A prehistoric approach to rules
I can’t stand the USGA. And I just can’t rant about it my head any longer.
I didn’t use a long putter, but banning anchoring after allowing it for so long was absurd (“For good of game, restore anchored stroke,” Dec. 11, http://bit.ly/2C2Ei6J). The USGA talks about growing the game but alienated the older folks who could still keep playing and bringing in younger relatives in one fell swoop.
While the new rules proposed for 2019 are a step in the right direction, outright banning of out-of-bounds so that it would be played as a drop and one-stroke penalty would really speed up play.
The USGA believes the golf ball goes too far and that the ball should be "fixed.” The USGA indicates that the only recourse is that new courses need to be made to absurd lengths to accommodate the modern player. This presupposes that all of the best architects haven't been asked to build shorter courses that are a challenge.
Every year we see a myriad of short par 4s that stump the pros. Want to make the courses shorter? Pros seem to always say they like it when the courses are hard and fast. Well, don't make them that way. Grow fairway grass a little longer. Find soft turf. Add more strategic trees.
How about more but smaller water hazards. The little burns, like the one on the first hole at St. Andrews’ Old Course, gets plenty of respect. Put a meandering 3-foot-wide burn with the high side closest to the green, that crosses the fairway at 270 yards, and again at 300, and again at 330, and the hole can be built to 420 to 450 yards. How hard is that?
Put little humps and bumps in the fairway so no lie is the same. More pot bunkers. More impregnable doglegs. Make being off the fairway really penal.
The only reason bomb and gouge works is because the ball can be hit out of the rough. Bring in some real gorse or ice plant and make that impossible. Bring back greens that are 10 on the Stimpmeter. Make smaller greens, not larger ones.
The USGA's only recourse is length? If cavemen had thought that lifting and carrying everything was the only way, the wheel would not have been invented.
I am 65 years old, and if the next rule from the USGA has anything to do with shortening the ball, or any other absurd rule, you can expect people like me to buy 30 dozen Callaway Soft or Titleist Pro V1 balls and thumb their noses at the USGA.
Expand Father-Son field
I always enjoy watching the Father-Son tournament (“Father-Son evolves for next generation,” Dec. 15, http://bit.ly/2CMsw0M). My biggest complaint, though, was I have always felt the field is too small.
Why not just increase the size of the field by 4-8 teams? It sounds like they have plenty of people they can add.
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