With the new year came a new set of rules for golf.
Many of the new rules are directed at improving the pace of play.
For instance, there is Rule 5.6, which encourages prompt pace of play. According to the rule, a player should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds (and usually in less time) when it’s his or her turn and he or she is able.
And Rule 6.4 allows for playing out of turn in match play by agreement, and for stroke play, in a safe and responsible way to save time for convenience. That’s also known as “ready golf.”
The nice people at Santa Ana Golf Club are hosting an event to introduce the new rules to local golfers. Santa Ana calls it the 2019 Rules of Golf Seminar, which will take place 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Prairie Star’s banquet room.
Warren Von Worley, a volunteer rules official for the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association, and Santa Ana PGA head professional Dave Brown will present the program. The deadline to register is Tuesday by 5 p.m. The registration fee is $10. Register by clicking on the “buy online” link at mynewmexicogolf.com. The event is limited to 120 people.
“Golf has become challenged to grow with participation,” said Derek Gutierrez, the director of golf and general manager of Santa Ana Golf Club. “The millennials are playing less golf because of the time commitment. It’s my hope that the new rules of golf will reduce the time to play and increase enjoyment.”
Brown said he remembers sitting in a recent PGA professionals meeting that had a discussion about the new rules. He thought it would be a good idea to introduce the rules and talk about them to the golfers who frequent Santa Ana.
“USGA has done a major overhaul on the rules of golf,” Brown said. “They’ve made some notable changes to basically speed it up. That’s the issue nowadays. Courses are dwindling in rounds and many are closing. The young people don’t have time to play golf or they’re not interested. It’s a fast-paced world. So much goes on during a day that many don’t want to spend five or six hours on a golf course.”
Both Gutierrez and Brown said there had always been a thought that the rules of golf were rigid and old-fashioned.
“Now they’re getting lenient,” Brown said.
The USGA has listed the new rules at usga.org/rules, and there is also the rules of golf mobile app.