Editor’s note: On occasion, I have the happy opportunity of playing (or trying to play) golf with friends. Responding to new rules for amateur golfers, Denny, the group organizer, proposed the following new rule changes for his weekly group of golfers:
Now that the USGA and the R&A (The Royal & Ancient Golf Club) are proposing new rules for amateur golfers, I thought it time to formally publish new “Proposed Men’s 9 Hole Golf Rules” and “justify” why they make more sense than some “parallel” USGA and R&A proposals.
Just like “them”, “we” want to make the rules easier to understand, make the rules more modern and evolve with the times and improve the pace of play.
Item #1 – USGA/R&A says “now you can touch the line of the putt”….”we say”, not only can you touch the line of the putt, but you can lay the flag stick down in such a way as to help guide your putt into the hole…justification – speeds up play, avoids 3 putts and makes you feel good.
Item #2 – USGA/R&A says “now you can use a club damaged in anger”…”we say”, not only can you use a club that was damaged (car ran over it, wooden shaft splintered, head loosened & reversed itself 180 degrees), it is now encouraged…justification – this is good for the environment now that “thousands of clubs” won’t end up in the scrapheap and it makes you feel good.
Item #3 – USGA/R&A says “no penalty for your putt striking the flag stick”..”we say” when any fairway shot or putt strikes the flag stick, the shot / putt is considered to be holed out since it was deemed that the flag stick interfered with the golf ball going into the hole …justification – lowers your score, accolades come raining down, speeds up play and makes you feel good.
Item #4 – USGA/R&A says “you have the option of removing your ball from a sand trap and taking a two stroke penalty”..” we say” after two unsuccessful hacks to get the ball out of the sand trap, use the hand wedge (ball must be tossed “under handed” like a slow pitch softball toss to free the ball from the sand trap….justification – you get two whacks at the ball, the hand wedge toss gets you much closer to the hole, your playing partners are entertained and it makes you feel good.
Item #5 – USGA/R&A says “players will no longer be assessed a penalty stroke if their ball accidentally moves”.. “we say” when on the green, we encourage you to move the ball so that you get a putt more pleasing to your eye…justification – you may both master the uphill right to left putt (right handers) and often avoid goose poop on the green…free entertainment for your playing partners and more to talk about after the last hole.
Item #6 – USGA/R&A says nothing about the 3 putt maximum rule…”we say” the 3 putt rule is a good thing. It speeds up the game, allows you to be more aggressive on the second putt and no one will be looking if you decide to strike your 4th and 5th putts.
The “committee” will vote on each item independent of any other, and if approved by unanimous vote while at the club house, the particular rule will go into effect tomorrow.