Rules, rules, rules

Cordova Bay’s Interpretation of the New Rules of Golf:  
Handed Down by Decree on January 1, 2019 by the Foreign Office
in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Deep Knee Bends: When dropping with or without penalty you must now drop your ball from knee height. We have petitioned Scotland for special dispensation for the inflexible.

Trick shots? You may now double hit your ball without penalty – TRY IT! Added bonus, you may now hit yourself with your ball without penalty. Also no penalty, perhaps a lawsuit, but you can also hit your caddy with your golf ball. Wait until the 18th hole for that one. 

No more walk of shame: Cordova Bay has instituted a new local rule stating that golfers may now estimate where their ball became lost and under the penalty of 2 strokes drop a ball in the fairway nearest that spot. No more long walks back for those that forgot to play a provisional ball.

Anybody want to buy some yellow stakes? Red stakes may be used to define any area the local committee deems as Penalty Areas. Penalty Areas used to be called hazards, and there were Water Hazards and Lateral Water Hazards. Bunkers were also called hazards. Now, bunkers are bunkers. All the other bad stuff including lava, jungle, crime scenes, and demilitarized zones are now known as Penalty Areas and should not to be confused with the Penalty Box.

Elimination of “ball moved” penalties: Unless you can bend forks with your mind, (I’m talking to you Kreskin) there will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; Warning, kicking your ball out of the rough will probably not be deemed accidental. Besides, in all cases you have to move it back from whence it came.

Relaxed putting green rules: Relax on the putting green? Yeah right! There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. What will you do? No matter what choice you make, it will likely be the wrong one.

Repairing Spike Marks: Even though you haven’t seen a spike mark for 25 years, there is now no penalty for repairing one. This rule has been extended to other irregularities of surface like the hoof prints of unicorns

Stuff in your way: In the old days you couldn’t move stuff like branches or leaves in certain situations. Now, if it’s in your way, no matter where you are on the course, a bunker, or a penalty area, you can pick it up and move it out of your way. Even unicorn poop.

Reduction of time allowed to look for a ball: We find it surprising that the Scots have reduced the time limit from 5 to 3 minutes to search for your $6 golf ball.

Suggested Time Limit of 40 seconds: If waiting for your playing partner to hit a shot is like watching paint dry, start counting down from forty when it is their turn. If you reach zero, you now have the right to ask them to leave the course.

Relief for an embedded ball extends to what was once ‘through the green’ to The General Area of the Course. So, if it’s not in a bunker or a Penalty Area, dig it out like a weed.

Sand Castle building allowed: As long as you are not testing the sand you may now touch the sand with your club or hands when your ball is in the bunker. Before you get too excited, your club still may not touch the sand during a backswing or practice swing and you may not touch the sand in the area right behind or in front of the ball. Now, while we’re talking sand …

Sand traps (aka bunkers): For a price, there is now hope for the hopeless sand player. You may now remove your ball from the sand and drop it on the grass for a penalty of 2 strokes. (a wee bit steep – but worth it to some) Now, just make sure you don’t hit it right back in there. If you do, you’ll love the next rule change.

No more 11’s: The local committee now has the discretion to declare a maximum score per hole. It could be at double par, net double bogey, or simply a number. We hear you celebrating! We have petitioned Scotland to see if they would allow us to make the maximum 4.

Mad at you putter? Go ahead, snap it in two. You may now keep using damaged clubs, even if you did it.

Hit when you’re happy: a.k.a. Ready Golf. Although, there has never been a penalty for playing out of turn, the way that the old rule was written implied that it was not allowed.

That’s a peach hon! Caddies may no longer help a player with alignment by standing behind them while taking their stance. We feel terrible for the Havercamps.

Distance Measuring Devices: Don’t get us started! Although they are now allowed within the rules, unless you know how far you hit your 8 iron (to the inch) don’t waste your money on one of these.