The three-minute ball search
Mundy: Again, amateurs need more time as we have ball spotters, crowds and caddies. For pros, three minutes is good. I don’t know the stats for balls found in the fifth minute but it won’t be very high.
McEvoy: That should have been done years ago. Five minutes is a long time and, if you’re going to find it, it’s not often in the fourth or fifth minute.
Brar: Most of the time if you haven’t found it in three minutes then you’re unlikely to.
Tapping down spike marks
Westwood: Over-gardening will be a mistake and I think you’ll see people overdoing it. But when there’s a massive spike mark from the group in front and they have walked off – my shoes pull the greens up a little bit and sometimes I don’t see where I’ve ripped it up – so to be able to tap that down is a good move.
Brar: Everyone will love that, thank god that’s come in. I use AimPoint so now you can step anywhere, before you couldn’t step on your line, now it doesn’t matter.
McEvoy: This is good as we get a lot of traffic and sometimes it’s unclear what a pitchmark is so this removes any questions.
Any other business?
Wallace: We’re already quite sensible with how Ready Golf works. How much is slow play an issue? It’s a talking point, when everyone on tour is ready to play it’s what it is and rounds take what they do.
McEvoy: I don’t really agree with being able to ground your club accidentally in a bunker as people will take advantage of that. A lob wedge actually weighs quite a bit and in soft sand that’s going to help you.
Mundy : DJ got a two-shot penalty in Hawaii for hitting the wrong ball out of what has always been a hazard, I was shocked as I always thought you couldn’t hit a wrong ball out of a hazard. Now it is called a penalty area so you are allowed to mark and identify the ball. Players will be very nervous about taking any sort of drop without a rules official there until we’re used to things a bit more.
Gough: It’s the biggest re-shuffle ever. They’ve tweaked some before but now the numbers have changed on all the rules so the rules officials will have to re-educate themselves and I think there will be some mistakes from the players in the first few weeks.
From the players’ perspective it’s going to slow the game down a little bit. Tapping things down will slow things down, having the flag in and out will slow things down and we’ll need more rules officials. Every time there’s a drop you will want a second pair of eyes.
Players will have to be on board with it – they’re the rules and they’re now cast in stone. They’ve thought long and hard about it and this is what they’ve come up with. If they had asked some of the tour players before then they would have come up with some good ones as they’re the ones who the rules really affect.