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These Golf Rules HAVE to Change

Golf is hard, and understanding the rules of the game is even harder. They can be confusing and, at times, pretty unnecessary. Although the changes made in 2019 were generally for the better, we think a few golf rules still need to be tweaked.

Below you can check out five golf rules we would like to see changed. The chances are no one will listen, and these rules will go on forever and a day. Still, it's therapeutic to complain once in a while.

The fairway divot

After striping your drive down the centre of the fairway - and soaking up your buddies' praise - finding your ball has come to rest in a nasty fairway divot is the last thing you want (or deserve).

What you thought would be a no-dramas second shot from green-light territory is now a treacherous one from a mini canyon. All you can see is trouble everywhere.

Good luck with that next shot! You're going to need it.

We get the arguments against being able to lift and place when you're in a divot. Some would say it's a bit of a grey area trying to distinguish between a worn patch of grass and an actual divot. You might believe that bad breaks are just part of the game, and we should all accept what comes our way.

Those are fair reservations, but we think divots on the fairway are generally easy to spot, and because they're not part of its natural fabric or design, they shouldn't create an additional obstacle in your duel against the golf course.

It feels wrong to us that good shots are being penalised. Hopefully, that will change in the future.

Internal Out-of-Bounds

Most golfers are aware that a golf ball doesn't need to have come to rest in an adjacent field or someone else's property for it to be classed as 'OOB'. It also occurs when you cross an internal line - those white stakes that are to be avoided at all costs.

Having internal out-of-bounds on a golf course - unless it's for safety reasons - seems unnecessary to us. Often it's for silly reasons like stopping a golfer from using an adjacent fairway to find an easier route to the hole.

The Knee-High Ball Drop

The knee-high golf ball drop came into effect - along with a whole raft of new changes - back in early 2019. It was immediately singled out as one of the more absurd rules at the time, with many of the professional game's biggest stars questioning the benefit of the change.

The main reason we want to see it banished is simple: it looks ridiculous. It looks anything and everything but athletic, and there's no obvious reason why a golfer couldn't just drop from any height above the knee.

If anything, it's an element of a disadvantage to drop it from higher. Make the lowest point the knee, and let each golfer decide what's most comfortable for them. It should be a pretty simple rule change, and we're surprised it hasn't been amended already. We live in hope.

The footprint in the bunker

Hitting out of a greenside bunker can be tricky, so if you're unlucky enough to find your golf ball in a footprint - or other depression - in the sand, you would be within your rights to be a little peeved.

Bunkers that are unraked - or poorly raked - are an unfortunate reality, so you could find yourself in that scenario more often than you would like. No golfer should be penalised for someone else's laziness or half-hearted bunker raking.

During the pandemic, many UK golf clubs adopted an approach of allowing preferred lies in the bunker due to the unavailability of rakes. Players could place a ball in the bunker within one club length, or six inches if they were following CONGU rules for competitions, no nearer the hole.

Could this be a fair route forward to get rid of the issue altogether?

Hitting ahead of the teeing area

As you will know, the penalty for teeing off ahead of the markers is two shots (unless you're having a friendly knock with your pals), which seems fair enough - but it can escalate to disqualification if you're not careful.

If you fail to rectify the mistake before you tee off on the next hole - or before you put your scorecard in if you were on the final hole - you will be DQ'd.

That seems excessive to us, and the two-shot penalty seems enough of a punishment - particularly when you're not really gaining any obvious advantage by creeping an inch or two closer to the pin.

And one bonus 'rule' for the road:

Pro golfers can't play LIV and PGA Tour

Bit of a controversial one to complete our list - but is it right that golfers who have joined the LIV Tour can't play on the PGA Tour. Or is it right that they may be banned from future majors? Or what about the Ryder Cup?

It's a difficult one with strong views on each side. We're particularly interested in your thoughts on this one. What would you do if it was up to you?

Is it a case of LIV and let live, or is the PGA Tour right to ban all those who have defected to a rival tour?

Let us know your views and what you think are the worst rules in golf. How should they be changed to make the game more enjoyable for us all?  You can do that in the comments section below.


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