With demised of Taylor Made's crowd-sourcing effort Hack Golf designed to help solve the game's ills and find more people to buy drivers, the effort to make golf less stuffy turns to Golf Channel's "Relaxed Rules of Golf" debuting on Friday's Morning Drive. The first of several Charlie Rymer-Matt Ginella segments explaining the rules can be seen here.
I got a firsthand look at the list (the exclusives I score for you!). If asked I would have led off with "Play It As It Lies" as a not-so-subtle message to the governing bodies that drifting from that initial rule of golf has given us an inch-thick Decisions book telling us how not to play the ball as it lies. But the effort here is to unite the sport behind both the current rules and also a more accessible way to the game for the masses. Shoving Play It As It Lies in everyone's face might have detracted from the effort and I get that.
I'm told as part of the launch this will very much emphasize the importance of the current Rules for the competitive game. So rest assured USGA and R&A folks, all is right in your worlds. Study up for those rules quizzes. A 100 on the test will make you a God or Goddess!
For all who play golf just to have fun, we offer 7 rules to govern all play.
1. MAXIMUM SCORE Double par (i.e., 6 on par-3s, 8 on par-4s, 10 on par-5s).
2. PENALTIES All are 1 stroke, including out-of-bounds, water and lateral hazards, lost balls and unplayable lies. Drop a ball near where the original was lost and play on.
3. SEARCH TIME Two minutes to look for your ball. If lost, proceed under Rule 2.
4. UNFORTUNATE LIES With your playing partners’ consent, balls may be dropped out of divots or footprints, away from tree roots and any other dangerous lies.
5. CONCEDED PUTTS Putts may be conceded with your playing partners’ consent.
6. EQUIPMENT No restrictions, including number of clubs.
7. COMMON SENSE When in doubt, use common sense and fairness.
Speaking of Play It As It Lies, this memo from architect Max Behr was written to his fellow members at Lakeside Golf Club in 1925. The whole idea of playing the ball down in the sandy natural areas wasn't going over too well with the Hollywood types of the era. A little context was required.
Apologies I don't have a larger sized file of this...because it really is such a brilliant smackdown...
**Discussing the "Relaxed" rules on Morning Drive here. Rymer makes some great points about more welcoming courses.