At the end of last week Jamie Diaz penned a great article for Golf Digest titled “THE LEXI THOMPSON RULING Viewer Discretion Advised.” If you have not had a chance to read the article click on the title and it will take you to it. It is a great read and here is what we have taken out of it.
The players are annoyed. They hate the facts that the fans are allowed to be able to call in penalties on them. This is an honorable game, true, but if golf wants to “protect the shield” they actually need to be more like the NFL and not allow outside influence to make a ruling. Could you imagine if after the Super Bowl this year someone didn’t think that the Patriots scored in overtime and called in. Would the NFL strip them of the trophy the next day? The tours all have onsite rules officials and maybe they need more so that they put an official with every group so the decision is final when the hole is complete.
Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director said this about Michael Whan’s opinion of the ruling; “I understand Mike’s perspective. This was hard on Lexi Thompson, and hard on Mike Whan. But it was not bad for the game, because this is exactly the kind of dialogue that good change comes out of.” We don’t understand how he can say this is not bad for the game. There is the old PR philosophy of even bad publicity is still publicity but there was also a case study of how Exxon handled the Valdeez incident.
The Rules that govern this game have been in place for way too long. With the technological advances in television and what we can see the rules needed to be changed long ago. In watching the putt in question with Lexi none of us can for certain tell if she moved the ball as she was charged with without being able to speak her mind.
While at Augusta the governing bodies and the perspective tours all met to talk about the Lexi incident and how to police it. Our opinion is when you allow the “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” to call in and actually play rules officials you open Pandoras Box for everything. Golf is still the only professional sport that allows this and it needs to stop. Rules officials are highly trained and compensated very well for someone sitting at home to do their job for them. Part of the idea of real officials is the error that is created by the human element. No official has been 100% perfect and that is what gives the “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” something to talk about on sports talk radio and at the water cooler.
Dads Say So allowing fans to call in needs to not be allowed. We want to tip our hats to Jaime Diaz for an amazing article that hit many great points and was very factual. Gary Player was right when he said that the last eight groups are the only ones you see on TV so it isn’t fair for everyone in the field. If they are not going to change the rules maybe we can convince the other professional sports to allow us to call in and enforce rules. I’m sure that Tom Brady would love that one…