Europeans Defend New Rules Of Golf

A number of Europeans tweeted their support for the R&A, USGA and the new Rules

Europeans Defend New Rules Of Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A number of Europeans tweeted their support for the R&A, USGA and the new Rules

Europeans Defend New Rules Of Golf

The new Rules of Golf haven't got off to the best of starts this year with controversial penalties on Tour and high profile players publicly slating them.

We've seen penalties for the new caddie alignment Rule with Haotong Li, Denny McCarthy and most recently Adam Schenk, as well as a penalty for Rickie Fowler dropping from shoulder height instead of knee height.

Justin Thomas has called the new Rules "terrible", Bryson DeChambeau called the knee height drop "slightly absurd", Rickie Fowler says that he believes the knee height dropping Rule will be changed, and Adam Scott said that golf had become a "laughing stock".

Related: 10 golf controversies of 2019

However, we have now seen some positive thoughts on the new Rules from some high-profile Europeans, with Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington, David Howell and Matt Fitzpatrick all coming to their defence.

2018 European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn wrote on Twitter, "Interesting that @RandA and @USGA are coming in for so much criticism from players and caddies. Players from all over the world was asked their opinions about which rules should change, so was the tour refs and officials. I for one think they listened!!"

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David Howell replied about the caddie alignment Rule, saying that, "It’s a great rule change, the principle is correct, aim yourself with no help, I personally think that the rule should say simply just that. any player caddy combo that tries to break this rule by stealth would be cheating, end of career, reputation trashed. Problem solved?"

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Matt Fitzpatrick also stuck up for golf's governing bodies, saying that he finds it "ridiculous" that the USGA and R&A "are getting so much abuse about these new rules."

"I find it ridiculous that the USGA and R&A are getting so much abuse about these new rules," he tweeted.

"The rule is there to help. The problem is the rules officials themselves giving out the penalty. It is their job to be fair and realise players are not being lined up not the organisations."

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2020 Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington was another to tweet in defence of the USGA and R&A.

"In defence of @usga / @RandA. The rule on aligning up a player is a modification of an old rule, a caddie can’t stand directly behind a player as he’s hitting.This amendment being one of around 20 changes has come about with extensive input from our tournament referees and players."

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x