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Mackenzie Hughes questions updates to Rules of Golf: “Most of them missed the mark”

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Earlier this year, the R&A and the USGA decided to modernize the rules of golf for 2019, in a move that was considered long overdue by most golf fans.

However, not everyone is happy with the changes, and on Thursday, PGA Tour professional Mackenzie Hughes took to social media to question some of the new rules.

Hughes when discussing the rules for 2019 on his Twitter page, stated how he felt that most of the rule changes had “missed the mark”, and his examples for the rule changes that he was most displeased over included the new procedure for dropping a ball, as well as the new damaged club rule.

The Canadian’s post provoked a discussion which allowed Hughes to elaborate on why he isn’t too enamored with one certain rule change.

While his countryman, Graeme DeLaet, used the platform to lambast the authorities, calling it “absurd” not to implement an updated anchoring ban, with many players still using their forearm to anchor the club.

Hughes and DeLaet aren’t the only PGA Tour professionals who have questioned the updated rules for 2019 either. At the PNC Father/Son Challenge, Jim Furyk although bullish that the R&A and USGA had made changes that will improve pace of play, cast his doubts on the new rule that will allow players to repair spike marks before putting.

“If I had to be skeptical of one rule, it would be tapping down spike marks. I think pace of play. I think moving the time you look for your ball (before it is declared lost) from 5 minutes to 3 minutes is going to insignificantly improve pace of play. But the tapping down of spike marks could tend to drag things out a bit.”

GolfWRXers, do you feel that the R&A and USGA missed the mark with some of their rule changes, or are these PGA Tour pros being a little too pedantic?

Let us know what you think!

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Kumat63

    Dec 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Agree with Graham 100% on the anchoring thing. Either ban all anchoring, entirely (and require the club you putt with to be the shortest one in the bag–to avoid the Adam Scott/Langer blatant cheating) or, get rid of the ban itself. Personally I don’t care either way, but the current rule is ridiculous.

  2. C. Winn

    Dec 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Really like the change (practice) that allows play (stroke) after first round (day) of 2 day competition. Well done.

  3. Nigel

    Dec 24, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    To answer Hughes’ question; what we accomplished by moving the drop from shoulder height to knee height is a penalty for not dropping the ball from high enough. They got rid of the ridiculousness of penalties for things that didn’t matter – like dropping the ball from below shoulder height which most people we guilty of.

  4. Peter

    Dec 24, 2018 at 11:41 am

    searching for a lost ball is not what hinders the pace of play on the pga tour. These guys are good, and it’s pretty rare that they can’t find their balls quickly with the help of marshalls and spotters. walking up to your ball and then taking 5 minutes to make a decision and swing the club however, is a big problem on tour, and thats something that needed to be addressed.

  5. Dan

    Dec 23, 2018 at 1:09 am

    Since when did it become so important to speed up pace of play? Pros get there a couple hours beforehand to putt, stretch, hit balls, some workout a bit, see a masseuse sometimes, do an interview or press conference questions afterwards. We should just add the time to the score and bastardize the whole thing. All these rules are to try to simplify a game to stuffy and complicated for the youth to get into. I don’t go play and brag to friends on how fast the round went. The round is my day. If you want to play fast get a golf video game on the x box and play in 30 min in your boxers. The round takes the time it takes 4 hours instead of 4 1/2, who gives a shit. I’m sure advertisers love a sped up game so we can watch Big Brother or any other of the useless crap on TV. Sports are the closest thing to unscripted drama, why speed it up, don’t slow it down but geez, what’s the hurry? Gotta look at my phone more it’s been 4 hours, I’m getting the shakes.
    Venty Venterson

  6. smz

    Dec 22, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Only 5% of all golfers worldwide play by the Rules… and the remaining 95% just hack and hope they can break 100 honestly…. while carrying a veritable WITB arsenal of weapons/toys.

  7. James

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Can’t wait to play behind a group doing the flag in, flag out dance. I’m assuming they’ve heard curse words before…

  8. James

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Who is McKenzie Hughes? I like any rule that shortens the time to look for a lost golf ball. Gives me more time and the right to yell at slow groups in front of me.

  9. shawn

    Dec 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    The USGA is just a shill for the OEMs… and they proved it when they fired Frank Thomas and replaced him with a TM VP to head up club design oversight.
    Frank was.. frank.. and honest about the attempts by OEMs to scam recreational golfers with annual club design changes and to juice up the equipment to the detriment of the game of golf. Tour players are only advertisements for the equipment industry.

    • A. Commoner

      Dec 22, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Really like your post. Frank Thomas may have been under appreciated or even unknown by some but he was (continues to be) a huge asset to the game. ‘More expertise in his little finger……..’

  10. darrell

    Dec 21, 2018 at 11:12 am

    They still haven’t addressed my main issue. When is a swing………a swing? At what point does it count as a stroke? Why is it up to the player to decide whether or not he was actually attempting to hit the ball?

    Allow players to place the ball instead of dropping. There are so many rules issues that come into play by dropping, players don’t know how to proceed.

    Bottom line…….don’t forget……the rules are made by a bunch of amateurs.

    • James

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      If you’re over 70 you should be allowed to anchor!

      • Scheiss

        Dec 21, 2018 at 11:42 pm

        No. If you have to anchor you should have to be forced to quit golf in shame in front of everybody you know as you make that announcement in front of them

        • Jack Nash

          Dec 24, 2018 at 12:09 pm

          LOL!!! And your playing partners can split your clubs between them.

      • smz

        Dec 22, 2018 at 12:47 am

        If you’re over 70 and you need to anchor, you should quit and take up shuffleboard. Nothing worse than an old far† struggling to walk, swing, putt and constantly searching for his ball…. and buying new clubs annually in the desperate hope of not making a mess of his game.

    • James

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      A swing is a swing when you intend to hit the ball. Own up to it.

  11. A. Commoner

    Dec 21, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Could this writer begin putting more substance into his articles? Sham credentials? About the topic, Hughes and DeLaet are right about these puffed ego birds missing opportunities to make timely decisions to strengthen both the game and the appeal of the game. (Yes, some extrapolation there.) This group of new rules or revisions is both comedic and tragic. As an aside, we can handle a slow poke in our group, even on the course. Slow play on the tours does not matter to us at all. Not our problem; let the pros take care of it if they want. It’s their business.

  12. kevin

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:37 am

    imagine on average a player taking an additional 20 seconds to look the line of their putt over and tap down spike marks…and i think this tapping motion will become habit whether there is a spike mark or not, similar to the wipe of the putterface before addressing the putt. 20 seconds per putt per player. a group of 4 amateurs averaging 34 putts a round minus 4 gimmies, this adds 40 minutes to a round.

    whether the math is spot on or not….this rule will add to length of a round and offset any good other rules may have

    • josh

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:12 am

      The average player is doing this already in recreational rounds. It wont change the length of your weekend round at all. Are you telling me that the people in your group on a sunday afternoon round aren’t tapping spike marks in their line?

    • smz

      Dec 22, 2018 at 1:01 am

      We have a club player who takes a minute or two to read and prepare for his putt. I got so annoyed I stomped all over his line of putt and the others applauded me… he froze. He is absent from club play now.

    • smz

      Dec 22, 2018 at 1:03 am

      We have a club player who takes a minute or two to read and prepare for his putt. I got so annoyed I stepped all over his line of putt and the others applauded me… he froze. He is absent from club play now.

  13. David

    Dec 21, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Dropping knee height decreases the chance will bounce or roll outside of the club length. “Placing” allows people to tee it up and will take longer. It’s a legit compromise and will make the action of “dropping” less formal and quicker.

    The spike marks should be able to be tapped down. They also should allowed relief from divots in the fairway. No reason yo should be penalized b/c of the person in front of you. There should also be a penalty for unraked bunkers. Sucks to penalize for bad etiquette, but that’s todays golfer.

    I 100% agree with Graham.. anchoring of any kind should be banned. Clubs should hang from the hands down.

    • kevin

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:39 am

      the issue with a divot in a fairway is what defines a divot. there is a big difference between a 4 hour old divot, a one day old divot, a 3 day old divot….etc.

      at what point does every questionable lie in fairway need a ruling as to whether the spot is an old divot or not.

      • Dv

        Dec 21, 2018 at 9:57 am

        We should get relief from all divots regardless of being 1 or 3 days old. A fairway shot should not be penalized for hitting the fairway. Plus it give the fairway time to heal.

    • Willem

      Dec 21, 2018 at 9:47 am

      The R&A has put out a document to explain, amongst other things, why they did not implement rules regarding unraked bunkers and divots.
      This what it says:
      This from the R&A:
      Preserving the Fundamental Challenge of the Game

      Play the ball as it lies –

      In its simplest form, golf is about playing the ball from tee to green by hitting it with a golf club, and not otherwise touching the ball. A fundamental challenge of the sport is to deal with whatever position your ball comes to rest in – whether good or bad. While there are some necessary exceptions (such as obstructions and other abnormal course conditions), the essential nature of golf means these must remain exceptions rather than the norm. Therefore, the new Rules do not provide relief without penalty from situations that some golfers complain about, such as when their ball comes to rest in a divot hole on a fairway or in footprints in a poorly raked bunker. In addition to being contrary to the fundamental principle of playing the ball as it lies, providing free relief in such circumstances would make the Rules harder to apply (for example, what is the difference between an irregularity of surface and an old divot hole?) and could slow down play when there are difficult questions about what is or isn’t a divot hole.

      As a club golfer who sees the effect on revenue with fewer and fewer members, I am extremely ambivalent about the anchoring ban. We have lost some of our older players who have stopped playing because their putting was destroying the enjoyment of the game. I’m all for something which will keep amateurs playing for longer. The pro’s should have their own rules. They play a vastly different game from us in any case.

      • James

        Dec 21, 2018 at 9:19 pm

        If you’re over 70 you should be allowed to anchor!

        • smz

          Dec 22, 2018 at 12:46 am

          If you’re over 70 and you need to anchor, you should quit and take up shuffleboard. Nothing worse than an old geezer struggling to walk, swing, putt and constantly searching for his ball…. and buying new clubs annually in the desperate hope of not making a mess of his game.

    • Benny

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Well said David!

    • jc

      Dec 24, 2018 at 11:51 am

      but with the new shoes, there are very few spike marks…now you have the waffle pattern or little depressions where the large round soft spikes are left..

  14. DB

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Don’t care about drop height – whatever. It’s fine.

    The main issue is the failure to update the anchoring ban. Either find a way to ban long anchored putters or don’t. Right now we’re stuck in a middle ground where guys have found a way around the current rule.

  15. Brandon

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:42 am

    The flag stick thing is what will hurt pace of play the most. If 2 people in a 4some want it in and 2 want it out and they are all bad putters then that’s going to be an awful lot of trips to the hole location to remove and replace the flag. Not to mention the extra spike marks near the cup from the increased foot traffic. At the amateur level this is going to really slow things down.

  16. Mike

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I’ll start tapping down spike marks once my putting improves to the point where they start costing me strokes.

    So never.

  17. vince guest

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Got to agree about knee height, makes no difference at all. Plus, do you get penalised if you forget and drop it from shoulder height? And if not then just carry on as before.

    • Willem

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:16 am

      You won’t get penalized if you drop from shoulder height, but it would constitute a drop using an incorrect method and you would be penalized one shot if you played the ball without redropping with the correct method (ie. from knee-height).

    • Benny

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Hi Vince
      No penalty. Just pick it up and drop from knee height. Couple videos on Youtube that go over the new rules and thats one of the questions. No biggie.
      If you drop from shoulder and play it, no penalty either. You simply play on and lost the chance of a knee height drop.

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Tour Rundown: Matsuyama’s triumphant return | 4 means 1 for Ko

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A scary week lies ahead, culminating in a time of remembrance and spooky fun in the USA and some parts of the world. A round of golf is a treat to steal as the colder temperatures return to the northern portions of North America. A pair of golfers returned home this week to claim championships, after a season of play on foreign soil. Two other champions were recognized as four events featured in this week’s Tour Rundown. Grab a mug of warm cider, a donut, and pull up a chair as we recall the mighty efforts on display as October marches toward its conclusion.

ZOZO Championship on the PGA Tour: Matsuyama returns to triumph

There is much to be written when the wandering child returns home a decorated hero. Such is the case for Hideki Matsuyama, first male major champion from Japan and 2021 Augusta Spring Invitational (aka The Masters) titleist. When Odysseus returns and triumphs on home soil, it is even more cause for celebration. Such is also the case for Matsuyama-sama, who eclipsed a strong field with strong and versatile golf to claim his seventh career PGA Tour title, and first since spring in Georgia.

Countryman Hiroshi Iwata caught the golf world’s attention with his opening 63, which featured a birdie-birdie-eagle finish. Iwata would ultimately tie for 18th position, under the bright lights of expectant home fans. Lurking with a Thursday 64 was Matsuyama, who followed with 68-68 to seize the lead, then closed with a two-eagle 65 on Sunday. The tournament was in doubt until the closing stretch: Matsuyama stood at 14 under on the 17th tee, while Cameron Tringale checked in at -12. Matsuyama’s bogey on the penultimate green would have been excruciating, had Tringale not made one of his own.

Needing a miracle at the last to force a playoff, Tringale added another bogey, falling into a tie with Brendan Steele for 2nd, at ten-under par. Able to breathe, Matsuyama posted a mighty eagle to finish at 15-deep, five clear of his pursuers. Yuriwaka had returned home to defeat the would-be pirates, to the delight of all.

BMW Championship on the LPGA: Four mean one for JYK

On Thursday morning, Nelly Korda was the top-ranked golfer on the Rolex Women’s WGR. On Monday morning, she will switch places with Jin Young Ko, the Korean champion who has been on an absolute tear since early July. Ko won in Texas, Oregon, and New Jersey, before returning home to Busan for the BMW Championship. Her goal on Sunday, she said, was to play with no regrets. Eight birdies later, including two, three-birdie tears, brought her to 22-under par and a tie with overnight leader (and countrywoman) Hee Jeong Lim.

For Lim, the week had to seem like a dream. She played 72 holes with 22 birdies and 50 pars. She made zero mistakes. And still, she found herself in overtime with her decorated colleague. After a bumpy first round, Ko was brilliant, nearly beyond compare. She had 21 birdies over the closing 54 holes … make that 22 birdies over the closing 55 holes. The playoff between the two mighty Koreans concluded quickly. The new world number one ripped her approach inside three feet at the first extra hole, then banged the putt home for the 200th-ever triumph for Korean golfers on the LPGA Tour.

Mallorca Open on the European Tour: It’s a Balearic Winther Wonderland!

Knowing that two 62s were posted this week, both by Jeff Winther, one would have advanced the notion that low scores would be in abundance on day four. Knowing that the aforementioned Winther clung to a delicate, one-shot advantage after 54 holes, one might have concluded that Winther would still need something in the high to mid 60s to have a chance at the title. Looking in the rearward mirror after Winther’s final round 70, in which he amassed 16 pars, one bogey, and one birdie, one might have guessed that the Dane had remained winless on the European Tour. That, dear readers, is why they play the tournaments on turf, and not paper.

Jeff Winther did nothing that he needed to do on Sunday, yet he still won. Laurie Canter posted the low round on this Sunday, but that 64 only moved the Englishman to the top five. Sebastian Soderberg had his fellow norseman on the ropes on Sunday, but closed with plus-two over the final half-dozen holes to finish an excruciating shot out of a playoff. Pep Angles and Jorge Campillo tried to emulate their country’s Open championship win by countryman Rafa Cabrera-Bello, but they came up one shot shy as well. The three-week, Spanish Salsa came to a close with a maiden Tour win in the loving arms of Winther.

DEC on the PGA Tour Champions: Playoff Says … 42 for Bernhard

Steve Flesch was the overnight leader in Richmond, but Sundays in the chase haven’t been kind to the southpaw. He lost a playoff earlier this season to Darren Clarke, and could not overcome a four-pack of bogeys on day the last. His one-over 73 brought him home at -12, two shots out of a playoff, in third place by his lonesome. Not a bad week of work, but, oh, what might have been!

It was left to Doug Barron (68 for 202) and Bernhard Langer (69 for same) to settle matters in extra time. Both playoff participants made birdie four at the last in regulation, and it was to that dramatic hole that they did return for the overtime session. All that was needed was one playing; the ageless Langer made another 4 at the par-five closer to secure his 42nd career Champions Tour title. Langer now trails Hale Irwin’s 45 career senior titles by just three. Is that number within reach? You betcha! Irwin’s final title came at the age of 62. Langer has won just once each of the past two seasons, but he has notched two runner-up finishes in each. If he can maximize his in-contention starts, he might reach Irwin at the top.

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Bubba Watson shows off an unreleased pair of Air Jordan 4 Retro “Red Thunder” shoes

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Bubba Watson had fans envious with a recent social media flex of a hyped pair of Retro Jordans in a classic “Red Thunder” colorway, which debuted in 2006.

It’s cool to see a pair of non-golf Jordans given to the accomplished lefty, signifying a milestone in his relationship with the Jordan brand — and perhaps MJ himself.

Watson has been wearing Air Jordans more often than not on the golf course throughout most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

A photo we snapped of Bubba wearing a pair of the Air Jordan 5 Retro Low Golf “Grape” on tour this year.

Bubba Watson is an official ambassador for the Air Jordan brand, adding to the company of a select few golfers working with MJ like Pat Perez.

We first saw Bubba having an exclusive relationship with the Jordan brand in November 2020, where he flexed off his early access to a pair of the Air Jordan 5 Retro Golf “Lucky and Good”.

Bubba Watson dancing on TikTok with the Air Jordan 5 Golf “Lucky and Good.”

The Florida native has been seen wearing Jordans on the green that “aren’t for sale to the public” — like this yet-to-be-released model seen in July 2021.

“I know MJ pretty well and we wear the same size so I get a lot of his old shoes,” Bubba told a local Detroit news station when asked about the pair above, which he wore during the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July.

This recent tease of the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Red Thunder” is part of the Jordan brand’s highly anticipated holiday season collection and is set to be released sometime in December 2021 at a retail price of $190.

 

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Pat Perez and his lavish obsession with Air Jordans

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If you follow Pat Perez at all on his social media, his love for the Air Jordan brand will become apparent pretty quickly.

This love affair, which has evolved into the Phoenix native having a dedicated Jordan shoe room full of over 1,000 pairs, had humble beginnings: the first Jordans Pat got his hands on were a beat-up pair out of a trash can in high school.

“To go from pulling a pair of cement gray Jordan IVs out the trash when in junior high—unable to afford such a luxury—to MJ telling me last summer in Monte Carlo that he would make that for me in a golf shoe…never in my wildest dreams.”

Double P is now living his wildest dreams as he has become an unofficial bridge (but official brand ambassador) for Air Jordans in the golf world: He gets early access to unreleased Jordan golf shoes, most recently the Air Jordan 4 Bred in a golf version back in July of 2021.

Based on the comments on his IG post, these will likely sell out and trade at a premium on the multi-billion dollar sneaker reselling market.

Pay more attention to Pat’s feet on tour, and you’ll see he wears Jordans more often than not.

Here are some pictures we snapped on the PGA Tour this year. Perez is wearing Air Jordan 5’s in black metallic and wolf grey.

Pat’s collection off the golf course will inspire insane levels of envy in any serious sneaker collector. Living in his vast collection are several pairs of rare shoes worth five to six figures apiece.

He recently flexed a Friends & Family only release of the Board of Governors Jordan 1’s.

At only 88 pairs with none currently on the market at the moment, these are estimated to have a resale value of $20,000-$40,000 based on a Friends & Family release of the same model in a similar colorway.

StockX listing of the Jordan 1 Retro Fragment Friends and Family at $34,000+.

Pat’s favorite shoe is the Jordan IV, specifically the Wahlburg IV, which recently sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $33,000.

The 45-year-old is all about sharing his passion: he recently gave away part of his collection to his Instagram audience.

We don’t blame you if you’re starting to consider an upgrade of standard spikes to Jordan golf shoes after hearing about the level at which Double P loves and flaunts the iconic brand.

Additionally, you can even make money owning and trading Jordan golf shoes. For example, the Jordan 11 “Concord” golf shoe retailed at $220 in 2019 and now trades consistently between $350-$700 per pair on StockX.

And we wouldn’t be surprised if Pat Perez comes out with a shoe that will appreciate in value in a similar fashion.

You can learn more about this market at Six Figure Sneakerhead, a top educational resource for sneaker resellers worldwide.

Featured image: Double P holding a pair of 1999 Air Jordan 4 White Cement in front of his massive Air Jordan collection

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