In Wyoming Golf Rules Won’t Change Much
Have you heard about changes to the rules of golf? Both the USGA and R&A want to simplify. Most golfers like it, but the changes will mean very little in Wyoming, and the rest of the real world.
We don't have a big PGA tour stop near the Cowboy State. Also a very small percentage of us are good enough to have ever really played by the rules, if we ever knew them all. Sorry, but most of us are not out there to count every penalty stroke.
More rule changes will be considered between now and 2019. That's not only about speed, but also the golf police finally just want the thick old rule book thinned.
Of course, there was never such a thing as a “mulligan” (do-over without penalty), and that still won't be allowed. Two Americans on a golf trip were paired with two native Scots. On the first tee an American blew his shot out of bounds, and asked, "Hey, whatta y'all call a Mulligan over here?" A Scot replied, "Hittting thrrree."
Some old hard details, however, like accidentally moving loose impediments in a bunker, are going to be no prob. I have to say, though, I don't like allowing the use of distance measuring devices - I mean for pros I don't.
No one sees golf's governing bodies trying to make the game easier - disrespecting records set by history's greats. It is just time to get rid of what long ago got complicated. About the number of rules, Matt Kuchar said that if tested on them, there might be 50 that he doesn't know. And he's a professional.
About where a ball first crossed into a hazard, the line will soon be left up to player judgement, and the whole group will move along, with no wait for an official's ruling from network video sent via walky talky.
I used to never touch the ball, even in the fairway, until I heard that the greatest to ever play, Jack Nicklaus, felt that a ball in the fairway should be rewarded, so if it stops in a divot, one should get free relief. In the rough, though, I still agree with Jack's idol, Bobby Jones, who said, "We play the ball where it lies."
Oh well, otherwise we're out there for Wyoming sunshine, friendship, and the extra distance the ball carries in our altitude.
In a recent televised round, right after a feature on the rule changes, a ball went all the way around the hole, and out. We heard Peter Jacobson say, "I think if the ball lips out 360, it should count as in. Let's make that a new rule." I knew my golfing brother was watching, so I texted, "I like Jake's 360 rule." Older brother texted back, "What's next then? If a putt comes up short enough to blow in, are we going to count that too?" Just to tick him off, I replied, "Oh heck yeah! If close enough to blow in, sure. It's good. LOL"