What Rules Would You Change In Golf?

There are plenty of rules in the game of golf.  Many of them make a lot of sense.  Many of them do not.  Then there are those that are downright infuriating.  That’s what I want to talk about today.  I have a few rules I would change in an instant if I was running the USGA.  Here they are:

  • Stroke and distance on out of bounds – I have never seen the value in this rule.  Pros rarely hit it out of bounds or even have it on the courses they play.  Amateurs are the more likely culprits to hit it out.  Then they don’t hit a provisional and have to go back to the tee if they even follow the rule.  This to me should be like a lateral water hazard.  Drop it where it went out and add one stroke!  The biggest benefit of this is the increased pace of play.
  • Spike marks – You can fix a ball mark, but not one from Joe Blow dragging his feet across the green?  Give me a break.  Change this rule immediately.
  • Ball in a divot – One of the most unfair out there.  Instead of being rewarded for a good shot you are penalized.  This should be a free drop, no questions asked.
  • Playing off tree roots/rocks – I am fine with this for pros who get free clubs, but in my friendly matches I am fine with someone taking a club length to get off a root or pile of rocks.  Clubs are too expensive and I am not breaking my wrist.  I don’t think this should result in a penalty.  I know many will disagree on this one.
  • **New addition since US Open** – Ball moved on green with anything but an actual stroke.  This could have cost DJ the Open!  Change this rule now!  Replace with no penalty and play on.  Don’t overcomplicate it!

Golf is a hard sport and that is part of the allure.  I don’t want to make it easier just for the sake of being easier.  What I do want to do is remove some of the rules that I don’t see as having a point.  What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know.  I look forward to hearing from you.


9 thoughts on “What Rules Would You Change In Golf?

  1. Jimmy,

    You nailed it. These are rules I would change as well. I don’t think it makes golf any easier, but it helps ensure it remains fun and fair and that the challenges don’t become quirky.


  2. Hey Jimmy,

    I too agree with all of your rule changes.

    Your 3rd change would have helped me in the club championship when I was in a massive divot in the middle of the fairway after smoking my 3w. I had a tricky shot to follow and was annoyed that I had to play from there.


  3. Jimmy

    I would not change any rules, in fact, I would toughen them up…..haha okay, even I cannot keep a straight face. I agree with all but the out of bounds. Having it marked as a lateral hazard has merit, but I am not convinced that the stroke and distance rule should be eliminated. This rule is of great benefit to short, but straight hitters like me.

    The rest, bin them!


  4. The divot situation is completely stupid. Why do I have to hit out of a divot on the fairway ? absurd. Apply your new rule to the bunker as well for some Moe who didn’t rake. I think they should be able to wear shorts on tour too (probably not a rule but a PGA tour rule) . I don’t quite get that. Great list, you are on the something.

  5. Pingback: Good Golf Reads of the Week – The Grateful Golfer

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