Jordan Spieth is making his 2019 debut at the Sony Open this week, which means his first exposure to golf’s new rules — and there’s at least one he’s not sold on.
“One that I don’t really understand necessarily is the drop,” Spieth told reporters. Under the new rules, players must drop from knee height, rather than shoulder height, which led to a series of awkward visuals at last week’s Tournament of Champions.
“You drop it knee height, but like, what’s the advantage of dropping it shoulder height? It’s actually probably a disadvantage, so why can’t you still do that? You should be able to drop it from shoulder to knee height in my opinion. It 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.”
While players have generally reacted well to the rules changes, Spieth is not alone in his criticism of the drop protocol. Bryson DeChambeau had a similar reaction at last week’s Tournament of Champions. “I think the knee-drop one. That you have to drop it from knee height is a bit absurd, unfortunately,” he said.
Rory McIlroy added his skepticism. “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.”
Spieth added that he doesn’t expect everyday golfers to take the new drop rule seriously. “What if they just take a drop from the cart path. I don’t think they probably care. They will still drop it from the shoulder. Technically, you take a drop from your shoulder and play out, you could be penalized for that. Doesn’t make much sense.
“It’s a disadvantage to drop it that high, so that one I didn’t really understand fully. It was cool that you’re able to get lower to drop it. I thought you would be able to do it at any height.”
Spieth tees off No. 10 at 8 a.m. on Thursday alongside DeChambeau and Gary Woodland.