New Rules of Golf

Lots of stuff going on as players, fans, and officials put into practice the new rules of golf that took effect on Jan. 1. Dustin Johnson, for example, during the Tournament of Champions, played the wrong ball from the rough and was penalized two strokes. He was following a marshall’s indication as to where his ball landed and spotted a Taylor Made logo like his. He played it, but found it was not his ball. Under new rules he could have moved the ball to identify it. No penalty for moving a ball when trying to identify it. Bryson DeChambeau had some fun putting at Kapalua with the pins in – a new rule. In fact, he led the field in putting. He says pin-in putting is a “situational thing” and will certainly confer with his playing partners to ensure no uncomfortable happenings on the green. “It’s a pretty nice benefit every once in a while,” he told Golfmagazine. As well, DeChambeau allowed that he thought the new rule about dropping a ball from knee height is “absurd.” Brandel Chamblee, the Golf Channel’s on-air commentator and analyst, predicted more players will keep the pin in when putting. And in a column for Golfmagazine, columnist Dave Pelz, the putting guru, said that’s because a ball hitting a fiberglass flagstick loses a lot of energy, which allows gravity to, more often than not, pull the slower moving ball down into the hole. “Energy loss” effect will mean more players keep pins on, probably on a situational basis, a la DeChambeau. Keep an eye on how the pros adapt to the new rules and make sure you know what they are and how they will apply to your game.

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