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One of the Oddest Rules questions ever asked of the PGA Tour!

One of the Oddest Rules questions ever asked of the PGA Tour!

One of the Oddest Rules questions ever asked of the PGA Tour!
 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Jordan Spieth Question on the rules.

Recently Jordan Spieth stumped the PGA Tour officials with a rules question, asking if he could wet the bottom of his putter to gain better traction on really smooth greens where his putter tended to slip.  This was a question the PGA Tour had never been asked before, so erring on the side of caution, they asked Jordan to refrain from doing this until they got an official ruling from either the USGA or the R&A, the two ruling bodies that determine the rules of the game.  He recently got his answer.  Thanks to Chris Chaney from Swing by Swing for this report!
 

One of the Oddest Rules questions ever asked of the PGA Tour!

What was the question?

The greens on the PGA Tour can get rolling pretty quickly. For Jordan Spieth and his trusty rusty Scotty Cameron 009 Prototype putter, that slick surface can cause his club to slide when the greens get extra slippery. As a result, Spieth liked to wet the bottom of his putter, either with his fingers or a wet towel, in order to gain more traction with the bottom of the club. But, is that legal?

During the third round of the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship at Doral, the greens were getting slick and Spieth called over a rules official to check on the legality of wetting the putter in order to create stability. The official was stumped. Although Spieth said he never resorted to wetting the bottom of the putter in competition, he wanted to know if he could do so legally under the Rules of Golf.

This is what he found out, via GolfChannel.com:

“I’ve spoken to commentators, players and nobody knew the answer if you can do it,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was legal so I’ve never done it on the golf course [during a tournament round], so I asked an official once I knew the course was like that [on Saturday].”

Spieth did approach a rules official on the third hole at Doral with the question, “What my intentions ws his question.  I told him to make it easier to set the putter down,” 

After a review of the question by the rules staff, the answer came back to Spieth on the eighth hole. “It is a split on the decision,” 

“So they called the [U.S. Golf Association] and he said that the USGA was going to talk about it further but for now we’re going to rule that you cannot do it.”

Playing it on the safe side, Spieth said he refrained from wetting the putter until he received an official ruling, which he did prior to the Masters.

To find out what the ruling of both the USGA and the R&A was on Jordan’s request, go here!

Source: Swing by Swing   Chris Chaney

Pictures: Twitter/@cnnsport

Thanks for reading – One of the Oddest Rules questions ever asked of the PGA Tour!

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Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Testing the surface is illegal in golf, correct?  No, not really, according to Zach Johnson and the Rules of Golf.  Testing the surface is illegal only on the putting green.  This little-known rule can help you in the future with your short game around the green.  Firstly, the grass on the fringe of the green is most probably running in the same direction as the putting surface, so this is an easy way to get an accurate read of grain direction. (of course, if you are putting on bentgrass greens, this does not apply)

If you are going to play a shot into the grain, there is a high probability that you could chunk this shot, so a putter might be a better choice.  If you are going down-grain, you will know that the speed will be quick, and you can adjust the force of your chip or putt accordingly!  

Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of Back9Network, for this interesting article!

You need to know how to test the surface legally!

If you’ve played golf in South Florida, you know that the grain of the grass has an unusually strong impact on the way you play your shots on and around the green. The way the grass grows can have an effect on how your putt breaks or how your club will react to the ground from which you’re either pitching or chipping.

So, how do you determine which direction the grain of the grass is growing when you’re on the green? You can either look for a slight color change (down grain will look more glossy) or you check the cup (the rugged, broken grass on one side of the hole will tell you which way the grain is growing).

Being off the green, however, affords you an easier way to assess the grain. Zach Johnson elects to rub the grass with his hand and see how the turf reacts when he is not on the putting surface. This lets him know which way the grain is growing.  And allows him to better choose a club for the upcoming shot.

Now, if you’re wont to do this, expect to receive a little heat from some overzealous rule enforcers — as Johnson said he encounters multiple times per year and most recently during the 2015 Hero World Challenge— whose intentions may be good, but whose understanding of the rules is lacking.

To read the rest of this story, plus a video interview with Zach where he explains that particular rule, go here!

Source: Back9Network    Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway

Pictures: USGA Publications

Thanks for reading – Knowing the Rules of Golf can Improve Your Score!

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Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

In 2016 the USGA did amend Rule 6-6d. A player who inadvertently does not assess himself a penalty because he did not know a breach is no longer disqualified and instead is assessed a two-stroke penalty.  The problem with this new rule is that the USGA made the rule to prevent amateurs who don’t know all of the rules from being disqualified from a tournament.  

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

The problem I have is that this is their living when it comes to PGA Tour players, and I feel they should know the rules.  

A lawyer cannot go into court, make a mistake, and say to the judge, I didn’t know that rule.  He would look ridiculous!  This brings me back to a statement I have mentioned before.  I think the pros and the amateurs should have different rules and different equipment!  Now I know I am opening a can of worms here, but I think it’s crazy when Pat Perez hits the ball in a water hazard and says he did not know that there was a penalty!  This opens the door for pros in the future to avoid disqualification and automatically say they did not know the rule, no matter how basic it is.

I would love to hear feedback on this subject.  Please post your comments below!  Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of Back9Network, for this thought-provoking article!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!  

As the PGA Tour returns to the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, a.k.a. the Greatest Show on Grass, the Rules Junkie harkens back to Pat Perez’s rules run-in and subsequent disqualification from the event in 2013.

Perez’s DQ is worth revisiting for a few reasons, but mostly so we can get a better grasp on the truly confounding changes made to Rule 6-6d in the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf. The amendment to 6-6d forgives ignorance of the rules, but still penalizes someone in Perez’s predicament when a clerical error has been made.

The dispatch from the scene via Golf Channel.

With the projected cut currently hovering at 3 under, Perez’s rounds of 72-72 left him at 2 over, unlikely to advance. When he incorrectly signed for an even-par 71 in the second round, though, he earned himself an early exit from the event.

The hole at issue was the short par-4 17th, where Perez ran into trouble despite a drive that left him less than 50 yards to the hole. After his approach went into the water behind the green, he ultimately two-putted for a double bogey 6. Perez signed for a 5 on the hole, however, and was disqualified as a result.

One of the four major changes to the Rules effective Jan. 1, 2016 was the “Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card.” The USGA explained it as follows:

The PGA introduces a new exception.

Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached.  And must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.

The amendment allows for leeway when it comes to being blatantly ignorant of a rule, but not for writing an incorrect number down. The rule states, “the competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score he writes down for each hole on his score card. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.”

To read the rest of this story on understanding this confusing rule, go here!

Source:  Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway    Back9Network

Pictures: Twitter/@GolfweekMag

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