I find this thread enlightening and am happy to see an agreement and consensus seems to have emerged. I’d like to add two thoughts:
(1) I can see that the new local OB/lost ball rule is not intended for tournaments and I support this. However, I just recently played in a member-guest with my brother where it WAS in effect. I learned that when you play a provisional ball, you LOSE the ability to use the new two-stroke relief rule (when the rule is in effect). Yes, the new rule could or should speed play in casual play by avoiding the “walk of shame” back to the tee in the old stroke-and-distance penalty, but most everybody should know by now that hitting a provisional ball is the smartest thing to do when a ball may be OB or lost.
(2) I love the 9-stroke max rule, which the World Am folks have been using for a year or two now in their other tournaments like the Calabash Cup, Kickoff Classic and Fall Classic. In our casual “friends and family” play for many years we have used this and call it the “Nolo Nine” (as in nolo contendere). It definitely speeds play and tends to take pressure off ALL players, not just the high handicappers. The rule will obviously be invoked more often by higher handicappers, but we are placed in flights based on handicaps in the WA, so the rule shouldn’t be unfair. Another benefit for WA players is that one hole is now less likely to sour your experience in this four-day event. It’s much more likely a player can better recover from a nine (or two) than from one or more 12 or 20. A player can keep on grinding, hoping and having FUN.