Diamond Resorts Tournament Promises Big LPGA Lessons

Celebrities Can Learn A Thing Or Two At New Event

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How comfortable are you all with the new rules changes, and is there one in particular that you have a strong opinion on, whether it be good or bad?

diamond resorts tournament marina alex
Marina Alex (Photo courtesy LPGA)

MARINA ALEX: I’m a little nervous about them, just, frankly, because there’s so many. I really should sit down and study them a little bit just so that I know what I’m doing when I get out there.

I don’t think it will change playing a whole lot. But just to make sure that we know exactly what we’re doing moving forward. Some of them are definitely great in terms of helping pace of play and the ease of golf for anyone who is trying to play at an amateur level.

I will be curious to see how it impacts the scoring at a professional level — with some of the hazards, amendments are maybe a little bit more generous than we’ve experienced in the past. I don’t know. It will just be interesting as the course of the season goes on.

JOHN SMOLTZ: For me, the interesting thing is going to be the difference between amateur play and tournament play. I mean, the out‑of‑bounds rule and stroke and distance and the tee, things like that, the drop rule. At Lake Tahoe [the American Century Celebrity Championship] I was part of the unveiling of these rules and I asked an interesting question. Is [the new drop rule] bent knee, or straight knee?

diamond resorts tournament john smoltz
John Smoltz

With rules you hope that everyone plays by them and understands them. That’s the most confusing part sometimes. When you have this many changes, you have to get reacclimated to the new rules. The drop rule from the knee down is interesting. Putting with the flag stick in.

I think a lot of amateur players and people around the world think that the most egregious rule change that hasn’t happened yet is hitting out of a divot in the fairway. I don’t understand that. You hit out of a better lie in the bunkers sometimes.

And I understand that’s the rub of golf. But if you hit a ball in the middle of a fairway in a man‑made divot and you’ve got to play it, that’s kind of an interesting way that golf has always been played.

If we had to make a rule change in golf, I think everyone would go with the divot rule in the fairway so that you get rewarded for hitting a good shot.


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