New golf rule may be pain in the grass at Torrey Pines

LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23: Rickie Fowler marks his ball on the green during the Pro-Am for the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open at the Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 23, 2019 in La Jolla, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Donald Miralle/Getty Images

New golf rule may be pain in the grass at Torrey Pines

PGA Tour

New golf rule may be pain in the grass at Torrey Pines

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SAN DIEGO — Left unsaid in the new Rules of Golf refresh is what exactly drove the governing bodies to allow players to tap spike marks.
 
Either way, players have not resisted the new rule but remain leery of what they can fix.

“I think there’s going to have to be conversation between what is damaged and what is not damaged,” Rory McIlroy said. “Especially I think in low light late in the day, you see so many little nicks and marks on the green.”

Here is a video shot late after Tuesday’s practice round showing some of the damage players face: 

As few players wear spikes on the PGA Tour, the players arriving on West Coast Poa annua greens will be seeing imprints left by spikeless shoes. Under Rule 13.1 the rules allow repair “almost any damage on the green” including ball-marks, shoe damage, indentations from a club or flagstick, animal damage, etc.” but not “natural surface imperfections.”

Could that make things interesting?

“I don’t think people are going to make this trail all the way to the hole,” McIlroy said. “But if there is a heel print or there’s something in your line or a little imperfection that has been man-made, you know it’s well within your rights now to tap it down.”

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