It has been a source of discussion (often debate) here on TheGolfDirector.com many times over the past year and a half, and now the Golf Channel chimes in with their take on Relaxed Rules for the game of golf. Matt Ginella and Charlie Rymer have taken up the cause and are giving it some greatly needed press. They debuted their series on last Friday’s (August 15 the, 2014) Morning Drive.
The idea makes total sense. The purists will always argue, “The rules are the rules, and the game should be played by the rules.” We’ve heard it over and over. And to set the record straight, we agree that tournament golf, and anytime “official” handicaps” are recorded, should be played by the official Rules of Golf. But recreational golf, often played by those playing a handful of times annually doesn’t have to played so strictly. Most of these players have no concept of a real handicap anyway. If you’re an average golfer shooting over 100, having some relaxing of the rules will make your round go more smoothly and more quickly for you and those in your group and behind you. In an era where the game needs more rounds, having played without being beaten up so badly might have you returning to the game more often. The issue is magnified here in Myrtle Beach. I think the same is true in any resort area. When courses are packed, the last thing we need are 5 and 6 hour rounds.
In every meeting or conference we’ve attended, there are three common culprits discussed as the reasons golf suffers in America: it takes so much time to play; it is so difficult to play; and it is expensive. While relaxed rules probably won’t affect the expense of golf, it can certainly have an impact on the other two reasons. If you’re an average golfer, you’re still going to incur more ball expense than a 12 handicapper. Buy refurbished balls, because at that level ProV1s aren’t going to make that much difference. But, a better experience on the course will probably impact your decision about when you play again. If we could just get a mall percentage of amatuer golfers to play 2 or 3 more times a year, it would have a major impact on the game.
We’re glad to have the Golf Channel chiming in and championing relaxed rules. If you would like to read one of our earlier articles on the subject, you can find it HERE.