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Why aren't the rules simpler?


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#31 OldBogey

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:40 AM

Golf is not a game to be raced around the course, except for that variant where they do actually race. But changes to the rules which result in players not wasting undue time needlessly looking for balls would benefit all.

#32 RulesDoc

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:41 AM

Yes OB well put, rules gurus love the status quo but unfortunately they are stuck in the past.

Where did that come from? The Rules change with time and I don't know one single Rules Guru wanting status quo. ...what in your opinion would be the future?

#33 _anon_

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:12 AM

Couple of 2c: If you don't take the time to read the rules, don't ***** that they are too hard to understand, because of you understand English and have a brain, they are not. You will, however, be required to invest ??time?? if you wish to ??learn?? - cue shock and horror. If you are too lazy to read the rule book, the afore-mentioned "Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf" pamphlet distributed with the rule book will deal with 98% of common situations you'll find on the course, so you can look like a wizz to your mates in spite of the fact your investment of time has been less than 5 minutes total. If you don't understand English, there is a pictorial version of the rules endorsed by the R&A too. If you cannot read at all, there is also a video available featuring the dulcet tones of Padraig Harrington for the mindless TV zombies amongst us. Finally, you don't need to read, memorise and understand all the rules if you're only a player or even club level official. All you need is to be familiar with the way the rules work, and situationally aware enough to realise when you need to look up a rule to resolve a situation which has arisen. The book is there to be referred to, just recognise when you've run afoul and look up the answer! P.S. if you want a shorter game, try Pitch and Putt or Mini Golf. Handicapping 2 x 9 hole rounds as 18 holes is prejudicial against those who play only 18 hole rounds because of factors like physical and mental stamina which are vital in this game. They say it's 90% mental and the rest is in your head?

#34 Shimonko

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:24 AM

I have echoed AAA's challenge of picking a rule for rewrite many times in the past. Usually a few post suggestions so full of loopholes that by the time they've finished patching them, they're twice as complicated as the original. And the thread just silently stops. How often do many of you get nicked for something anyway? The options provided by the rules are very much part of the strategy in golf. So when you get penalised, cop it sweet and recognise that it's because you haven't developed that part of the game well enough.

#35 AAA

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:45 AM

AAA

Perhaps in matchplay there may be some disagreement but not normally I would have thought in other forms of the game, surely compromise would mean a quick solution would be arrived at.

In other forms (sic) of the game (I assume you mean strokeplay) a player in the same group (whether his marker or not) will be competing to beat everyone else in the field. Can you imagine the final pair level on the 18th in one of the majors agreeing just where the ball may have been lost or crossed the OOB margin. Remember the Rules are primarily about competition golf where people hope to win.

#36 OldBogey

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:00 AM

Can you imagine the final pair level on the 18th in one of the majors agreeing just where the ball may have been lost or crossed the OOB margin.
What's the difference between that scenario and a WH? Besides, the majors have so many witnesses and ROs that there'd be no argument. It's club level amateur games, where it's just a pasttime, that's in need of renovation.

#37 Shimonko

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:55 AM

What’s the difference between that scenario and a WH?
When a ball is lost, there is no boundary to cross. Drop at the edge of the 3" grass, the 6" grass, the 12" grass, the woods, the scattering of leaves? Where do the woods start? At the single tree jutting out? Do we need a new stake colour or boundary line defining the edge of any terrain that may hide a ball? The ball may be lost on the fairway. Then what? When a ball goes OOB, dropping at the crossing point may find you dropping in the scrub or woods with the only unplayable options being multiple 2 clublength hops or stroke and distance. WH's intentionally have clear areas along their boundary for dropping in.

#38 JGT4

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:43 AM

This is a great publication from an organization accused of doing nothing to make it easier to understand the rules. Golf Rules Illustrated 2012-2015 A clear, detailed, illustrated explanation of the Rules of Golf. This book contains the complete Rules as revised at 1st January 2012, together with over 100 illustrations and photographs designed to provide an easier understanding of the laws of the game, with particular emphasis given to those situations that cause most difficulty for golfers at all levels. Fully redesigned, the book also contains frequently asked questions and descriptions of real-life incidents such as Dustin Johnson's unfortunate two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker at the final hole of the 2010 US PGA Championship; the suspension of play during the second round of The Open in 2010 and Brian Davis' act of sportsmanship and honesty when he called a two-stroke penalty on himself when his club touched a loose impediment in a water hazard in a sudden death play-off with Jim Furyk. Then there is the $2 book from Golf Canada that can be found on their website Easy Guide to Etiquette and Rules of Golf (english)

#39 RulesGeek

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:59 AM

Yes OB well put, rules gurus love the status quo but unfortunately they are stuck in the past.

Where did that come from?
The Rules change with time and I don’t know one single Rules Guru wanting status quo.
...what in your opinion would be the future?

I think it's a matter of perspective, RD. A person who was rules-ignorant in 1983 and rules-ignorant in 1985 would be, I suspect, unfamiliar with the substantial changes made in 1984.

#40 RulesGeek

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:10 PM

I like the fact that RulesGeek is prepared to diss anyone’s idea to simplify the current set of rules, essentially by saying that ignorance to a largely incomprehensible and overly complex set of rules is no excuse.

And I like that people who haven't made the effort to learn the rules can speak so authoritatively about the difficulty of learning them. I don't need you to tell me how much effort is required to learn the rules - I made that effort and I helped other people in their effort as well.

And how many weekend warriors do you REALLY expect to have the time and/or inclination to familiarise themselves with this achaic and unbelievably complex rule set? Assuming that they themselves are not “rules geeks”.

Having played quite a bit with the whole sphere of low to high handicap golfers since being involved in this game again for the last few years, I reckon I could confidently predict that NONE of them would be familiar with all of the rules.

I was a 'weekend warrior' when I made the decision to improve my rules knowledge. I read the book, I participated[1] in online discussion sites, and then I went to a PGA/USGA Rules Workshop. We all choose how to spend our time. Your weekend warrior is welcome NOT to spend his time learning something about the game he plays. He's welcome to complain about his own ignorance too. But, he shouldn't expect me to validate those complaints. [1] Participation included reading the rules/decisions/definitions that were referenced in answers given by people more knowledgeable than me. Take a look sometime at threads on this site in which a correct answer is given WITH such a reference and then the original poster asks a follow-up question that shows that he did not read the referenced material. That is, IMO, the difference between seeking an answer and seeking knowledge.

#41 Shanks4ever

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 06:12 PM

Yes OB well put, rules gurus love the status quo but unfortunately they are stuck in the past.

Where did that come from?
The Rules change with time and I don’t know one single Rules Guru wanting status quo.
...what in your opinion would be the future?

Hit it where they mow

A simplified code for the rank and file that goes to perhaps 1000 words maximum. I won't be writing it. As an example - I passed a written examination to drive a vehicle the day I turned 16 and 2 weeks later passed the practical test.I was not required to read the Road Traffic Act. Driving a car is far more complex and dangerous than driving a golf ball and yet there are only 88,000 words covering this. It requires double the words to drive a golf ball. What do you say to this - an entry into the book of decisions can be regarded as representing a failure to have framed a Rule clearly.

#42 Coverdriver

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:53 PM

As an example – I passed a written examination to drive a vehicle the day I turned 16 and 2 weeks later passed the practical test.I was not required to read the Road Traffic Act.

Driving a car is far more complex and dangerous than driving a golf ball and yet there are only 88,000 words covering this. It requires double the words to drive a golf ball.

Without wanting to hijack the thread, There are more than 88,000 words regarding the laws and regulations of driving a motor vehicle. It is covered across more than 3 acts of parliament, dozens of associated regulations and then millions of lines contained within linked case laws and judicial decisions. Like NoPractice said, there is a Quick guide to the rules of golf. It takes about 10 minutes to read and understand and covers 80% of the scenarios you will face on the course. Unlike driving a car, in golf you have the opportunity to stop, look up a rule and apply it before you are penalised. However, one thing in common between the two (car v golf) is that you cannot be absolved of punishment for merely not knowing a rule. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law.
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#43 Shimonko

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:29 PM

I don't know why you wish to compare driving a car with golf but I take it you would prefer courses be littered with thousands of signs telling people what to do, as our roads do. Just think about simply leaving your car on the side of the road. You must park so far from a corner, so far from the car behind and in front, so far from a property boundary, you must face the right direction, so far from a bus stop, so far from a post box, so far from a pedestrian crossing, in certain hours only, not if there are clearway lines on the road, not in a loading zone or disabled spot, nose parallel, rear first or 45 degs, you can't leave the windows down, the car must be locked, you may have to pay, can't leave the dog or baby in the car, must secure the car so it won't roll, must obey time periods, can't park across driveways, must know difference between no stopping, no standing and no parking,... That's without pausing to think about it deeply. Define all that accurately in words and see how long it takes. The car's not even moving yet. Then each state has its own traffic act. The R&A cover most of the world. Those acts essentially are concerned with safety. They do not cover competition racing, including substantially different formats like track, oval and rally. They do not cover car compliance. You have to sit a test to drive. Most countries do not require you to sit a test to play golf. Would you like to see Rules officials and cameras spread across the course keeping an eye on people? You (and OB) are also forgetting golf is a strategy game. Chess can be simplified too if we replace all pieces by kings.
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#44 Shanks4ever

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:47 PM

Would you like to see Rules officials and cameras spread across the course keeping an eye on people? That is precisely what happens in every major pro tournament. Having caddied and spectated in some of the "major" tournaments in Australia I have seen first hand highly accredited rules officials floundering under pressure. If the rules were so simple and easy to understand why are these officials floundering and then given walkie takies to bring yet another accredited rules official riding in on his cart and into the original decision to ascertain if the ruling is correct. My memory was that if a player contested the original ruling then the carted official arrived to provide the devine ruling.

#45 Shimonko

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:27 PM

The cameras at pro tournaments are not for monitoring the players. Roaming rules officials are general resources there for the use of the players. They do not police. They do not have the luxury of preparing a court case over weeks. They must make a decision quickly on the spot or the whole field banks up more. Often the hardest part of their task is piecing together the facts of the situation which they didn't witness. A rules official doesn't want to unfairly penalise a player, so can give them the benefit of the doubt sometimes if they haven't enough information to rule otherwise. Yes, some do flounder, so do some traffic cops with attractive women.




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