Tour Pros Skeptical Of New Rules

The modernized Rules of Golf are set to take effect in a few days on January 1, 2019, and along with their pending implementation has come some skepticism from the game’s top tier.

Taking to social media on Wednesday, PGA Tour winner Mackenzie Hughes questioned whether or not the new Rules have actually done anything to improve the understanding and playability of the game. 

“I just went through the new rules of golf for 2019 again,” he tweeted. “I feel like a few of the changes are good (ex. caddie alignment, loose impediments in bunkers), but I feel like most of them missed the mark (ex. ball drop from knee height, damaged club, and more). Thoughts?”

His invitation for responses elicited responses that ran the gamut, but fellow Canadian Tour pro Graham DeLaet’s response concerning a clarification to the anchor ban was something both he and Hughes were disappointed was omitted.

“How they didn’t address the anchoring definition is absurd. It’s the only thing that ACTUALLY matters,” DeLaet wrote.

“Agreed,” Hughes responded. “They had a chance to make that clear and they didn’t. Could have just said it can’t be over a certain length and can’t touch any part of your body.” 

Hughes went on to mention specifically “the Kuchar method, which anchors the grip to your forearm.

He concluded by saying, “I think they were trying to simplify the game but after watching them explain the new rules I don’t think they accomplished that.”

Other pros are skeptical about the new Rules as well, including 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk. 

“If I had to be skeptical of one rule, it would be tapping down spike marks,” Furyk said last week at the PNC Father/Son Challenge, according to “I think pace of play (is the reason I’m skeptical). I guess for no other better reason than that’s just the way it’s always been (but) 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) the pace of play. But the tapping down of spike marks could tend to drag things out a bit.”

With the new rules being enforced in only a few days time, we’ll undoubtedly hear more from the pros on the changes after the New Year.