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You've seen it, I've seen it: dropping at "knee height." WHY??

new rules dropping the ball knee height

174 replies to this topic

#1 BenSeattle

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:48 PM

I'm sure you all have discussed various aspects of the USGA's "new rules" effective January 1st.  Putting with the flagstick in, the term Penalty Areas, etc.  But now comes real golf.

I haven't anchored myself to coverage of this weekend's Tournament of Champions but there, at the 18th hole on Saturday, is Byron DeChambeau taking a drop after his wayward second shot.  Ever so carefully, he crouches down, dipping just so in order to get his hand down to "knee height" before he takes his drop.  Silly looking?  Well, to this casual observer, unquestionably.

DeChambeau agrees, sort of.  From Golf.com:

DeChambeau commented on the rule following the second round at the Tournament of Champions

in Hawaii on Friday. When asked which rule caught his attention the most, he answered, “I think the knee drop one. That you have to drop it from knee height is a bit absurd, unfortunately.”  However, DeChambeau is not a big supporter of dropping from shoulder-height, either. Instead, he thinks players should have more freedom when determining where to drop from.  “I think that you should be able to go from knee height to shoulder height."



I grew up when you took relief by facing the hole and dropping the ball over your shoulder behind your back -- thus insuring a completely random ball placement.  Later, this was simplified to merely extending your arm to your side, even with the shoulder, thus enabling the golfer to get a good look at the drop spot; "taking aim," if you will.

Now this: squirming down to about a foot-and-a-half above the ground in order to attempt exact placement.  So please explain it to me: was dropping from shoulder height Just Too Complex for most golfers?  USGA, what's the point?

Now about that flagstick......

Edited by BenSeattle, 06 January 2019 - 01:58 PM.


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#2 WidespreadPanic

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:49 PM

Yup.
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#3 straightshot7

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:56 PM

Supposedly they think dropping from the knee may prevent the habitual excess roll routine, where the caddy catches the ball and then they end up placing it anyway.

I agree with DeChambeau that you should be allowed to drop anywhere between knee and shoulder height.

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#4 golfgirlrobin

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:05 PM

They’re trying to avoid the multiple drops that result in placing the ball more often and the time it all takes.  I should think that your average golfer ought to be able to master the procedure in about 11 seconds.  It’s unbelievable how much attention this is getting.
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#5 b.helts

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:17 PM

 golfgirlrobin, on 06 January 2019 - 02:05 PM, said:

Theyíre trying to avoid the multiple drops that result in placing the ball more often and the time it all takes.  I should think that your average golfer ought to be able to master the procedure in about 11 seconds.  Itís unbelievable how much attention this is getting.

Couldnít agree more. What a weird thing to obsess about.

Bend over or kneel down and drop the ball. Done.


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#6 sdandrea

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:19 PM

Yawn............................
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#7 Hawkeye77

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:23 PM

 BenSeattle, on 06 January 2019 - 01:48 PM, said:

I'm sure you all have discussed various aspects of the USGA's "new rules" effective January 1st.  Putting with the flagstick in, the term Penalty Areas, etc.  But now comes real golf.

I haven't anchored myself to coverage of this weekend's Tournament of Champions but there, at the 18th hole on Saturday, is Byron DeChambeau taking a drop after his wayward second shot.  Ever so carefully, he crouches down, dipping just so in order to get his hand down to "knee height" before he takes his drop.  Silly looking?  Well, to this casual observer, unquestionably.

DeChambeau agrees, sort of.  From Golf.com:

DeChambeau commented on the rule following the second round at the Tournament of Champions
in Hawaii on Friday. When asked which rule caught his attention the most, he answered, “I think the knee drop one. That you have to drop it from knee height is a bit absurd, unfortunately.”  However, DeChambeau is not a big supporter of dropping from shoulder-height, either. Instead, he thinks players should have more freedom when determining where to drop from.  “I think that you should be able to go from knee height to shoulder height."


I grew up when you took relief by facing the hole and dropping the ball over your shoulder behind your back -- thus insuring a completely random ball placement.  Later, this was simplified to merely extending your arm to your side, even with the shoulder, thus enabling the golfer to get a good look at the drop spot; "taking aim," if you will.

Now this: squirming down to about a foot-and-a-half above the ground in order to attempt exact placement.  So please explain it to me: was dropping from shoulder height Just Too Complex for most golfers?  USGA, what's the point?

Now about that flagstick......


Again, much about nothing and, hmmmm, amply discussed in tournament thread, but let's have more, lol.  Bryson was just hamming it up and getting a little attention, nothing to be bothered about at all.  Even the MD folks were mocking him this morning.

Edited by Hawkeye77, 06 January 2019 - 02:25 PM.


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#8 Mr. Hogan

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:36 PM

They could easily have made a legal drop anywhere from the knee to the shoulders. But being the USGA, they picked the dumbest definition.

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#9 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:36 PM

Good change. Dropping from shoulder height never made much sense either.  A 6'4" guy had more disadvantage than a person 5'4"... the new approach provides greater equity.

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#10 cardoustie

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:37 PM

Funny how players are bending sideways and not forwards

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#11 cardoustie

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    haha, we don't play for 5's

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:39 PM

Personally, I feel you should get to place it when getting relief or a penalty drop ... easier

The stupidest is penalty area, just call everything hazards
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#12 Scotty1140

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:45 PM

 Mr. Hogan, on 06 January 2019 - 02:36 PM, said:

They could easily have made a legal drop anywhere from the knee to the shoulders. But being the USGA, they picked the dumbest definition.
I often wonder if anyone at the USGA plays golf.

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#13 bladehunter

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:55 PM

I think itís a cross between a straw man and a paper tiger.  Maybe a straw tiger ??  


Itís a rule designed to appear like they are effecting change. When in reality itís just a waste of time and money.  No change other than a silly optic will be seen.  Drop a ball from shoe height on a side hill and what happens ?  It rolls.  Same same.
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#14 bladehunter

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:58 PM

 cardoustie, on 06 January 2019 - 02:37 PM, said:

Funny how players are bending sideways and not forwards

Most golfers have back issues at times.  I brought this up in another thread about the knee height drop and got roasted as if I were daft ( I am sometimes lol).  But as a 6ft 4 guy I can tell you.  My knees are a long way down there.  Maybe easy for mr Davis and his menís small self.  But the full size versions like myself have to bend our lower backs quite a ways to get to the knee height.  So to the side will by my route too.

Edited by bladehunter, 06 January 2019 - 02:59 PM.

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#15 Hawkeye77

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:03 PM

Just more of the wave of populism in the new rules.

Then on MD the discussion about gambling and NOBODY would come right out and say how dangerous it is and just talked around some really obvious problems.  Talking seriously about getting tied in with gambling and "bringing more people into the game" is just plain stupid.  Might bring more gamblers into betting on golf, but won't be getting kids out on the golf course for heaven's sake.  Letting not wanting to take any kind of a stand trump their IQs - sad.


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#16 b.helts

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:25 PM

 bladehunter, on 06 January 2019 - 02:58 PM, said:

 cardoustie, on 06 January 2019 - 02:37 PM, said:

Funny how players are bending sideways and not forwards

Most golfers have back issues at times.  I brought this up in another thread about the knee height drop and got roasted as if I were daft ( I am sometimes lol).  But as a 6ft 4 guy I can tell you.  My knees are a long way down there.  Maybe easy for mr Davis and his menís small self.  But the full size versions like myself have to bend our lower backs quite a ways to get to the knee height.  So to the side will by my route too.

Dude. Take a knee. Your floor to knee is the same kneeling on one knee as it is standing up. No bending over at all.

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#17 Hawkeye77

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:40 PM

Just make them carry a little two foot high, official dropping stick and be done with it. New merchandising opportunity.

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#18 KennyP

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:58 PM

 Hawkeye77, on 06 January 2019 - 03:40 PM, said:

Just make them carry a little two foot high, official dropping stick and be done with it. New merchandising opportunity.

Just drop it from a putter length height.... Oh wait...

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#19 straightshot7

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 04:11 PM

 cardoustie, on 06 January 2019 - 02:39 PM, said:

Personally, I feel you should get to place it when getting relief or a penalty drop ... easier

The stupidest is penalty area, just call everything hazards

So if my ball is on a cart path, I get to place it and get a perfect lie, instead of the normal lie I would have had in the rough?

Too advantageous. The drop more accurately creates the lie I would have if the cart path was not there.

In many types of rough, when placing it you can place it so it's basically on a tee. You shouldn't be able to significantly improve your lie when taking relief. It would become an advantage to end up on a cart path or behind an electrical box.

Edited by straightshot7, 06 January 2019 - 04:13 PM.


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#20 nichho

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 04:39 PM

This was my response to this same topic on the tournament thread.

I love the idea of dropping from knee height, although I haven't had the opportunity to do so as yet. I was even happier with the original idea of the drop height being even lower.

Our bunkers pool with H20 after heavy rain, and although there is a free drop to be had if your ball finishes in the water it's never really relief, the drop from shoulder height into the soaking sand always results in an extremely plugged ball, from which of course there is no free relief.

I look forward to my ball landing gently and staying on top of the the sand when in future I drop the ball from somewhere just below my knee.

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#21 OutBackHack

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 05:18 PM

 Hawkeye77, on 06 January 2019 - 03:03 PM, said:

Just more of the wave of populism in the new rules.

Then on MD the discussion about gambling and NOBODY would come right out and say how dangerous it is and just talked around some really obvious problems.  Talking seriously about getting tied in with gambling and "bringing more people into the game" is just plain stupid.  Might bring more gamblers into betting on golf, but won't be getting kids out on the golf course for heaven's sake.  Letting not wanting to take any kind of a stand trump their IQs - sad.

He said Trump... Can we shut this down now?

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#22 Aaronwilson_95

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:02 PM

Honestly I feel waist high is where the rule should have been written. No bending and still high enough for some randomness and low enough your not gonna get screwed per say

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#23 bladehunter

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:06 PM

 Hawkeye77, on 06 January 2019 - 03:03 PM, said:

Just more of the wave of populism in the new rules.

Then on MD the discussion about gambling and NOBODY would come right out and say how dangerous it is and just talked around some really obvious problems.  Talking seriously about getting tied in with gambling and "bringing more people into the game" is just plain stupid.  Might bring more gamblers into betting on golf, but won't be getting kids out on the golf course for heaven's sake.  Letting not wanting to take any kind of a stand trump their IQs - sad.


Man I agree 1000 %.  And to say that it needed ď oversight ď of the governmental kind is admitting that itís a horrid idea.  Itís like saying ď yea Iím going to turn my daughter out to turn tricks.  Better find her a good pimp to look after her ď.   For Peteís sake do these people have no compass ??
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#24 justasgood

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:13 PM

A 6í4Ē inch player and a 5í8Ē player have a big discrepancy in drop height. Now, if you squat down and your knee is 6-10 inches above the ground, is that still knee height?

I mean, leaning over to hold the ball at knee height is uncomfortable for some. I for one, have ape-ish long arms so my hands are close to my knees under normal conditions.

Itís a stupid rule that is ambiguous and differs in results from player to player.

Just hold it out and drop it. Stupid rule.

Edited by justasgood, 06 January 2019 - 06:13 PM.


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#25 cardoustie

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    haha, we don't play for 5's

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:24 PM

 straightshot7, on 06 January 2019 - 04:11 PM, said:

 cardoustie, on 06 January 2019 - 02:39 PM, said:

Personally, I feel you should get to place it when getting relief or a penalty drop ... easier

The stupidest is penalty area, just call everything hazards

So if my ball is on a cart path, I get to place it and get a perfect lie, instead of the normal lie I would have had in the rough?

Too advantageous. The drop more accurately creates the lie I would have if the cart path was not there.

In many types of rough, when placing it you can place it so it's basically on a tee. You shouldn't be able to significantly improve your lie when taking relief. It would become an advantage to end up on a cart path or behind an electrical box.

Ok place it when penalized ... speeds things up

Dropping in a bunker issue also fixed .   Bunkers should be place at all times whether free or a penalty

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#26 davep043

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:32 PM

I'm wondering how many of the people posting in this thread were surprised on Wednesday when the new rules took effect.  I wonder how many completely ignored all the publicity over the last two years, the preliminary version announced in 2017, the time period for comments from all golfers, the explanations of their thought processes, the release of the final rules this past summer.  None of this should be news, this has been in the pipeline for a long damn time.  Yet people are amazed or chocked that the rule has us dropping from knee high?  Read the damn rule, its not rocket science, and then find a way to drop it legally.  Or don't play competitively, and use whatever rules you like.

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#27 bladehunter

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:42 PM

Read the damn rule.  And itís ignorant Dave.  Itís literaly a huge waste of time , USga members money and insults most folks intelligence.  

Just because weíve known about it doesnít mean  it has to be liked.  Time doesnít make a  useless idea better.  

The idea is to have balls not roll away when dropped.  This wonít stop that.  Slope is slope.  The ball isnít rolling away becusee of the rebound of the higher drop.  If anything it may plug it and keep it from rolling.  The ball rolls away because of gravity.  And sometimes placing it is the only way.  Essentially cheating gravity by propping the ball up on a blade of grass etc. 7 years it took for them to make these changes ?  To decide to make putts easier and to shorten a drop?  To change the terminology of hazards to penalty areas and allow you to improve your shot at hitting the ball from the hazard.  Come on.  Itís a lot of nothing useful.  More PR move than anything.
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#28 davep043

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 06:48 PM

Hey, if its wrong simply because the USGA decided to do things this way, there's really nothing to discuss.  Make your own rules, play your own game.  But

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#29 bladehunter

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 07:09 PM

 davep043, on 06 January 2019 - 06:48 PM, said:

Hey, if its wrong simply because the USGA decided to do things this way, there's really nothing to discuss.  Make your own rules, play your own game.  But

Nobody said it was wrong simply because.  I cited why it was a waste.
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#30 getitdaily

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 07:36 PM

 golfgirlrobin, on 06 January 2019 - 02:05 PM, said:

Theyíre trying to avoid the multiple drops that result in placing the ball more often and the time it all takes.  I should think that your average golfer ought to be able to master the procedure in about 11 seconds.  Itís unbelievable how much attention this is getting.

Funny, because dropping twice took about 11 seconds too.


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