With Updates On The Horizon, Golf's Original Rules Reveal A Rougher Game

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Now that the governing bodies of golf have finalized the 'modernized' version of golf's rules, due to be brought into effect January 1, 2019, we thought we would bring to everyone's attention an article published in the Globe and Mail recently that harkens back to the original rules of the game from 1744.

Once upon a time, golf was played under a 13 rule format and although in many ways it was a much simpler game, it was also a far more difficult game, certainly at least when you take into account how often the initial laws essentially inferred that it was, 'tough luck old chap' when a number of unfortunate occurences took place.

The word 'Relilef' is consipicuously absent in those few early 'tenets' of the game. Here is a link to the piece written by Victor Mather for the New York Times.

Broken Balls And ‘Wattery Filth’: Golf’s Original Rules Show A Rougher Game

by Victor Mather/NY Times

The bodies that run the game of golf announced a plan recently to simplify and modernize the rules beginning in 2019. For example, penalty drops can be taken from a lower height, and caddies will no longer be able to line up their players when putting.

But simplification and modernization don’t automatically go hand in hand. Want more straightforward rules? Go in the other direction, back in time, to 1744, the year of the first known written rules of golf, drawn up by golfers in Edinburgh who played on the Leith Links.

The 13 rules, rendered here mostly in their original form, are mostly simple, though sometimes a bit weird. They also reveal that golf was a lot harder back then.

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