Easy + Quick. What Business Leaders Can Learn from the New Rules of Golf.
I love to work - I really do. But if push comes to shove - I gotta say I think I love golf more. Lately I've become fascinated with the new Rules of Golf that were released this year by the USGA and R&A which are the governing bodies of golf. In the most sweeping revision in more than 60 years, they have reorganized the rules to make them easier to understand and to speed up pace of play.
Now it may be a bit of stretch, but I think business leaders can learn something from these new rules as well. First - don't be afraid to change even if there is a 60-year history of how it's always been done. Second - ALWAYS look for new ways to run your business in ways that make it easier for your employees and allow them to have a faster 'pace of play' in terms of how they get things done. Finally, be sure to know the rules of whatever 'game' you are playing. More than one professional golfer has lost a tournament because of an avoidable rules infraction, and just like in business that can lead to the loss of a LOT of money.
So even for you non-golfers out there (hey - you can at least appear smart to your golfing colleagues) - here is an overview of some of the key rules and changes:
- Flagstick In or Out. You can now have the flagstick in or out of the hole while putting - it is the player's choice.
- Take a Knee. When you drop the ball while taking relief - you now must do so from knee height.
- Ready. Set. Play. You now don't have to worry about whose turn it is to hit during stroke play - it is now fine to hit your ball when you get to it as long as you can do so safely. But - order of play does still matter in the Match Play format because remember that your opponent can make you replay a shot if you hit out of turn.
- Go Ahead and Pick Up Sticks. Or stones. Or other things similar which are all called loose impediments. You can now do this without penalty from Bunkers and Penalty Areas (previously called Water Hazards) - so clean away but don't move your ball when doing so or you'll incur a penalty.
- The Dreaded Double Hit. A double hit (when your club hits the ball twice during one stroke) is still likely not a very good shot - but at least now there is no penalty and it counts as only one shot.
- You Can Search Just Do It Quickly. To improve pace of play, golfers now have just three minutes to search for a missing ball rather than five minutes. Thinking is - if you haven't found it in three minutes, you likely weren't going to find it anyway.
- I Swear It Was the Wind. If a natural force like wind or water moves your ball - that's OK. There is no penalty and you play the ball from its new spot. However, if you are on the putting green and have already marked/replaced your ball and then the wind moves it - in that case there still is no penalty but you move your ball back to its previous spot.
- Taking Relief is as Easy as A-B-C. Take a drop from a Penalty Area or when you have Declared Your Ball Unplayable is still as easy as A - B - C (although all incur a one-stroke penalty):
- - All the Way Back (also known as stroke & distance) - go back and drop the ball from within one-club length of your previous spot.
- - Back-on-the-Line Relief - go back as far as you want on a straight line formed by the flag and the reference point; drop the ball.
- - Two Club Lengths Relief (red stake penalty areas only + for unplayable balls) - drop the ball within two club lengths from your reference point, no closer to the hoel.