“Play it as it lies” is a time-honored concept in golf. But it’s killing the game, not promoting it. A better principle is “Keep it fast, Keep it fun.”
The USGA and the Royal and Ancient society are making a concerted effort to improve the rules of golf. It’s a good step in a badly needed direction — but they don’t go far enough.
This is a note I sent to the R&A, about their discussion of “greens books”, and the detailed contours they display for a green.
Marking a ball on the green in order to clean it or protect it from another putt will no longer be a nerve-wracking experience!
To my mind, there is nothing wrong with distance apps — with any and all bells and whistles their designers are able to include. They are wrongfully outlawed under the rules of golf. There are free apps that give you a “plays as” distance based on elevation changes and weather-report wind speed, and everyone has a cell phone. Why outlaw those apps?
Slow pace of play is the curse of the weekend golfer. Compounding that problem is the stupidest penalty in golf: Stroke and Distance.