ClubProGuy: When puzzling out the new rules, go big on the BS

June 28, 2019
ClubProGuy June 2019

In the fall of 1993, while en route from Kansas City to Toluca, Mexico, for the season opening Telmex Classic, I bought a rain suit from Nevada Bob’s in Lubbock, Texas. The Nevada Bob’s sales associate, Darla, made a convincing pitch, explaining to me how “seam-sealed” waterproof suits were a marketing con perpetuated by big-name brands to command big-time prices. She suggested that the $39 Sunday Slicker® from Aureus, with its celebrated water-repellant “properties,” would be sufficient for most extreme weather.

Three days later I’m walking down the fourth fairway at Toluca CC in a light mist, feeling like I’m midway through a full-immersion baptism. Why do I tell this story? To illustrate how people will believe almost anything you say if you sell it with conviction. Darla didn’t deserve the trust I invested in her (to say nothing of a sales commission), but she projected such authority on the subject of rain suits that I figured she had to know what she was talking about.

Just like the vexing science of fabric performance, the recent rules tweaks crafted by golf’s governing bodies have caused mass confusion. My recommendation is to use this chaos to your advantage by positioning yourself as the authority. Right now you might be saying, “But CPG, I don’t know jack about the new rules!” Holmes, it doesn’t matter. Act like you know them. Anoint yourself Rules Aficionado, and your foursome will cede tremendous power to you.

Scenario No. 1: On the front nine of a big money game, you (totally justifiably) destroy your putter in a fit of rage. Inform your group that the new rules permit continued use of the mangled flatstick. (Mention “altered outside the course of normal play” — that should do it.) Not only that, they allow you to roll the rock using anyone else’s putter. You opt for your homeboy Stan’s PXG Gunboat H and get white hot on the back, picking clean the pockets of every bro in your foursome.

Scenario No. 2: You’re down a critical bet on the 17th hole and hit a center-cut drive into a monster divot. Without hesitation, you snap up your ball, towel it off and drop it (from knee height) onto the short stuff. When your playing competitor comes over to question the drop, confidently tell him that new rule 9-1B not only allows for but mandates a drop in this situation. You might even ask him if he’d seen DeChambeau do the exact same thing at the Valspar. Trust me, he’ll be suspicious, but your certitude will have planted enough doubt in his mind that he’ll let it go. Moments later you make a clutch 4-net-3 and…it’s payday!

Use rules czardom to your advantage. You’ll rake all season.

@ClubProGuy is a Lynx Ambassador, SwingU Master Faculty Member, and a Sagittarius.