2018 Golf Thread

Papelbon's Poutine

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Dec 4, 2005
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Yeah, I know it’s me. Like I said, I love the driver. It’s been years since I’ve felt confident with a driver in my hand until I got the G; I chopped the shaft down for a bit more control and dialed the 10.5 down a bit and I can count on it to be straight and good for 260-270. It’s liberating.

When I made the move last season, I moved off my TM Rocketballz 3w/3H/4H set up. I’m regretting it. The 3W was my driver, essentially, since I didn’t trust whatever one I had in the bag. Dead straight bullet good for 240-250 and usually longer off tee than the driver of the guys I was playing with. The hybrids had a nice size and weight in the head and I felt fully confident hitting them from the tee or rough and being good for 225 (3H) and 210 (4H). Ish. When I got the Pings I loved the look but more I’ve played with them I just don’t have the confidence in them and especially out of the rough I don’t feel like they have the oomph I’m looking for. Last week I was in the rough on a long par 5, in decent but nothing crazy rough and pulled 3H to carry 185 or so of forced carry. I flushed it clean and ended up in the shit. On follow through I remember actually feeling relief, like ‘ok, these are gonna be fine, I nutted that thing’. Only to look up and see one of group giving me the sign that I was in the shit. I think that broke me.

I’ll keep trying on them as I’ve invested enough time and money that I do t want to give up, but if I can swap around to get into like an M2 or even a Rogue, with it being minimal expenditure, I think I’ll explore that. Sometimes clubs just get in my head, man.
Yeah I caved. One slow day at work and passed a golf shop and ended up test driving some stuff. Ended up with Rogue 3W, M4 3H/4H; all with Project X 6.0 HZRDOUS shafts (yellow in 3W, Black in hybrids) like everything about both and stats looked good. Much more confident in m contact and anxious for them to arrive.

Through various methods - combination of trade in promotion, eBay for some old stuff and a return to Dicks for some gift balls I wouldn’t play - essentially ended up paying about $380 for about $780 worth of brand new clubs.

If anyone has interest in Rogue or TM M, global golf has a promo for 150% trade in value. Got $300 alone for my Ping Gs.
 

CodPiece XL

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Someone at work just passed this along... looks pretty awesome I've gotta say. Anyone used it?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/golf-scope-ar-green-reading/id1306722711?mt=8
It's inconsistent and not as accurate as laser 3D green maps, it won't tell you anything that your eyes won't see. The big disadvantage is that it doesn't give you a green approach view, you can only use it on the green, so if you are playing an approach shot on a course you don't know, it's of zero value. I think the AR aspect is promising but I would use that technology in conjunction with survey data.
 

CodPiece XL

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I'm against anything that superimposes a line of any sort. I'm not against using the green contour maps that the pros use. Regardless, even with a line there are so many variables to green reading, wind, moisture, cut, speed ..etc. As far as that app is concerned, there is no way your iphone or Samsung is going to be as accurate as a green survey done with a Trimble TX 3D laser or similar.
 

Phragle

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Let’s get a tee time booked today for next Thursday. Blackstone?
Whatever you guys want for the course, but just remember I'm going to be tight, hungover, and stuck in traffic the whole way down.

I'd be against using that anyway. Using technology to spot distances is fine, but reading greens is a skill that golfers need.
The also need to get to the next tee in a reasonable amount of time
 

PedroSpecialK

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Dec 12, 2004
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It's inconsistent and not as accurate as laser 3D green maps, it won't tell you anything that your eyes won't see. The big disadvantage is that it doesn't give you a green approach view, you can only use it on the green, so if you are playing an approach shot on a course you don't know, it's of zero value. I think the AR aspect is promising but I would use that technology in conjunction with survey data.
Yup used it on 2 holes today and junked it; was giving me a brutally off read for both

Oh well
 

southshoresoxfan

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Whatever you guys want for the course, but just remember I'm going to be tight, hungover, and stuck in traffic the whole way down.


The also need to get to the next tee in a reasonable amount of time
Excuses flowing already. Lomb you good w a noon next Thurs? May play 18 before that waiting for you old ladies to wake up.
 

CodPiece XL

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Yup used it on 2 holes today and junked it; was giving me a brutally off read for both

Oh well
Hey, at least you gave it a shot. A smart phone using that type of VR is going to be particularly worthess on putts over 10 Ft . I was screwing around with an app yesterday called Golf GPS Navigator or something like that. It claimed to have green contours, boy was it shit. Green contours were being superimposed way off greens, in fairways..no idea where they got their data from. Probably some elevation model measurements of Google Earth, that can be off as much as 30 meters. ( elevation not lon/lat). The only way that I see that type of VR working is hole recognition, most software with green contours rely on the user guessing as best as they can where the cup is. VR would take that guesswork out of it, then you could combine that with the built in compass and survey data. I don't think there are any short cuts...it has to be laser data. JMS Geomatics are the leaders is that type of laser technology, they supply all the contour data for the tour events, the fancy flyovers and green books. They are on speed dial with a lot of the pros who may wish to have green scanning books specifically designed for them . They are based out here in AZ. good guys.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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Jul 26, 2007
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Shot my age in my league this morning. Of course we only play 9, and I'm 52, so not really a great thing. Should have broken 50 but I shanked a shot on each of the first two holes and then missed an easy putt at the end. In between I actually struck the ball pretty well, and was generally happy with how I played (as opposed to last week, which was "find another sport" bad). I can feel better scores coming.
 

Light-Tower-Power

ask me about My Pillow
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Jun 14, 2013
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No idea if it’ll help you, but I went to the range today and started by taking 1/2 swings with my feet together. Like literally next to each other. I did this until I was hitting draws/pulls, and getting the feel for the club coming inside to out rather than over the top. Then I’d slowly move my feet apart and slowly up the swing strength. By the end my swing plane felt so much different but I was actually squaring up the club face and hitting things to the right (I’m a lefty). I am going to keep working on it but it’s a huge difference in feel during the downswing and feels much more natural.
Left work early and got on the range this afternoon. Tried this and I think it was very helpful. I think my problem is I'm not finishing my swing and letting my hands get way out in front of me when I strike the ball. Worked on getting my lower body more involved and I started hitting it much better. Played nine after and shot a 47 with four pars and some absolute laser beam irons. Hopefully the next time out will yield similar results.
 

TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
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Left work early and got on the range this afternoon. Tried this and I think it was very helpful. I think my problem is I'm not finishing my swing and letting my hands get way out in front of me when I strike the ball. Worked on getting my lower body more involved and I started hitting it much better. Played nine after and shot a 47 with four pars and some absolute laser beam irons. Hopefully the next time out will yield similar results.
That’s awesome to hear. I’ve been really working on it at the range and it’s finally starting to pay off. I was doing he exact same thing as you...basically not finishing my swing at all, swinging with all arms, and holding it off at the end leaving the clubface wide open.

I’ve been working at the drill I mentioned and also overexaggerating my turn back and through when on the range. I’ve been able to hit it well on the range but horrifically on the course. But yesterday I played at the Haven in Boylston (good track) and something FINALLY clicked. I was hitting it great off the tee with only a couple misses being pulls. Finally was hitting straight irons and making solid contact. Some decent short game led to an 85, my best round in months. I’ve got a lesson tomorrow too, so will be interesting what comes from that.
 

Byrdbrain

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Played at Owl's Nest yesterday which is up near Loon/Waterville Valley. It's a nice track with some great views of the mountains, it was a little on the pricy side but they have some nice Stay and Play packages that I might look in to for later this year.
Only a couple hours from Boston but seems like a world away.
 

Phragle

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That’s awesome to hear. I’ve been really working on it at the range and it’s finally starting to pay off. I was doing he exact same thing as you...basically not finishing my swing at all, swinging with all arms, and holding it off at the end leaving the clubface wide open.

I’ve been working at the drill I mentioned and also overexaggerating my turn back and through when on the range. I’ve been able to hit it well on the range but horrifically on the course. But yesterday I played at the Haven in Boylston (good track) and something FINALLY clicked. I was hitting it great off the tee with only a couple misses being pulls. Finally was hitting straight irons and making solid contact. Some decent short game led to an 85, my best round in months. I’ve got a lesson tomorrow too, so will be interesting what comes from that.
Yeah trying to get my whole body on the same page has helped me a lot. There was a time when my feet were stuck to the ground and my weight transfer was the opposite of right. I thought about what would happen if I forgot about my arms, and attached the club to my hips or my chest and tried to make the club hit the ball that way. My hips would have missed the ball by miles, and if my chest hit the ball it would have weakly topped it. I tried to more my lower body more like a pitcher, and my core I didn't know how to use at all. Now I think of my core as a spring I can wind up and that alone has given me touch shots I've never even had any idea of. When I combine that with not flipping my hands, everything syncs up and it works perfectly.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Played at Owl's Nest yesterday which is up near Loon/Waterville Valley. It's a nice track with some great views of the mountains, it was a little on the pricy side but they have some nice Stay and Play packages that I might look in to for later this year.
Only a couple hours from Boston but seems like a world away.
Like that course a lot, just haven’t played it in probably ten years. Don’t remember it being particularly pricey, but in that area and this time of year, I can see it. Great course if you like elevation changes.
 

southshoresoxfan

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Lomb, Phragle and I just had a nice, albeit hot, afternoon at Blackstone Country Club. Great track. Tight, lots of elevation changes, and nice quick greens. Would definitely play that track again
 

Phragle

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I turned my AC down to 59 just to feel alive again.

Fun course, but really tough for a first timer. Mostly blind tee shots, and designs that make you think. The pin placements were pretty tough.

I think I'm going to pick up a dozen new gloves, and use all these nagging injuries as an excuse to get some club work done.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Dec 12, 2004
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Played Shining Rock for the first time in five years or so on the 4th - I didn't really remember much of the layout, but I found it completely different than nearly any other course around (maybe Cyprian being the exception).

I think they mis-charged us the regular weekday rate so it was $65 including cart, was expecting $79, but regardless it seems like one of the best values around. I found the front 9 to be pretty difficult, though I'm sure part of it was my preceding round was at Leo J.

Some Cafardo-esque potpourri thoughts:
  • Hit the fairway & green on each of the first two holes - three-putted each green and it wasn't even really close on the second putts
  • The green on 2 in particular is hilariously narrow, maybe 25' in diameter where the pin was in the back
  • I wish I could play the par 5 third hole on repeat... the challenge of needing to hit a cut drive down the right to give yourself a chance, then the 200+ second shot into a guarded green, was really interesting. Of course, I double bogeyed it
  • Wish I'd gone for the green on the short par 4 4th hole; cut a 6 iron too much and it went OB, nonetheless another interesting choice (especially on the back two sets of tees)
  • The green on the short par 4 6th (dog-leg right) is almost comical; had a ~80' putt after my approach up didn't get up the ridge to the back pin (picture in spoiler) - I lipped out but made the putt coming back
  • The front ends with a 440 par 4 - I liked the mix overall, with 3 420+ par 4s and 3 ~300 yard par 4s on the front
  • The back 9 felt a lot easier, and didn't have as interesting a layout as the front
  • The 14th hole has a stupid second fairway that creates a strip of rough in the middle of the fairway. I don't understand the decision to make it this way, it stanks and I hate it.
  • The Par 5 16th is arguably the signature hole - 620 yards, and a true three-shotter, with the pin position sometimes obscuring the flag behind a set of trees. Really fun hole

Green on 6:

I went out in 44 (+9), came back in with a chance at 36 if I parred 17/18, but I bogeyed each to finish at 82. Definitely want to get back out there at some point this year.
 

Light-Tower-Power

ask me about My Pillow
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Jun 14, 2013
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Played this afternoon and shot a 99, which stinks, but is a huge improvement from the high 100s/110s I've been shooting with my broken swing for the last year or two. Finally felt comfortable out there with my swing this afternoon. Still had a couple sevens and snowmen which kill, but hit a lot of pretty good shots and felt way better. Missing 90% of my 6-10 foot putts is the next thing to fix.
 
Played for the first time in nearly a month this morning, in a standard club competition at Dunbar, and while standing in the second fairway, I realized that I'd forgotten to take either my hybrid or my 3-iron out of my bag - the two clubs I hit roughly the same distance, and both of which I'd kept in my bag while it was in storage - and as such I was carrying 15 clubs. What would you do in that situation: call a four-shot penalty on yourself, or give yourself the benefit of the doubt on the basis that my choice between the two clubs was pretty easy (it was definitely a 3-iron day) and that you weren't trying to gain any kind of competitive advantage? I chose the latter, while reserving the right to retroactively penalize myself at the end of the round if I thought I might otherwise actually win the competition or gain prize money/vouchers that would have gone to someone else; I feel pretty OK with myself for that decision, although I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking less of me.

In any event, I had a pretty good scoring day - starting at the first, when I hit three pretty indifferent shots to the green and, when just trying to lag a difficult 40-footer somewhere near the hole for a two-putt par, managed to trickle it into the center of the hole for a birdie. I had a stretch of five bogeys in six holes around the turn - the one par coming after I pitched sideways out of a fairway bunker and then hit a wedge to a foot from the hole - but four birdies in total on the day meant I finished with a 75 (+4), my best medal score of the year. So that was nice. (My handicap will probably go down by 0.1 or 0.2; if I'd taken the four-shot penalty, it would have gone up by 0.1, which might seem like sandbagging from a certain point of view?)

Of more interest for those of you who will be watching the Open Championship in two weeks' time: there has been a lot of sun and very, very little rain this year in Scotland, and if what I'm seeing at Dunbar is anything like what will be at Carnoustie, you'll be in for a real links golf treat. Super firm and super fast is how links golf should be. (In fact, the Scottish Open is just up the road from me at Gullane next week, and that should be just as awesome to watch, with a really strong field taking part; indeed, the Irish Open this week at Ballyliffin looks very linksy as well.)
 

Chuck Schilling

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The Needler

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Played for the first time in nearly a month this morning, in a standard club competition at Dunbar, and while standing in the second fairway, I realized that I'd forgotten to take either my hybrid or my 3-iron out of my bag - the two clubs I hit roughly the same distance, and both of which I'd kept in my bag while it was in storage - and as such I was carrying 15 clubs. What would you do in that situation: call a four-shot penalty on yourself, or give yourself the benefit of the doubt on the basis that my choice between the two clubs was pretty easy (it was definitely a 3-iron day) and that you weren't trying to gain any kind of competitive advantage? I chose the latter, while reserving the right to retroactively penalize myself at the end of the round if I thought I might otherwise actually win the competition or gain prize money/vouchers that would have gone to someone else; I feel pretty OK with myself for that decision, although I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking less of me.
You should've taken the penalty. It's not discretionary, and there's no intent requirement. Did you tell your playing partners or the tournament organizer?

As to whether it would be sandbagging to accept the penalty, that sounds like an effort to assuage your conscience because you know you did something wrong. Penalties happen all the time. Unless you act with the intent to receive a penalty, it can't be considered sandbagging. Anyway, under the USGA handicap system, scores made with too many clubs don't count, so the first two holes only would have been scrapped. I suspect there's a similar rule where you are, or at the least the tournament organizer could have determined whether anadjustment to the handicap score should be made.
 
You should've taken the penalty. It's not discretionary, and there's no intent requirement. Did you tell your playing partners or the tournament organizer?
There is/was no "tournament organizer" - it's just a normal medal competition at my club. (When we finished, I typed my scores into a computer and put my signed scorecard in a bin, and that's basically it.) We have maybe 20 weekend medals during the year, and another 10-15 weekday medals on top of that; they are proper competitions, but they're basically the least important competitions one can enter in the UK, sort of the US equivalent of going out for a round with a clear intent to post a score for handicap purposes and, e.g., not hit any practice balls let alone mulligans. (I think that's a fair comparison, anyway.) If you were meeting up with your friends and going out to try and post a score, and you left an extra club in your bag in the circumstances I've described, would you follow the letter of the USGA's law as you've described it?

I know that what I did was "wrong", but I feel like the spirit of the law, in the circumstances I've described, would suggest that a four-shot penalty is draconian. And I know the Rules of Golf don't allow for the spirit of the law to be taken under consideration, as we've seen time and time again on the PGA Tour...but whereas in most things I am a stickler for the rules - e.g., calling penalties on myself when the ball moves a millimeter and nobody else has seen it, or not giving myself the benefit of the doubt when it comes to determining the point of entry when my ball enters a hazard - I didn't think leaving a club in my bag by accident was worthy of a four-shot penalty in the context of this particular competition. Does thinking that make me a golf cheat? That's why I've posted the question here: I'm interested to hear what others feel about this. And as with many topics I've raised on SoSH, I'm willing to hear good arguments and possibly change my views.
 

The Needler

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You didn't answer the question of whether you told your playing partners. If not, ask yourself why you didn't.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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There is/was no "tournament organizer" - it's just a normal medal competition at my club. (When we finished, I typed my scores into a computer and put my signed scorecard in a bin, and that's basically it.) We have maybe 20 weekend medals during the year, and another 10-15 weekday medals on top of that; they are proper competitions, but they're basically the least important competitions one can enter in the UK, sort of the US equivalent of going out for a round with a clear intent to post a score for handicap purposes and, e.g., not hit any practice balls let alone mulligans. (I think that's a fair comparison, anyway.) If you were meeting up with your friends and going out to try and post a score, and you left an extra club in your bag in the circumstances I've described, would you follow the letter of the USGA's law as you've described it?

I know that what I did was "wrong", but I feel like the spirit of the law, in the circumstances I've described, would suggest that a four-shot penalty is draconian. And I know the Rules of Golf don't allow for the spirit of the law to be taken under consideration, as we've seen time and time again on the PGA Tour...but whereas in most things I am a stickler for the rules - e.g., calling penalties on myself when the ball moves a millimeter and nobody else has seen it, or not giving myself the benefit of the doubt when it comes to determining the point of entry when my ball enters a hazard - I didn't think leaving a club in my bag by accident was worthy of a four-shot penalty in the context of this particular competition. Does thinking that make me a golf cheat? That's why I've posted the question here: I'm interested to hear what others feel about this. And as with many topics I've raised on SoSH, I'm willing to hear good arguments and possibly change my views.
First, posting the question and justifications here was just looking for validation. It’s like finding a wallet and telling a friend ‘I took the cash but only because xyz’. You’re just looking for someone to assuage your guilt.

Second, it’s not an issue of the score you posted as far as your index in concerned, in my opinion at least. Comparing it to going out with your buddies is disingenuous. If you’re playing for money or in something that requires a signed score card (ie a competition), either follow the rules or take the penalty, whether you’re innocent of trying to gain an advantage or not.

Edit : I also have no idea how you can classify yourself a ‘stickler for the rules’ and bring up one of the most basic as some kind of loop hole. I once had a guy in my foursome (normal weekend round, simple teams skins match for low level $, probably $5 a hole) call me on moving my ball on the green. He asked me to move it out of his line and I didn’t mark it, then move the mark; I simply marked it a putter head away. He agreed I gained no benefit, but it was a rule. I begrudgingly took myself out of the hole. That guy is a rules stickler. None of us plays with him very often anymore and we joke quite regularly about ‘if Cas was here, ya know...’.
 
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First, posting the question and justifications here was just looking for validation. It’s like finding a wallet and telling a friend ‘I took the cash but only because xyz’. You’re just looking for someone to assuage your guilt.
Honestly, that wasn't my motivation. What I was *hoping* to do was start a conversation and elicit a range of opinions from a bunch of regular posters in this thread on what they would have done in my shoes, assuming that there are probably some total rules stickers and some who are much closer to the Donald Trump end of the do-I-follow-the-rules spectrum and many everywhere in between, and then to get a sense of how closely the Rules of Golf really are observed within this group of people. However, what I fear might actually be the case instead is that anyone who disagrees with what I did will have no problems speaking up, while most people who don't observe or are unaware of the rules might remain quiet. Because few people are usually willing to admit anything less than full compliance with the rules, even among the sorts of people (of which I've known many) who take mulligans or practice shots in rounds they post for their handicaps.

By the way, below (spoilered for size) is a column I wrote back in 2013 about Tiger Woods' illegal drop penalty at The Masters which features a similar anecdote of my own to the one I shared today. If you're interested, this spells out my thoughts around this issue rather more fully.

When you play golf, do you play by the rules?

Exhibit A: Several years ago, while addressing my ball in the first fairway of a medal competition, I accidentally nudged it very slightly – no more than an inch, and not into a better lie. My playing partner could not have seen what I’d done; nevertheless, I immediately notified him that I’d moved my ball and called a one-shot penalty on myself (under Rule 18-2b).

Exhibit B: Several weeks ago, during the second hole of another competition, I discovered that my five-year-old son’s 9-iron and putter were in my golf bag. As I possessed 16 clubs, I should have incurred a four-shot penalty (under Rule 4-4a). However, insofar as I would never use such tiny clubs, this time I decided not to ruin my round over a technicality; I kept my mistake to myself.

In the first situation, was I too harsh on myself? In the second, did I blatantly cheat? Would your answers be different if I were playing not in a medal at my home club, but in a major at Augusta National?

I could write a doctoral thesis on Tiger Woods’ now-infamous ball drop during the second round at the 2013 Masters, a thoroughly disorienting tournament even before the golfing blogosphere detonated on Saturday morning. The greens almost looked slow – I’ve never seen so many Masters putts left short of the hole. An entire day passed in which only a handful of golfers tried to reach the 13th or 15th greens in two. A 14-year-old (really???) was assessed a penalty stroke for slow play (what?!?) but still made the cut (how!?!). And then Tiger hit a brilliant wedge shot which could have netted an eagle, deserved a birdie, led to a bogey which became a triple-bogey, and probably should have resulted in his disqualification.

Here’s the thing: the Rules of Golf are supposed to be sacred texts applied with Levitical rigor. The PGA Tour’s threat of schism with the USGA and the R&A over the proposed ban on “anchoring” putters matters precisely because everyone is supposed to play golf by the same rules. But even disregarding intentional cheaters, we don’t all play by the same rules. I routinely see golfers in medal competitions accidentally tee up inches ahead of the tee markers, fail to declare second balls as “provisional”, and yes, mess up their drops after hitting into water hazards. I could point out these errors more often than I do, but who wants to become a social leper over a few inches or forgotten words? So I keep quiet and let the rules be bent or broken; occasionally, I even play God and take the law into my own hands.

At first, I was outraged by the Tiger Drop. Ignorance of the rules is not bliss: professionals are held to the highest standards, and many before Tiger have been expelled from events for lesser offenses. I don’t for a moment think Tiger was trying to gain an unfair advantage by his actions – but by his own admission, he thinks he did gain one. And golf isn’t soccer: golfers don’t try to con the referee to win corner kicks and penalties. Tiger isn’t just supposed to know the rules, but also follow them to the letter.

But most of us – including the Masters rules committee, apparently – draw our own lines between “strict rules of golf” and “common sense should prevail”. Is that right? I’m not sure. I do think most of us, myself included, should try to draw those lines closer to the letter of the law than we currently do; the rules are as they are for a reason, and ignoring them because we think we know best – even if one can reasonably argue that the punishment of disqualification is always disproportionate to the crime of procedural inaccuracy – violates the spirit of the law as much as the letter. Still, my outrage yielded to guilt when I realized my own hypocrisy; can I really hate the Tiger Drop verdict when I fall short of rules perfection myself?

I do know that Tiger whiffed on a glorious chance to burnish his legacy by withdrawing from the tournament voluntarily and testifying that no golfer is bigger than the rules of the game. If Jack Nicklaus had been in Tiger’s shoes, I’m certain he would have withdrawn. Because Tiger Woods is not Jack Nicklaus, I’m really glad that Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera both birdied the 18th in regulation on Sunday instead of bogeying it, to make Tiger’s final deficit more than two shots. But perhaps that says more about me than it says about Tiger.
 

The Needler

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There is an enormous difference between someone not knowing the rules and someone like you, who is well aware of the rule and the penalty, who on multiple occasions has chosen not to impose it. Nobody's saying you won't get into the afterlife of your chosen religion, but you cheat at golf sometimes. And get sanctimonious about other people you believe cheat, but that's another point, mostly.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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How closely the rules of golf are followed is kind of subject to what the setting is, in my opinion, ie what is the match and what is at stake? If I’m going out with some buddies to have a few beers, blow off steam, hang out, etc, yeah take a breakfast ball, roll it over, don’t take a swing you might break or damage a club on, etc, as long as it’s agreed upon ahead of time. We’re there to have fun and even if playing for small money, if there’s something that comes up we speak up and ask. I haven’t played in anything that requires a signed card or a GHIN in a while, I don’t even carry a GHiN anymore; but were I to or I was playing any kind of competition/non regular partners/real money I play to the rules and expect it from everyone else.

I’ll fully admit to your scenario as it happened to me earlier this year on my first round; I’d bought new clubs over the winter and hadn’t decided on my wedge setup yet, so i had an extra club. I noticed on second or third hole and told my partners I’d gladly take myself out of the money or forfeit the hole I had won. No one cared and we carried on. As Needler noted, I’d ask why you didn’t mention it to anyone.
 
I’d ask why you didn’t mention it to anyone.
I was playing today with two guys I didn't know, and to be honest, I didn't want to get them involved. I made the decision in the moment that I was fine with what I'd done, and if I had asked them their thoughts, probably the worst thing that could have happened is that they might have said I shouldn't worry about it: *that* would have been me asking for and getting validation to make me feel better, and in a way could have enlisted them as accomplices of a sort. Or yes, they might have told me to take the penalty shots. Or one might have said one thing and one might have said the other. Or maybe one of them could have been terribly offended at my even suggesting not strictly observing the rules (very unlikely, given the circumstances, but possible). Regardless, my decision was what it was, and I was content in that moment to live with it myself...and as I mentioned before, if there were ever any possibility that I might post a score that would win me money or accolades of any kind, I wouldn't have let that happen.

Anyway, thanks to both of you for your thoughts. I'd love to hear from other people here as well - if the consensus lines up with both of your thoughts, then I will certainly strongly consider my position on this issue going forward.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

T&A
SoSH Member
Feb 9, 2010
5,301
Providence, RI
Asking your playing partners is really the key in any type of scenario where there is a shade of gray about a rules interpretation. Like PP the context of the round and competition matters but I’d argue so does the opinion of the others in that round. I think most people outside of the staunchest of sticklers and the most formal of tournaments would have said there is no need for the penalty if you haven’t yet used and won’t use the 15th club going forward. By simply asking you get the justification to not take the penalty if it’s not truly warranted and it’s the respectful thing to do for the sake of the competition.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
19,615
Portsmouth, NH
I was playing today with two guys I didn't know, and to be honest, I didn't want to get them involved. I made the decision in the moment that I was fine with what I'd done, and if I had asked them their thoughts, probably the worst thing that could have happened is that they might have said I shouldn't worry about it: *that* would have been me asking for and getting validation to make me feel better, and in a way could have enlisted them as accomplices of a sort. Or yes, they might have told me to take the penalty shots. Or one might have said one thing and one might have said the other. Or maybe one of them could have been terribly offended at my even suggesting not strictly observing the rules (very unlikely, given the circumstances, but possible). Regardless, my decision was what it was, and I was content in that moment to live with it myself...and as I mentioned before, if there were ever any possibility that I might post a score that would win me money or accolades of any kind, I wouldn't have let that happen.

Anyway, thanks to both of you for your thoughts. I'd love to hear from other people here as well - if the consensus lines up with both of your thoughts, then I will certainly strongly consider my position on this issue going forward.
You’re doing a great job of parsing out responses to, again, try to mitigate/look for justification.

If you’re ever going to ask another player, in my opinion at least, it’s when you don’t know them. If it’s your normal guys, you know what’s kosher. ‘Didn’t want to get them involved’? I’m not exactly sure what that is even saying; its your competition. Tour players routinely ask others about point of entry, rulings, etc, precisely for that reason - it’s assumed impartial.

If one of them said yes and one said no, you go with no and take the strokes. I don’t see where that’s complicated, especially in this sport, where so much is left to self policing. And I don’t see ‘getting them involved’ as being a deterrent.

I honestly don’t mean what I’m about to say as offensive, truly, but as another poster recently noted, you come off as pretentious as shit about golf and it’s something I’ve noticed and was glad someone else broached the topic on. But you’re going to tell me that you’ll penalize yourself for the ball moving a millimeter but you break a very simple rule and not only don’t penalize but don’t even mention it? Did the millimeter gain you an advantage?

If you’re really the stickler you claim, you must play pretty well under pressure because if you shot a 75 while dealing with that mental anguish then kudos. Again, as someone else mentioned, it’s not like you’re going to hell for it, but yeah you erred here. And waiting for others to weigh in is, yes, looking for validation. The people you were playing with should be he ones judging it, not is from some hypothetical governing body.

Anyways, don’t worry about the decimal points on your index. Ask yourself if you took the strokes what that would have meant for your score and the guys you were playing against. It’s such a mental game that after two holes if you had said ‘guys, I gotta take a penalty, I fucked up’ that does possibly have a tangible effect on how they play going forward.
 
So how, in the middle of the second hole, could you have removed one of the clubs from play without anyone noticing?
The rule in question (4-4c, in the R&A Rules of Golf at least) stipulates that you just have to declare the excess club in question out of play, once the incident has been noticed, not to remove the club from your bag as such.
You’re doing a great job of parsing out responses to, again, try to mitigate/look for justification.
If you can't take what I've written at face value, there's not much point in having this discussion. I'm willing to admit to there being a certain amount of pretentiousness in my golfing life, but I'm not looking for mitigation or validation - I was curious to know how much of a stickler other golfers here are for following the Rules of Golf as written, period. And I thought that by confessing an incident or two in which I haven't followed the letter of the law 100% of the time (which is sort of the polar opposite of pretentious, isn't it?), I might spark an interesting discussion about how closely other people follow all of the rules all of the time. But that hasn't really happened, which leads me to conclude one or more of the following: a) I'm the only person here who has ever transgressed the letter of the Rules of Golf, either knowingly or out of ignorance; b) nobody is willing to confess either their ignorance of the rules or their willingness to break the rules on occasion, and/or c) this isn't actually that interesting a discussion topic. In any event, I'm sorry I brought all of this up, and I'd prefer to leave it be at this point and let the thread move on to other things.
 

4 6 3 DP

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2001
2,318
Since you were looking for input:

I play a lot of golf, with money on the line, a lot of tournaments, and so I am around a lot of different people in regards to this, and because I've seen so many different approaches to this, I think you generally have to take the most stringent standard possible in applying rules TO YOURSELF that you can, because there may be guys like the jerk in Pap's story above. (The penalty for not moving the ball back on the green). There are people at my clubs who would absolutely call you for having the 15th club. And they would tell you to count your clubs before you teed off on one, and that it is entirely your responsibility to do so.

I personally am very loose with rules when applying them to others and very tight on myself. That is, were you playing with me, I'd have told you to enjoy your round and not use the club. That said, if I had done it, I'd have not even asked an opinion and called myself for it. And that's my personal ethic, and my belief that the majority of golf rules make golf worse.

That said, I would disagree with the use of the word "cheat" above. Cheating involves intent in my opinion. Breaking a rule is different and doesn't involve intent necessarily.

Since we probably should lighten the thread - was thinking I'd give my favorite penalty stroke call of all time and a couple thoughts on golf rules that I wish were changed.

Playing in a one day best ball with my brother (a terrible green reader), he is pointing at a mark to give me a putt line. Given how crappy he is at it, it's off by at least a foot. (I suppose I should have been pleased he knew it went left instead of right). As he went to walk away the putter slips slightly and grazes the putting surface. Gets called for touching the line of the putt. My brother is very mild mannered and there was almost a fight. I just laughed it off. Rules are rules, stupid as they are.

As for rules that should change. Mostly just to improve pace of play

1. A ball agreed to be in a divot in the fairway should be able to be moved no closer to the hole. Obviously not in the rough.
2. White stakes should be played stroke and distance with a 2 shot penalty to move play along.
3. There should be different penalties for lost ball when the playing partners agree the ball is not in a hazard or out of bounds.
 

The Needler

lurker
Dec 7, 2016
1,803
Since you were looking for input:
That said, I would disagree with the use of the word "cheat" above. Cheating involves intent in my opinion. Breaking a rule is different and doesn't involve intent necessarily.
I'd agree that cheating has an intent requirement. To me, cheating is the knowing violation of the rules with an intent to gain an advantage to which you are not entitled.

Having 15 clubs in your bag if you a) either don't know you have that many; or b) don't know the rule, is not in and of itself cheating. That's still a violation, but an ignorant one.

It's in failing to call the penalty that you know is required that it becomes cheating. You are aware of the rule and its penalty, but choose not to impose it to gain an (in this case, 4-stroke) advantage to which you are not entitled. That's cheating to me.

As to CP's brand new question about whether anyone has ever transgressed he rules of golf unknowingly, yes, of course. I don't have the rulebook memorized. Whenever I do something that seems unusual though, I am sure to check with my playing partners. I remember about a year back, I took an unplayable lie from a really crappy bunker I was sure I wouldn't get out of, and dropped into the fairway straight back on the line to the flag. I asked the guys in my group, and nobody had a problem with it. I learned weeks later that was not allowed. I don't lose sleep over it. But I also wouldn't do it in the future (until the rule changes next year, anyway).
 
Last edited:

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
3,100
Arvada, Co
Since you were looking for input:

I play a lot of golf, with money on the line, a lot of tournaments, and so I am around a lot of different people in regards to this, and because I've seen so many different approaches to this, I think you generally have to take the most stringent standard possible in applying rules TO YOURSELF that you can, because there may be guys like the jerk in Pap's story above. (The penalty for not moving the ball back on the green). There are people at my clubs who would absolutely call you for having the 15th club. And they would tell you to count your clubs before you teed off on one, and that it is entirely your responsibility to do so.

I personally am very loose with rules when applying them to others and very tight on myself. That is, were you playing with me, I'd have told you to enjoy your round and not use the club. That said, if I had done it, I'd have not even asked an opinion and called myself for it. And that's my personal ethic, and my belief that the majority of golf rules make golf worse.

That said, I would disagree with the use of the word "cheat" above. Cheating involves intent in my opinion. Breaking a rule is different and doesn't involve intent necessarily.

Since we probably should lighten the thread - was thinking I'd give my favorite penalty stroke call of all time and a couple thoughts on golf rules that I wish were changed.

Playing in a one day best ball with my brother (a terrible green reader), he is pointing at a mark to give me a putt line. Given how crappy he is at it, it's off by at least a foot. (I suppose I should have been pleased he knew it went left instead of right). As he went to walk away the putter slips slightly and grazes the putting surface. Gets called for touching the line of the putt. My brother is very mild mannered and there was almost a fight. I just laughed it off. Rules are rules, stupid as they are.

As for rules that should change. Mostly just to improve pace of play

1. A ball agreed to be in a divot in the fairway should be able to be moved no closer to the hole. Obviously not in the rough.
2. White stakes should be played stroke and distance with a 2 shot penalty to move play along.
3. There should be different penalties for lost ball when the playing partners agree the ball is not in a hazard or out of bounds.
Tourneys are different than regular play for rules, obviously. I'm not ever going to ask my 25 handicap guys to go back to the tee for a lost ball we all thought was fine in a weekend fuck-around round. That would make golf worse for everyone. Put your ESC score on the scorecard if they even carry a handicap and no harm is done. Thankfully, that's finally addressed in next year's rules. If you play mostly match play with your buddies, what difference does it make? I'd love to meet the person who won't knock a 6" putt back to his high handicap buddy on a Sunday morning. I'd like to meet them and tell them to get off the fucking course because they make everything worse for everyone. In a tourney, you play by the full rules. In tourney play, that person needs to make the 6" putt.

As to your rule changes:
1) Totally disagree on the divots rule. It's impossible to decide what is and isn't a divot. The only fair rule would be that it's preferred lies in the fairway and that would totally suck. Sometimes you end up in a divot on a good shot. Sometimes the ball runs into a creek at the end of the fairway. Sometimes you hit a tree and bounce back into the fairway. Shit happens and what you "deserve" doesn't really come into it.
2) This is addressed in the 2019 rules. 2 stroke penalty and a drop into the nearest fairway (not point of relief, but fairway).
3) I agree with this. Since we don't have galleries and spotters looking for balls and looking for balls sucks, if it's not virtually certain that your ball is OB, the penalty for lost ball should be the same as for a lateral or water hazard. I realize this would be a pretty large change to the rules for the pros, but for most I think it would reflect the way the regular player enforces this rule anyway. Lose one in the tall rough? Drop one and take a stroke. Bounced into the whispy grass but should be findable and isn't, take a drop and play on. Many courses around here have local rules that say in non-tournament play that all tall grass is to be played as lateral. That's how it should be at all courses, IMO.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
19,615
Portsmouth, NH
Since you were looking for input:

I play a lot of golf, with money on the line, a lot of tournaments, and so I am around a lot of different people in regards to this, and because I've seen so many different approaches to this, I think you generally have to take the most stringent standard possible in applying rules TO YOURSELF that you can, because there may be guys like the jerk in Pap's story above. (The penalty for not moving the ball back on the green). There are people at my clubs who would absolutely call you for having the 15th club. And they would tell you to count your clubs before you teed off on one, and that it is entirely your responsibility to do so.

I personally am very loose with rules when applying them to others and very tight on myself. That is, were you playing with me, I'd have told you to enjoy your round and not use the club. That said, if I had done it, I'd have not even asked an opinion and called myself for it. And that's my personal ethic, and my belief that the majority of golf rules make golf worse.

That said, I would disagree with the use of the word "cheat" above. Cheating involves intent in my opinion. Breaking a rule is different and doesn't involve intent necessarily.

Since we probably should lighten the thread - was thinking I'd give my favorite penalty stroke call of all time and a couple thoughts on golf rules that I wish were changed.

Playing in a one day best ball with my brother (a terrible green reader), he is pointing at a mark to give me a putt line. Given how crappy he is at it, it's off by at least a foot. (I suppose I should have been pleased he knew it went left instead of right). As he went to walk away the putter slips slightly and grazes the putting surface. Gets called for touching the line of the putt. My brother is very mild mannered and there was almost a fight. I just laughed it off. Rules are rules, stupid as they are.

As for rules that should change. Mostly just to improve pace of play

1. A ball agreed to be in a divot in the fairway should be able to be moved no closer to the hole. Obviously not in the rough.
2. White stakes should be played stroke and distance with a 2 shot penalty to move play along.
3. There should be different penalties for lost ball when the playing partners agree the ball is not in a hazard or out of bounds.
On board with basically everything you and jercra said about being lenient or stringent in certain circumstances and being most tight on myself. I agree with 1 and even in tournament play will tell a guy to get his ball out of a divot; if it's me, i ask or wait for someone to say its ok. 2 we always play that way anyway, except for the previously mentioned guy who will walk back to the tee to hit his 3rd. 3 we almost all use anyways.

As to the bolded, it wasn't even that I didn't move it back, I did. When i first moved it out of his line, I didn't mark it where it was and then move the mark; I put my putter head alongside the ball and marked it that way; then moved the mark it back after he putted and replaced my ball there. I've literally read the rule book cover to cover (bored on a road trip with my brother to Myrtle Beach, don't ask and I don't recommend doing it) and I had no idea. Like I said, we don't play much with him anymore.
 

The Needler

lurker
Dec 7, 2016
1,803
On board with basically everything you and jercra said about being lenient or stringent in certain circumstances and being most tight on myself. I agree with 1 and even in tournament play will tell a guy to get his ball out of a divot; if it's me, i ask or wait for someone to say its ok. 2 we always play that way anyway, except for the previously mentioned guy who will walk back to the tee to hit his 3rd. 3 we almost all use anyways.

As to the bolded, it wasn't even that I didn't move it back, I did. When i first moved it out of his line, I didn't mark it where it was and then move the mark; I put my putter head alongside the ball and marked it that way; then moved the mark it back after he putted and replaced my ball there. I've literally read the rule book cover to cover (bored on a road trip with my brother to Myrtle Beach, don't ask and I don't recommend doing it) and I had no idea. Like I said, we don't play much with him anymore.
I'm pretty sure you didn't break the rule.

https://mikefaygolf.com/method-used-to-mark-the-position-of-ball/
 

Chuck Schilling

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 5, 2001
3,650
the belly of the clam
Needler, sounds like PP didn't follow the below part of the guidance in your link. When he replaced his ball, if he'd instead just placed his putter alongside the marker and placed his ball on the green that would have reversed how he'd marked the ball. The way he did it might have ended up with the ball a little closer to the hole. But I can't imagine ever calling someone on that, or ever playing again with someone who would raise that objection.
In order to accurately replace the ball on the spot from which it was lifted, the steps used to move the ball or ball-marker to the side should be reversed.