If the object is to get more golfers to play by the rules and make the game more enjoyable, we need to make sure that the rules are clear, simple, make sense, and are easy to follow, and thus, allow us to call ourselves on infractions. It is this which makes the game so unique.
Golfers intuitively understand the challenge that golf presents, is that which allows them to satisfy a subconscious urge to evaluate themselves and they therefore consciously choose to play by the rules — if they know them.
It is clearly understood that the degree of adherence to the rules is a measure of the respect for the governing bodies, whose authority to govern is given through the consent of the governed. Every effort is made to be comprehensive in formulating the code. Unfortunately, in many cases this good faith effort results in complexity of the code and less rather than more adherence.
I believe that we need to consider placing more emphasis on clearly defining the intent of the rules wherever possible – which has worked without too many ill effects in the past — which in the long run would not be too far removed from the outcome of a scrutinized, time-consuming review of a comprehensive rule and have very little effect on the outcome of the match.
For universal adherence to the rules which lend order to, and enhance the enjoyment of the game, these need to be; a) Simple, b) Make intuitive sense, and c) The intent of each rule clearly conveyed, wherever possible.
This I believe will encourage more golfers to apply the rules more consistently – because they know them better — and thus meet the objective of the governors and the concomitant respect from the governed.
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