MGA Members Test Proposed Rules Changes at Play Day

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (July 28, 2017) – Metropolitan Golf Association members participating in a special Play Day Presented by Callaway on Thursday, July 27, at Knollwood Country Club had the opportunity to play under the proposed changes to the Rules of Golf and share their experience with USGA staff.

The USGA announced the proposed changes—part of a Rules Modernization initiative with the R&A that began in 2012—on March 1, 2017. The Rules are set to take effect on January 1, 2019, but the timeline first features a feedback and evaluation period that lasts until August 31, 2017.

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“It’s always great to give people the chance to interact with any of the Rules, whether they are the current Rules or proposed changes,” said Joe Foley, Manager, Rules Outreach and Programming for the USGA. “Days like this are important to remind golfers where we are at in the process, even if their feedback isn’t formal.”

Foley discussed the proposed changes with each group before they began their nine holes of play, highlighting the option of leaving the flagstick in the hole, the ability to move loose impediments in a water hazard (which will be referred to as a Penalty Area), and the new procedure for dropping a ball, among others.

“We really appreciate the support from the MGA to provide access to golfers at the grassroots level and really inject their input into the process,” said Foley.

The special Play Day followed a morning forum at MGA’s Golf Central in which Foley led an open discussion on Rules Modernization with members of the MGA’s Championships staff as well as volunteers. “Those who love and really understand the Rules were able to offer candid feedback,” said Foley. “The group was passionate and honest about their thoughts. That’s what we needed.”

The feedback serves as an integral part of the process, as the rollout plan also calls for a review period this winter before an official announcement is made during the spring of 2018 regarding the finalized changes to the Rules of Golf.

“It’s one thing to release a set of changes that we think will work, but it’s vital that we understand how people read and react to them in a practical nature,” Foley said. “Without that, this process will not be successful.”

It’s important to note that, while players are encouraged to try the proposed changes to the Rules of Golf, any rounds that are played under these rules are ineligible to be posted for Handicap purposes.

For more information on the Rules of Golf, visit www.mgagolf.org/rules.

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