The Question: What do you think of the out-of-bounds penalty in golf? (Asked at the National Open in Rochester.)

July 01, 1956

CARY MIDDLECOFF
Memphis
Winner of the 1956 Open
On a golf course like this one [Oak Hill in Rochester] the rule is okay, but I don't like it on courses where they have too many out-of-bounds, say eight or 10. You make a lot of good shots that can go out of bounds on that kind of course. It's too big a penalty.

MORRIS McLEMORE
Sports editor
Miami Daily News
25 handicap
I think the rule is fair, even though I'm a real, confirmed knocker-out-of-bounds. I could play much better golf. The old rule was not severe enough. It isn't fair to a really good golfer to have a duffer like me drive a ball around a building and get only a one-stroke penalty.

HERBERT DAWSON
Glen Ferris, W. Va.
Metallurgist
4 handicap
It's bad. This rule represents a compromise between the USGA and the Royal and Ancient of Scotland, which governs British golf. You may hit a perfect shot that lands a few inches out of bounds and lose your match. I've put four successive balls in the same out-of-bounds spot.

SAM SNEAD
White Sulphur
Springs, W. Va.
Golf pro
Bad. The worst thing in golf is to miss the ball completely, but the penalty is only one stroke. Many courses are surrounded by homes. It's too easy to drive a couple out of bounds. Then you might as well go home. A better rule is to lose only your distance.

WILLIAM C. CHAPIN
President, Oak Hill
Country Club
2 handicap
I've always thought it was a good rule. The out-of-bounds is usually so far out of the line of play that if you happen to hit there you've really made a bad shot. You might as well take the penalty because it usually takes as many strokes to get back anyway. And it speeds the play.

BILL RAMSEY
Shreveport, La.
Real estate
2 handicap
It's a pretty rough penalty on us weekend golfers. The pros have better control, and if there's a chance to drive out of bounds they try to steer clear. But even they drive out of bounds. Pros have been known, on rare occasions, to putt out of bounds from the green.

ROBERT TRENT JONES
Montclair, N.J.
Golf course architect
6 handicap
Over all, to balance the out-of-bounds penalties such as the water hazard, I'd keep it. Under the old rule if you drive out on the first shot, you can still make par. That's bad. Also, the fear of going outside can be designed as a hazard for a particular hole. Thus, accuracy assumes more importance.

BRAD WILLSON
Sports Editor
Columbus Dispatch
12 handicap
As a golfer I'm strongly opposed to this rule, which we borrowed from the British. We should give it back to them. Without the rule I could go around in 80. However, as a sports editor, I think it's fair because pros and good amateurs should certainly know how to hit a ball straight.

RAY O'BRIEN
San Francisco
PGA tournament
director
It's not an unfair rule. It applies to all and places a premium on accurate driving. A tournament golfer is usually able to hit the ball where he wants. I'd rather have this rule than the stymie rule we gave up in the agreement with the Royal and Ancient of Scotland.

TEN PHOTOS

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)