Tuesday, 4 January 2011

My Golf Predictions for 2011

Image from psdgraphics.com

Like many other bloggers I cannot resist the temptation to make some predictions for the coming golfing year. Here they are;
1. A few professional golfers will again be penalised as a result of not carefully reading Local Rules and Conditions of Competition… and so will thousands of amateur golfers.

2. Commentators will continue to mispronounce the names of Irish golfers Pádraig (Paw-rig) Harrington and Graeme McDowell (mic-doo-uhl).

3. Among the four-yearly revisions to the Rules, which will be announced in December 2011, will be;
a) relief for all balls embedded through the green,
b) permitting the grounding of clubs in hazards,
c) clarification of usage of iPhones and similar digital handsets on the course (see this blog), and
d) a reduction in the penalty of disqualification for not including penalty strokes for a breach that the player did not know he had incurred.

4. Some golf pundits will start campaigning for bigger golf balls to reduce the distance that they can be hit.

5. The inclusion of golf in the 2016 Olympic Games will stimulate the growth of course infrastructure in many developing golfing nations, including India, China, Brazil and several Eastern European countries.

6. The time taken for golfers to complete 18 holes will increase for the 20th year running (this statistic is a guess!) and yet no professional golfer will be penalised for slow play during a televised event.

7. Michelle Wie will not be disqualified for a Rules violation this year and will enjoy her most successful golfing year to date (fingers crossed).

8. Lots of newborn babies will be named Rory, Ricky, Ryo and Matteo.

9. There will be another major scandal over a tournament player’s dalliances whilst away from home.

10. I will reduce my handicap by five strokes (OK I’m dreaming now!).
I would be interested in hearing any of your predictions that concern the Rules in the comments section below.

Happy golfing in 2011.

P.S. Thanks to all of you that ordered my book, ‘999 Questions on the Rules of Golf’ as Christmas presents. Monthly sales continue to increase, as do the compliments I receive from golfers who find it a useful tool for obtaining a better knowledge of the Rules that affect them on the course. All copies are personally signed and discounts are still available for multiple copies. Click here for details.


Anonymous said...

I think an additional change will be made to the Rules of Amateur Status: Hole-In-One competitions will be excluded and such competitions will be declared gambling.

Barry Rhodes said...

Some other comments that I have received direct;

Hi Barry, Happy new year to you, just on the issue of bigger golf balls, I believe top flight had a ball out called a "Magna" which was slightly bigger then standard, now what do you think of making the ball bigger? It would reduce the distance the ball goes, but the advantage for Hackers like myself would be, cause the ball is bigger it would be easier to hit so bringing more pleasure to the 99.9% of golfers who dont play this game for a living , so i will leave that one with you, to see what you think, Kind regards John

Agree with several of the Rules related forecasts, would also like to see relief for balls in divots (repaired or unrepaired) and would like to see the rules becoming more practical generally especially for casual play and permitting some violations that are inadvertent and playing partners concur do not give the golfer any real advantage. For example, balls that may move off their axes after address - if replaced. Also Poulter's famous ball marker violation.

Over time, I also think that the number of golf clubs permitted will decrease, perhaps to a point where bags can be easily carried by golfers of all ages. Would lead to some re-design of clubs, perhaps reducing some of the ridiculous distances balls are now hit.

I also concur with your view about golf's growth in countries like India, where I live. There is a lot of interest but very little by way of golfing facilities. Bombay, for example, a city of 18+ million people, has only three golf courses and no publicly accessible driving ranges. Not enough government support for what is seen as an elitist sport (hence land not easily available) and land is expensive. You could see tight 6-9 hole golf courses sprout in new markets as a result.

Thanks for your attention and best regards,


I would not rule out the return of Tiger Woods in 2011. His game is back and I believe the mental part of his game will resurface. JohnMc


Barry Rhodes said...

From Pat,

I predict a "rewind clause" for players who play from a bunker but can't escape and will never escape. The clause will allow them, with an appropriate penalty, to play from where they played the stroke that ended up in the bunker. I can picture myself in the Road Hole bunker!

Barry Rhodes said...

Hi Barry
Seasons best. I think your predictions are bang on!!

I would like to add to 2011's predictions with the following.

TV announcers will continue to call:
* Bunkers / Traps
* Stroke Play / Medal Play
* The Open Championship / The British Open

and they will continue to pretend they know the rules.!!!


This might be a pet peeve rather than a prediction .......