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Knee-height drop simply makes sense
Mike Purkey should spend a bit more time analyzing why the drop-from-the-knee rule was put in place and less time regurgitating the knee-jerk (forgive the pun) reaction of a few pros (“Flagstick, drop rules should be reversed,” Jan. 18).

Rory McIlroy’s comment was made in jest, but if one looks at his “complaint” seriously, it supports the new rule. There is far less variability in knee heights from person to person than there is in shoulder heights.

As for the complaint that it looks awkward, that was because Bryson DeChambeau, for some inexplicable reason, thought he needed to squat in order to drop from his knee. These guys are athletes. They will pretty quickly figure out that you simply can bend at the waist to drop from knee height and that the new rule regarding judgment calls prevents anyone from second-guessing them if they are a little high or a little low.

As for the substance of the rule and why it was invoked, there are two key reasons why it is a substantial improvement. First, dropping a ball from knee height is far less likely to result in a plugged lie. This is significant when dropping in a bunker due to casual water but also can be important when dropping in soft ground. As for why one no longer can opt to drop from shoulder height, it relates to the desire of the ruling bodies to minimize the occasions of players getting to place their ball. A ball dropped from shoulder height is far more likely to kick away from where it lands and require a re-drop and then placement.

Accordingly, it is a well-thought-out and sensible change to the rules.

John Dives
Victoria, British Columbia


Pros are missing the point
The pros who are moaning and groaning about dropping the ball from knee height must be kidding us (“Flagstick, drop rules should be reversed,” Jan. 18).

They all seem to miss the point that this applies mainly to dealing with sloped surfaces, which are often found near water. How many times have we had to watch while someone drops from shoulder height, the ball runs down hill (duh!), and he picks it up and drosp it again.

What is hard about dropping a ball from knee height? They are supposed to be athletes. They can’t manage this simple task? I do it several times a round without stressing myself.

Peter Rosenfeld
Albany, Calif.


Flagstick rule can help men and women alike
Two quick points. First, to Jim Kavanagh and his comparison of Justin Thomas to “a middle-school girl having a bad hair day” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 21): The habit of denigrating a man's opinion by comparing it to a female behavior is sexist, and only informs about the writer's underlying opinion of females and why they shouldn't be listened to. Please, find a better simile.

The experience of having the flagstick in already has made a significant difference for me. When playing with someone who is very slow getting to his or her ball just off the green, other “ready golfers” can go ahead and putt without the back and forth of removing and then replacing the flagstick.

Robin Dea
Vancouver, Wash.


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