Something weird happens on the second hole at the par-three Beverly Hills Country Club at sunrise.
The golfer with the first putt rolls it gently to about 10 feet.
"At first you're on a relaxed pace but then you start thinking about that putt," C.T. Dallas said. "Then I step to the sixth and see the sand all around me. It looks like a sand dune."
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out there's more room on the back side of the bunker and less shelter from the sunlight. That means golfers would prefer to roll the ball less far and easier, relying instead on their feet to keep the ball from rolling off the green.
That's why golfers now have grumbling about a new rule that prevents players from loosening their own club to slowly ease the roll of the ball, which is what some did on bunkers. An extra two yards of distance could put a golf ball in a rough position, hurting scores and putting pressure on the golf course.
Stuart Scott, the executive director of the Western Golf Assn., which is the governing body for the game in the West, said players should feel free to back off if that's what they want to do. "We don't expect players to make a practice of methodically rolling the ball backward," he said.
Scott said the the rule was developed as part of a seven-year process that was designed to more closely define the rules for the rules of golf. At this point, it's standard procedure to slightly roll the ball closer to the hole than last year, and there's no penalty.
Also, it's possible that as the game evolves and more younger players play the game, there will be discussions with the players association about what might have been done better.
"We don't care what gets tested in the experiment," Scott said. "What we care about is creating more uniform rules around the country, making them more consistent, giving the ball better release distance, shortening some cut lines."
Last weekend, at Broken Arrow Golf Club in Broken Arrow, Okla., a sand is soft enough to roll the ball.
"I wish I could," Dallas said.
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