Doughtie Sr. on Golf (December 2013)

December 2013
As the last putts dropped on the 2013 season,we can look back on another memorable year at home and Overseas,with the highlight being a " home win " at the Dutch Open.
However a large part of the media coverage of the sport during 2013 concentrated on Rulings;
The powers of the game at the Rand A and USGA finally declared that "anchoring putting" methods ,otherwise known as belly putting will be banned as from 2016,after much protestations by the Professional bodies.Furthermore the NGF has permitted the use of 'Distance aiding" equipment in the Netherlands.I hope this may speed up play,but doubt it.....a return to 4 hours medal rounds would already be an improvement.Traditionalists,myself included,have suggested penalties or disqualification for rounds over 4 hours.....that would speed up play,particularly on the Tour.
TV evidence will not be used for certain Rule infringements,but Tour players ought to be penalized for blatant infringements.The most common being the "interpretation" of dropping under Rule 27.
Joost Luiten, ended the year in the Top 50 which gives him automatic spots in the 4 Majors,after a stunning victory in The KLM Dutch Open at Hilversum.We should also not forget the achievements of Daan Huizing who crowned a great season on the Challenge Tour with promotion to the European Tour.We wish them success.
Although Tiger Woods held on to his Nr 1 ranking in the World ,it was Hendrik Stenson,who  was Golfer of the Year.Wins at the season ending contests at the FedEx and Race to Dubai closed a remarkable Tour comeback.
And so we move into the New Year.A time to get clubs regripped,refitted or replaced......ask your local pro for advise....
I wish all of you a very pleasant golf year and ask you all to join me in making an effort to replace knuckle bumping,air-hugs and high 5's by the good old-fashioned handshake.
Have fun.
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