Has the USGA just introduced the most pointless golf rule ever?
We might not like rules when it comes to playing sport, but we’re kind of happy to accept them when they’re logical or work to help players and improve the game overall. However, sometimes a new rule is introduced which is so bizarre, so ridiculous that it borders on idiotic; and golfers have the USGA to thank for the latest pointless new rule, one which comes into effect early next year and states that golfers who choose to play alone can no longer submit scores towards their handicap.
We’ll just let that sink in for a moment…Not good news for golfers in the US, is it…
Effectively the USGA – golf’s governing body – is saying they don’t really trust players to be honest about writing down their actual scores. That perhaps some people tinker with their cards to make themselves look better than they really are.
There are several things making this rule arguably the most pointless ever, not least of which is how hypocritical it is. Golf is a game of honour, one in which players uphold long-held traditions by acting as their own referees during games. Now, apparently, those at the top feel it’s time to stop entrusting people to do that.
Why not just let people lie about their scores? If they’re the kind of person who can’t help but cheat, then let them. Who is it hurting in a game they play alone? Surely once they play alongside another golfer they will be found out anyway, so they end up looking foolish in the long run. And if you try to stop these people, won’t they just do it anyway? Penalising the honest players who just want to play golf by themselves occasionally is wildly unfair.
But there is a deeper issue here. Golf has yet again managed to seclude itself. For the longest time it has struggled to lure a new generation of fans to the greens, either because they deem the costs too high or because the game is played at too slow a pace – it’s a big reason participation numbers keep tumbling. Golf needs more players. But in order to do this, it must make itself accessible to everyone; the exact opposite of what this rule does.
When you make it harder to get a handicap then you push people away from the sport. It’s inconvenient having to play in groups for some people and less fun. How can those players retain an attachment to something which seems intent on shoving them back whenever they approach it open-armed?
And no, this is not repeated in other sports, either. Just golf. It is golf-specific, which makes the new rule all the more painful to accept. OK, most sports don’t have handicaps that need taking into account, but there are comparable situations. The NBA, for example, doesn’t decree that people aren’t allowed to say they made 10-straight free throws in their back garden unless someone else is watching. It’s a matter of believe me or don’t, and it doesn’t get overly complicated.
Golfers have taken to twitter and Facebook to vent their frustration at the new ruling, with some calling out the USGA over a lack of trust.
"This is stupid. Solo golf is fast, if you cheat u just screw yourself for when u play with friends for $$$$," wrote Dan Roth, while Shane McClure added, "How does the usga plan on enforcing this? I doubt your local PGA pro is going to say "Don't enter that score, I saw you play by yourself today!" Right after they check your bag for legal groves and made sure you never anchored your putter!".
While for another Facebook user, Jake Maddens, the USGA's new ruling was the last straw: "my whole handicap is based on playing by myself, so I'm done with golf."
It’s clear that this time the USGA might have overstepped the mark and enforced one ridiculous rule too many…
OnlineGolf News: Ian Woosnam inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame
Woosnam is a highly-decorated player, having won the Masters in 1991, the European Order of Merit on two occasions, and captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory in 2006...
OnlineGolf News: Japan set to host PGA Champions tournament
The PGA Tour is set to sanction a Champions tournament in Tokyo next year. The move marks the first time a PGA Tour event has ever been sanctioned in Japan...
OnlineGolf News: Is Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston the latest Halloween costume craze for kids?
Kids dressing up as him for Halloween? Even Beef himself didn’t see that one coming!
- OnlineGolf News: Aaron Baddeley signs for PING Golf club.news.more.posteddate 13/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Lee Westwood: I let Darren Clarke down club.news.more.posteddate 13/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: John Daly defends rowdy US fans at Ryder Cup club.news.more.posteddate 12/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: 91-year-old golfer scores hole-in-one club.news.more.posteddate 11/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Tiger Woods comeback may never happen, say ex-players club.news.more.posteddate 11/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Dougherty calls time on playing career club.news.more.posteddate 10/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Rose to take time off after intense summer club.news.more.posteddate 06/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Cheyenne Woods set to play Dubai Ladies Masters in December club.news.more.posteddate 05/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Europe may have lost, but this year’s Ryder Cup was simply awesome club.news.more.posteddate 04/10/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Watch: Heckler wins $100 from Justin Rose after making putt club.news.more.posteddate 30/09/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Golfing great Arnold Palmer passes away at 87 club.news.more.posteddate 26/09/2016
- OnlineGolf News: Ian Poulter to be awarded top PGA award club.news.more.posteddate 07/09/2016
- OnlineGolf News: World number 2, Ariya Jutanugarn leads first women’s golf event for 116 years club.news.more.posteddate 18/08/2016
PING Pro Louis Oosthuizen and iBlade -Video
The inspiring new iBlade iron is distinguished by the softest, purest feel we’ve ever achieved in an iron, with the workability and control to shape shots on command.
PING Vault Putters | Precision Milled to Perfection -Video
Precision-milled PING Vault putters draw inspiration from our legendary Gold Putter Vault. Players will experience improved putting touch and speed control with the patented True-Roll (TR) face technology, one of the most significant and measurable innovations.
Nick Faldo shocked to hit the JPX900 Forged 6 iron 190 yards -Video
A mid-sized, one piece Grain Flow Forged iron that comprehensively ends the normal trade-off between precision and distance. Produced from a stronger Boron infused steel billet – the JPX900 Forged boasts a milled pocket and new multi thickness face.
- 30 Seconds To Better Golf With Callaway | Fairway Wood From the Rough -Video club.news.more.posteddate 10/10/2016
- Callaway Golf present the Steelhead XR -Video club.news.more.posteddate 05/10/2016
- Callaway Golf Big Bertha OS Irons -Video club.news.more.posteddate 04/10/2016
- Callaway Golf Big Bertha Fusion Driver -Video club.news.more.posteddate 04/10/2016
- 917 Complete Performance -Video club.news.more.posteddate 04/10/2016
- 30 Seconds To Better Golf With Callaway | Square Up For Big Drives -Video club.news.more.posteddate 03/08/2016
- Callaway U.S. Open Golf Tips | Be Great at Lag Putting club.news.more.posteddate 05/07/2016
- Callaway U.S. Open Golf Tips | Chip From a Buried Lie -Video club.news.more.posteddate 29/06/2016
- Callaway U.S. Open Golf Tips | Get Out of the Fairway Bunker -Video club.news.more.posteddate 26/06/2016
- Callaway U.S. Open Golf Tips | How To Escape the Deep Rough -Video club.news.more.posteddate 17/06/2016
- Garmin Approach X40 GPS Golf Band -Video club.news.more.posteddate 31/05/2016
- Wilson Staff #GearUp | Hitting From an Uphill Lie -Video club.news.more.posteddate 31/05/2016
- OnlineGolf Father's Day Deals -Video club.news.more.posteddate 26/05/2016