IT’S that time of the year again. Yep, it’s the silly season and Inside Golf’s Brian Eagle has put forward 20 suggested new Rules for 2011. To those really serious so-called Rules experts who think we are poking fun at the game, we say “lighten up”.

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Cartoon by Al Rose

New Rule: New South Wales professional Kurt Barnes to be barred from visiting John Daly’s clothier.

New Rule: Golf officials must find a recognisable ‘face’ of the game – not Greg Norman. The Shark is still “the man”, but he’s definitely repaid his debt to Australian golf.

New Rule: Television stations to hire cameramen who don’t recognise Tiger Woods.

New Rule: Television broadcasters must not present tournament golf as a putting competition.

New Rule: Professionals must make time to talk to spectators and sign autographs after each day’s play. Throwing a golf ball to a child is fine, but imagine the joy if the pros stopped and talked to the fans.

New Rule: Golf officials to realise the more spectators are involved the more there are.

New Rule: Photographers must stop taking photographs of Mrs Norman’s fingers – all three (wives, not fingers, Phil).

New Rule: Senior golfer Peter Senior must stop taking candy from babies in the second tier events – go get ém Pete.

New Rule: Gary Player must stop telling everyone he still does 1000 push-ups a day at the age of 75. It makes armchair critics tired.

New Rule: Outspoken greenies must stand on the first tee and let John Daly have a free hit at them – using his driver, of course. We are sick of tree huggers trying to stop golf courses being built.

New Rule: A tournament winner must give the mind credit for winning a championship. We always hear, “I drove the ball well all week” or “my putter was on fire today”. It’s all in the head. Didn’t Ian Baker-Finch say golf is 90 per cent mental and 10 per cent is in the head?

New Rule: If a golfer’s golf ball lands within a metre of a brown snake, he can ask his caddie to play the shot for him.

New Rule: Golf commentators must stop saying, “Tiger wasn’t happy with a 69.” Sometimes when you are not on top of your game a 69 is alright.

New Rule: No more stories about John Daly’s miracle weight-loss program. We know he lost 90kg and looks decidedly thinner in fancy, colourful gear.

New Rule: Touring professionals must no longer credit God for a win. Surely, God has more important work to do.

New Rule: Touring professionals must smile at least once during a round. Come on, guys and girls, show us your laughing gear. It’s not like you’re in Afghanistan firing golf balls at the Taliban.

New Rule: America’s top professionals must play at least five tournaments outside of the US without getting paid appearance money. You’re only a champion if you can win world-wide like Nicklaus, Player, Palmer, Els, Webb, Davies and co.

New Rule: Anyone identified screaming “get in the hole” as a player tees off must be forced to carry that player’s bag and a sign displaying the words, “I’m a thick idiot and an embarrassment to my family and friends”.

New Rule: No more lame jokes about Tiger Woods. He’s a professional athlete and shouldn’t be mocked. Yeah, right. By the way, did you hear the one about Tiger …(only joking).

New Rule: John Daly has to host a reality television show with Shane Warne.

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