Monday Mar 31 2008
Hereâ€™s a fine senior prank
By: Shawn Kelly, Journal Golf Columnist
In case you missed it, the USGA's newest Rules of Golf booklet has some new rules that apply specifically to senior golfers. A senior golfer is defined as anyone who is over the age of 55, or who plays like they are. Rule 1.a.5 ” A ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall beÂ lifted and placed on theÂ fairway at a point equal to the distance it carriedÂ or rolled into the roughÂ with no penalty. The senior should not be penalizedÂ for uncontrollableÂ mechanical phenomena. Rule 2.d.6 (b) ” A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to haveÂ hit the tree. This isÂ simply bad luck and luck has no place in aÂ scientific game. The senior must estimate the distance the ball would have traveledÂ if it had not hit the tree andÂ play the ball from there. Rule 3.b.3(g) ” There shall be no such thing as a lost ball. TheÂ missing ball is on or nearÂ the course and will eventually be found and pocketed by someone else, making it a stolen ball. The senior is not to compound theÂ felony by charging himself or herself with a penalty. Rule 4.c.7(h) ” If a putt passes over a hole without dropping, itÂ is deemed to have dropped. For seniors, the law of gravity supersedes the law of golf. RuleÂ 5.q ” Putts that stopÂ close enough to the cup that they could be blown in,Â may be blown in. ThisÂ doesÂ not apply to balls more than three inches from theÂ hole. Even seniors do notÂ want to makeÂ a travesty of the game. Rule 6.a.9(k) ” There is no penalty for so-called out of bounds.Â If penny-pinching golfÂ club owners bought sufficient land, this would notÂ occur.Â Senior golfers deserveÂ an apology, not a penalty. Rule 7.g.15(z) ” There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard. Golf balls shouldÂ float. That they do not is a technical problem thatÂ manufacturers have toÂ correct. Senior golfers should not be punished forÂ manufacturer's shortcomings. Rule 8.k.9(s) ” Ads claim that golfers can improve their scores by purchasing new clubs, balls, shoes, etc. Since this is financiallyÂ impractical for the average seniorÂ golfer, seniors can subtract half a stroke per hole for using old equipment. April Fool's! (OK, so it's still March.) Hope you enjoyed! Shawn Kelly is a PGA professional at The Ridge Golf Club. He can be reached for questions or lessons at (530) 888-PUTT.