After Further Review: Simplifying rules step in right direction


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the USGA simplying the Rules of Golf.

From the bungled U.S. Open ruling to the bizarre trophy presentations, it wasn’t a great year for the USGA. But there’s hope that 2017 will be much better for the blue blazers. USGA head Mike Davis said this week that a new draft of the Rules of Golf will be unveiled sometime next year, and it will be “simpler” and “easier to apply.” Yes, it’s long overdue, but any progress on this front should be applauded. Let’s hope the next edition of rules doesn’t require a Ph.d.. - Ryan Lavner

On the PGA Tour making the Zurich Classic a team event.

With the upcoming format changes at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the PGA Tour is thinking outside the box - and that's a good thing.

News this week that the tournament will switch to a two-man team format in 2017 was met with some curiosity and a lot of enthusiasm by several Tour players. It shows the good that can come from shaking things up a bit, as too often Tour stops can tend to bleed from one to the next without much delineation, especially in the middle of the season.

Two things happen every two years: golf fans get caught up in the drama of the Ryder Cup, and they wonder aloud why more events can't be like it.

While no one will mistake TPC Louisiana for Hazeltine next spring, the format change is a welcome innovation that will help an otherwise middling tournament stand out. It also shows that the Tour sees the appeal and interest that can be created by offering a new and different alternative. Here's hoping there's more of that in store in the coming months and years. - Will Gray

On the Olympics working to grow the women's game:

The Olympic Games look like they are going to work as a perfectly legal growth hormone for the women’s game.

With Shanshan Feng winning two LPGA titles since claiming the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro in August, the women’s game is getting more attention in China, with more Chinese following their countrywoman’s success.

And women’s golf is getting more attention in India, with Aditi Ashok building on the success she enjoyed in Rio. While Ashok didn’t win an Olympic medal, she won massive attention for her sport in India when she grabbed a share of the second-round lead in Rio. In less than three months, she has built on the following she created there, first with her advancement into next month’s final stage of LPGA Q-School and now with her breakthrough Sunday at the Hero Women’s Indian Open. Ashok, 18, became the first player from India to win an LET title, making the triumph more meaningful by doing so in India.

While there’s no knowing how much the game will grow in India, it’s easy to imagine more young girls there wanting to take up the sport after seeing a player with Ashok’s game and charm excel. The Olympics raised her profile, helping her raise golf’s profile in her part of the world. - Randall Mell

On Aditi Ashok winning the Hero Women’s Indian Open.

In August, India’s Aditi Ashok captivated the golf world, and beyond, when the teenager began her week at the women’s Olympic golf competition with back-to-back 68s to move into contention for a medal.

Ashok faded in Rio and didn’t bring a medal back to India, but the promise of what she could do, not just for herself competitively but for an entire nation, was palpable.

On Sunday, at the Hero Women’s Indian Open Ashok took another major step in delivering on both of those possibilities, becoming the first Indian to win her nation’s championship. - Rex Hoggard