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  1. #1

    Reducing penalties

    If my reading of the new rules coming into effect next year is correct then I am pleased that some sympathy is being shown to us everyday golfers who incur penalties as a result of an unintended or accidental action from which they gain little if any advantage. I refer to the removal of a penalty for hitting the ball twice, hitting the ball onto yourself or your equipment and moving your ball during a search. Perhaps they could have extended this to cover two other cases through the green.

    1. Hitting a ball in play with a practice swing
    2. Moving the ball while addressing it.

    In both cases the action is unintended, the ball has to be replaced and it is difficult to see how any advantage could be gained

  2. #2
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    Re: Reducing penalties

    Quote Originally Posted by berniethebolt View Post
    If my reading of the new rules coming into effect next year is correct then I am pleased that some sympathy is being shown to us everyday golfers who incur penalties as a result of an unintended or accidental action from which they gain little if any advantage. I refer to the removal of a penalty for hitting the ball twice, hitting the ball onto yourself or your equipment and moving your ball during a search. Perhaps they could have extended this to cover two other cases through the green.

    1. Hitting a ball in play with a practice swing
    2. Moving the ball while addressing it.

    In both cases the action is unintended, the ball has to be replaced and it is difficult to see how any advantage could be gained
    The current rules relating to the changes make no mention of any potential advantage gain

    Although unintended in the examples you mention, the possibility is certainly predictable.

  3. #3
    Tour Winner Crow's Avatar
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    Re: Reducing penalties

    All these new rules to make the game easier, quicker and simpler? Pah!

    Why not just say that if you manage to hit the ball on the tee then it counts as a hole in one?
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  4. #4

    Re: Reducing penalties

    Sorry I have obviously misunderstood. I had assumed that the reason for the changes was to remove penalties in circumstances beyond the control of the player where breach of a rule brought no advantages. If this is not so then why were they changed? If, for example, there is to be no penalty for moving your ball when searching (and presumably replacing it before playing) then why should there be a penalty for moving it unintentionally or accidentally in other situations? Also I do not understand your last sentence. What " ... possibility is certainly predictable"?

  5. #5
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    Re: Reducing penalties

    In both your cases the player is in control of what he is doing. Taking a practice swing near to the ball is always going to be dodgy and he doesn't have to be close. His choice.
    Similarly, addressing the ball. He can see the ball, he should have control of his club. If he doesn't he shouldn't address it.
    Of course there is no penalty if this happens on the green.

    He is in control in both situations when the 'accident' occurs. Both were avoidable and the possible consequences predictable if care is not taken.

  6. #6
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    Re: Reducing penalties

    I must have misunderstood the changes. I was under the impression that accidentally moving your ball through the green would incur no penalty, which I interpreted would include knocking it with a practice swing or when addressing it. Please can someone give us the exact wording?

  7. #7
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    Re: Reducing penalties

    Not 'through the green' but 'on the putting green'

    Accidental Movement on Putting Green: There is no penalty when the player accidentally causes the ball to move on the putting green (see Rule 13.1d), no matter how that happens.

  8. #8
    Challenge Tour Pro mikejohnchapman's Avatar
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    Re: Reducing penalties

    The rule makers are walking a fine line and trying to keep the basic principle of playing the ball as it lies.

    Thus if you move the ball by "accident" and then replace it there is the concern you will get an advantage.

    Yes they have addressed accidental movement on the tee and green - which they were bounced into by too many televised incidents - but going the full distance of replacing any ball accidentally moved it too far for them at the moment.

    Whatever next - relief from divots on a fairway or footprints in a bunker!
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  9. #9

    Re: Reducing penalties

    Quote Originally Posted by rulefan View Post
    In both your cases the player is in control of what he is doing. Taking a practice swing near to the ball is always going to be dodgy and he doesn't have to be close. His choice.
    Similarly, addressing the ball. He can see the ball, he should have control of his club. If he doesn't he shouldn't address it.
    Of course there is no penalty if this happens on the green.

    He is in control in both situations when the 'accident' occurs. Both were avoidable and the possible consequences predictable if care is not taken.
    Yes but it seems that exceptions are made on the tee and on the putting green and in both situations 'he is in control' according to your view. Why not elsewhere when no advantage is gained as the ball has to be replaced.

  10. #10
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    Re: Reducing penalties

    Quote Originally Posted by berniethebolt View Post
    Yes but it seems that exceptions are made on the tee and on the putting green and in both situations 'he is in control' according to your view. Why not elsewhere when no advantage is gained as the ball has to be replaced.
    Play it as you wish, or by the Rules - whichever works best for you.

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