Rules of golf: 3 things we WISH were changed in the game

The game of golf has evolved over hundreds of years - why shouldn't we do more to improve the game?

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 13 Sep 2021
Rules of golf: 3 things we WISH were changed in the game

Golf is an infuriating game, there's no doubt about that - but it's made harder with rules we can all agree are extreme. 

Here at GolfMagic, we take a look at three rules we regard as ones that could be tweaked to make the game better. 

1. Relief from divots

This is a pretty common one. You've smashed a drive and found the short stuff for a change yet you're greeted with your ball coming to rest in another player's divot.

Pretty harsh. Life's unfair right? Sure, there is some propensity to make this rule a little bit blurry should it be changed, after all, what exactly constitutes a divot? People have different interpretations.

We simply suggest this could be changed to relief from fairways only where your playing partners are all in agreement. The same should be true of a sand-filled divot.

It's a pretty simple one really if a player from the group in front rips a drive, then takes a meaty chunk out of the fairway then you land in their spot, why should you be denied the same playing conditions? Isn't this game meant to be about fairness and integrity?

2. Lost balls

The governing bodies cut back the time you can spend looking for your ball from five minutes to three in 2019. Perhaps this could be amended further.

Hypothetically, if I were to top a tee shot (something that would rarely happen, if ever) and it's gone into the thick stuff, do we really need to spend three minutes clawing around the rough on the off chance we can find it?

Change it to one minute to speed up the pace of play, and drop where your playing partners are agreed it entered. Hit it and move on. Done. 


3. Playing from outside the teeing off area

If you've played too far ahead of the markers and you don't correct the mistake - a two-stroke penalty - by the time you play the next hole then you are disqualified.

This feels a little harsh. Golfers do this all the time unintentionally as it's a pretty common offence. The two-stroke penalty is more than adequate. Taking an inch or two on the tee shouldn't be worth a disqualification, in my view.

Even if you were to tee off from the yellow markers instead of the back tees, would you really be gaining two strokes? It's unlikely. Time to have a look at that.