United States Golf Association
Liberty Corner Road
P.O. Box 708
Far Hills, NJ 07931
Re: Rules of Golf
It appears obvious that the lawyers have dominated the Rules writing and decisions over the last 300 years. Most of the Rules, as I read them, function very well for high-level competition – very skilled players, caddies, rules committee personnel readily available, prize money and standing/ranking at stake, etc.
There should be a separate set of Rules for us 18 handicappers who play infrequently. These suggestions are practical and help speed up play. We do many of them already.
1. No stroke and distance for lost ball. Do you want to really slow up everyone’s Saturday morning? Drop/place near by and keep playing.
2. Two club lengths (even better 10 yards) for all other drops. And don’t drop – place the ball.
3. Repair all damage to the green before and after you putt. Heaven knows no one else repairs the greens.
4. Lift and clean whenever necessary. We hit plenty of bad shots using clean golf balls, more less dirty ones.
5. Replace the ball when you feel like it. We all putt with a new ball and play with a different one.
7. Play when ready – no waiting for the farthest from the green/hole to play.
8. Advice – take it anywhere and from anyone you can get it!
9. Use rangefinders and GPS all the time – many courses have no or hidden distance markers.
10. Anything else that makes sense.
For example, a player drives deeply into a stand of trees and the ball may be lost. If he hits a Provisional, it will likely end up close to the same spot. Instead, after the first drive, go to where the ball entered the trees, look quickly, if not found, or if it is unplayable, e.g. Kevin Na, drop or place one near where the original ball entered and keep playing, one stroke penalty.
Think about the delay of returning to the tee where two foursomes are waiting, and hitting another drive (probably into the trees again).
Club Pros do a great job of helping us amateurs play better and understand the Rules, but until I have a single digit handicap and am playing in regional tournaments, make golf more fun, play faster and get more people interested in the game.