalty Area and the freedom of the word hazard to apply to bunker.
I too am generally in favor of the 2019 proposed rules too. There are two that I don't like, and one of them is the flagstick rule one (you can putt from on the putting green and strike the flagstick in the hole without penalty). That's a terrible one.

I forget the second I dislike, so I either must not dislike it that much, or I've just forgotten. I'm leaning toward the former. It may have been that you don't have to announce intent to lift the ball. I think that's it. Announcing

There are a lot that I love, too, like a caddie not being able to help a player line up, the max hole score (for junior events in particular), the  3-minute search limit, etc.

Most people don't have to learn very many rules. The basics cover 90% of the situations you encounter. What annoys me is how little the PGA Tour players (or their caddies) know the Rules. Hideki should have absolutely been penalized this past weekend.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Peter Pallotta on December 04, 2017, 07:59:34 PM
I always listen to what AG says, on account of he’s smart.

My first thought was that golf is the most basic of games, the most child-like, the most elemental — ie hit a rock into a hole with a stick.

So you’d think that the rules would also be the simplest and most clear cut of all; but they’re not.

They’re not, I suppose, because children aren’t the ones making the rules. If they were you’d only have two possibilities - “hey, that’s cheating!” and “hey, that’s not fair!”

And it’d be an unquestioned fact that you could never, ever touch the rock with your hand. That would be cheating.

But if you had to touch it with your hand ‘cause you lost it or it went in the water, you’d get a 10 on that hole — ie the highest score possible. That would be fair.

Okay - if a car was coming you got to pick up your rock and move out of the way...but otherwise never!

 
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Sean_A on December 04, 2017, 09:20:50 PM
Similar to Pietro, I think J Morrissett is a bright guy and I like his take on the rules and how to improve them.

The primary goal of this project is to simplify the Rules of Golf to make them more readily understandable. Today, we sense that most people are too intimidated by the Rules even to open the Rules book to look for an answer (which is a tremendous waste, given the two million or so copies of the Rules of Golf printed by the USGA every two years). We believe that the current Rules are a great deal easier to understand than the pre-1984 versions of the code; however, we believe that the desire by the R&A and USGA to be "fair" and to limit or reduce the severity of penalties has lead to an increase in complexity in the recent editions.

In order to simplify the Rules, we believe there will need to be significant compromises in principle for the sake of simplicity. These compromises will be in both directions, with some quite lenient (e.g., the elimination of dropping; the elimination of the distinction between water hazards and lateral water hazards) and some harsh (e.g., no relief under Rules 24-2 and 25-1 for intervention on the line of putt). The ultimate question will be whether the increased simplicity of the Rules will more than offset these philosophical losses.

Occasionally the Rules go to great lengths to address unlikely situations (e.g., Rule 25-1b(iv)). Many such provisions will be eliminated, with the occasional good break and bad break as the result. We believe that the overall goal of simplicity should be more important than the results in some unlikely and rare situations.

The goal of a simpler code should have a number of side-effects, such as a thinner Rules book and the need for fewer Decisions. Many people have pointed to the fact that there are more than 1200 Decisions as a sign that the Rules are too complicated; they may have a point. While we do not necessarily believe that shorter is always simpler (i.e., sometimes the effort to be concise can lead to confusion (e.g., the use of "otherwise")), we do believe that a simpler code should, overall, be shorter than the current one. Like it or not, the general public does associate length with complexity (hence the ignorant cries to return to the original 13 rules).


http://simplegolfrules.com/CodeOne/?showfile=CodeOne.html

When we set out to rewrite the Rules of Golf to see how a simple code would look, we used the current Rules as the basis for our work. Having worked on part of the evolution of the current Rules during our time with the USGA, we're biased in that we think they are pretty darn good. We believed that there was a fair chance that our project would reveal that it would be undesirable in many cases to make drastic changes to the Rules because the philosophical compromises required would be too great (i.e., that a more complicated set of Rules that provided for desirable results would be preferable to a simpler code that yielded the occasional strange result.

Well, we were wrong. As we dug into the current Rules of Golf with an eye devoted to the single goal of simplification, we quickly realized that there are in fact many opportunities to simplify the code without dramatically changing the way the game is played. Many of the complications in the current code exist for the purpose of addressing situations at one or both ends of the extremes. For example, current Rule 26 provides for two additional relief procedures for a ball in a lateral water hazard. We believe that relatively few golfers know the difference in relief options for a water hazard (yellow stakes) and lateral water hazard (red stakes). The distinction exists mainly to protect the way certain holes are played (e.g., 12 and 15 at Augusta National, 17 at TPC-Sawgrass). To date, the argument against eliminating the distinction and, primarily, allowing a player to drop within two club-lengths of where his ball last crossed the hazard margin has been that the holes referenced (and holes similar to them) would play too differently. It would be an outrage, went the argument, to allow a player on the 12th at Augusta National whose ball clears the water hazard and rolls back into to it to be able to drop on the green side of the hazard, allowing him a good chance to get away with a bogey. Likewise, think how differently the island-green 17th at TPC-Sawgrass would play if a player whose ball last crossed the hazard margin at the green (e.g., with a tee shot that goes over the green) could drop on the fringe (or even the green itself if some cases) and two-putt for bogey. However, is the confusion among most golfers as to the relief options worth ensuring that these holes play the way they do? Sure, there are similar holes around the world, but they make up a very small percentage of the world's golf holes. We thought the reason for the distinction not to be strong enough to warrant the complication and confusion.

We must emphasize that several of the ideas contained in the draft of Code One are not original (e.g., the elimination of dropping, the elimination of the distinction between the two types of water hazards, the elimination of the ability to replace or repair a club that becomes damaged in the normal course of play). Over the years a number of ideas have been suggested for specific Rules, and we used the ones that we believed were positive changes towards the goal of simplification.

The elimination of dropping provides perhaps the best example of the debate towards a simpler code. The Rules of Golf have incorporated the concept of dropping a ball (e.g., when taking relief from a cart path) on the philosophical grounds that luck is, and should be, a part of the game. Unpredictable results (both good and bad) can occur when a ball is dropped, just as when a ball is struck. The R&A and USGA have liked that element of chance that dropping ensures. However, at what price? Consider the many complications that dropping introduces to the Rules: how is the ball to be dropped; when must it be re-dropped; when does a player keep dropping until the drop satisfies the Rule he is using; when must a player drop twice and then place? While we agree that luck should be part of the game, we believe that the value of significant simplification in this one area outweighs the philosophical reasoning behind it. Hence, the change (and good-bye to current Rule 20-2).


Ciao
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Jon Wiggett on December 05, 2017, 03:34:00 AM

Okay, it is possible and probably big, dirty fun to play match play with one rule.

Rule 1. You hit the ball without touching until it is in the hole

Decisions on Rule 1: Can I? No. you cannot.

If cannot play your ball, you lose the hole.




So what happens if both players lose their ball or hit it OOB?
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Mike Sweeney on December 05, 2017, 06:53:19 PM

Okay, it is possible and probably big, dirty fun to play match play with one rule.

Rule 1. You hit the ball without touching until it is in the hole

Decisions on Rule 1: Can I? No. you cannot.

If cannot play your ball, you lose the hole.




So what happens if both players lose their ball or hit it OOB?





The hole is a push.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Ken Moum on December 06, 2017, 02:19:56 AM

Okay, it is possible and probably big, dirty fun to play match play with one rule.

Rule 1. You hit the ball without touching until it is in the hole

Decisions on Rule 1: Can I? No. you cannot.

If cannot play your ball, you lose the hole.




So what happens if both players lose their ball or hit it OOB?





The hole is a push.


Don't think so.  Simultaneous OB or lost ball are pretty rare.


Anyway, if your opponent hits one OB how dumb do you have to be to follow him?


Lost ball? It's your turn to play. Can't find the ball. You lose.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Jon Wiggett on December 06, 2017, 03:24:43 AM

Mike,


not a clue what a 'push' is.


Ken,


Simultaneous OB or lost ball maybe pretty rare but not everybody has the control over evert shot that you have Ken ;) But the question stands how do you proceed if both players have lost their tee shot?
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: James Bennett on December 06, 2017, 03:40:41 AM
Jon

the hole would be halved.

James B
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Sean_A on December 06, 2017, 03:48:47 AM

Mike,


not a clue what a 'push' is.


Ken,


Simultaneous OB or lost ball maybe pretty rare but not everybody has the control over evert shot that you have Ken ;) But the question stands how do you proceed if both players have lost their tee shot?

Jon

A push is a half.  So far as both guys losing balls...in matchplay this wouldn't be an issue unless the second guy is a moron...all he has to do is putt he ball to win the hole.  Basically, an OOB situation would be a concession.  In medal play, I guess both guys are back to where they started.


A lost ball is a different matter unless the concept is the first person to hit and not find their ball loses the hole.  This would give a whole new dimension to being the longest driver.

Ciao
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Jon Wiggett on December 06, 2017, 12:47:34 PM

Thanks for explaining what a push is.


Wow, Sean, you must be a lot better than I remember off the 1st at Goswick or did you deliberately hit it there ;D


Seriously though, the argument put forward just does not hold water. Yes people do stupid things but the idea that no two ball could both lose their ball as the solution to this obvious flaw gives the answer.


Jon
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 06, 2017, 01:36:33 PM
Isn't one of the RoG's in relation to matchplay that if two/four opponents agree to waive a RoG then they are both/all DQ'd? Mind you, in club golf who'd know, that is until the rumour mill and the snitches got chatting! :)
atb
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: SL_Solow on December 06, 2017, 02:15:48 PM
Just wondering how many of those commenting have been to Rules School?  Brings an interesting perspective.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Rick Lane on December 06, 2017, 02:23:38 PM

Mike,


not a clue what a 'push' is.


Ken,


Simultaneous OB or lost ball maybe pretty rare but not everybody has the control over evert shot that you have Ken ;) But the question stands how do you proceed if both players have lost their tee shot?

Jon

A push is a half.  So far as both guys losing balls...in matchplay this wouldn't be an issue unless the second guy is a moron...all he has to do is putt he ball to win the hole.  Basically, an OOB situation would be a concession.  In medal play, I guess both guys are back to where they started.


A lost ball is a different matter unless the concept is the first person to hit and not find their ball loses the hole.  This would give a whole new dimension to being the longest driver.

Ciao

Wait, if a player  lost his ball or hit it OB in Match play, he gets to replay the shot with penalty.   I did this once in match play, hit tee ball OB on a par four.   Re-teed hitting 3, and made a 5 to tie the hole. So OOB is not a concession automatically?  Seems as someone said, there would then be risk in hitting first......hmmmm....maybe under the idea of simplified ruels, the person with the honors has the CHOICE to hit first?  Same with the person farthest from the hole?  (logistical issues there)
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Ken Moum on December 06, 2017, 03:00:43 PM

Wait, if a player  lost his ball or hit it OB in Match play, he gets to replay the shot with penalty.   I did this once in match play, hit tee ball OB on a par four.   Re-teed hitting 3, and made a 5 to tie the hole. So OOB is not a concession automatically?  Seems as someone said, there would then be risk in hitting first......hmmmm....maybe under the idea of simplified ruels, the person with the honors has the CHOICE to hit first?  Same with the person farthest from the hole?  (logistical issues there)


Rick, you have to go back and look at my post about Match Play Madness http://matchplaymadness.com/mpm.txt
 
There only one rule: You hit the ball without touching it until it is in the hole.


That's it. If you cannot do that, you lose the hole.


For the answer to Jon's question (s), I've done some more digging... here http://www.thegemme.com/writeups/MatchPlayMadness.html


First, there is no OB in Match Play Madness.If you can find it and play it, go ahead.


Since there's no need to define something as a water hazards (because you play it just like the rest of the course), all you have to do is play past the point where your opponent lost his ball and he's got to concede.


Similarly for lost ball, I assume.


Both in the water, or lost, halve the hole
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Rick Lane on December 06, 2017, 03:05:00 PM
yep, I tried to catch myself.......its why I noted that in that format, you NEVER want to hit first, which I suppose is where the madness is!   I actually get quite a kick out of "counter" forces like that.   I want to win the hole, but then I have to hit first!   Pretty "mad"!  I like it.     
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 06, 2017, 04:53:42 PM
A push is a half.  So far as both guys losing balls...in matchplay this wouldn't be an issue unless the second guy is a moron...all he has to do is putt he ball to win the hole.  Basically, an OOB situation would be a concession.  In medal play, I guess both guys are back to where they started.
He wouldn't even have to putt. He'd simply have to start looking for his ball second, and thus the opponent would lose the hole first when his five minutes expired.

Both balls couldn't be "lost" at the same exact time, so one player would "lose" first. A ball hit OB is an instant loss of the hole, and even if the second player hit his ball OB, because the first player had already lost the hole… it's over.

Not that this is really how anyone would play the game, but…
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 06, 2017, 05:34:47 PM
A push is a half.  So far as both guys losing balls...in matchplay this wouldn't be an issue unless the second guy is a moron...all he has to do is putt he ball to win the hole.  Basically, an OOB situation would be a concession.  In medal play, I guess both guys are back to where they started.
He wouldn't even have to putt. He'd simply have to start looking for his ball second, and thus the opponent would lose the hole first when his five minutes expired.

Both balls couldn't be "lost" at the same exact time, so one player would "lose" first. A ball hit OB is an instant loss of the hole, and even if the second player hit his ball OB, because the first player had already lost the hole… it's over.

Not that this is really how anyone would play the game, but…

At any of the thousands of golf courses where a lost ball, OB, or water isn't really a problem.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 06, 2017, 05:44:48 PM
At any of the thousands of golf courses where a lost ball, OB, or water isn't really a problem.
There likely isn't a ten-year-old course in the world where a thousand balls haven't been lost. I've seen a player lose a golf ball in the middle of the fairway because they couldn't find the hole into which it sank (it was wet).
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Lou_Duran on December 06, 2017, 05:58:43 PM
Just wondering how many of those commenting have been to Rules School?  Brings an interesting perspective.

I am told by people who should know that lawyers, with only some regard to their time and qualifications in the game, do very well in the rules school test.  In a class of over 100, many who have taken the course numerous times, one or two perfect scores (100) is very good.  So, no, the rules are anything but simple, sometimes difficult to apply on the dime, and in dire need of modification.

Unfortunately, every change has its downsides.  I am a big fan of leaving the flagstick in to save time.  Others think it is an unnecessary change on the grounds it might assist the player.

Dropping from any distance above the ground sounds reasonable, but how close can one get before it is akin to placing?  To preserve the element of luck without being overly legalistic, why not just modify the current rule to allow a drop from any point above, say, knee high with no further requirement on the position of the arm?

Rules question for the fall: player is on the green and his 30' putt is diverted very slightly by a blowing leaf.  The putt goes in the hole, he counts his stroke and hits from the next tee.  Any consequences?

Rules question 2, player drives his ball into an unplayable lie just off the fairway in high rough and chooses to take a drop with a one stroke penalty.  He measures three club lengths from the spot, drops the ball and it rolls another club length to the fairway,no closer to the hole.  His fellow competitor suggests that the drop was not made according to the rules, so the player picks up his dropped ball and now aligns the point of his original lie with the flagstick and goes back 20 yards, again dropping the ball in the fairway.  He knocks that ball on the green and two putts from there.  What did he score on the hole?

 



Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 06, 2017, 07:38:37 PM
Unfortunately, every change has its downsides.  I am a big fan of leaving the flagstick in to save time.  Others think it is an unnecessary change on the grounds it might assist the player.
It does help. And yet some people still take it out, so the rule allowing it to remain in will likely have the opposite result: it will slow play as different players take it out and put it back in.

Dropping from any distance above the ground sounds reasonable, but how close can one get before it is akin to placing?  To preserve the element of luck without being overly legalistic, why not just modify the current rule to allow a drop from any point above, say, knee high with no further requirement on the position of the arm?
What if I squat so that my knee is an inch off the ground?

Rules question for the fall: player is on the green and his 30' putt is diverted very slightly by a blowing leaf.  The putt goes in the hole, he counts his stroke and hits from the next tee.  Any consequences?
19-1b and 19-1/3.

Rules question 2, player drives his ball into an unplayable lie just off the fairway in high rough and chooses to take a drop with a one stroke penalty.  He measures three club lengths from the spot, drops the ball and it rolls another club length to the fairway,no closer to the hole.  His fellow competitor suggests that the drop was not made according to the rules, so the player picks up his dropped ball and now aligns the point of his original lie with the flagstick and goes back 20 yards, again dropping the ball in the fairway.  He knocks that ball on the green and two putts from there.  What did he score on the hole?
20-2c/5
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Pete_Pittock on December 06, 2017, 09:00:03 PM

Regarding the drop from any height.


Imagine you have hit into a lateral water hazard. You wish to use the option of dropping within two club lengths of the entry point.
The position of the entry point and hole location offers a sliver 2" wide at the 2 club length distance. And the land slopes towards the water.


Having supervised and employed dropping hundreds of times, being able to drop from 1" is an immense huuuge time saver.


My supposition is that the R&A weighed in against placing.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Sean_A on December 06, 2017, 09:27:58 PM

Thanks for explaining what a push is.


Wow, Sean, you must be a lot better than I remember off the 1st at Goswick or did you deliberately hit it there ;D


Seriously though, the argument put forward just does not hold water. Yes people do stupid things but the idea that no two ball could both lose their ball as the solution to this obvious flaw gives the answer.


Jon

I am not sure what you mean.  Peter said in his rules the hole is a push if both players can't play their ball for whatever reason. Although, I prefer my approach of the first player to hit it OOB (it would still exist obviously) or lose the ball would lose the hole. We could see an onslaught of guys desperate to hit the short ball on dangerous holes  ;D

Honestly...the one rule I would like to see return in matchplay is the stymie. It is a lot of fun.

Ciao
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Jon Wiggett on December 07, 2017, 01:53:17 AM

Sean,


I was referring to Ken's post later in the thread not Peter's. I agree about the stymie, we used to play this in friendly rounds back in the late 70s, early 80s and it brought another dimension to the game.


Jon
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 07, 2017, 04:23:38 AM
I was referring to Ken's post later in the thread not Peter's. I agree about the stymie, we used to play this in friendly rounds back in the late 70s, early 80s and it brought another dimension to the game.
Jon


Although I'm aware of what it is, I don't recall ever playing 'stymie'. However, many moons ago when a junior we had an unofficial penalty called a 'chuckie'. If 1 junior in a three/fourball was being a prat, as juniors sometimes can be, his ball, 1:62 size and probably with a cut in it, could be 'chucked' as far away as possible! :)
atb
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Jon Wiggett on December 07, 2017, 05:56:57 AM

I was referring to Ken's post later in the thread not Peter's. I agree about the stymie, we used to play this in friendly rounds back in the late 70s, early 80s and it brought another dimension to the game.
Jon


Although I'm aware of what it is, I don't recall ever playing 'stymie'. However, many moons ago when a junior we had an unofficial penalty called a 'chuckie'. If 1 junior in a three/fourball was being a prat, as juniors sometimes can be, his ball, 1:62 size and probably with a cut in it, could be 'chucked' as far away as possible! :)
atb


Ah, cut skin golf balls. Do you remember being able to send them away to get reskinned?
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 07, 2017, 06:22:25 AM
[quote author=Jon Wiggett link=topic=65297.msg1557581#msg1557581 date=1512644217
Ah, cut skin golf balls. Do you remember being able to send them away to get reskinned?



No Jon, I don’t. A new one on me. Tell us more if you have time.
You learn something new every day on GCA! :)
Atb
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Jon Wiggett on December 07, 2017, 12:09:57 PM

Thomas,


you (or your pro) used to be able to send cut balls away to be re-covered. In my area it was Slazengers in Horbury. It was cheaper than a new ball and I think they were called 'Spitfires' from recollection though I may have this wrong. I think this must have stopped in the late '70s when the Horbury factory was closed ('77)


Jon
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Ken Moum on December 07, 2017, 12:56:50 PM
Although I'm aware of what it is, I don't recall ever playing 'stymie'.


Even though I played a LOT of matchplay tournaments starting in the early 60s, I never played under it either. (It was eliminated about 10 years earlier)


BUT, I did play under the last vestige of the stymie, which was that a player could only mark and lift his ball on the green if his opponent told him to.  When the ball was likely to be hit, we'd ask them to mark it and leave it. That rule was changed in 1983, so I had close to 20 years of competition under it. 


FWIW, in my area of Minnesota there was a "Shortstop" tournament somewhere within driving distance almost every Sunday from late May to early September, and except for the championship flight we played nine-hole matches in 8-man flights.


My experience with this is why I have NO doubt that the current buddy system of leaving balls near the hole for the their friends is collusion.


I in the 200+ matches I played before the change I often asked my opponent to leave his ball near the hole while I played a shot.  If it was behind the hole there was no question about leaving it. And if it was short of the hole a foot or two, but off my intended line, I usually left it. 


For anything inside a foot, I'd ALWAYS leave it unless it was a direct stymie.  My theory was that a ball off my line but very close to the hole could deflect it in.  (I don't recall if it ever worked, but I was convinced that having a ball near the hole made it easier to get the line and pace correct because I could see it even when in my putting stance.)
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 07, 2017, 04:54:10 PM
My experience with this is why I have NO doubt that the current buddy system of leaving balls near the hole for the their friends is collusion.
Do you mean the "backstopping" that's become more and more common on the PGA Tour traces, in your mind, back to a rule that went away in 1983?
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Ken Moum on December 08, 2017, 12:58:21 AM
My experience with this is why I have NO doubt that the current buddy system of leaving balls near the hole for the their friends is collusion.
Do you mean the "backstopping" that's become more and more common on the PGA Tour traces, in your mind, back to a rule that went away in 1983?


No....


I said my familiarity with how it was done in match play, when it was still allowed, convinces me that what they are doing is intentional.


The manner in which balls are being left around the hole while others play their shots is exactly how we did it back then.... except it was match play, and it was legal.


Proof that this isn't a coincidence, IMHO, can be found in a simple question. "Does anyone EVER remember seeing someone leaving a ball as a backstop for a competitor in the Ryder Cup?"
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 08, 2017, 03:58:43 AM
Thomas,
you (or your pro) used to be able to send cut balls away to be re-covered. In my area it was Slazengers in Horbury. It was cheaper than a new ball and I think they were called 'Spitfires' from recollection though I may have this wrong. I think this must have stopped in the late '70s when the Horbury factory was closed ('77)
Jon


Thanks Jon. Learn something new every day.
atb
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Kyle Harris on December 08, 2017, 05:31:39 AM
Would anybody complain about lack of simplicity in the rules if golf courses were designed and maintained in such a way that rules covering lost balls, hazards, and OB were not in play so much?
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 08, 2017, 01:51:39 PM
No....
Either I worded my question poorly or you misunderstood, because everything after "No…" indicate that you should have said "yes."

Pros are increasingly leaving their balls in place to "help out" their fellow PGA Tour pros when the opposite should be true: they should be protecting the field and marking their ball as they're in a position to assist.

It's not a great thing to see, and it's increasing in its frequency and the brazenness with which players leave balls when they have plenty of time to mark them.

Would anybody complain about lack of simplicity in the rules if golf courses were designed and maintained in such a way that rules covering lost balls, hazards, and OB were not in play so much?

I don't think what people "complain" about is necessarily where we should look to change the Rules.

People complain about hitting out of a divot hole, but that rule shouldn't change.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Ken Moum on December 08, 2017, 11:30:32 PM
No....
Either I worded my question poorly or you misunderstood, because everything after "No…" indicate that you should have said "yes."
 [size=78%]Pros are increasingly leaving their balls in place to "help out" their fellow PGA Tour pros when the opposite should be true: they should be protecting the field and marking their ball as they're in a position to assist[/size]
It's not a great thing to see, and it's increasing in its frequency and the brazenness with which players leave balls when they have plenty of time to mark them.

You asked, "Do you mean the "backstopping" that's become more and more common on the PGA Tour traces, in your mind, back to a rule that went away in 1983?"
 
My answer to that specific question was "No," because I don't think the old rule and what they are doing are related in any way, nor does the practice trace back to, a rule that none of these guys ever heard of.
 
For one thing, back then it was a case of a player being able to force their match play OPPONENT to leave a ball where it might help. 
 
What these yahoos are doing is voluntarily leaving a ball where it will help a FELLOW COMPETITOR.
 
The feckers all should be DQed.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 08, 2017, 11:33:18 PM
The feckers all should be DQed.
I agree. That's what "backstopping" is. They should be protecting the field, and they're doing the opposite.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 09, 2017, 05:02:22 AM
Backstopping - an alternative view.
Folks complain about slow play. Players faff around on the greens etc taking ages.
Perhaps the approach to backstopping - or any kind of stopping - should be along the lines of -
"If you're balls near the hole and you don't walk up and mark it quick enough well, tough on you, I'm just gonna play anyway and if my ball hits yours and helps me well, that's tough on you, coz you should play faster."
I sense cutting and pasting coming! :)
atb





Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 09, 2017, 05:09:00 PM
Backstopping - an alternative view.
Folks complain about slow play. Players faff around on the greens etc taking ages.
Perhaps the approach to backstopping - or any kind of stopping - should be along the lines of -
"If you're balls near the hole and you don't walk up and mark it quick enough well, tough on you, I'm just gonna play anyway and if my ball hits yours and helps me well, that's tough on you, coz you should play faster."
I sense cutting and pasting coming! :)
No need.

It's not a matter of "pace of play." It's a matter of protecting the field. A player whose ball is in a position to help another player in stroke play should mark the ball to protect the field.

If they'd mark it in a Ryder Cup match, they should mark it in stroke play.

It's happening more and more. And modern Tour players think it's their RIGHT to play with a ball in a position to backstop them.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Sean_A on December 09, 2017, 09:41:47 PM
Backstopping - an alternative view.
Folks complain about slow play. Players faff around on the greens etc taking ages.
Perhaps the approach to backstopping - or any kind of stopping - should be along the lines of -
"If you're balls near the hole and you don't walk up and mark it quick enough well, tough on you, I'm just gonna play anyway and if my ball hits yours and helps me well, that's tough on you, coz you should play faster."
I sense cutting and pasting coming! :)
No need.

It's not a matter of "pace of play." It's a matter of protecting the field. A player whose ball is in a position to help another player in stroke play should mark the ball to protect the field.

If they'd mark it in a Ryder Cup match, they should mark it in stroke play.

It's happening more and more. And modern Tour players think it's their RIGHT to play with a ball in a position to backstop them.

Another issue well suited for bifurcation.  If some dipshit held up play to walk 50 yards up to a green to mark his ball I wouldn't be impressed.  Thankfully I have yet to see this happen.  I think there is an instinctive distance/situation when one knows if he should be waiting that extra few seconds to see if the other player is making a move to mark the ball.  Mind you...thats all a player will get from me...a few seconds to make a definite move unless his ball is in my way.  In my experience, few players care about backstopping.  Its an issue for proper golfers making a living at the game.

Ciao   
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Thomas Dai on December 10, 2017, 04:44:33 AM
Backstopping - let the field police things. If you don't walk up quick enough someone else might gain and some slowcoach might even miss the cut (good?!). There might be some finger poking and the odd threat for a while but it'll sort itself out. And caddies could mark balls too.
Lots of possible implications from the timed Golf-6's and next years Austrian Open. A way forward in relation to snooze-fest pace of play....pre-supposing the 'bottle' is there?

atb
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 10, 2017, 02:51:03 PM
Another issue well suited for bifurcation.  If some dipshit held up play to walk 50 yards up to a green to mark his ball I wouldn't be impressed.
The rule already takes that into consideration. It’s essentually a rule regarding only greenside shots (the “assist” part). I think it’s 22/3 or something. Another later Decision speaks to it too.


Backstopping - let the field police things.

The field is policing things… in the wrong direction. There’s an increasing wink-wink going on with this among PGA Tour players.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Lou_Duran on December 11, 2017, 05:19:16 PM
Have we reached a conclusion on the simplicity, self-evident nature of the rules, and whether there is a need for modification?

Without looking it up, I'd like a reply from non-experts to the two rules questions I posed earlier (and copied below).

Rules question 1, player is on the green lying 2.  His 30' putt is diverted very slightly by a blowing leaf, but the putt still goes in the hole.   He counts his stroke and hits from the next tee.  What did he score on the hole?

Rules question 2, player drives his ball into an unplayable lie just off the fairway in high rough and chooses to take a drop with a one stroke penalty.  He measures three club lengths from the spot, drops the ball and it rolls another club length to the fairway, no closer to the hole.  His fellow competitor suggests that the drop was not made according to the rules, so the player picks up his dropped ball and now aligns the point of his original lie with the flagstick and goes back 20 yards, again dropping the ball in the fairway.  He knocks that ball on the green and two putts from there.  What did he score on the hole?


As to Sean's "dipshit", there is no reason why he would want to walk up 50 yards to mark his own ball, though I've seen a player ask a fellow competitor to mark his (fc's) near the hole that might interfere with the player's subsequent shot from a similar distance.  As long as it is a rare request and doesn't unduly delay play (i.e. he is within his time or in position), he will not be penalized.  Question: what happens if the fc's ball is on the fringe, he marks his ball and throws it to his caddie who proceeds to clean it?  Rules are simple, right?
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Sean_A on December 12, 2017, 04:04:47 AM
Sweet Lou

Sure a player may want to mark his ball if he thinks it's position may help a competitor.  So far as I know, there is no distance limit on marking a ball on the green...the wording of "just off the green" is very vague...another poorly written decision. Regardless, for the purposes of recreational play...which handicap golf is...speed of play should take precedent.  For folks playing the game for a living I can understand stopping play to mark these balls.   

Ciao   
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: RussBaribault on December 12, 2017, 07:55:28 PM
o
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Jerry Kluger on December 13, 2017, 06:45:29 AM
I read that waiving the 2 stroke penalty for signing a wrong scorecard will now be a local rule - what's next?


Lou: The first question happened at a recent pro event and the rule is the player must replay the putt and failure to do so I believe is a 2 stroke penalty. I hope that the answer to the second question is that since he did not hit the ball after first improperly taking relief he can redrop again so long as he then properly takes relief - to me it would be no different than when you are asked to move your marker on a green and put your ball back and then remind yourself that you had moved your marker and correct it before you putt.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Erik J. Barzeski on December 13, 2017, 08:16:16 AM
I read that waiving the 2 stroke penalty for signing a wrong scorecard will now be a local rule - what's next?
It's only a Local Rule because they have no way of "adding" actual rules mid-cycle. They've said it will, unfortunately, be in the 2019 Rules.
Title: Re: Golf Rules in Perspective
Post by: Lou_Duran on December 13, 2017, 02:36:34 PM
Lou: The first question happened at a recent pro event and the rule is the player must replay the putt and failure to do so I believe is a 2 stroke penalty. I hope that the answer to the second question is that since he did not hit the ball after first improperly taking relief he can redrop again so long as he then properly takes relief - to me it would be no different than when you are asked to move your marker on a green and put your ball back and then remind yourself that you had moved your marker and correct it before you putt.

Thanks Jerry.  You are right on both.

Fall is my favorite season for golf and since I am into fast play, I am sure I've violated 19-1.b. on more than one occasion (in this case, a putt deflected by a blowing leaf must be replayed).  The quirk here is that if the ball was just off the green or it was deflected by a stationary leaf or small branch on the green, play on.  Not too simple or self-evident IMO.  And yes, on one of the tours, a player was penalized two strokes for not replaying the stroke. 

Q.2. is a bit more tricky because the player changes relief options from 28 (c) to (b).  In this case, the player dropped in the wrong place (3 club lengths vs. maximum of 2), and under 20-6, he is not re-dropping, but dropping the ball correctly, so he can change options (from c to b).

Had he dropped the ball within two clubs originally and it rolled more than two clubs from the point where it first struck part of the course, then he would be re-dropping and could not change options (20-2.c.).  Had he re-dropped under option (b) of Rule 28 (after first dropping under c) and played from there, he would have hit from the wrong place and penalized two additional strokes, with a possibility of disqualification if he gained a significant advantage from the bad re-drop and didn't correct it.

Maybe the rules are simple and I am more so.