Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ask Linda #1259a-Follow-up to #1259, Counting Putts

Hi Linda,

First I would like to thank you for your blog. It is very educational, with precise explanations and with references to rules and decision. That makes it very easy to follow your argumentation, and cross check your arguments with the rules.

But I have some issues with your latest post "Ask Linda #1259-Counting putts."
I think this post is not relevant for your blog. Counting putts is not part of the rules at all, nor is it part of the Rules of Golf. It is merely a statistical feature used by some organization that, well, collects statistics. If a Committee should tell players how to count putts, then it must tell players on how to collect other statistics as well.

I cannot understand why you would want a Committee to involve itself in rules for collecting statistics at all. It is not relevant for the result of the competition in any way!

(I have a bit of bad conscience now. Too often we give negative feedback to others, while we say nothing when we are pleased. And I am very pleased with your blog.)

Best regards,
Lou from Norway

Dear Lou,

The last two Rules in the rulebook address Committee issues. Rule 33 talks about Committee responsibilities, and Rule 34 offers guidance on how to resolve disputes and make decisions. While these are not playing Rules for the golfer, they are Rules regarding administration and are a very important section of the rulebook. Players who familiarize themselves with these Rules and their accompanying Decisions can argue knowledgeably with a Committee member who may be misinformed.

While counting putts is a statistic, rather than a playing Rule, it is still a Rules issue and a matter for the Committee to decide. Some leagues offer prizes to the player with the lowest number of putts. If the players are not counting putts in the same way, the prize cannot be awarded fairly. The USGA addresses this question in its Rules FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. Please click on this link to read their answer: https://www.usga.org/RulesFAQ/rules_answer.asp?FAQidx=123&Rule=100

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