Connect with us
RBG 2016banner

golf equipment

Golf’s New Rules: Few Players Know Them, Fewer Understand Them – The New York Times

Published

on

This post was originally published on this site

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am never fails to rattle Darius Rucker’s nerves. This year though, Rucker, the three-time Grammy Award winning musician, had more to fret about than hitting a spectator or getting in the way of his pro partner, Kenny Perry.

“Now you’re scared that somebody’s going to come call a rules violation on you with something that you don’t know about anything,” Rucker said before the tournament began last week.

The pros are just as worried. The United States Golf Association and the R&A revised the sport’s rule book to simplify the game and speed up the pace of play. But so far the changes, which took effect at the start of 2019, have been harder to follow than a game of Simon Says.

In the few weeks since the modifications took effect, players have repeatedly sought guidance from the nearest rules official, their caddies or pieces of paper tucked inside their golf bags, undermining for now, at least, the stated intention of making things simpler and faster.

And it’s adding an extra bit of hesitancy to the pros’ trip through the course. During a rain-sodden second round at Pebble Beach on Friday, Hunter Mahan was forced to consult a tournament-issued rules sheet before touching his ball. “We thought we knew what the rule was,” Mahan said, “but there’s no clarity, so having an official or actually having it written down is the only true clarification.”

One of the new rules lowered the height from which players make a drop: it is now from the knees, rather than the shoulders, a change that the former men’s world No. 1 Adam Scott described as awkward. Whenever he bends over or squats with the ball, he can’t help but imagine rules officials assigned to monitor potential rules violations squinting at their screens, scrutinizing his release down to the inch.

“They’ve just written more gray areas into the game that were not necessary,” said Scott, who won’t make a drop without asking his caddie or a nearby official if he has the height right.

Even those enforcing the rules have been confused about how to interpret them. During the second round of the Phoenix Open earlier this month, Denny McCarthy was assessed a two-stroke penalty under Rule 10.2b(4), a new regulation that prohibits caddies from standing behind players as they line up for their shots.

ImageA rules official closely observed as Bryson DeChambeau lined up a putt during the Sony Open in Hawaii last week.CreditKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

While McCarthy took a few practice swings, his caddie stood behind him. McCarthy stepped away before hitting the shot, and when he came back to the ball and set his stance, his caddie was standing off to the side. The next day, the PGA Tour announced that it had rescinded the penalty after reviewing McCarthy’s actions, and his score of 67 became a 65.

Somewhat lost in the turbulence created by the alignment rule in the men’s game is the fact that the change was seen as directed at the L.P.G.A., where caddies lining up players had been more common. Brittany Lincicome, an eight-time L.P.G.A. tour winner and two-time major champion, said she was glad “it wasn’t one of us” who became the rule’s first victim.

After the caddie-alignment episode with McCarthy, and several similar situations involving other players, the U.S.G.A. and the R&A issued a clarification: If players reset their stances after their caddies have surveyed a shot, there is no penalty.

“Going in, we knew there were certain things that were going to come up that you’d say, ‘We’re not sure we contemplated this or the intention was never to have this outcome,’” Mike Davis, the chief executive of the U.S.G.A. told the Global Golf Post. He added, “All in all, in terms of how they’re being perceive around the globe, it’s very positive.”

That wasn’t the case for Rickie Fowler, who took dead aim at the caddie-alignment rule during the Phoenix Open. “You’re talking about growing the game and making things play faster and whatnot,” he said, “but that’s not growing the game.”

Adding to Fowler’s exasperation was a run-in with one of the rule book’s unchanged regulations on the Sunday of the tournament. He took a two-stroke penalty for hitting a shot into the water, then absorbed another one-stroke penalty after his ball rolled back into the hazard several seconds after he walked toward the green to survey his chip.

After carding a triple bogey, Fowler, in a show of gallows humor, petitioned the rules official, Slugger White, for a rules modification.

Fowler hung on to win, but Tony Finau, who watched the round unfold on television after missing the cut, saw the gravity in Fowler’s joking.

“As I watched that transpire, I couldn’t help but think, ‘This is not what the integrity of the game is about,’” Finau said. “He didn’t do anything for that ball to move.”

One player’s mishap is another’s teachable moment. An L.P.G.A. rules official disseminated the video of Fowler playing the hole, noting that he could have avoided the second penalty by making his first two drops, then using a tee to mark the spot where he intended to place the ball. After surveying his shot, he could have then replaced the tee with his ball before taking his shot.

Image

Rickie Fowler criticized the updated caddie-alignment rule during the Phoenix Open last month, saying it wouldn’t help with “growing the game.”CreditMichael Reaves/Getty Images

Breaking up the sequence of drop-drop-place like that was illuminating to Lincicome: “I didn’t even know that was a thing,” she said.

Another new wrinkle on the course this year is using the flagstick as a backboard on putts; to speed up play, golfers can leave the pin in no matter where they are on the course, including the green. Anticipating the outcome, Bryson DeChambeau said last year, “The U.S.G.A.’s going to have to go back on that one, like, ‘No! We made the hole bigger!’”

It sure has seemed that way to Scott, who ranked 165th on tour in 2018 in strokes-gained putting. Putting with the flagstick in the hole, he is ranked No. 26. “To be honest,” Scott said, “it almost changes the whole aim of the game. It’s to hit the pin, not hole the putt.”

He added, “It takes speed out of your head so much. It even takes some reading of the green out.”

DeChambeau has a point. The game’s governing bodies might be eager to simplify the rules, but their intent was never to make the game easier.

And, in the end, have they really simplified anything?

When Scott looks at the remaining layers of rules as well as the lingering and newfound confusion, he, like Fowler, wonders how it is growing the game. Imagine picking up an unfamiliar board game, he said, and opening the box to find 84 pages of rules. Would you bother playing it?

Now picture the same game, with only five or six rules to learn to start out. Which version would you find more appealing?

“Let’s have all the rules on the back of the scorecard for people to get into the game of golf,” Scott said, adding, “And then as you get playing more you can maybe learn some finer points of this very complex game.”

Though Jay Monahan, the P.G.A. commissioner, said last week that he felt proud of how quickly and nimbly the alignment rule confusion was addressed, Scott disagreed.

“We haven’t had a lot of changes in golf in the history of the game , and we’ve had a lot recently — rules changing weekly in some cases — and it’s crazy,” Scott said.

He added, “I think we’re becoming the laughingstock.”

Golf’s New Rules: Few Players Know Them, Fewer Understand Them - The New York Times was originally posted at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/sports/golf-new-rules.html by

golf equipment

PHOTOS: What's in the bag at the Genesis Open

Published

on

This post was originally published on this site
https://www.golf.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DSC_0021-1024x680.jpg

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — If the Genesis Open was a movie, it’d be a blockbuster filled with A-list talent. Tiger Woods leads a loaded field that includes, among others, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson. With most of the big names in professional golf at Riviera Country Club, GOLF.com equipment editor Jonathan Wall is on site providing a running equipment gallery of what players are using, as well as any new gear that surfaces on Tour this week.

Keep checking this story over the next few days as additional photos are added.

Monday 

PHOTOS: What's in the bag at the Genesis Open was originally posted at https://www.golf.com/gear/pros-bags/2019/02/12/photos-pros-bag-genesis-open-2019/ by Jonathan Wall

Continue Reading

Accessories

Kuchar's Caddie Controversy

Published

on

By

This post was originally published on this site
https://www.golf.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Kuchars-Caddie-Controversy-1024x570.jpg

Menu Shopping Bag Leaderboard Current Event Schedule Player Ranking Player Stats News Features Columns Interviews Videos Photos Podcasts Top 100 Teachers Courses Travel Features Trips Course Finder Gear Drivers Irons Wedges Putters Balls Pros Bags Apparel Accessories Instruction Driving Approach Shots Around the Green Bunker Shots Putting Rules Fitness Pro Shop Pics Vids Pods Search Account Pics Vids Pods Search Account Sign In Register Leaderboard Current Event Schedule Player Ranking Player Stats News Features Columns Interviews Videos Photos Podcasts Top 100 Teachers Courses Travel Features Trips Course Finder Gear Drivers Irons Wedges Putters Balls Pros’ Bags Apparel Accessories Instruction Driving Approach Shots Around the Green Bunker Shots Putting Rules Fitness Pro Shop Kuchar’s fill-in caddie breaks silence over pay dispute Tim O’Neal returns to PGA Tour ‘He’s making it look easy’: Tiger on Phil’s win USGA unveils 110 U.S. Open qualifying sites Phil wins weather-delayed Pebble Pro-Am News

February 12, 2019

SHARE

You May Like

Pros Bags

News

Instruction

News

Instruction

News More News

Stars turn out as Tiger Woods’s team wins Celebrity Cup

Genesis Open odds to win: Dustin Johnson is the favorite, Tiger Woods 20/1

‘He’s making it look easy’: Tiger admires Mickelson’s resurgence, says he’s bullish about own chances in 2019

After two decades of hard work and big dreams, Tim O’Neal is back on the PGA Tour

‘They can keep their money’: Kuchar’s fill-in caddie breaks silence over pay dispute ABOUT Advertising Opportunities HELP Customer Service CONNECT Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube MISCELLANEOUS Terms of Use Privacy Policy Site Map

Kuchar's Caddie Controversy was originally posted at https://www.golf.com/golf_video/kuchars-caddie-controversy/ by

Continue Reading

golf equipment

Meet the biomechanist who's changing golf — and can help you gain distance

Published

on

This post was originally published on this site
https://www.golf.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/dj-1024x570.jpg

Dr. Sasho MacKenzie doesn’t spew swing theories. He spouts facts, based on mountains of evidence generated from his lab in the Department of Human Kinetics at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. The biomechanics professor’s goal: Optimizing how speed is created during the swing. His target: any player who’s willing to listen.

Luke Kerr-Dineen: You’re part of a new wave of techno-thinkers who are reshaping the way golf is taught, especially at the Tour level. Why should recreational golfers care?

Sasho MacKenzie: Simple—the principles that work at the highest levels apply to any golfer.

LKD: The trick, then, must be convincing them that this is indeed true.

SM: Golf sits in the middle ground when it comes to embracing technology—hardly ahead of the curve in terms of science-based practices like track and field and other Olympics-based sports, yet not lagging a decade or so behind as we see in baseball. We’re in a good spot. The problem is that the big terms and complicated phrases science employs probably aren’t the best way to convince the masses that what we discover in the lab can help them. Ultimately, it’s the instructors’ responsibility to translate biomechanical principles and fundamentals into layman’s terms and digestible bits that everyday students can trust and apply. It’s why I work with coaches as much as I do with Tour players.

LKD: Interesting. So it’s the instructors who need convincing.

SM: Listen, there’ll always be science-deniers and the belief that none of what I or other researchers do is necessary. They’re going to be eroded away. There’ll be fewer and fewer of these people once the community realizes that science and technology are simply about learning and understanding better ways to swing a golf club. I no longer feel bad for the instructors who are misapplying the laws of physics or well-established biomechanical principles, because the information’s out there. If they’ve got a theory that’s different from mine, fine. I’m open-minded. I’ll listen. Maybe I’ve made a mistake, but if they don’t have an argument other than, “I believe in my method,” then okay. I can’t do anything else. We can’t have a logical debate. I just feel bad for the golfers they’re teaching.

LKD: What are some of your recent findings that can help golfers hit it farther?

SM: Golf science has a solid understanding of what creates speed. Many people think they need more wrist cock to hit the ball farther, but my research suggests that hand-path length is where you get more bang for your buck. The data indicates that if the average golfer moved their hands four inches further into their backswing, then swing speed would increase by 2.4 mph. This added swing length can come from extra hip rotation in the backswing by letting the lead heel come off the ground. If you’re worried this extra hip rotation will diminish a powerful stretch – don’t be.

LKD: The speed at which you do this also makes a difference, doesn’t it?

SM: Some coaches talk about the benefits of making a slow backswing, but that could be costing an athletic golfer speed. In reality, a faster backswing triggers greater muscle activation in transition, which can result in a faster downswing.

LKD: But doesn’t a faster, longer backswing introduce more variables that could potentially go wrong?

SM: Let me use a volleyball analogy to answer. Jump spin [overhand] serves in volleyball never used to exist. Why would they? You have to throw the ball in the air and time your jump with your arm swing. The joints in your arm are moving in different directions—lots of variables. But then somebody started doing it and could serve harder than everybody else and they began dominating. Sure, removing range of motion at certain joints is likely to improve repeatability. The problem is, in golf, that means losing clubhead speed. You certainly want to remove any motion that’s not adding energy to the club, but you also want to introduce variables that do.

LKD: With all this in mind, are there any swings on Tour that truly impress you?

SM: Yes, and they’re mostly the guys who are labeled as having a “homemade swing.” I like Matt Wolff. I like Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm. I like the players with idiosyncratic moves that are also highly functional. There’s a reason that guys like Matt Wolff and Sergio get the shaft moving on different planes: They can swing it faster that way! I’ve got nothing bad to say about Adam Scott; lovely swing, and he’s managed to make everybody happy in terms of aesthetics. But the underlying mechanics aren’t as effective at moving the club with force. Scott is applying the same underlying mechanical principles, just to a lesser degree. You need to be very careful not mess-up the sound mechanics of an elite golfer to achieve an ‘on-plane look’. Same with all the other guys who work overly hard on staying on plane. I’d argue that trying to apply the principles evident in Sergio’s swing is better for the average golfer than trying to swing like Bryson DeChambeau.

LKD: How high do you think PGA Tour swing speeds can go in the next 10 years?

SM: Average clubhead speeds with the driver will continue to climb. In fact, the odds of a Tour player swinging at 140 mph periodically over the next 10 years are pretty decent. That said, the odds of a player averaging 140 mph are pretty close to zero—the penalties for mis-hits are just too large at that speed. Plus, you need to putt like crazy and stick irons to survive on Tour, which cuts down the pool of 140 mph swingers pretty quickly.

Meet the biomechanist who's changing golf -- and can help you gain distance was originally posted at https://www.golf.com/instruction/2019/02/12/14358132/sasho-mackenzie-swing-speed-bio-mechanist-golf-swing by Luke Kerr-Dineen

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Tips to Better Golf

Sign-Up To Recieve Tips And Information To Lower Your Golf Scores!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Tags

Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2018 PuttLightsOut.com