Archive for the ‘rules’ Category

We hear a lot about what golf needs to thrive. First, let me say golf will survive now and for as long as people walk this beautiful Earth. Golf will never not be. The bug was released the first time a Scotsman fashioned a club and struck a ball of some sort. Others saw this, tried it for themselves, heard and felt a certain clickit, or thrump, or whompit, and needed to try that again. Golf is not a sport or game: It’s a habit, and it embeds deep within. My father tried to play golf but his extra-ego wouldn’t allow it. Golf will pulverize an extra-ego. He gave his Bobby Jones signature clubs to me and inadvertently got me started on a lifelong journey. I was the first in my family to play the game and would have turned pro if I’d gotten any support to do so. But once I’d experienced the exhilaration of a finely hit golf shot, I was hooked, and have stayed hooked (with a few years off the hook for good behavior) for over 50 years.

So not to worry about the fate of the game. As long as a ball stings the sweet spot of a club from time to time, the game will remain intact. It might ebb and flow according to the vicissitudes of society, TV ratings may vary according to whether Tiger is in the field, golf courses may go bankrupt, but golf will endure. There are, though, a few things that golf needs and doesn’t need.

1. Power carts. Seeing a couple of 25 year old yahoos in carts is an abomination of what golf was intended. Golf was and is a game (more…)

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Americans don’t like rules much. Generally, we follow them but we gripe along the way. They’re usually written in fine print or in legalese or in laws that we didn’t even know existed, so we don’t bother following them to the letter. We look for ways around them, hoping that our infractions are so miniscule that no one will notice. In sports, there are penalties for breaking rules. In football you can lose yards or have touchdowns canceled; in basketball there are foul shots; in baseball you can get thrown out of the game; in soccer there are penalty kicks; in horse-racing you can get disqualified; and in golf there are penalty strokes.

In golf, I’ve seen amateurs, including myself, break the rules in friendly games, like giving oneself a preferred lie on occasion

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