Here’s a fine senior prank

By: Shawn Kelly, Journal Golf Columnist
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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 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 should not be penalized for uncontrollable mechanical phenomena. 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 must estimate the distance the ball would have traveled if it had not hit the tree and play the ball from there. Rule 3.b.3(g) ” 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, making it a stolen ball. The senior is not to compound the felony by charging himself or herself with a penalty. Rule 4.c.7(h) ” If a putt passes over a hole without dropping, it is deemed to have dropped. For seniors, the law of gravity supersedes the law of golf. Rule 5.q ” Putts that stop close enough to the cup that they could be blown in, may be blown in. This does not apply to balls more than three inches from the hole. Even seniors do not want to make a travesty of the game. Rule 6.a.9(k) ” There is no penalty for so-called out of bounds.Â If penny-pinching golf club owners bought sufficient land, this would not occur. Senior golfers deserve an apology, not a penalty. Rule 7.g.15(z) ” There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard. Golf balls should float. That they do not is a technical problem that manufacturers have to correct. Senior golfers should not be punished for 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 financially impractical for the average senior 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.