Re­gard­ing the pro­posed changes to the Rules of Golf (April ed­i­to­rial), I sug­gest the fol­low­ing.

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1 Limit po­ten­tial rule changes to the usual nec­es­sary re­fine­ments. Con­sider the fol­low­ing amend­ments: (a) Per­mit re­pair­ing spike marks. A large per­cent­age of play­ers do this any­way! (b) Amend out of bounds penalty to NO penalty stroke, only count ac­tual strokes played. This was sug­gested by Tim Finchem dur­ing a re­tire­ment in­ter­view (Fe­bru­ary), us­ing the logic that a ball played into a wa­ter haz­ard lin­ing a hole would be dropped un­der penalty of one stroke, hence would be ly­ing two, not three.

2 Sim­ple ways of im­prov­ing pace of play with­out rush­ing (or jog­ging). (a) On the tee. Re­place head cover and put club in bag while part­ners are play­ing their shots. All play­ers should be ready to walk as soon as the last per­son has played. (b) Don’t re­li­giously pre­fer your lie, lo­cal rule per­mit­ting, when it’s not nec­es­sary. Most clubs un­for­tu­nately per­mit tem­po­rary pre­ferred lies, or per­ma­nently when not jus­ti­fied (often purely to pacify mem­bers), a prac­tice of which the R&A is crit­i­cal. (c) Re­frain from hold­ing con­ver­sa­tions when a fel­low player is about to play. (d) On the green, line up your putt and re­pair pitch marks while wait­ing for your turn (with­out dis­turb­ing oth­ers).

All the above can save half an hour (or more) over 18 holes. Bill Col­ston, Port El­iz­a­beth

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