Starting Jan. 1, more than 100 changes, additions and clarifications to the rules of golf go into effect.
Two of the more interesting ones would allow players to use GPS systems—at the discretion of the tournament—and to stand square to the hole if their intention is to stay out of another’s line.
I assume that this last is related to the Snead ruling where he was banned from using the
sidesaddle croquet putting method. I’ll have to look further into that one. We had exactly that controversy at a girl’s golf tournament, where one of my girls—intimidated by another player into getting off her line— took an awkward putting stance, and then was accused by the same player of putting while standing square to the line.
We had to resolve it by going back to the hole and re-enacting the moment. Eventually all the coaches (six of us) and the course pro decided that there was no harm, and therefore no foul. My girl was losing badly … I’m not even sure why the other player was making such an issue of it—except that (as her coach said) she was just downright mean.
There’s a story about the changes from the Associated Press.