Nearly two full weeks into 2019, PGA Tour pros are starting to get a feel for the new rules. Many, including Jordan Spieth, have been experimenting with putting with the flagstick in. Others have lauded the leniency of a new rule that allowed Webb Simpson to avoid a penalty. But one change hasn’t yet found its mark: the new drop rule, which dictates players drop from knee-height. A number of high-profile Tour players, from Spieth to Bryson DeChambeau to Rory McIlroy, have expressed their uncertainty.
RELATED: You can read all about the new rules here.
“That you have to drop it from knee height is a bit absurd, unfortunately,” DeChambeau said during last week’s Tournament of Champions. “I think that you should be able to go from knee height to shoulder height. There should be no issue with that, whatever you want to do, honestly. There’s a lot of questions about that.”
The new drop rule originally said players could drop from any distance —recommended to be at least one inch above the ground — but that was later revised to knee height.
Jordan Spieth expressed his feelings on the rule before the Sony Open. “You drop it knee height, but like what’s the advantage of dropping it shoulder height? Actually probably a disadvantage, so why can’t you still do that? Should be able to drop it from shoulder to knee height in my opinion. Doesn’t do any good and honestly it’s like a frustrating asterisk that I have to re-pick it up and re-drop from your knee.”
Spieth would have done well to heed his own warning: He nearly ended up dropping from shoulder height early in Thursday’s round before an intervention from rules official Slugger White, who was looking on.
Zac Blair was confused, too, and took to Twitter for enlightenment.
Serious question … do you actually have to drop from knee height? Or is it knee and up? @USGA
— Zac Blair (@z_blair) January 3, 2019
You can add McIlroy to the list of players in favor of rules changes who poked fun at the drop rule.
“We’re saying that Brian Harman has got a big advantage, he can basically place it. Where you have someone like Tony Finau, who is dropping it probably from like, waist-high for me. But I think that they’re trying to simplify the rules which I think is a great thing for the game,” he said last week.
They’re not the only ones having fun with the drop rule, however. Check out more of these awkward drops — and pro reaction — below.
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) January 11, 2019
Most of my pre season preparation has been spent trying to work out how to not look like an idiot when dropping from knee height ?
— Chris Paisley (@ChrisPaisley86) January 6, 2019
Grow the game… https://t.co/v7JXsGICq2
— Brendan Steele (@Brendan_Steele) January 4, 2019