Oct 26, 2015 | 09:22 am

New Rules

The USGA and R&A has just released the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf, which will go into effect on January 1, 2016. The two organizations update and revise the Rules every four years, and while most people are aware that golfers who use a long putter and anchor it “directly” or “by use of an anchor point” (holding it against their chest or chin, for instance) will have to find a new putter and/or method, there are a few other significant changes, as well:

  • Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address - Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving after Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.
  • Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card - A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.
  • Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment - The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification. 

To order the new book, and for much more, including a new “Rules Experience" and videos explaining many Rules, check out the USGA’s website, which is an invaluable tool for all golfers.

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Oct 23, 2015 | 11:00 am

Better Than Cake

If your birthday is coming up, we have a gift for you. Actually, not us but Omni Hotels and Resorts, which is giving the birthday boy or girl a free round of golf at any of 11 golf resorts around the country. If it’s your birthday (or within seven days of it), you’re staying at an Omni Resort, and you’ve pre-booked and mentioned the birthday offer, you get a free round at one of the following:

  • Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, Pennsylvania
  • Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
  • Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, Orlando, Florida
  • The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Virginia (shown above)
  • Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, Florida
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Omni Tucson National Resort, Tucson, Arizona
  • Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, California
  • Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, California
  • Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin, Texas
  • Omni Interlocken Hotel, Broomfield, Colorado

Just be sure to book in advance at the Omni website or by calling 1-800-843-6664. And as for that cake, you’ll have to buy your own. Sorry.

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Oct 22, 2015 | 10:00 am

Golf House

C.B. Macdonald is known as the father of golf course architecture in America and while you might not be able to own one of his courses, you can own a different kind of architecture of his. The home he lived in for a few years with his wife, Frances, in the late 1800s right near Chicago Golf Club is up for sale for $1.98 million, according to the Chicago Tribune. Known as Ballyshear and built in 1987, the five-bedroom, 6,020-square-foot mansion sits on 1.77 acres off a private, tree-lined street. Macdonald named the three-story home after his grandfather's Ballyshear estate in Argyllshire, Scotland, and lived in it from 1897 to 1900 before moving to New York. He rented it out until selling it in 1905. The house has four full baths, three half baths, two fireplaces, a library, hardwood floors, and a theater room on the top floor that the current owners added. The property also has a lighted tennis court and an in-ground swimming pool. Clearly, the next owners need to install a Redan or Biarritz putting green!

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Oct 21, 2015 | 02:52 pm

Charity Starts at Home

First Sammy Schmitz made an ace on a par four to help secure his win in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at John's Island Club earlier this month and then he scored another one when he raised more than $25,000 in less than three days to help pay for his prepation for the Masters (the winner of the Mid-Am has always gotten an invite). A regional director for a healthcare company, Schmitz, 35, lives in River Falls, Wisc. with his wife, Natalie, and two daughters. He was planning on putting his clubs away for the long winter before his unexpected win. When he won, he realized there was no way he was going to be able to lay off all winter and show up at Augusta ready to compete, so Natalie set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of $30,000 for him to make a few trips to Augusta and practice. "One of his life-long goals was to be able to take his Father to the greatest golf tournament in the world," she wrote. "Now he gets to play!!" Schmitz lowered it to $25,000 "in order to make sure my estimated spending was below dollars spent as opposed to having a surplus." He met his goal with just 228 donations. To avoid any amateur-status issues, Schmitz will fund his expenses through the Minnesota Golf Association, with any unused money going to them. Donators were also required to give anyonymously per the USGA.

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