Titleist in the sand.jpg

And I thought it took too long for Congress to fix bad laws…

What began as 13 rules authored by a Scottish golf club in 1744 are now 34 regulations and procedures. The 155-page book resembles a car manual, and probably gets as much use.

The NY Times is reporting that the powers that be have decided to amend a couple of golf’s more silly, illogical rules:

1) A golfer will no longer be penalized if a gust of wind moves their ball after they have taken their stance and their club is near the ball;

2) There is no penalty for inadvertently “smoothing the sand” before playing a bunker shot (so long as the player doesn’t gain an advantage).

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy playing golf as much as the next guy (attorney?), but I’ve always scoffed at some of the seemingly asinine rules, in fact, I’d been playing for a couple years before someone politely told me about no. 2 (above). The thing that makes even less sense, though, is that in a game where the most fundamental rule is play the ball as it lies, why is it customary to pick up your ball when it’s on the green, place a marker, mess with the turf underneath, and then replace your ball randomly near the spot where you put the marker?