Can New Rules in Golf Draw Greater Fan Interest?
Golf’s rules have been pretty much the same for over a century. Although a few tweaks here and there, the sport hasn’t seen a major overhaul of any kind in some time. A lack of change has made many feel that the simple game of golf is stale in its steadfast ways. Golf Colleges have taught player after player the traditional rules of the game, but things are about to change.
Golf’s rule makers are looking to revamp the game, please current players and draw new fans into the sport. Although these rules don’t go along the lines of the European Tour’s creative GolfSixes tournament for every golf competition, it does change the game up to – hopefully – make the game more modern.
There are currently 34 rules in the game, but the new set would be just 24. Easier to read, understand and follow, the 24 rules could help golf reach a greater population while keeping current players happy.
As part of the rules change proposal, there could be a new version of the Players Handbook published, too. The new guide would be simplified for those playing the game. Part of the guide’s simplicity would be that it is written in easier to read and understand language. Something that everyone would love.
Golf’s major proposed rules changes will see less time given to search for lost balls, banning all caddies from lining golfers up for shots, permission to use damaged golf clubs and no penalty for accidentally moving a ball or marker.
But why are these rule changes being proposed? The idea behind the rule change proposals is looking out for the game’s continued growth. Firstly, the game would be sped up, and hopefully fans would be interested by a more modern, faster game. Many critics of golf feel the game lacks energy, though proponents of the old rules would say that golf’s charm is in its unique way of doing things.
The second reason to amend the current rules of the game is to make golf far simpler to understand. Many golf purists see the proposals as radical and far more extreme than anything they expected. Meanwhile, others feel the changes are overdue.
Rule changes – No penalties
Several proposed rule changes would see golfers not be penalized for moving their ball for a variety of reasons. You won’t be penalized for your ball striking a caddy or someone attending the flagstick. Another significant change would see the moving of loose sediment in a bunker no longer being a foul.
These changes could see greater understanding by new players, and could be a way to increase interest from those who are trying out the game.
Relaxing of rules
While there are changes to rules, some will simply be relaxed. These rules include items such as touching the sand and where you can drop your ball. While there are a set of relaxed rules, there are also relaxed rules on what golfers can and cannot do.
What the pros say
One of golf’s all-time greats, Tiger Woods, is behind the proposals; and others believe the rule changes would see the game come into the 21st century. It is also believed by some that the game will be more interesting to the common person who is confused when a sudden ruling is made during a game.
Impact of golf’s new rules
Many will see the rule changes as trivial, although golfers and purists will see it much differently. The rule changes will go into effect in 2019, and golf schools around the country will teach to the new rules.
According to a Twitter poll hosted by Golf Digest, a majority of voters were in favor of the rule changes. Meanwhile, 14% of pollsters thought the changes hurt golf’s tradition and legacy. Interestingly, 12% of those polled want more to be done to make golf even more appealing.
Chances are, golf may see additional changes to the rulebook. If these initial rule modifications work. In fact, some golf publications have already identified five more rules they want to see changed. Will these be changed in the future? Possibly, but for now, golf is moving in a new direction that some feel is the for the best.
Whether you’re a rule maker or a rule breaker, you can get the knowledge you need to turn your passion for the game into a career. Contact Keiser University’s College of Golf today.