I applaud the effort going on to simplify the Rules of Golf. You can read more about that here.
Of course, we all know that many players at the golf course level are social golfers with not much regard for the formal Rules of Golf.
Where I grew up at Seaton Golf and Country Club in Pickering, Ont., there was a portion of members who wanted to play in events, so they had to play by the rules and get a card from what was the Ontario Golf Association, get it signed by a golf professional and make sure they had an up-to-date handicap.
At a private club, I’m convinced the percentage of members who would like to keep a handicap, who want to play in a club event or outside event is generally higher than it is a public course, but there are still a lot of people at both the public and private clubs who look at golf as a social event and that’s okay too.
I’m a social golfer. If I play with two good friends and one person asks, “Who’s keeping score?,” I’ll say, “I don’t want to keep score.” Yet, if I start playing a good round, I’ll go back and count my shots, If I can make a par or a birdie, it makes me feel good, but not so much when I have an eight.
Most of the people playing with their friends might play for a beverage or a hot dog, but play by their own rules, even give a shot or two per side.
I would like to see people getting a handicap and participating in more formal events and maybe simplifying the rules to make them more understandable might encourage people to take that next step and get them more into the game, even checking stats.
They’re liable to discover that they’re enjoying the game even more.