Relaxed Rules of Golf
Last week we went out to dinner with some guys from the Golf Channel. Of course we all ranted about the problems of the golf industry and what we each thought should be done.
During this firestorm, one of the guys handed out bag tags with the “Relaxed Rules of Golf”. These seven “rules” are :
1.) Maximum score is double-par.
2.) Penalties are all one stroke.
3.) Limit ball search to 2 minutes.
4.) Improve unfortunate lies.
5.) Conceded putts allowed.
6.) No equipment restrictions.
7.) Use common-sense.
I like it. In fact I like it a lot. My friends and I usually use pretty similar guidelines when we playgolf. Does this make sense for tournament golf? Of course not. But my usual round is not tournament golf – it’s just recreation played with some buddies for laughs.
Should this be the only way to play golf? Not at all – that’s your call. But for most people it probably is a more enjoyable way to play. In fact the other day, a local retired PGA Pro told me this is how he and his friends play.
Some people may complain that it isn’t “real golf”. Really? Are they the arbitrators of real golf? How about the Scottish shepherds who invented the game by hitting a rock with a stick to win a shot of whiskey? Wasn’t that real golf? Has golf “evolved” beyond that basic game?
I’m not a lover of cutsie golf and all of this stuff to make it “fun”. But I do believe that we’ve gotten way too carried away with the Rules, “Official” Handicaps, the “perfect” swing, ridiculously difficult golf courses, “honors”, lining up putts, knowing exact yardage, etc.
We’ve lost the basic charm of the game – hit a ball with a stick while spending 4 hours with your friends, And having enough common sense and courtesy to make it a really enjoyable experience.
Golf needs to get more back to its roots – not get hung-up on all the peripheral stuff. Good for the Golf Channel.
GM and Head Golf Professional