Shay’s Short Game: New rule eliminates putting green penalty

Players will no longer face sanction for accidentally moving ball on putting surface

A new local rule will eliminate any penalty for players who accidentally cause ball to move on putting green. Photograph: Ezra Shaw/Getty

A new local rule will eliminate any penalty for players who accidentally cause ball to move on putting green. Photograph: Ezra Shaw/Getty

 

New local rule eliminates penalty for player who accidentally causes ball to move on putting green

The R and A and the USGA have announced the introduction of a new Local Rule that eliminates the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the putting green. The Local Rule will be available for any committee in charge of a competition to use, starting January 1st, 2017. It will be adopted by The R and A and the USGA in all their championships, qualifying competitions and international matches.

David Rickman, Executive Director - Governance at The R and A, said: “For the past several years, as part of The R and A and USGA’s Rules Modernisation initiative, we have considered the penalty for a ball that is accidentally moved on the putting green. Both Rules Committees agreed that it needed to be changed and decided that in this particular case it was important to act now, through a Local Rule, rather than wait for the next overall set of revisions to the Rules of Golf.”

Thomas Pagel, Senior Director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status at the USGA, said, “Eliminating this penalty responds to the concerns we have heard from both golfers and committees about the difficulties in applying the current Rules when a player accidentally causes a ball to move on the putting green.

“This change is a good example of the type of Rules Modernisation changes we hope to implement after completing our fundamental review of all of the Rules.

“We are looking for ways to improve the Rules by making them easier to understand and apply.”

The Local Rule has been welcomed by all of the major Tours worldwide

If a Committee wishes to introduce this Local Rule, the following wording is recommended:

“Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1 are modified as follows: When a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment.

“The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.”

This Local Rule applies only when the player’s ball or ball-marker lies on the putting green and any movement is accidental.

Note: If it is determined that a player’s ball on the putting green was moved as a result of wind, water or some other natural cause such as the effects of gravity, the ball must be played as it lies from its new location. A ball-marker moved in such circumstances is replaced.”

Bob Torrance School of Golf

Work has commenced on redeveloping and improving the Bob Torrance School of Golf at the sportscotland Inverclyde National Sports Training Centre, Largs.

The golf course works are the latest phase in the exciting £12 million redevelopment of the facilities at the National Centre to create an inclusive residential training centre, the first of its kind in the UK.

Named after the legendary golf coach who lived in Largs and coached at the centre, the Bob Torrance School of Golf has long been an important part of the facilities on offer at Inverclyde.

Bob, known as the ‘Swing Doctor,’ coached or advised some of the world’s best players including Ian Woosnam, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Philip Walton and Padraig Harrington - who even had his own room at the Torrance family home in Largs.

The unique facility will provide: four training holes with target greens and tees arranged in a short course loop, two performance putting greens and three driving range areas - including the refurbished existing covered bays.

Kelly takes top spot at Portmarnock Links

St Margaret’s professional John Kelly used all his experience to take the nett prize at the Winter Series at the Portmarnock Hotel and Links. Kelly shot a 75 to win by a shot from Michael McDermott from Pure Golf with Stuart Handson, a five handicap from Palmerstown Stud, at shot further back on 77. In the gross Stephen Quinlan from Halpenny Golf came out on top with a 76, beating John Murphy from Kinsale on a countback. Third place went to Irish international Conor O’Rourke from Naas with a 78.

Dates for Coronation Foursomes qualifying

The Coronation Foursomes is the leading foursomes event for women club golfers in Britain and Ireland. The competition is open to all members of affiliated golf clubs who hold a CONGU handicap. Established in 1953, the event has become increasingly popular in clubs where the winners may qualify for one of sixteen Area Finals. The 2017 Grand Final will be played on Monday September 18th on the Eden Course, St Andrews. The finalists will enjoy two nights at the five-star Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa and the chance to participate in the Pro-Am of the 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club. The Irish qualifying rounds will be held at Killeen GC, Co Kildare on July 26th and at Massereene GC, Co Antrim on August 1st.

Beth Allen named Players’ player of the year

Beth Allen of the United States stepped up to receive recognition for an outstanding 2016 season at the Ladies European Tour awards dinner in Dubai where she was presented with a salver, an Omega watch and a cheque for €20,000.

Although she had wrapped up the Order of Merit title ahead of the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, winning the Players’ Player of the Year award was a complete surprise and she commented: “I love this tour and I’m so grateful to be part of it. Winning this means so much to me, especially because it’s voted for by the members.”

The 35-year-old from San Diego, who lists laughing, karaoke and happy hours among her favourite hobbies, became the first American player to win the LET Order of Merit in the 38-year history of the organisation with earnings of €313,079 from 16 tournaments, to finish €106,414 ahead of second placed Aditi Ashok from India, the LET’s leading rookie professional.

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