Contentious Opinion - Would the great game of Golf be better served by a MAJOR Simplification of the Rules?

Banchory Buddha

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I just see a large divide between golfers playing socially with their mates and clubs, organisations, ruling authorities gearing everything towards the competitive aspects of the same game.
There is alarge divide, because "mates games" are generally played without full attention to the rules, whereas competitive formats adhere strictly to them. So what's the issue? You want the serious stuff to become do-whatever-you-want ? That can never happen
 
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There is alarge divide, because "mates games" are generally played without full attention to the rules, whereas competitive formats adhere strictly to them. So what's the issue? You want the serious stuff to become do-whatever-you-want ? That can never happen
Entirely the opposite you describe. I want everyone to adhere strictly to the rules but for them to be reasonably simple to understand.

I've just been awarded a trophy for coming back, which is a real joke. I'm not in the business of fielding passive aggressive responses so will check out with my sanity largely untouched.
 

Neilds

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Which are the rules that need simplifying?
I think a good start would be about the various parts of the course and whether items are classed an immovable obstructions, integral objects, movable objects, obstructions, etc. If you land near any object you should have 2 options - play the ball as it lies or take a drop with a 1 shot penalty. Stops people worrying about whether or not they get free relief and also stops arguments.

Although it would make the rules section on here a lot quieter - which may not be a bad thing :p
 

jim8flog

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Entirely the opposite you describe. I want everyone to adhere strictly to the rules but for them to be reasonably simple to understand.

I've just been awarded a trophy for coming back, which is a real joke. I'm not in the business of fielding passive aggressive responses so will check out with my sanity largely untouched.
My reading of that is that you really do not want to read the rules.

The modern Players version of the rules covers most of the the most common situations and is an easy read with lots of pictures to guide you.

If you are playing stroke play and not sure how to proceed the simple thing is to use Rule 20.1 c


(3) Playing Two Balls When Uncertain What to Do. A player who is uncertain about the right procedure while playing a hole may complete the hole with two balls without penalty:
• The player must decide to play two balls after the uncertain situation arises and before making a stroke.
• The player should choose which ball will count if the Rules allow the procedure used for that ball, by announcing that choice to his or her marker or to another player before making a stroke.
• If the player does not choose in time, the ball played first is treated as the ball chosen by default.
• The player must report the facts of the situation to the Committee before returning the scorecard, even if the player scores the same with both balls. The player is disqualified if he or she fails to do so.
• If the player made a stroke before deciding to play a second ball:
 This Rule does not apply at all and the score that counts is the score with the ball played before the player decided to play the second ball.
 But the player gets no penalty for playing the second ball.
A second ball played under this Rule is not the same as a provisional ball under Rule 18.3.
 

Banchory Buddha

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I think a good start would be about the various parts of the course and whether items are classed an immovable obstructions, integral objects, movable objects, obstructions, etc. If you land near any object you should have 2 options - play the ball as it lies or take a drop with a 1 shot penalty. Stops people worrying about whether or not they get free relief and also stops arguments.

Although it would make the rules section on here a lot quieter - which may not be a bad thing :p
So you land right by a ball washer, can't swing, you take a penalty? How is that better? Or against a seed divot box which you could move with one hand, again you'd have a penalty?
 
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I think a good start would be about the various parts of the course and whether items are classed an immovable obstructions, integral objects, movable objects, obstructions, etc. If you land near any object you should have 2 options - play the ball as it lies or take a drop with a 1 shot penalty. Stops people worrying about whether or not they get free relief and also stops arguments.

Although it would make the rules section on here a lot quieter - which may not be a bad thing :p
OK, so let us know what's an 'object', what's 'near' and where should you drop the ball? If I landed next a tree, personally I'd pick it up, take the penalty, and drop it in the hole for a three. :)
 

Neilds

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So you land right by a ball washer, can't swing, you take a penalty? How is that better? Or against a seed divot box which you could move with one hand, again you'd have a penalty?
Yes that is my (slightly left field) suggestion. I doubt that either the ball washer or the seed box would be in the fairway (or anywhere near where you should be) so why not get a penalty?
I'm not saying it is the best solution but it certainly would make the rule book a lot thinner with all the different definitions removed and the scenarios narrowed down. Everyone would know that if you are near something it is a penalty drop or play it as it lies. Simples.
 

Neilds

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OK, so let us know what's an 'object', what's 'near' and where should you drop the ball? If I landed next a tree, personally I'd pick it up, take the penalty, and drop it in the hole for a three. :)
It is near if you can't take a swing and you drop within 2 club lengths - same as now
 

Neilds

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What exactly is something? A blade of grass, a twig, an opposing player?
Oh come on! You all know what I am saying but you are all trying to score points.
If you want me to be exact, something could be anything :ROFLMAO: If, when you reach your ball it is next to a blade of grass or a twig or a bridge or a toilet or anything, you would just have to ask yourself "Can I play the ball where it is?" If yes, hit it, if no take a penalty drop and hit it.

IT IS NOT HARD!!!!
 

Colin L

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What. about a drain or a sprinkler head which are of necessity next to putting greens?

Not looking for points, just a better understanding of the fact that no course is no more than natural terrain. Even the very fact that we cut 18 holes in it is a start and you need some rules around that - starting with dimensions. And thinking of putting greens, I suppose you are advocating a penalty if someone else's ball is on my line of play?
 

Neilds

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What. about a drain or a sprinkler head which are of necessity next to putting greens?

Not looking for points, just a better understanding of the fact that few courses are no more than natural terrain. Even the very fact that we cut 18 holes in it is a start and you need some rules around that - starting with dimensions. And thinking of putting greens, I suppose you are advocating a penalty if someone else's ball is on my line of play?
See above

The OP wanted suggestions for making the rules simpler and that is exactly what I have suggested. No need for any differentiation between any objects that may be found on or around the course.
I agree it is never going to be incorporated but it is my view.
 

Colin L

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See above

The OP wanted suggestions for making the rules simpler and that is exactly what I have suggested. No need for any differentiation between any objects that may be found on or around the course.
I agree it is never going to be incorporated but it is my view.
Fair enough. We all have have the right to a view even if it's manifestly absurd. :cool:
 

Orikoru

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I'm not sure what OP is proposing - but I think there is a case to be made that the rules of golf are over-the-top in some instances. Like most people I learned the rules on the fly simply by playing with people who have more experience, by watching golf on TV, etc - consequently there are plenty of rules I still don't know 100% now. But on a base level, if everyone plays to a good approximation of the rules as they understand them, I'm happy. If you don't know what a rule is then just play the ball as it lies and crack on. Unless it's out of bounds, then I guess you can't, haha.

Some people take it far too seriously and I have no interest in minor rule infringements that IMO make next to no difference. There are large fundamental rules but then there are certainly some silly rules in there as well. Not many are going to read the entire rulebook front to back and remember it all.
 

Banchory Buddha

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Yes that is my (slightly left field) suggestion. I doubt that either the ball washer or the seed box would be in the fairway (or anywhere near where you should be) so why not get a penalty?
I'm not saying it is the best solution but it certainly would make the rule book a lot thinner with all the different definitions removed and the scenarios narrowed down. Everyone would know that if you are near something it is a penalty drop or play it as it lies. Simples.
We have seed boxes on all tees, we have a shared 1st/9th fairway, very easy to roll up onto the opposing tees.

This is why the rules are complicated, because over the years these scenarios have cropped up often enough that they need to be dealt with
 

chrisd

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I'm not sure what OP is proposing - but I think there is a case to be made that the rules of golf are over-the-top in some instances. Like most people I learned the rules on the fly simply by playing with people who have more experience, by watching golf on TV, etc - consequently there are plenty of rules I still don't know 100% now. But on a base level, if everyone plays to a good approximation of the rules as they understand them, I'm happy. If you don't know what a rule is then just play the ball as it lies and crack on. Unless it's out of bounds, then I guess you can't, haha.

Some people take it far too seriously and I have no interest in minor rule infringements that IMO make next to no difference. There are large fundamental rules but then there are certainly some silly rules in there as well. Not many are going to read the entire rulebook front to back and remember it all.
I find your post quite worrying. I do get that hardly anyone knows ALL of the rules but a lot of people know a lot of the rules , and certainly well enough to play most rounds and not get things wrong. I think its absolutely unfair that a golfer can lose a competition to someone who's made up the rules as they've gone along.

Contrary to what you say "minor rule infringements " can cost the perpetrator 2 shots, or the loss of a hole, and, if players ignore the possibility of penalties on the grounds that they've worked on "a good approximation " of the rules and not added a penalty then the person holding up your clubs Claret Jug may be doing so grossly unfairly, the runner up maybe even commiting the same penalty, but knowing the rule, and taking the additional penalties - it does make ignorance bliss!

If a player just looked at a book of rules and read a page or 2 every day, a lot would register when a scenario occurs, and they'd learn the rules over a period of time.
 

D-S

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I find your post quite worrying. I do get that hardly anyone knows ALL of the rules but a lot of people know a lot of the rules , and certainly well enough to play most rounds and not get things wrong. I think its absolutely unfair that a golfer can lose a competition to someone who's made up the rules as they've gone along.

Contrary to what you say "minor rule infringements " can cost the perpetrator 2 shots, or the loss of a hole, and, if players ignore the possibility of penalties on the grounds that they've worked on "a good approximation " of the rules and not added a penalty then the person holding up your clubs Claret Jug may be doing so grossly unfairly, the runner up maybe even commiting the same penalty, but knowing the rule, and taking the additional penalties - it does make ignorance bliss!

If a player just looked at a book of rules and read a page or 2 every day, a lot would register when a scenario occurs, and they'd learn the rules over a period of time.
Sadly a lot of players do not know a lot of the rules. I firmly believe that there is a large section of players who deliberately don’t learn the rules because in their world if they don’t know the rule when they act incorrectly (almost always to their benefit) then they aren’t ‘breaking the rules’. As an example they always take the nicest point of relief rather than the nearest point because they (deliberately) don’t know any better.
 
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