The New 2019 Rules

Which Two New 2019 USGA Rule Changes Are You Most Happy About?

No penalty for a double strike
0
No votes
Drop from knee height instead of shoulder height
1
6%
Pin can be left in when putting--No penalty for hitting pin
6
33%
Ability to substitute ball in play with a new ball when taking (free or penal) relief
0
No votes
No penalty for moving your ball during a search for it
2
11%
Free relief for embedded ball anywhere on course (except bunkers)
1
6%
Areas of desert, jungle, woods, lava rock, etc., MAY now be marked as red or yellow (instead of white/OB)
3
17%
No penalty for repairing spike marks or other damage on greens
1
6%
Move loose impediments and/or touch the ground with hand or club in penalty areas (not bunkers)
2
11%
Allowed to move loose impediments in bunkers now---no penalty
1
6%
Ball search now limited to only 3 minutes
1
6%
 
Total votes: 18

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srogers13
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by srogers13 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:15 am

Doesn't the way handicaps are calculated get changed next year?
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legitimatebeef
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by legitimatebeef » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:32 am

If these new rules are so insignificant as you all seem to be arguing, then you should have no problem letting your next match opponent play by the new rules while you play by the old. Right? It's plain old logic you see. Transitive property and shit. Oh, so you would have a problem with this scenario? Not equitable you say? Well, I agree.
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jev
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by jev » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:19 am

srogers13 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:15 am
Doesn't the way handicaps are calculated get changed next year?
I am not entirely sure, but what I heard is the changes in the handicap systems are postponed to 2020 (or possibly even later).

Anyway, as I understand it these changes won't actually create a single handicap system that is the same throughout the entire world. Individual federations are allowed to define their own ways to implement the system. I guess the European federations will still be using the stableford system whilst the USGA may still be using a modified strokeplay based system.
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by bkuehn1952 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:36 am

Well, we are 2 weeks into the "New Rules." Who is making a conscious effort to play by the new rules? What new rules have impacted your play?

The obvious one is leaving the flag stick in the hole. In my three 2019 rounds I have left the flag in virtually 100% of the time. A few times I have reflexively removed the flag stick. Once it seemed to be leaning toward me so I removed it. Up to this point, I can't really say the flag stick has helped or hindered me. It still feels odd having the flag stick in on shorter putts, say 15 feet or less. It is also harder to get my hand into the hole with the stick in.

I failed to drop properly a few times but now seem to be aware enough to use the knee height standard. As I do not make that many drops during the season, I may need to remind myself again.

Most of the changes are liberalizations and if one does not follow them, there is no additional penalty. One can putt over the deer track or fix it. Still, I plan to study up as some of the changes are a definite benefit (accidentally moving ball during a search or while on the green).

Let's make an effort to report on our intersections with new rules situations. It helps to hear real life scenarios. They are more memorable than "Player A mistakenly ..."
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by gpickin » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:27 pm

USGA Rules - Live on Facebook right now

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GBOGEY
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by GBOGEY » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:02 pm

Only 3 rounds into the year, 1.5 of them solo but I find things working out like this on the putting / flag rule when playing with others:
1. Long putts, leave it in
2. Short putts, take it out
3. Medium putts - could be either

The funny thing is this - my casual observation is that this is what I've seen the pros doing on TV. Also, I found myself doing this on Sunday even though I was playing a solo round - I just find it distracting to having the flag in for certain short putts.

For the record I had one putt during Sunday's marvelous round that went in that I think would have missed without the flag. There was a second putt that was more interesting. The 18th green has severe slope/break on it and it is hard to hit a putt hard enough out of fear that a missed putt will race down the hill away from the hole. The typical putt is hit too soft, picks up too much break and misses. From about 12 feet I decided to leave the pin in and decided that because the pin was in I could hit the putt more firmly. Of course it went in and I actually believe it would have gone in without the pin, but I don't think I would have hit it firm enough if the pin was out. Birdie on 18 capped a marvelous round.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by DougE » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:29 pm

I can't say that leaving the pin in will be a regular occurrence for me yet. I haven't played enough real life official golf with the option available to me to form an educated opinion. However, one thing I have always noticed when leaving the pin in for unofficial rounds is that the pin helps me focus better than the hole does, particularly on short putts. If I use the pin as my target to hit, I tend to get it closer than if I use the hole as my target, even though I usually have a small, dime-sized spot near/just behind the hole that I try to focus on. I feel my short putting might be better with the pin in, but I have never had to do so in an official round, so I guess that variable has to be thrown into the equation before I decide which way to go.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by jasonfish11 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:39 pm

Given how hard it is for most of us to hit the hole on our putts, I don't think the flag will make a significant difference. I feel like for me it will provide more benefit than for others, because I putt looking at the hole. So I feel like the flag stick being there will help me "aim small, miss small."

Also it's not like my putting has a long way to go down hill. I've made a few recent changes to my putting that have actually made some noticeable differences in the last couple of rounds (ok last 27 holes). I don't think leaving the pin in/out will have as much impact on my putting as the setup changes I made in October/November.
Keep it short stupid.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by sjduffers » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:06 pm

In my view, it's really simple. If the flagstick doesn't lean towards you making the space for the ball to drop too small, or the wind doesn't batter the flagstick back and forth, just leave it in: it's always an advantage in any of those other circumstances, close or far. Let me explain.

From a distance, the flagstick can act as a backstop if the ball has too much speed, and at worst will deaden the bounce if not letting the ball drop down outright so that the next shot is from a closer distance than it would have been otherwise. The flagstick also provides a better target than the hole, especially when one only see the edges of the hole and not the hole per se, and would be tempted to have the flag tended. There is less distraction than with tending the flag too. Most amateurs are pretty bad at tending the flag, from leaving their shadows close by, to moving, etc... Nowhere near the level of professional tending done by caddies on Tour. Also, why leave the flag in when chipping from off the green (which most players do at a distance), and not leaving it on the green from similar or even longer distance? That makes no sense, yes the pros are routinely doing that right now, except the smart ones!...

From intermediate range, say 15 to 30 feet, if speed is not perfect for a hole out, the flagstick has a chance to help and certainly does not hurt, plus it can help visualize the target too.

From near range, say 6 to 15 feet, it's probably a wash because who smashes a 10 footer 5 feet by? Still, there is no harm in leaving it in if you are used to it. Most putts in that range don't even touch the hole so there is effectively no difference, but for those who do, it won't hurt if the ball has the right speed and it will help 99.9% of the time if there is too much pace. The other 0.1%? When the deflection sends the ball onto a sharp edge of the hole sending the ball further away (similar to a lip-out with way too much speed).

For the shortest putts, inside 6 feet, hit the ball harder with the flagstick in and take some break out of the putt. This won't help bad putters who are still not touching the hole, but for good putters, there is definitely value there, especially on downhill putts where the normal line is to aim a bit outside the hole. With some practice, you can hit harder and aim at the edge or inside the hole now. Not to mention the tap-ins, so you don't have to take the flag out, lay it down and then putt (or rely on someone else), or putt one-handed with the flag in the other hand like I used to do. Just walk up and tap it in: it saves time too! :)
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by jasonfish11 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:21 pm

I agree with the above. I think it will help more than it will hurt to have the flag in (in all situations). That being said I also think the frequency of someone hitting the flag stick on a putt that otherwise would not have gone in and the flag stick either 1) making it go in or 2) making it a closer 2nd putt is going to be so infrequent (maybe once every 2-3 rounds?) that the overall benefit isn't going to be substantial.

Now if I'm playing for my living, and improving my putting by 0.05 strokes per round equates to more money in my pocket. You can be damn sure that flag is going to be in the hole every time I putt (baring a very few exceptions).

That being said I can see an argument to not putt with the flag in. If the flag being in makes someone uncomfortable because they aren't use to it. Then it might actually make their putting worse because they aren't as comfortable. To them I'd argue "practice it until you are comfortable" as this is only a temporary excuse.
Keep it short stupid.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by Duke of Hazards » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:05 pm

I'm playing this weekend and am giddy as a school girl to leave the pin in.
Bluto did it

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by jfurr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:52 pm

Duke of Hazards wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:05 pm
I'm playing this weekend and am giddy as a school girl to leave the pin in.
that's what she said
Everything Sucks

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by GBOGEY » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:17 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:21 pm
I agree with the above. I think it will help more than it will hurt to have the flag in (in all situations). That being said I also think the frequency of someone hitting the flag stick on a putt that otherwise would not have gone in and the flag stick either 1) making it go in or 2) making it a closer 2nd putt is going to be so infrequent (maybe once every 2-3 rounds?) that the overall benefit isn't going to be substantial.
I agree that it makes sense to leave the flag in, it just isn't comfortable in some circumstances. It will be interesting to see if attitudes change with time (I also half expect the USGA to reverse this rule quickly). On short putts (say under 10 feet), you really shouldn't have too much speed so that the flag will help so it probably doesn't matter if you take it out. On longer putts (say +25 feet) it should definitely help. The real question in my mind is medium putts (say 10-25 feet). Leaving it in should be beneficial, but one would think the benefit is minor and if it's distracting, then maybe not.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:45 am

I took a couple of drops yesterday, 2019 style. Definitely easier to get a choice lie. Let's face it, whenever you drop, you are usually wanting to land on a certain spot. Okay so maybe that is not the spirit of the rule, but it is human nature and cannot be avoided. So taking a drop is like taking a shot in a sense: you have a ball, and you have a target. But now, the distance between the ball and the target has been cut down by 2/3. Of course that's going to make it easier to hit the target. :facepalm

The intent I am assuming was to speed up play. But are they also trying to eliminate the gaming aspect of dropping? I.e. trying to stop people from attempting to score themselves a nice lie. If that were the case, they should have gone with the over the shoulder drop. By moving it down to knee height it seems that they are just capitulating, as if to say, Fine if you're going to waste all that time trying to get a nice lie, then in the interest of pace of play, we'll just make it easier and more likely for you to get that desired lie.

Fine have it your way, but do not deny that this changes the dynamic of the game appreciably. I always liked the old rule and its randomness. In golf you never know where the ball is going to settle and the old style drop did a good job of simulating that randomness. Now it's gone, probably forever. Lame.
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by DougE » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:05 am

One of the primary reasons for the drop from knee height rule is to limit the frequency of players getting to "place" the ball after the ball has rolled out of the drop on the first two attempts. From knee height it it less likely to do so, than from shoulder height. And, that is why it is not acceptable to drop it from anywhere BETWEEN knee and shoulder height, as some pros have suggested would be a better option. That would defeat pone of the main purposes of the rule.

Also, dropping from knee height gives the ball enough gravitational force to have the lie be less than prime. Just like when dropping from shoulder height, there is a very good chance that the ball will nestle into rough. In fact, from knee height, it might be arguable that the ball is MORE than likely to nestle down into the rough, due to the fact that it is less likely to bounce high enough to come back out and settle more on top of the rough.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:10 am

It's also more likely to settle near to where the user wants it to settle. This is far more typical than a lucky upward bounce IMO.
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by bkuehn1952 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:20 am

legitimatebeef wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:45 am
...But are they also trying to eliminate the gaming aspect of dropping? I.e. trying to stop people from attempting to score themselves a nice lie...
One aspect of the change is interesting, at least to me. Formerly, one could drop within 1 or 2 club lengths of the spot (depending on whether a penalty was assessed or the drop was free). When the ball was dropped, it was allowed to roll an additional 2 club lengths. If it went farther than that, re-drop. Now, when you drop, the ball must remain in the pre-determined drop area (a half circle or less with a 1-2 club length radius). If it goes outside the half circle, re-drop.

Under the old rule, if one were on the edge of a cart path AND behind a tree, one could drop a club length away from the path AND hope it rolled another 2 club lengths, effectively getting away from the tree. Now, one is limited to the portion of the circle (about a quarter) with a 1 club radius.

It is easier to game the drop in order to get it outside the drop area but now it is impossible to get an acceptable drop more than a club (or 2) away from the obstacle.

If there was a rock angled in a preferred direction, I would drop on that to see if I could get almost 2 club lengths away from that spot (don't do it on the re-drop or you have to place it on the rock!). Or drop on a tuft of grass and hope it rolled more than 2 club lengths so I could place it on the tuft. Yes, I tried to game the drop process. :facepalm
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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by DougE » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:30 am

That is called using the rules to your benefit. Anyone who plays golf competitively understands that this is expected and even encouraged. It's why knowing the rules is as important as knowing how to hit various shots. It is not cheating in any way to play the rules to your advantage. Period. Every pro worth his weight does it. Why shouldn't you?

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by jasonfish11 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:07 pm

DougE wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:30 am
That is called using the rules to your benefit. Anyone who plays golf competitively understands that this is expected and even encouraged. It's why knowing the rules is as important as knowing how to hit various shots. It is not cheating in any way to play the rules to your advantage. Period. Every pro worth his weight does it. Why shouldn't you?
So you had no issue with Phil hitting a moving ball and taking the penalty?
Keep it short stupid.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by DougE » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:37 pm

Yes, I did think Phil's move was a problem. That was pure disrespect for the game. However, there is not a player out there who does not try to use the rules to his advantage without disrespecting the game. Phil crossed a line. Dropping with hopes of getting a better lie is widely accepted throughout the game of golf. (As are many other rules.) Some rules were written in ways that hurt players for doing nothing wrong and other rules are written in ways that a player can get an advantage. Just like some bounces are good and some are not. When there is a rule that leaves options open, as a player, you damn well better know how to get the best out of it. Particularly when it is a widely accepted practice by all your competitors. Hitting a moving ball on purpose has never been a widely accepted practice. Dropping within a designated area, knowing full well that the ball will move far enough out of the designated area to require you to drop again, and again, is a common practice and acceptable by all competitors AND RULES OFFICIALS.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by jasonfish11 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:25 pm

Would you have been more ok with it had Phil let the ball roll out, declared it unplayable and elected to "replay the previous shot"?

He intentionally broke a rule to gain an advantage even with taking a penalty, so I get how it's different than "using a rule to your advantage" but my above example would simply be using a rule to your advantage. So I wonder if your opinion would differ in that example. BTW this is what I would have done if I were him and I truly believed that my next shot was going to be harder than a 2nd attempt at the previous putt (as in more than 1 stroke harder).
Keep it short stupid.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by DougE » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:04 pm

Yes.

To me that would be using the rules to your advantage without making a mockery of the game by playing hockey, and I believe would have been universally accepted by all his peers.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by DougE » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:02 pm

For anyone interested, who hasn't seen the latest test for putting with the flagstick in, My Golf Spy did an extensive one and came up with an opinion. I tend to agree with it, but will still be considering my options for each situation. Personally, I think very slopey greens adds a variable to the general testing which could affect the outcome more so than indicated.

https://mygolfspy.com/flagstick-in-flag ... olf-rules/

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by GBOGEY » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:30 pm

I think this data is consistent with the other two major studies I've seen. The issue or key is speed - at the right speed, the pin isn't going to make a huge difference. At the wrong speed, it makes a huge difference. When are you more likely to have the right speed - shorter putts. When are you more likely to have the wrong speed - longer putts. Of course, one of the issues you have to deal with is you can make the choice to ram the putt into the hole, knowing that the pin will help you. Of course on the other hand, if you miss the hole completely you now have a longer make on the next putt.

Clearly the data supports leaving the pin in at all times but I doubt if people will, at least for a long time. And quite frankly on shorter putts I'm fine with that and on longer putts I want it in.

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Re: The New 2019 Rules

Post by gpickin » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:58 am

So what about the big controversy on the European Tour?

Haotong Li was penalized two strokes for having his caddie assist in lining up his putt on the final hole of the Dubai Desert Classic. The penalty dropped him from T-3 to T-12 and cost him around $100,000 in prize money. Fellow players jumped to Li's defense on social media, criticizing the ruling.

https://www.golfchannel.com/news/player ... Svc76AX2zc

I just saw the video snippet on Twitter and thats pretty marginal.


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