He Said/She Said: Change these dumb rules!

By Bailey MosierOctober 27, 2011, 3:00 am

The Rules of Golf. Hardly anyone who plays the game knows all of the rules, and rightfully so, as many in the book are simply outdated and a bit harsh on most of us hackers. With the U.S. Golf Association and R&A recently coming to their senses on some rules changes, here are a handful that also need to be addressed.


Stroke and distance: As a golfer who has a tendency to launch tee shots right, or snap hook them well left, I hate this rule. First off, not only am I disgusted with my never-ending ability to not find a fairway, but then I have to endure the one-stroke penalty for going O.B. Fair enough, I suck, and should pay the price. But to have to go back to the tee box and re-tee, well that’s just too much of a penalty for one swing. That’s like getting the courage up to ask out a woman at a bar and having her not only tell you to ‘get lost,’ but then finishes it with a slap across the face. But then again, trying to figure out golf or women never seems fair.

Signing a scorecard: Yes, this doesn’t affect 99.9 percent of us playing in our casual rounds, but it does affect those playing this sport at the highest levels. Could you imagine watching the Packers beat the Jets 42-28 to win the Super Bowl only to then find out that the Packers are getting DQ’d because Aaron Rogers wrote down 41-28 instead? Scorecard, really? Try thinking ‘scoreboard.’ Every sport has them – including – duh – golf. Let the players play. Let other people keep the scores.

Repairing a spike mark: Let me get this straight: you can take out a tool and repair a divot on the green but you are not allowed the use your putter to tap down a spike mark? This old rule needs to be ixnayed inway ahurryway (pardon my pig Latin). I’m not sure why more professionals do not make a bigger stink out of this. Putting on superfast, otherwise perfectly manicured greens, I would think something as simple as tapping down one of these imperfections should not be against the rules. And for those of you in opposition – using the ol’ ‘rub of the green’ argument – how about I come out to the course and club you over the head with a 2-iron and then just call it ‘rub of the green'? Just kidding – that was my inner Tommy 'Thunder' Bolt coming out. 


Divots: It’s unfortunate, really. When a player hits a phenomenal tee ball only to get to the fairway and find one’s ball has come to rest in a divot. The divot is not considered a hazard or ground under repair, and golfers are required to play it as it lies. Golfers shouldn’t be penalized simply because their ball comes to rest in a divot. That should be considered ground under repair – because, after all, is it not growing and repairing itself? – and players should get relief.

Hazards: So your ball finds its way into a water hazard surrounded by colored stakes of the red or yellow variety. Do you have any clue what your options are for each? Do you drop within two club lengths, no nearer the hole? Do you take the line it crossed and go to the complete opposite side of the lake, no nearer to the hole and drop? Do you go backward on the line your ball entered the hazard, no nearer the hole and drop there? In all those scenarios, the only constant and only thing I’m certain, is that under no circumstances must I ever drop nearer to the hole. Otherwise, it’s a crapshoot. Red stakes, yellow stakes … filets or prime rib? I’m not opposed to having so many options, but how about consolidate the different types of hazard into one, so that we have the same plethora of options each time we find trouble?

Asking for and giving advice: I’m not sure if I love this rule or think it’s bogus. The one thing I do know is, I’ll never forget it’s not allowed … and I’ll tell you why. My senior year at Old Dominion University in the final round of the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament, while standing on the 17th tee box with one of my teammates, my coach walked over and asked Alexis – my teammate – what she had just hit on the par 3. Alexis answered our coach and walked toward 17 green. Then a girl on one of the other teams in my group asked her teammate what she had just hit and the teammate answered. My coach then assessed both of the girls two-shot penalties for exchanging advice. I heard what club my teammate had told my coach she hit because I was standing right there. But I didn’t ask Alexis, nor was she speaking to me. A perfect example that if you know how to use the rules of golf, they can work to your advantage. But it seems a bit odd to have a rule so loosely defined. 

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."