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AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE FOR PROFITS The enduring attraction for golf fans of The Open Championship is again recognised by its hefty contribution to the Scottish economy. The Open at Carnoustie in July contributed no less than a remarkable £69million, according to an independent study. Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University found the Angus area alone received a £21m cash injection from hosting the 147th Open, which attracted a record 172,000 fans. Nearly half of the spectators (49.8%) travelled from outside Scotland, while most of the golf-loving Scots (84.8%) came from outside Angus. The study, commissioned by golf’s governing body the R&A, VisitScotland and Angus Council, also suggested the global TV marketing value to Scotland was £51m. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said The Open had “once again showcased Scotland internationally as the perfect stage for major events”.

Oostie’s tears

The Open magic: Padraig Harrington won the Claret Jug in 2007 and 2008, and the event continues to be a big money-spinner

She added: “The figures also demonstrate the economic benefits of hosting major events and I’m pleased the 147th Open generated significant income for both the local Angus area and for the wider Scottish economy.” David Fairweather, leader of Angus Council, said the event had attracted global interest and attention, “as well as immediate and longlasting economic benefits to local and regional communities and business”. He added: “Twenty-one million pounds of new money into the local economy is great news for Angus, its people, hotels, B&Bs, shops and restaurants.” The R&A’s chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “The Open has a proven track record of generating substantial economic benefit for the host country in which it is staged thanks to the tens of thousands of spectators who attend each year.”

Get a grip on new rules England Golf has issued a new set of useful guidelines for amateur players to give us all a reminder of the new rules which apply from this new season. The rules have been updated as a result of a worldwide consultation and are aimed at both speeding up the game and removing some of the anomalies of the old rules. A summary

What’s new In 2019, players will continue to drop a ball when taking relief, but the dropping procedure will be changed in several ways: The ball must be let go from knee height so that it falls through the air The focus of the dropping procedure will be to drop the ball in a specific “relief area” No re-drop is required if the

dropped ball accidentally hits a person or object after hitting the ground but before coming to rest in the “relief area”. If the dropped ball comes to rest outside the relief area, it will be dropped a second time; if it comes to rest outside the relief area after being dropped a second time it will be placed where it first touched the ground If the placed ball will not come to rest on that spot after two attempts, the player will then place the ball on the nearest spot (not nearer the hole) where it will come to rest

Reasons for change The new procedure lowers the height from which the ball is dropped to increase the chance that it stays within the relief area. Requiring the player to drop a

16 TEE TIMES | January 2019

Louis Oosthuizen was reduced to tears after winning his first South African Open in Johannesburg. And he did it in emphatic style with a record-equalling six shots. The South African, who won the 2010 Open, had an eagle and five birdies in a four-under 67 to win on 18 under. England’s Matt Wallace began the final round in joint second, three shots adrift of overnight leader Oosthuizen, but dropped away with a three-over 74.

FedEx fortunes Prize money for the season-ending FedEx Cup winner will rise to $15m (£11.4m), the PGA Tour has announced. Hampshire’s Justin Rose collected more than £7million for winning the event in 2018, but this season’s victor will pick up a cheque for a staggering dollar amount that translates to £11.4million. A new handicap system at the Tour Championship will also mean the overall leader starts on 10 under par, with second place two shots behind.

ball (as opposed to placing it) will retain a desired randomness about where the ball will end up: The player has no guarantee that the ball will come to rest on a desired spot or in a good lie. This is especially the case when a ball is dropped in more difficult conditions such as thick rough or longer grass. The new procedure avoids giving players more relief than necessary: No longer able to roll up to two club-lengths from where it hits the ground. More likely now that the ball will be played from close to where it originally came to rest. Allowing the player to drop a ball from knee height will help to limit the extent to which a ball will embed in sand in a bunker. The new procedure will mean there will be greater consistency across all relief procedures,

making it simpler for players to know where and how to drop a ball: Now avoid questions about whether it was dropped near enough to a specific spot. Now simply drop a ball anywhere in a relief area measured one or two club-lengths from (but not nearer the hole than) than a given spot. It will be simpler for players to know when to re-drop a ball: A player currently needs to know the nine re-dropping scenarios; these are difficult to understand and apply and this is a widely misunderstood Rule. Under the new Rule, the player will only need to know that the ball must be re-dropped if it comes to rest outside the relief area. For more in-depth explanations and illustrations, visit the England Golf website.

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Tee Times Golf Magazine, February 2019  

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