Podcast: Breaking down the USGA’s new rule changes

The USGA, in collaboration with the R&A, on Wednesday announced a slew of rules changes that will take effect Jan. 1, 2019. Thomas Pagel, Senior Director of Rules for the USGA, took time out to join this week’s episode of The Clubhouse with Shane Bacon to break them all down.

The interview with Pagel starts right near the top of the show. Among the highlights:

— (2:54): Pagel discusses the motivation behind these changes, namely a desire to simplify rules that can often be considered confusing, moving away from the “legalistic” style that used to define the rulebook. “(We wanted them to be) written in a more modern and plain language, that’s less dense, less complex.”

— (4:00): The rules, Pagel explains, will extend to everyone around the world, at all levels. “(The rules will) apply to you playing at home on Saturday, but they’ll also apply to the professionals that you watch on Sunday,” he says.

— (4:50): Were these rules made with an eye on getting more new people into the game of golf? Yes, Pagel says. “It’s changes that are more intuitive … changes in general that make the rules less intimidating.”

— (6:17): Which rule is Pagel most excited about? Let’s just say it’s one that will make your lives a lot easier out there on the course.

In the rest of the podcast, Shane welcomes Josh Lesnik, president of KemperSports, which manages some of the best courses around, including the famed Bandon Dunes in Oregon, home of a handful of past USGA tournaments. It’s slated to host the U.S. Amateur again in 2020.

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