AuthorHenkinSchultz

Golf season brings new rules of the game. Here’s what you need to know

Original content published by Sioux Falls Business Journal with Jodi Schwan. Sponsored by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.

While golfers begin to immerse themselves in all the routines involved in getting their games in shape after a particularly long and cold winter, they’ll have additional adjustments to make this spring.

The Rules of Golf have changed. While none of these changes would singularly qualify as earthshaking, collectively reducing the sport’s 34 core rules to 24 definitely will be worthy of study and commitment to memory for those who desire to play the game the right way.

The most obvious change, one that fans have witnessed on television since the PGA, Champions and LPGA Tours began play in January, is that golfers now have the option of leaving the flagstick in for all shots, including putts.

Other rule changes may not be as obvious but could be just as important depending on the situation. Collectively, it’s an attempt by golf’s governing bodies to simplify with a nod to making the game and its rules a little more accessible to the casual player.

“The whole point is to make golf more playable,” said Jason Sudenga, GreatLIFE director of golf. “I think they’ve done that, especially with the flagstick. There’s not so many rules with the flagstick or with golf balls on the putting green.”

Here’s a summary of some of the major changes, some of which will affect amateur casual golfers.

Flagstick

In the old days, once a ball was on the green, the flagstick had to be removed for the next shot. Not anymore. Now, it’s entirely up the preference of the golfer whether it’s out or in.

“Some people say it’s an advantage to keep the pin in, and some say it’s not,” Sudenga said. “I guess it depends on the situation that you’re in. It could hurt you, and it could help you. I’ve seen examples of both already this year.”

An obvious motive for this rule change involves speeding up play.

“You don’t have to take the time to pull the flag out and put it back in,” Sudenga said. “You can hit it in, pick up your ball and then move on to the next hole.”

Repairing greens

On TV, the next most noticeable rule change involves caddies not being able to stand behind their golfers during putts. On a local level, however, the fact that golfers now will be able to repair everything in their path from ball to hole will be much more applicable. In the past, it was OK to repair ball marks that might alter the shot, but for reasons that seemed mystifying to many golfers, they could not repair spike marks. Now, it’s OK to repair with impunity, regardless of origination.

“On a day-to-day basis for the average golfer, it could really come into play,” Sudenga said. “We’ve seen with the elimination of metal spikes a drastic reduction in spike marks on the green from what it used to be. Now, they’re saying, ‘Hey, if you see one you can tap it down.’ ”

Accidental movement of the golf ball

In the past, if a golf ball on the green was accidentally bumped while being marked, it was cause for a penalty. Now, accidents like this will be tolerated as long as the ball is put back in its original spot. Furthermore, if a ball moved after it was placed after being marked, players had to play the ball from wherever it ended up. Now, they can move the ball back to its original spot without penalty. “The new rules are definitely a little friendlier on the greens,” Sudenga said. “If the wind moves your ball, you pick it up and put it back and away you go. That’s a nice one for golfers.”

No more two-chip penalties

It’s possible to hit a ball twice on the same shot. Famously, it was an act committed by T.C. Chen in the 1985 U.S. Open and played a role in costing him the tournament. It usually happens during chip shots with the club deaccelerating as it moves through shot. It was a one-stroke penalty, and now golfers can just play the ball where it lands without an additional stroke added to the score.

No such thing as a water hazard

Water hazards have been renamed “penalty areas” in the golf rule book with no distinguishing one from the other. Golfers are free to move loose impediments and ground the club without fear of penalty. Players can not try to improve their chances of hitting out of a penalty area by using a club to clear a path, however.

“There were a lot of golf courses out there that were marking areas of the course as water hazards when they were not water hazards,” Sudenga said. “I like this rule. It’s going to save some time because you’re going to be able to make a drop instead of going back to the tee box to hit again.”

While there are several other rule changes, most of them will not affect a normal non-tournament round. For a complete list, with explanations and clarifications, players can visit the USGA website.

Here’s a look at all the major changes courtesy of GreatLIFE:

  1.  SEARCH TIME – Reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes
  2.  BALL MOVED DURING SEARCH – Replace with NO penalty
  3.  EMBEDDED BALL – Free relief anywhere through the course
  4.  MEASURING A DROP – Use longest club (except putter)
  5.  DROPPING – Drop from knee height rather than shoulder
  6.  TAKING STANCE ON WRONG GREEN IS NOT PERMITTED
  7.  BALL UNINTENTIONALLY HITS PLAYER OR EQUIPMENT – NO penalty
  8.  DOUBLE HIT – NO penalty, now only counts as 1 stroke
  9.  TOUCHING SAND IN BUNKER ACCIDENTALLY IS PERMITTED
  10.  LOOSE IMPEDIMENTS CAN BE REMOVED ANYWHERE INCLUDING HAZARDS
  11.  DROPPING A BALL OUT OF BUNKER – 2 penalty strokes
  12.  WATER HAZARDS – now called “penalty areas”
  13.  TOUCHING GROUND IN PENALTY AREA – NO penalty
  14.  BALL MOVES ON GREEN AFTER BEING MARKED – replace without penalty
  15.  BALL ACCIDENTALLY MOVED ON PUTTING GREEN – replace NO penalty
  16.  ALL DAMAGE TO GREEN CAN BE REPAIRED
  17.  POSITIONING A CLUB FOR ALIGNMENT IS NOT PERMITTED
  18.  CADDIE ASSISTING WITH ALIGNMENT IS NOW NOT PERMITTED
  19.  PUTTING WITH FLAGSTICK IN HOLE IS NOW PERMITTED
  20.  BALL WEDGED AGAINST FLAG STICK AND SIDE OF HOLE IS DEEMED AS HOLED

Play Now. Pay Later.

You’ve waited forever to play 9 or 18 and golf season is finally here. Signup for a Golf and Fitness membership today. And when you do, you’ll have no payments until May. That should make you get your clubs ready.

$59.99 gets you access to 19 different regional courses. Couples memberships are just $69.99. Make up for lost time and enjoy unlimited golf. Even better, squeeze in a workout at any GreatLIFE fitness location. Enjoy fitness classes and even go bowling.

Play now and pay later with no payments until May. Learn more at joingreatlife.com.

*Offer good for new memberships only. Please bring voided check at time of sign up. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. Excludes Mitchell, SD, location.

Get Ready for the Greens

It’s getting to be golf time at GreatLIFE and you can swing into the season by signing up for a Golf and Fitness membership today. And when you signup, there’s no enrollment fee and no payments until April.

$59.99 gets you all the driving, chipping and putting you’ve been waiting for. Couples can signup for just $69.99. Enjoy unlimited golf at some of the region’s finest courses. Plus, you’ll have access to all GreatLIFE fitness locations, fitness classes and even bowling.

With no enrollment fee and no payments until April. There’s no reason not to join. And a great reason to get on the greens.

*Offer good for new memberships only. Please bring voided check at time of sign up. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. Excludes Mitchell, SD, location.

A Great New Year Starts Here

There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year. And a great New Year starts with GreatLIFE. Join now for $0 down, no enrollment fee and no payments until March.

We’re extending this offer to encourage members to start the year off right and commit to a fitness lifestyle. Fitness memberships start at just $39.99 per month.

Your Fitness Plus membership also entitles you to year-round perks like free bowling at Suburban Lanes and discounts at Skyzone Trampoline Park and the Washington Pavilion.

For five years, GreatLIFE has helped families live and play, better. Why? Because we know that fitness enriches lives. And we want your life to be its best in 2019. Join today.

*Offer good for new members only. Please bring voided check at time of sign up. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. Excludes Mitchell, SD, location.

Come Celebrate GreatLIFE Anniversary Parties

GreatLIFE just turned five this year. For five years, GreatLIFE has helped families live and play, better. To celebrate, we’re throwing some anniversary parties.

GreatLIFE Woodlake Athletic Club and GreatLIFE Performance & Fitness Center

Tuesday, December 11 – All Day

  • Prizes and games
  • Food and refreshments

All other GreatLIFE locations

Tuesday, December 11 – 4-8pm

  • Food and refreshments

In the past five years, we’ve grown from four golf courses to 24. We started with two fitness locations and now have 16. Our history has already been a very busy one and we have you to thank for the future of our building.

Please join us to celebrate five years of living, playing, better.

 

Start Your New Year’s Resolution Early!

Start your New Year’s resolution now and join for $0 down, no enrollment fee and no payments until January.

GreatLIFE is turning five this year. For five years, GreatLIFE has helped families live and play, better. We’ve grown from four golf courses to 24. We started with two fitness locations and now have 16. And with 16 fitness locations across the region, it’s easy for anyone to get in a workout, drop in on a fitness class or even signup for your own personal trainer.

Your Fitness Plus membership also entitles you to year-round perks like free bowling at Suburban Lanes and discounts at Skyzone Trampoline Park and the Washington Pavilion.

It’s been GreatLIFE’s mission to promote a healthy lifestyle these past five years. We invite you to join us now and live the GreatLIFE for years to come.

*Offer good for new members only. Please bring voided check at time of sign up. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. Excludes Mitchell, SD, location.

 

Ladies’ Fall Clinic

Join David Huffman and Rick Krsnak for a ladies’ fall clinic at Willow Run.

When: Monday, October 15th

Where: Willow Run Golf Course

Time: 5:15 pm – 6:45 pm

Followed by a social hour in the restaurant

Fees: $45.00

Includes: Clinic and 1 drink during the social hour

Food Special:

The Willows, following instruction, will be offering $2.00 off any entree or basket for those who participate in the clinic.

 

Spots are limited! Please RSVP to the pro shop at 605.335.5900 by Friday, October 12th.

Play Free This Fall

Offer ended 11/14/18.

There’s still great golf to be enjoyed outside this fall. You can Play Free This Fall with a GreatLIFE membership. Become a Golf & Fitness member starting at just $59.99. Join now and take advantage of no enrollment fee and no payments until December.

It’s a perfect time to take to the course, take in the autumn colors, swing the clubs and enjoy the temperatures. Golfers can tee off at 23 different courses throughout the region including Sioux Falls, Hartford, Brandon, Dell Rapids, Garretson, Luverne, Beresford, Brookings, Mitchell, Yankton and more.

Get fit in the gym too at one of our 15 locations. Members also enjoy perks like free bowling at GreatLIFE Suburban Lanes and discounts to Sky Zone. New Golf & Fitness members can play free this fall with no enrollment fee and no payments until December. For a full list of member benefits, click here.

*Offer good for new Golf & Fitness memberships only. Please bring voided check at time of sign up. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. Excludes Mitchell, SD, location.

Willow Run Golf Course & Fitness Center Closed This Week For The Symetra Tour GreatLIFE Challenge

The Willow Run Golf Course and Fitness Center will be closed this week, August 27th – September 2nd, for the Symetra Tour GreatLIFE Challenge. The GreatLIFE Challenge brings an EXCITING group of golfers to Sioux Falls to compete for a chance to join the LPGA.  These golfers represent over 31 different countries, and 26 different states from the USA!

  • 4-Day Passes are available for purchase at our Willow Run Golf Course and Woodlake GreatLIFE Facility! The cost for a 4-Day Pass is $15 for GreatLIFE members or $30 for Non-GreatLIFE Members! If you would like to purchase single day passes, you may pay the admission fee ($5) at Willow Run the day you attend!
  •  All First Responders and Active, Reserve, Veteran, and Retired U.S. Military personnel, will receive FREE entry each day Thursday-Sunday! ID must be shown at the admission table to receive daily ticket.
  • Bring the kids out to Willow Run on Monday for a FREE Kids Clinic from 6pm – 8pm.
Listed below is a schedule or events.

2018 Event Schedule

Monday, Aug. 27

8:00 am – GreatLIFE Challenge Pro AM – Willow Run
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm 
– Symetra Tour practice rounds – Willow Run
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Free Kids Clinic – Willow Run Driving Range,
                                           Putting Green, and Short Game Area

Tuesday, Aug. 28

7:00 am – 5:00 pm – Symetra Tour Practice Rounds
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 
– Welcome GreatLIFE Corporate Sponsor Pro Am  
                                         (Private Reception)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Cocktails
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Dinner and Entertainment

Wednesday, Aug. 29

8:00 am – GreatLIFE Corporate Sponsor Symetra Pro Am
1:30 pm – GreatLIFE Corporate Sponsor Symetra Pro Am

Thursday, Aug. 30 – Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge Begins

7:30 am Round 1 (Wave start – 1st and 10th tee)
12:20 pm Round 1 (Wave start – 1st and 10th tee)

Friday, Aug. 31 – Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge

7:30 am – Round 2 (Wave start – 1st and 10th tee) 
12:20 pm 
– Round 2 (Wave start – 1st and 10th tee)

Saturday, Sept. 1 – Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge

7:30 am – Round 3 (Wave start – 1st and 10th tee)

Sunday, Sept. 2 – Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge Final Round

7:30 am – Round 4 (Wave start – 1st and 10th tee)
2:00 pm – AWARDS – Luxury Auto trophy presentation
We look forward to another GREAT year, and can’t wait to see you all out there!

Pay Less and Play More.

Offer ends 9/14/18.

Join GreatLIFE now and start playing today. Enrollment is just $25 and the rest of your first month is free. It’s a great time to be outside and make the most of your Golf and Fitness membership – starting at just $59.99.

Get more play on the course. And get fit in the gym. Pay less and play more with courses from Sioux Falls to Worthington, Yankton to Mitchell and across the region.

Your new membership includes discounts and free nights at Sioux Falls Canaries games; plus discounted admission to Thunder Road, Wild Water West and Great Plains Zoo. Enjoy indoor perks too like free bowling at GreatLIFE Suburban Lanes and discounts to Sky Zone.

Pay less and play more. Enroll now with GreatLIFE for just $25.

For a full list of member benefits, click here.

*Offer good for new memberships only. Please bring voided check at time of sign up. Not valid with any other offers, some restrictions apply. Excludes Mitchell, SD, location.