Golf is a game of integrity. Hardy Greaves said it best in The Legend of Bagger Vance, “It’s the only game I know that you can call a penalty on yourself, if you’re honest, which most people are.”
Up until today, golf has been the only sport in the world that allowed the viewer, sitting where ever they were sitting to call in rules violations. That has all changed. The governing bodies of golf announced a rules change that should have happened years ago. The whole idea that someone can sit on their couch and call in a rules violation when they are not even playing in the event has been ludicrous.
We have been vocal about this rule over the course of the last year. Since the LPGA screwed up the Lexi Thompson ruling. Then the European Tour Rules officials botched the Jon Rahm ruling for the same thing The Golfing Dads have let our opinion be known on this rule. Finally changing the rule is a great step!
While this does sound like a great idea there are some issues that we have with it. Rules are meant to protect the entire field from violators. Not just the guys who are on TV. If they are watching the TV broadcast they are only protecting, or trying to penalize, those players on TV. What about the guy who tees off early on Friday who is danger of missing the cut and he does something and it adjusts the cut line? No one will ever know.
A second rules change that was made today was the elimination of the 2 stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard as a result of the rules breach. This should have been implemented long ago. To be penalized for something you unknowingly did is crazy.
These rules will be enacted as local rules for all of 2018 and will be fully put into place on January 1, 2019 when the new rules of golf go into effect. Our question for the governing bodies. Why did you not do this in April after the Lexi Thompson ruling? This should have been the outcome after that complete screw up.
While these changes are a long time coming, they did stop short of a couple things. If they can’t figure out how to put an official with every group then they should figure out another way. They also need to make sure that they can’t go back after the card has been signed. That needs to be the end all of the scoring. If they need to talk about something they need to stop a player before they go to the scorers tent and make it final then.
Dads Say So, congrats to the USGA and R&A for finally getting it almost 100% correct. Leave it up to them to not implement the rule 100% correctly like it should be. They have now created a job opening on all of the tours for the the 40 year old unemployed guy on his couch in his parents basement who has never played golf before who has every PGA Tour venues phone number for calling in a rules violation. While it is a great step in the right direction, it does, however, stop short of the full issue. Were sure there is a blog post coming in the future about the TV official making a ruling that we don’t agree with. Maybe one day they will be able to figure out how not to have to watch TV for rules violations.