Tour players react to proposed rule changes

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The R&A and the USGA have proposed substantial changes to many of the current rules of golf, and some of the biggest names in the sport took to social media to give their opinions - and they had a LOT to say.  

The changes, which include proposals such as allowing distance measuring devices and unintentional grounding of the club in the bunker, have been met with mixed reactions from professionals throughout the game.

Some were incredibly positive about the modernisation of the rules, which are aimed to increase pace of play and be easier to understand. 

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However, despite some positive responses, many professionals have tweeted their own desires to separate themselves from the amateur rules. 

In particular, PGA Tour pro's Graham DeLaet, Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas made their feelings known on the matter, believing there should be a completely different set of rules for the professional and amateur game. 
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While this is an idea clearly supported by several players, the R&A and USGA have insisted that the rules have been proposed in collaboration with input from the professional game.

Thomas Pagel, the Senior Director of Rules of Golf & Amateur Status of the USGA, said “I would just let you know that the professional game has been represented in this process since day one, both the PGA Tour and European Tour.  I know that as the USGA and the R&A, we are committed to the fact that a single set of rules really benefits the game worldwide."  

“You would create tremendous complexities and confusion if you were to have multiple sets of rules, and I don't want to speak for the professional game, but certainly given their involvement and their continued involvement in the process, I would say that they think very similarly."

One of the rules proposed was to stop caddies from being allowed to line up their players, and while some thought it was a good idea, it was again a topic that drew mixed reactions. 

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While the new proposed rules consist of numerous changes, some players felt there was one major rule change missed out by the governing bodies. 

Ian Poulter was quick to point out that he feels one major ommission from these proposals was the lack of a ban on the use of greens books, which players are allowed to use in competitions. 

The books give detailed information about the slopes on the greens to help predict the roll of a putt, but Poulter was just one of many players who thinks that they contribute hugely to a slower pace of play on tour.

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And the reasons behind why Ian Poulter thinks they slow play down? He helpfully listed them in a follow-up post.
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