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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf

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We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.

2019-rules-of-golf

But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”

Simple.

We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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Former mediocre High School Golfer. Proud Penn State alum. Fluctuate between being an excellent ball striker and absolute hack. Currently living in Pittsburgh, Pa. and missing clutch 5-footers. When I’m not missing putts, I’m working to help great companies hire IT talent. Worked at Golf Galaxy growing up and never convinced them to actually carry left-handed clubs. Enjoy the lighter side of golf and making fun of myself, and the embarrassing things we all do related to this moronic/beautiful game. Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram @NotTheFakeG. Not Facebook though, that’s moving a little quick for me.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Keith Panco

    Jan 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    I like to putt out with the flag in while my playing partners are plumb bobbing their 30 footers.

  2. Justin C

    Jan 15, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    First tourney this week and no confusions on rules yet. However, one playing partner should have left the pin on one shot. Would’ve helped out for sure

  3. Central Oregon Golf

    Jan 15, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    What about a triple hit? Or perhaps a hit that you “juggle” the ball all the way to the hole with multiple hits from the initial one? Hole-in-one?

  4. Tiger Noods

    Jan 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Put it in.

    Pull it out.

    Put it back in.

    Doesn’t matter for me.

    Go ahead and leave it out.

    Wait, I want it in for this short one…

    The pin thing is INSANE.

  5. Fail

    Jan 15, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    I had a long putt the other day, on a bumpy green, about 30 feet.
    Do you know what I did?
    Purposefully patted down and fixed every little divot and spike mark I saw from the ball to the cup.
    Probably even fixed ones that I wouldn’t even come close to rolling by, it looked like I might.
    Do you know how long it took?
    3 minutes.
    Nobody told me to hurry up or counted the time limit. Because there isn’t one. It’s not like I was looking for my ball.
    Not helping with pace of play at all, USGA. I bet you didn’t think about that.

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19th Hole

Terrible hats are proof Koepka not human, likely an alien robot from the future

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For all this talk about Brooks Koepka not receiving the credit he deserves, it’s time we put the focus on the important things — like hats. And the overwhelming evidence that Koepka is, in fact, a high-functioning alien robot. From the future.

Case in point: everyone who appreciates a classic aliens-hide-among-humans-disguised-as-humans movie knows the most important scene — the first reveal of the aliens! Think back to that first time you watched Men in Black, and that cold open where Tommy Lee Jones confronts “Mikey,” who turns out to be a flippered blue alien, and then (sadly) has to shoot Mikey when he attempts to attack a police officer with all seven of his limbs. A beautiful piece of filmmaking, no doubt.

Well, inadvertently, during the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Nike pulled a Mikey, but without having Tommy Lee Jones’ famous memory-wiping technology. They weren’t quite ready to tell the world their poster boy of dominance wasn’t a real human, but the cat’s out of the bag, folks.

After all, if Koepka wasn’t a robot, how could we explain his willingness to wear that hat in public, let alone wear it on television, during one of the sports biggest stages, at one of the world’s best courses? And we all know exactly which hat we’re talking about — the one that looks exactly like your grandmother’s shower curtain in her spare bathroom. If we can all agree there’s no feasible way all the designers at Nike thought the hat in question actually looked good, we’re forced to consider…something mysterious is afoot. What is Nike trying to hide from us? They’re clearly trying to divert our attention away from something, but — what is it?!

The answer is clear. There’s a murderous blue alien robot underneath that hat. He just happens to be really damn good at golf.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of Koepka’s dominance over the past 24 months. The dude has done nothing but win majors, winning with an aura of unflappability we haven’t seen since the original robot said “Hello, World” back when Koepka was learning how to read. (Or, more likely, Koepka never actually learned to read, just programmed to read).

Would it be that much of a surprise to learn Koepka is the world’s first successful application of Artificial Intelligence? A robot designed not for war, but a delightful piece of technology designed for smashing drives, pushing weights, and holing an obscene amount of pressure-packed putts.

Here’s where this gets tricky – what do we do next, golf fans? Do we call our suspicions into the USGA, the same way some dude at home on his couch somehow called a penalty(-ish) on Dustin Johnson a couple years ago? Probably not. We know with certainy the USGA would completely screw that up. They might not even rule on an appropriate penalty for Koepka’s non-humanness until the event is over, keeping us all in the dark all evening Sunday.

Here’s my thoughts: maybe we just accept it. Act like it’s n.b.d. Brooks Koepka is just an alien robot, most likely from some time in the future, sent here to entertain us with some of the most unbelievable golf we’ll ever see on this planet or the next.

But please, Nike, let’s all wink at each other with knowing smiles, and at least pretend he’s just your run of the mill (non-alien) professional golfer. Give him one of your clean looking white swoosh hats Rory wears. They look great! Or, hell, let him just take off the hat altogether and let the alien hang out. We don’t care. Just don’t make us look at grandma’s shower curtain over the weekend. It’s an insult to spare bathrooms everywhere.

 

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (6.14.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Dormie Workshop with limited edition covers using real flags from Pebble Beach.

 ”Banksy Gilmore” U.S. Open – Pebble Beach Headcover from American Flatsticks.

How about this custom Scotty from Embrace Putters?

Andrew Halford sharing his cool video of Tiger Woods on the practice green at Pebble Beach.

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Just @tigerwoods practicing putting.

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Immaculate work from those in charge at Pebble.

Swag’s King putter cover in action.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Jordan Spieth blasts caddie, Michael Greller, during round one of the U.S. Open after back-to-back errors

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Jordan Spieth began his U.S. Open campaign with a one-over round of 72, and on the eight hole at Pebble Beach, the Texan let his frustration spill over as he laid into his caddie, Michael Greller, after back-to-back mistakes.

The 25-year-old was even par at the time, but on the treacherous eight hole he hit his tee shot through the fairway and off the cliff, before taking a drop and hitting his third shot over the green.

Fox Sports microphones picked up Spieth’s frustration at this moment, as he appeared to blast his caddie.

“Two perfect shots, Michael. You got me in the water on one and over the green on the other.”

After his round, Spieth clarified that the comment was made due to his frustration that as a team, the two couldn’t figure out how to get things right on the hole.

“When you hit a couple of shots exactly where you want and one’s in the water and the next one’s dead over the green, I’m going to be frustrated that as a team we didn’t figure out how to make sure that didn’t happen.

I may have looked like the bad guy, but my intentions were that we should be in play if the ball is hit solidly.”

Spieth tees off on day two alongside Tiger Woods and Justin Rose at 11:24 AM ET.

 

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