The new golf rules 2019 (20 biggest changes)

2 11 2018

We’re less than two months away from the plethora of rule changes that take place in the new year, so here’s (another) short video explaining them. Maybe you can be the guy in your group who actually knows the new rules as opposed to making them up as you go along.

The active season in BC ends on November 15th, after which scores do not count towards your RCGA handicap. My own cunning plan is to play by the new rules so I’m good and ready for the new year.

I know there are some of you out there (and nice people too in many respects) who didn’t bother much about the old rules. Well, the new ones are simpler and there are fewer of them, so how about a New Year’s resolution in 2019? Watch this video, learn the new rules and play by them!

 

Oh, and thanks to my good friend Peter Dobbs for sending me this video. Oh the irony! Peter’s infamous for driving a cart and horses through the rules of golf – could he be a poacher turned gamekeeper? (Answer: highly unlikely.)

 

All da best!

Dave B.

 

 

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The Job Interview

14 10 2018

You may not recognise all these golfers, although they’re all top players on the European Tour, but most of them seem to pass the beer test – i.e. they seem like the sort of guys you’d like to sit down and have a beer with.

My favourite answer to the question “What would you be if you weren’t a professional golfer?”

Ireland’s Shane Lowry: “Probably broke.”

Which is exactly what I’d be if I played golf for a living…

All da best.

Dave B.

 

 





Seriously? RWB 2018

9 09 2018

So the 2018 Red, White and Blue is in the books. It was unique for a number of reasons. Firstly, at Joe Dunham’s suggestion after last year’s tournament – his exact words were “I’m too old for this 36-holes-in-one-day shit” – it was decided that following Saturday’s 18 holes from the white tees,  we would play just 18 holes on Sunday, nine from the blue tees and nine from the red.  Secondly, with only six players, we had the smallest field in the history of the RWB. This was obviously directly related to the third reason – we had the worst weather ever in the 18 years we’ve been playing the event.

So bad was it that, apart from a singleton who set off half an hour ahead of us (a fellow inmate from the lunatic asylum, no doubt), the course was absolutely deserted. Perhaps because of this, Glacier Greens’ pro Bill Kelly gave us permission to play as a sixsome on the grounds that we were unlikely to hit into anybody. Brian Wise, his able assistant, offered free psychiatric help to anyone who needed it (i.e. all of us).

To be honest, when I left the house at 8.00 this morning I informed Scottish Wife with confidence that I’d no doubt be back within the hour. Clearly I’d underestimated the capacity for masochism among our group. Sure enough, from the eleven guys who had signed up two sent polite emails to say, given the 40kph winds and heavy showers, “Thanks but no thanks” and three others showed up just to see if we really were going to go ahead and play, but declined absolutely to join our venture. But the other five, and let’s name names here, – the spouses of Mrs Ball, Mrs Buckley-Jones, Mrs Hayes, Mrs Hautzinger and Mrs Moore – were determined to play, come rain or shine. It turned out, of course, that there wasn’t any shine but as Rob Moore put it “We could play in sunshine and it would just be a round of golf. Playing in this stuff is a story!”

Quote of the day goes, I think, to Dave Buckley-Jones. He watched impassively as Phil Ball slipped in the mud as he played his tee shot on #8, missed the ball entirely and lost hold of the club which flew 20 yards down the fairway. It was only when Phil totally topped his second attempt, sending the ball about 30 yards, that Dave quietly muttered: “Well, at least the ball went further than the club that time.”

When I got home after the post round drinks and prize giving, the Big Club under my arm and still soaked to the skin and some six hours after I’d told the missus I’d be right back, she put on her most Scottish Wifely expression:

“Seriously?” she said.

RWB 2018

2017 winner Ed Hayes, on the right,  is happy because he doesn’t have to look after the Big Club anymore. Thank you, Ed, for adding the second plinth so we can play for the trophy for another 18 years. In the background, Dave Buckley-Jones is happy because he cunningly contrived to come 2nd this year. The other guy’s just happy because he’s no longer slogging around the course in the wind and rain.

Thanks so much for coming out, you guys. Maybe a bit of sunshine wouldn’t go amiss next year though…

All da best!

Dave B.





The Snit

3 08 2018

Golfing tantrums

Sir Winston Churchill* said it best: “Golf is a game whose purpose is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”

Let’s face it – for most people, golf is a fiendishly difficult game. It has been estimated that fewer than 25% of golfers ever break 100 (and just 2% break 80!), so it’s not surprising that many of us get a little frustrated at our failure to “put the little round white thing in the round holey thing”, as our friend Dave Laird used to put it.

I’ve just got back from my annual golf trip to Victoria with Glennie and his two long-standing Mainland buddies, Jim and Rod. I’m a (slightly dodgy) 14 handicap, Glen’s a 17, Jim’s in the low twenties and Rod’s somewhat north of that. By using our brilliant rolling handicap system (don’t ask) and changing partners for each round we manage to keep things close and – best of all – get to insult different people every day.

As it happens I was partnered by Rod on the first day at the beautiful Uplands golf course. He played lights out, nearly broke 90, and as a result, we won the match fairly handily. Day 2 at the equally lovely Cordova Bay course proved a bit more testing, but Rod remained defiantly chipper. Day 3 at Highland Pacific began more brightly, with Rod making an excellent par on the first hole and a birdie soon after, but a succession of difficult holes took its toll and Rod’s smile began to fade. The smile returned on the 9th hole (a tricky 165 yard downhill par 3) however, when Rod hit a gorgeous tee shot. We all oohed and aahed as it soared through the air straight at the hole, right on line. It landed on the front of the green and rolled towards the cup…which it missed by a couple of inches…and then continued to roll straight into a tiny bunker behind the green.

In hindsight, it may have been unwise of me to offer helpful tips as Rod played his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th shots in a desperate but unavailing attempt to escape the sand. Under the circumstances, Rod’s colourful language in reply was entirely understandable and my protests that I was “just trying to help” probably wouldn’t stand up in court.

So the question is: does this count as a snit or should the fact that Rod was clearly provoked mean that he should be acquitted? I leave it to you, my fellow golfers, to decide.

All da best!

Dave B.

(*Or it may have been Woodrow Wilson or someone entirely different).

 





Give me a break!

11 05 2018
 
La imagen puede contener: personas practicando deporte, césped, exterior y naturaleza
Like every golfer I’ve had both good breaks and bad on the course. As a matter of fact, most of the guys I play with would say I get more than my fair share of lucky bounces. I agree that may be true but I would also point out that a) I’m a pretty good person and so I deserve good luck and b) I’m a pretty bad golfer so I need good luck.
Be that as it may, I’ve never been in the situation you see pictured above, which was featured recently in the excellent Oswald Academy rules of golf blog. Should the ball be considered holed? If not, where should it be replaced? Give your self a minute or so to decide what you think and then see below for the correct ruling:
“It is a very rare situation, but the R&A received a similar question 30 years ago. The answer given then, which would still apply now, was as follows: on the putting green, if the player’s removal of a loose impediment causes the ball to move, the ball is replaced without penalty. As replacement of the ball would be impossible in this case, in equity (Rule 1-4), the ball is considered to be holed with the previous stroke.”
Isn’t it nice to see that, once in a while, the rules of golf actually give you a break?
All da best!
Dave B.




When nature calls…

21 04 2018

With many thanks to my friend Bud for sending me this. Unfortunately the #1 encounter reminded me of my ball finishing in the pond at the 18th hole today at Glacier Greens. I just didn’t need a seagull’s help to put it there…

All da best!

Dave B.





Rules Modernisation: final version

13 03 2018

Yesterday the USGA and the R & A unveiled the new rules of golf to be implemented as of January 1st 2019. There are several changes from the original draft published some months ago.

Below you will find a brief(ish) summary of the new rules, but for a clearer idea you’d be well advised to check out the information (and videos) provided on the USGA and R & A websites (usga.org and randa.org):

Modernisation of Rules, January 2019

 The R&A and the USGA finalised golf’s new Rules this month after an extensive review that included a request for feedback from the global golf community on the proposed changes.

The process to modernise the Rules began in 2012 and was initiated to ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply for all golfers and to make the game more attractive and accessible for newcomers.

While the majority of proposed Rules remain intact in the final version, several important changes to the initial proposals and further clarification of many Rules were incorporated. The most significant adjustments made following review of the feedback received from golfers around the world include:

  • Dropping procedure: When taking relief (from an abnormal course condition or penalty area, for example), golfers will now drop from knee height. This will ensure consistency and simplicity in the dropping process while also preserving the randomness of the drop. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested dropping from any height).
  • Measuring in taking relief: The golfer’s relief area will be measured by using the longest club in his/her bag (other than a putter) to measure one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the situation, providing a consistent process for golfers to establish his/her relief area. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested a 20-inch or 80-inch standard measurement).
  • Removing the penalty for a double hit:  The penalty stroke for accidentally striking the ball more than once in the course of a stroke has been removed. Golfers will simply count the one stroke they made to strike the ball.  (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 included the existing one-stroke penalty).
  • Balls Lost or Out of Bounds: Alternative to Stroke and Distance A new Local Rule will now be available in January 2019, permitting committees to allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty. It addresses concerns raised at the club level about the negative impact on pace of play when a player is required to go back under stroke and distance. The Local Rule is not intended for higher levels of play, such as professional or elite level competitions. (Key change:  this is a new addition to support pace of play)

Major proposals introduced in 2017 that have been incorporated into the modernised Rules 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.

As you can see, we’re all going to have our work cut out to stay on top of the new rules. Like the changes or not (and in general I have to say I do), these are the rules we’ll be playing by come next January – so get ready!

Oh, and did I mention there’s going to be a new handicap system, to be implemented in 2020? I’m just going to have a little lie down…

All da best!

Dave B