This would certainly speed up play in casual golf. During 50 years of casually playing golf I always tried to play strictly by the published rules (even carried a little blue rule book in my bag to solve rules arguments), but the one rule I have broken repeatedly is the one addressed by number 2 below, it is simply not always sensible to go back to where you hit from when a ball is lost. I've lost them in the fairway and just off the edge where no one felt the need for me to hit a provisional ball. When I've broken that rule I've penalized myself 2 strokes though because of "stroke" and "distance" rule penalty. I also have a couple of damaged clubs in my bag that would be ok if rule number 4 was applied. I have a club with big dents in the edge from hitting off gravel and had to replace a shaft in one because of a tree root.
"Golf Channel debuted a series Friday on “Morning Drive” designed to help make golf more fun. Charlie Rymer and Matt Ginella are the leading voices of the new Relaxed Rules series that boils golf down to just seven common sense rules.
In preparation, Golf Channel commissioned a research study that showed 85 percent of golfers, both avid and lapsed, are in favor of relaxed rules for recreational play.
“When there’s nothing on the line but fun, recreational golf should be an enjoyable experience,” Rymer said. “Trying to remember and decipher the official rules can get in the way of a good time.”
Said Ginella: “We’re not suggesting that golfers ignore the official rules. They should continue to be used for any type of competitive play. But when it’s a match among friends, relaxed rules can make the game easier, faster and more fun. These simply are common sense practices for avid amateurs, and it’s how the majority of the game is being played anyway.”
Here are the seven rules:
1. MAXIMUM SCORE: Double par (i.e. 6 on par 3s, 8 on par 4s….)
2. PENALTIES: All are one stroke, including out of bounds, water and lateral hazards, lost ball and unplayable lie. Drop a ball near where the original was lost and play on.
3. SEARCH TIME: Two minutes to look for your ball. If lost, proceed under Rule 2.
4. UNFORTUNATE LIES: With your playing partners’ consent, balls may be dropped out of divots or footprints, away from tree roots and any other dangerous lies.
5. CONCEDED PUTTS: Putts may be conceded with your playing partners’ consent.
6. EQUIPMENT: No restrictions, including number of clubs.
7. COMMON SENSE: When in doubt, use common sense and fairness.
The relaxed rules are being supported by Golf Channel on air, online and through social media, featuring the #GolfIsFun hashtag and GolfChannel.com’s “Golf is Fun” page.
Thailand is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there...