What the locker room is saying about the rules changes
Undercover Tour Pro
impler is better. It’s a truth that pertains to everything in life. That’s why I’m in favor of the proposed “modernization” that will cut The Rules of Golf from 34 to 24. I don’t agree with all the changes, but I like the spirit of the undertaking.
Many of my fellow players are not as open-minded. Among us, there exists a strong bias against the USGA. When Far Hills made the announcement, the vibe on the range was a caustic, “What the heck do those guys know about golf?” It’s unfair, but that’s the perception pros have. We interact with the USGA once a year at the U.S. Open, which from our view is usually a debacle. Five or six things that feel ridiculously unfair are guaranteed to happen to you that week, like losing a
Sball in the rough one yard off the fairway, or seeing your stopped ball suddenly roll 30 feet off a green. Unless you’re the guy holding the trophy at the end, you leave bitter. Even though the R&A is equally involved in the changes, American players don’t have the same antipathy toward that organization. If the proposal had come from the International Golf Federation, it’d have been better received.
The USGA didn’t help relations by having a guy going around at Riviera this year, ostensibly asking our opinions on the rules. The press release that landed two weeks later was clearly pretty much already written. I was aware of the project, but I had no idea how drastic the changes would be. I’m not sure people appreciate yet just how much this will change the game.
I won’t submit written feedback to the USGA, but here’s what I’ll tell Mike Davis (with whom I have good rapport) the next time I see him.
We’ve all missed and made putts because of spike marks. A lot of pros are obsessives, and they’re going to be tamp, tamp, tamping all day.
It’s the most talked-about change on tour, and none of us can work out what’s wrong with the current method. Are we going to have officials lying on their stomachs to ensure balls are in fact dropped, not placed?