Last week was very interesting in our Rules of Golf world!
I won’t go into the details of the ruling. I think Lexi was in breach of the rule as it is obvious when we look at the video. It is very difficult for me to say she did not know what she was doing. It is not an accident. She made the move to place her ball elsewhere. This is unfortunately a problem with many golfers, some have a very bad habit of not replacing the ball at the right place. maybe we don’t like this rule but it is there.
The fellow-competitors probably did not see her do that. What do we do, because it is too late, no penalty?
The main topic of this blog is to ask ourselves if it is correct to accept that every spectators or viewers may interfere in a golf tournament? My first answer is YES and I will try to give my point of view:
- Golf is the only sport that accepts that any spectator may be a referee but it is also the only sport where the competitor will penalise himself if he is in breach of a rule.
- I would be more than surprised to see a hockey player tell the referree to penalise him because he committed interference to a player from the other team. When did a player at the plate, told the umpire that the last pitch was a strike instead of a ball?
- When we are driving we don’t ask what is the speed limit, we want to know what is the tolerance (+15 or +19)? Not in golf, the rules are precise.
At the NCAA Basketball March Madness, we have witnessed something terrible. The officials are not allowed to look at any replays. In a very important game between Gonzaga and Northwestern, a player committed a crime. He put his hand into the basket to stop a ball from entering. this is what we call goaltending. We saw it on television, the replay was very clear on the breach. The coach was so upset he received a technical. is this better than golf? The official did not see the breach. A few millions spectators saw it…..
Golf is played over approximately 600 000 square yards with something like 100 players at the same time. Basketball is played on a 420 square yards surface and a hockey rink is 2 000 square yards with 12 players and 4 officials not counting the goal’s officials.
On a golf course at a regular professional tournament, we are 6 officials and we can be reach by telephone anytime. I think PGA Tour and LPGA should put 2 less officials on the course and have 1 or 2 official looking at the television. This would eliminate most of the calls. A comfortable Lazy Boy, with chips, peanuts, wings, would do the job.
I understand it is not a good idea to penalise a player the next day after someone has called the tournament office. What is the solution? No player wants to be considered a cheater? I am certain most of the players prefer to take the penalty. Unfortunately the more you are on TV, the chances you do something wrong is greater.
QUESTION TO THE COMPETITIVE GOLFERS: Would you be comfortable to win a tournament Sunday (or winning money) knowing you made a mistake the day before and it would be too late to be penalised? And if that breach was known from everybody?
Rules officials don’t have a good reputation in this incident but I think the matter is into the players hand….
NEXT WEEK: LEXI should have been disqualified…