Quick 9: How the pros reacted to the new Rules of Golf

Rules of Golf

In Quick 9, Joe Hughes runs the rule over how the game's biggest names dealt with the changes, from the serious to not-so-serious

The PGA Tour stars got their first taste of the new Rules of Golf in Hawaii last week and it’s safe to say the response was mixed.

Even though it was a limited-field event, that didn’t stop some players wading in with their opinion. In this edition of Quick 9, Joe Hughes runs the rule over his favourite responses…

1. Amateur hour

Bubba Watson, as always, was up for a having a bit of a laugh with it.

The two-time Masters champion filmed himself holing a pretty impressive Happy Gilmore-style putt while the flagstick was repeatedly removed and replaced to suit the progress of the putt:

Bubba describes himself as “an amateur” when it comes to the rules and tagged our good friend Bryson DeChambeau for advice. The Scientist duly obliged, saying: “Good news, bud, it’s completely legal.”

For the record, Bryson, our Rules of Golf guru Steve Carroll tells me that it actually isn’t. If you have the flag tended, it must be taken out – and stay out – after the ball has been struck.

2. In one ear

Dustin Johnson was the first PGA Tour player to pick up a penalty since the changes, but it wasn’t a new rule he broke – he received a two-shot penalty for playing a ball that wasn’t his own after his tee shot found a hazard.

But what does he think about the 2019 updates? Well, it turns out he hadn’t done much research. Speaking ahead of the Tournament of Champions, he said:

I actually just looked at it for like a minute upstairs before I came down. They’ve got a big poster in the locker room.

Asked whether caddie and brother, Austin, was clued up, he added:

I had one of the tour officials do a printout that I’m going to give him to study later on.

So what did he think was the biggest change to the Rules of Golf?

I think being able to leave the flag in and then the drop height.

Insightful as ever.

3. Knees up

Chris Paisley, who picked up his first European Tour victory almost a year ago, is good entertainment on and off the course and, indeed, social media.

And it was no different when he had his say on the new Rules…

But it seems DeChambeau didn’t work on it…

Speaking of DeChambeau, more from him on the next page…

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