A quest for common ground on divot holes
Your article on the proposed rules, and more specifically dealing with divots, was right on the money (“Revised rules ought to give ground on fairway divots,” March 3, bit.ly/2m3zA2w). It may be the rule that golfers complain most about. There is an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed rules changes at usga.org/rules, and I would hope people concerned with the divot rule, or any other, will do just that. It is relatively easy to go through the survey and provide additional comments.
Kelowna, British Columbia
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I do not agree with your assertion that the player should be able to remove a ball from a divot.
Throughout a game of golf we get good and bad breaks, and I've often found that these breaks balance out through the course of a round. Also, moving the ball in the fairway is not inherent to the game unless the rules (or local rules) allow for it. I agree that if your ball rests in casual water that you are allowed a drop without penalty because this is a cut-and-dry situation. I agree that if your ball lay in a tire mark left by a vehicle that a player should get relief under the rules.
Divots, on the other hand, require interpretation, so it's better to leave it alone. In match and medal play, this could really lead to some issues between the players (especially when there is no rules official available), and giving that power of interpretation to an opponent is something no one wants or an opponent should not have.
The new ball-drop stipulation is also troubling to me. If they are going to allow a drop from 1 inch above the ground, then why not be able to place it? Placing the ball is certainly not within the spirit of the game, either. I think they should have allowed the ball to be dropped from waist height. I am sure they exhausted this and came up with what they thought was the best solution.
Fortunately, we all have the ability to make comment, and the new rules proposals may be further modified.
John R. Cameron Jr., PGA
Port Orange, Fla.
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