OK Here are the Rules

By Adam BarrJanuary 6, 2006, 5:00 pm
As 2006 begins, more than a hundred new or changed interpretations of the Rules of Golf take effect. They can be found in the newest edition of the helpful book, Decisions on the Rules of Golf, which the U.S. Golf Association publishes every two years in conjunction with its partner in golf governance, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
 
Most of these changes will prevent the rules from operating in unintended and annoying ways. Just ask Jesper Parnevik and Mark Roe, who were marking for each other at the 2003 British Open and each reported the correct score, but on the each others (that is, the wrong) cards. They got an early trip home for it, courtesy of DQ (and I dont mean Dairy Queen). Now such administrative errors can be corrected by the tournament committee.
 
Well, you can take the golfer out of the lawyer biz, but its tough to pry the pin-striped, hyper-detail-oriented, obsessive legislative geek out of the golfer. So in the spirit of enlightened rulemaking, here are a few of my proposals for Supplemental Rules of Golf that should make everyone happier in 2006. There will be no comment period, and the rules will take effect immediately.
 
DRIVER ENVY. A player shall do his best to strike a decent tee ball without delay occasioned by bragging about the new war stick he or she received for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Boxing Day. Enforcement of this rule may be waived by the committee, unless the offender uses terms such as Linda Ronstadt (Blew By You) or announces loudly that his drive is a monster, even as it lands in ankle-high Kikuyu. Penalty for breach: In stroke play, loud derision from everyone else in the four-ball while a cell phone call is made to the offenders third-grade crush. In match play, wearing of a Charles Barkley tee-shirt until all players have putted out on the hole.
 
LONG IRON MISUSE. No player with a Handicap Index of more than 10 shall carry or use a 2- or 3-iron UNLESS said player can demonstrate the ability to hit the club(s) at least 180 yards with no more than 15 yards of dispersion. Penalty for breach: The player will be made to continue to use the long iron, and will miss greens he could have hit with a hybrid until his head or his Handicap Index explodes, whichever comes first (although its likely to be simultaneous).
 
PRACTICE. Any player who is serious about improving his or her game will sign a pledge to stop banging drivers endlessly on the range, and will further promise to earn every 30 minutes of full-swing practice with at least 60 minutes of putting, pitching and chipping practice. Penalty for breach: In stroke play, loss of perspective. In match play, repeated glares from your alternate shot partner as you rack up three-putts and demonstrate the wedge feel of an uneducated brick.
 
SLOW PLAY. Re-teeing after striking a ball that lands in play, dawdling, on-course-lesson-giving, not being prepared to play when it is your turn, and failing to behave as if you realize that golf is a communal activity shall be punishable by imposition of Cleveland Browns season tickets or death, at the option of the offender.
 
MOST IMPORTANT RULE. Any player shall, when the game stops being fun, take a break, get a life, and regain perspective. Penalty for breach: No penalty necessary.
 
EQUIPMENT COLUMNISTS PROTECTION RULE. The Equipment Columnist shall not be buffeted by e-mails deriding his golf swing, writing style, or haircut. Penalty for breach: Oh yeah; like anyones going to follow this one anyway.
 
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr
Getty Images

Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

Getty Images

McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

Getty Images

What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x