Wednesday, August 22, 2007


New Rules for Golf

Improvements in technology provide both opportunities and challenges to traditional sports and games. How those sports incorporate new technology into their rules has a huge impact on their future. Tennis embraced advanced materials and, for good or ill, it is no longer the same game as when it was played on natural surfaces with wooden raquets. Major league baseball rejected metal bats, but embraced the electric light. Now there is a new technological advance in golf that has the potential to change the very nature of the game. I am writing, of course, about the pink golf ball.

In order to take best advantage of the pink golf ball I propose the following two rule changes be made by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the United States Golf Association:

The player who makes the shortest drive off the first teeing ground must substitute a pink ball for his normal ball and resume play.

A player with a pink ball must continue playing with the pink ball until another player hits a shorter drive off a subsequent teeing ground. At that time, the player with the pink ball may substitute his normal ball for the pink ball. The player who hit the shortest drive must substitute a pink ball for his normal colored ball and resume play.

I think these changes would improve the play and spirit of the game considerably.

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