The holidays are always a time for giving, and in that spirit, the USGA has announced some new rules for senior golfers (Over 50) that will go into effect on January 1, 2014. The hope is that these new rules will help speed the pace of play and make it more enjoyable for the older golfers out there.
A ball sliced or hooked into the Rough shall be lifted and placed on the Fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the Rough with no penalty. The senior player should not be penalized for tall grass which ground keepers failed to mow.
Rule 2.d.6 (B)
A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed NOT to have hit the tree. This is simply bad luck and luck has no place in a scientific game. The senior player must estimate the distance the ball would have traveled if it had not hit the tree, and play the ball from there.
There shall be no such thing as a lost ball. The missing ball is on or near the course, and will eventually be found and pocketed by someone else, thereby making it a stolen ball. The senior player is not to compound the felony by charging himself with a penalty.
If a putt passes over a hole without dropping, it is deemed to have dropped. The Law of Gravity supersedes the Rules of Golf.
Putts that stop close enough to the cup that they could be blown in, may be blown in. This does however not apply to balls more than three inches from the Hole. No one wants to make a mockery of the game.
There is no penalty for so-called “out of bounds.” If penny-pinching golf course owners bought sufficient land, this would not occur. The senior player deserves an apology, not a penalty.
There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard, as golf balls should float. Senior players should not be penalized for any shortcomings of the manufacturers.
Rule 8.k.9( S)
Advertisements claim that golf scores can be improved by purchasing new golf equipment. Since this is financially impractical for many senior players, one-half stroke per hole may be subtracted for using old equipment.
These new rules are of course, a joke. But I’ve seen several players use these rules to great effect in the past. In fact, I bet you have too. Every club has a few guys that always seem to shoot scores that are 5 or 6 shots better when they go out there by themselves or with their best buddy as a witness. Either way, let this serve as a reminder that maybe we shouldn’t take ourselves or our golf game too seriously!