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Have the Rule Makers Dropped a Clanger?

By: | Tue 15 Jan 2019 | Comments

GOLF’S new rules were never going to curry favour with everybody – and one in particular has already got the top pros talking and calling for change, namely the one that dictates that they now have to drop the ball from knee height.

While they have been quick to leave the flag in while putting, a number of players, including Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy, have expressed doubts about the new drop rule, and some in no uncertain terms.

"That you have to drop it from knee height is a bit absurd,” said DeChambeau. “I think that you should be able to go from knee height to shoulder height. There should be no issue with that, whatever you want to do, honestly. There’s a lot of questions about that.”

The new drop rule said players could drop from any distance — recommended to be at least one inch above the ground — but that was later revised to knee height.

Spieth expressed his feelings during the Sony Open. “You drop it knee height, but like what’s the advantage of dropping it shoulder height? Actually probably a disadvantage, so why can’t you still do that? You should be able to drop it from shoulder to knee height in my opinion. Doesn’t do any good and honestly it’s like a frustrating asterisk that I have to re-pick it up and re-drop from your knee.”

Spieth nearly dropped the ball from shoulder height in Hawaii before rules official Slugger White told him it would be a violation and would leave him open to a further penalty.

McIlroy has also questioned the new rule. “We’re saying that Brian Harman [who is about 5ft 6in] has got a big advantage, he can basically place it. Where you have someone like Tony Finau [6ft 5in], who is dropping it probably from like, waist-high for me. But I think that they’re trying to simplify the rules which I think is a great thing for the game,” McIlroy said.

Nobody said the rule changes were perfect, and this looks like something that is going to run and run.

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Tags: Rules of Golf rules PGA Tour

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