Tuesday 11 December 2018

CONGU must take head out of the sand over rule change

By Martin Dempster

How disappointing to hear that the Council of National Golf Unions is not permitting one of the key changes in the New Rules of Golf coming into effect on 1 January in counting competitions.

The whole point of introducing a Local Rule to stop a player having to return to the tee after either losing a ball or discovering it has gone out of bounds was to help speed 
up play.

There is probably not a golf club in Scotland where the pace of play in a medal isn’t adversely affected by people having to trudge dejectedly back to a tee.

Yet, it is stated on the CONGU
 website and, consequently, is being relayed at various rules seminars taking place in preparation for 1 January, that the new Local Rule is not being encouraged in club 

No, the “stroke-and-distance relief” is only “appropriate for general play where golfers are playing casual rounds or playing their own competitions”.

What utter nonsense. Yes, of course, this isn’t a rule that should ever be implemented in professional or elite level amateur 

However, the sooner CONGU gets its head out of the sand over this one the better. Attempts to speed up the game simply have to 
be embraced.