"The R&A...strengthens ties with sponsor Rolex"

I don't know, is it me or does this sound tacky: 

For Immediate Publication


Valderrama, Spain, Wednesday 31 October 2007: The R&A, golf’s world rules and development body and organiser of The Open Championship, today publishes revisions to the world’s most widely read rule book, The Rules of Golf, and extends its sponsorship arrangement with Rolex to 2012.

At least the USGA sends out separate releases for their corporate whoring out. Old chaps, do we have to include it in a Rules of Golf related release?

Golf has 34 playing rules and in 2008, 28 have been amended to a greater or lesser extent. All changes are agreed, jointly, by The R&A and the United States Golf Association, and can be characterised as improving clarity or reducing penalties to ensure that they are proportionate. They are effective from 1 January 2008.

Of the more significant changes, the most likely to be encountered by golfers in regular play are: revised Rule 12-2 allowing a player to lift a ball in a bunker or water hazard for identification purposes.  There is a consequential change to Rule 15-3, which introduces a penalty for playing the wrong ball in these circumstances.

This was far more interesting:

Revised Rule 4-1 reduces the penalty for carrying, but not using, a non-conforming club from disqualification to, in stroke play, a penalty of two strokes per hole, with a maximum penalty of four strokes per round.  In match play, the state of the match is adjusted by deducting one hole for each hole at which a breach occurred, with a maximum penalty of two holes per round.

Hmmm...interesting timing! Except, no announcment on a U-groove ban?

Let's get to the important stuff: the corporate partner.

Commenting on Rolex support for The Rules of Golf Head of Sponsorship, Jean-Noel Bioul said:

“The support from Rolex of The R&A Rules of Golf fits perfectly into the overall philosophy and the values Rolex is proud to endorse through its portfolio of golf activities. Golf requires precision, skill and pursuit of excellence. These are qualities which Rolex shares and admires.”

Actually, I got an early draft that was later edited. Here's the first version of Jean's quote:

"Golf requires a lot of money, precision, skill and pursuit of excellence. These are qualities which Rolex shares and admires.”