If you could change one thing in golf, what would it be?

One thing many of our followers — and most golfers — would like to see changed is having to hit your ball out of a divot in the fairway. Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s face it: the game we love has tons of things we’d love to see tweaked a little to make it more enjoyable. Slow play is obviously at or near the top of the list, but there’s other stuff that chaps us, too, like when you bust a perfect drive down the middle, but it finds an old divot (or even a fresh one) and you have to play out of it.

What kind of reward is that for hitting a great shot?

In that vein, we pitched the following question to our TCN followers on Twitter: If you could change one thing in golf, what would it be?

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That question hit a nerve as we received nearly 200 responses. Here are the best answers we received…

“To have everyone professional and amateur to stop treating it like the @TheMasters… play fast and have fun.” — @Whiskey_Pines

“Make it 12 holes.  Takes too long.” — @Breed73

“12 clubs… #lessweight” — @Rustyonthebag

“Call it goff, with an ‘F’.” — @mansbery (Isn’t that already what they call it in the south?)

“Free drop out of divots and footprints in sand traps.” — @Matt_Frost1

“You would get to pick up your coin 1 time per putt on the green, then the ball is live. If your alignment stripe is off, well too bad. You had your chance.” — @Swoop70

“Thanksgiving night 2009.” — @xx007

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“Hitting out of a divot in the fairway, shouldn’t be punished being in the fairway.” — @chelwig54

“Lights!! We need lights!! I am tired of being constrained by the damn sun!!! #moregolf #lightitup” — @zjvol1

“Pace of play. Game needs to get faster. Slow play is killing the game.” — @Steffi_Latina25

“You get 2 balls off the first tee starting your round… #unwrittenrule” — @LooperNation

“I would open Augusta National once a year. Tee times are in a lottery and if you win… you bring 3 of your friends. Once you win or play, your name is pulled from the lottery.” — @TGolfer83

“Bigger hole… much bigger!” — @kcalpeguy

“That your putter can’t be longer than the shortest club in the bag or set a length limit for the putter.” — @steviefell

Phil Mickelson
One of our followers said if he could change anything in golf, it would be for Phil Mickelson to have a U.S. Open title. Mickelson has been a U.S. Open runner up on six times and it’s the only major he needs to complete a career grand slam. Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

“A personality test before you tee off, so I don’t have to golf with Mr. Crabby every time at my local course. Like we’re both not on the PGA for a reason. Take it easy buddy.” — @jkwill81

“I would find a way to let everyone experience this wonderful game at the best possible time for them, in the best possible place, so they would love it forever.” — @albrecht_gary

“Pricing. Way too expensive to get involved if you’ve never tried it.” — @Kat2BKittnMe

“A penalty for every minute after 4 hours.” — @bangr333

“Have more respect for course from all.” — @foxboroughcc

“Less interviews and human-interest stories and show more golf. That includes those who are not playing well.” — @RichardSalPhD

“Stewart Cink beating Tom Watson, 2009 Open Championship.” — @scott_nemmers

“Stroke and Distance. Everything should be lateral.” — @tim_widner

“Lots of good answers, so I’ll go another way: standardization of shaft specs. Weight & length are already done & easy to measure, but flex, torque, tip-stiffness isn’t. And one model’s ‘S’ can be very different from another’s. True standardization helps eliminate guessing.” — @GreenLntrnGolf

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“One thing? Simple. Limit max number of clubs to 8. Numerous benefits: cheaper, easier to walk, less space, more skill, etc.” — @Gieusahaggis1

“Have to have the balls to penalize slow play.” — @amcveigh32

“Stop designing and building courses that require a second mortgage to play.” — @MeddingsMark1

“Having to play out of a fresh divot in the middle of the fairway.” — @CarsonPilcher

“Allowing trash talking between players would be awesome!!! @maxhoma23 would be the best at it!” — @DamianLSalazar

“The Olympics would be a 2 men/women team event.” — @YohannBenson

“Carts only for those with a physical need to ride. Everyone else only walks!” — @BillShamleffer

“Eliminate out-of-bounds. #golftalk” — @jon_rogers

“I’d change me into Jack Nicklaus.” — @10and8golf

“A mulligan on the first tee every time!!” — @RuggerChap

“Cost of green fees, balls, clubs. I would lower the cost of everything.” — @NotKyleMcKanna

“Golfers who wear loud trousers.” — @stephenhigginz

“Easy, take the ball back to 80s balata and downsize the drivers.” — @thelidlives

“More chainsaw committees.” — @pgdumon

“More simplification of the Rules. Simple game in concept, needs simple rules.” — @newellsatwsu

“Breakfast Ball can only be hit while Starter has air horn ready for your backswing.” — @jdnathens

“Range finders are legal.” — @airbear316

“The Ball! Distance is out of control.” — @Golfyob

“1. No relief from a divot; 2. People who suck but think they’re good and treat every round like the final round of a major.” — @jpb1118

“My father and the other old guys at the bar drinking and telling the same old stories over and over.” — @SusannaAspen

“The pretentiousness.” — @BroKen624

“Crush ‘slow’ play — mandatory ‘ready’ golf video at every first tee everywhere, until everyone ‘gets it’!” — @28_gordie

“Free Drop from a divot… Shouldn’t be punished for splitting the fairway!!! #dumb” — @Bigguvchesney


“Dress code. How do socks, collars on shirts, shorts length, etc. affect anyone’s enjoyment of the game?” — @stevegaish

“Tour players all use the same ball.” — @TimMorganLaw

“Divots would be considered ground under repair.” — @marshyb16

“4. Roll the ball back, make folks choose distance OR spin; 3. 6 holes loops for quick game; 2. Better handicapping system to reduce sandbagging advantage; 1. Larger hole so the game is more about ball striking than putting. And, so we’re clear, I’m a VERY good putter.” — @GGolfpro

“Install a handicap system for tee boxes. Tee it forward if you’re a 20 handicapper. Par 4s are meant to be reached in 2 not 3.” — @lanceaaffl

“Simply put, the game needs more creativity and fun on the course. Instead of targeting one demographic 7 days a week, target that demo 5 days a week and use the other two to try to drive more people to the game — live band on a couple holes, daily long drive/closest to pin.” — @champagnesprts

“MUCH less costs. #growthegame” — @BennyFrank3rd

“The constant need to yell something ridiculous as soon as the ball is hit. It’s an American thing that absolutely drives me nuts. Mashed potato, bababooey, get in the hole. This is the one thing that my father’s PGA didn’t have and mine doesn’t need.” — @CasinoDeano

“Phil Mickelson, U.S. Open Champion.” — @bogey_fore

“Carts have a timer. Shut off at 4 hours and you have to walk in if not finished.” — @avonguy23

“You can only mark your ball once per hole.” — @paulmatleo

“Everyone in a group waiting for caddie to read every putt and give every yardage.” — @eljefepk


  1. Eliminate line on golf ball. It’s boring and a waste of time waiting for golfer to make a decison when lining up to putt.

  2. Instead of the game revolving around the lowest strokes of the ball, let everybody tee off simultaneously and whoever finishes all 18 first wins.

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