Just yesterday, many of us read the news that the USGA and R & A have proposed rule changes that reduce the Rules of Golf from 34 rules to 24 and simplify many procedures. These changes are best summarized at the following link: Proposed Rule Changes
Generally, I really like the rule changes. It doesn’t seem as if the spirit and challenge of the game will be altered and it will be much easier to understand. Fixing spike marks, being able to touch the line of a putt and allowing only 3 minutes to search for lost balls are progressive. Though I like most of the changes at first glance, the use of a “club length” always seemed to make sense to me, even if it is a bit inequitable in favor of those with longer clubs and simpler than measuring by inches.
That being said, improving pace of play and eliminating some of the games more archaic rules is a good thing because it should help to keep the people that play and possibly encourage new players to take up the game. I do have some concerns about those of us who’ve played a long time learning the new rules and procedures after being trained for so long in the traditional practices.
If the USGA and R & A can streamline their rules, then so can the many clubs that have too many rules that discourage the “3 M’s” (Millennials, Minorities and Moms) from golf. These rule changes are a step in the right direction. Let’s hope that the rest of the golf world follows suit.