Score a victory for common sense.
It was announced Monday that beginning in 2018, golf’s major professional tours will no longer allow viewer call-ins to dictate potential rules violations captured on television broadcasts.
This is a triumph for the purists, for fans of the game who never believed the intricacies of the rule book should be enforced and litigated in the aftermath of such activity — and certainly not from a couch potato with a remote control in one hand and a phone dialing some clandestine number in the other.
This is a win for those who witnessed Tiger Woods’ post-round “witch hunt” at the 2013 Masters or Lexi Thompson’s called-in penalty at this year’s ANA Inspiration and felt queasy about the eventual result. After all, try calling in an NFL pass interference penalty or an NBA traveling violation from the comforts of home. Your opinion will be treated to nothing more than a lusty dial tone.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) December 11, 2017
Ostensibly, golf will now feature a similar lack of democracy, with on-site video officials charged with serving as the last line of defense in protecting the rules.
The worst part of the previous system wasn’t even the fact that random fans could adversely impact the very proceedings taking place inside a box mounted to their living room walls. It was that this was never a level playing field. Until the time when every golfer’s entire round was beamed live to spectators around the globe, this was always going to affect those being shown on camera more than their less visible counterparts.
Or perhaps more importantly: It was always going to impact a Sunday afternoon contender more than a Thursday morning competitor.
Just eight months ago, Thompson was nabbed by the gotcha-police when she was found to have improperly marked her ball on the green. She lost two strokes due to the violation, another two for signing an incorrect scorecard and wound up losing that major championship.
On Monday, she took to Twitter to address the revised rule: “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf. In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”
It’s safe to say that Thompson’s result wasn’t the sole rationale for this decision, but golf’s powers-that-be should be commended for realizing that it was a perilous final straw.
“All involved with administering the game are concerned with the impact that these types of rulings were continuing to have,” explained Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director for rules of golf and amateur status. “[The] new set of video-review protocols are not a direct result of the Lexi Thompson ruling, but it is safe to say that it was the last of several similar rulings that highlighted the need to act quickly on the matter.”
The genesis of viewer call-ins dates to the 1987 Andy Williams Open, in the landmark case of Craig Stadler vs. Building A Stance. In contention during the third round at Torrey Pines, the man known as the Walrus was forced to play a shot on his knees from under a tree. He placed a towel on the ground, later explaining, “I didn’t want to finish the round looking like a gardener.” One day later, a viewer called in from Iowa to point out the transgression. Since he’d already signed the card, a share of second place was deemed a disqualification.
Since then, golf’s caretakers have endured three decades of allowing unaffected observers to affect potential outcomes. All of which is why Monday’s announcement is being hailed as a celebration of the game’s long-awaited realization that self-enforcement beats citizen arrests.
Of course, like any unanimous call to action, the notable pros instantly outweigh the inscrutable cons. They do exist, though. Just wait until the first time a professional golfer unknowingly commits a violation that isn’t captured by the on-site video official, either. It won’t take long before the social-media masses raise their figurative pitchforks, wondering why their voices can no longer be heard.
That day might come, but for now, the celebration continues.
Too often, golf tournaments have been decided on something less than rational thinking. Common sense has prevailed in this match, even if it was long overdue.
This Tournament is Open to the Public, SUNDAY, December 17th, 11am Shotgun
Format: 2 man 18 hole scramble. Event will be flighted based on number of teams
6 flights based on 51 teams
Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each flight.
Cost: $25 for members (cart not included) $50 for non-members (cart included)
Payouts for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place team in each flight (subject to change based on the number of teams in each flight).
The tournament will be limited to the first paid 60 teams.
Special events: closest to the pin on par 3’s
This will be a fun event with pins located in some very interesting spots.
Everyone will play the white tees.
62 and older will play the gold tees.
Both the white and gold tees will be moved back some for this event.
Optional $10 per team skins pot.
Call the golf shop to sign up 812-923-9280 ext#1
Spots are limited so get your team and sign up today.
Tiger Woods made his latest return to golf Thursday, shooting a solid 3-under 69 in the first round of the Hero World Challenge. It was his first competitive round in 301 days — and by most accounts, it was a successful first step in his comeback.
“For me, I thought I did great,” Woods said after his round that included five birdies and left him tied for eighth, three shots off the lead held by Tommy Fleetwood. “To come out here and score like I did, it was nice.”
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 30, 2017
Tiger Woods hole by hole
1 (par 4): Drive to fairway. Chip to 14 feet. Misses birdie putt on left side. Result: par.
2 (par 3): Hits green with tee shot. Birdie putt from 20 feet misses to the left. Result: par.
3 (par 5): Drive to fairway. 2-iron from 260 yards finds the green. Eagle putt from 50 feet comes up short. Tap-in for first birdie of the round. Result: birdie; moves to 1 under.
4 (par 4): Drive finds light rough near fairway bunker on right side. Pitching wedge from 157 yards misses green to the right. Chip short, finishes in fringe. Saves par with a putt from off the green, followed by a vintage fist pump. Result: par.
5 (par 3): Tee shot on 169-yard hole flares to the right but stays on green near fringe far from pin. Aggressive putt rolls 4 feet past, but he makes comebacker. Result: par.
6 (par 5): Driver into the wind misses the fairway right and finds the native area. Second shot lands in fairway, 93 yards short of pin. Wedge shot lands past pin, spins back near left fringe. Birdie putt clips right edge of cup. Result: par.
7 (par-4): Driver to 340-yard hole finds bottom of bunker near green. Poor bunker shot from a good lie finishes well past pin near fringe. Birdie putt misses right. Result: par.
8 (par 3): Tee shot with 4 iron finds green near fringe. Makes first long birdie putt (approx. 23 feet). Result: birdie, moves to 2 under.
9 (par 5): Tee shot splits fairway. 3-wood from 282 yards hits green but feeds off into the rough. Chunked chip comes up short of green. Opts for putter on birdie putt and rolls it 12 feet past. Par-saver misses to left. Result: bogey, falls to 1 under.
10 (par 4): 3-wood off tee finds fairway. Knockdown 7-iron to green. Makes 15-footer for bounce-back birdie. Result: birdie, moves to 2 under.
11 (par 5): Splits fairway with drive. Second shot misses green to right; one of his few misses with a full swing. Chip finishes near far side of green. Not happy with long par putt, but makes 7-foot comebacker to save par. Result: par.
12 (par 3): Not happy with tee shot that sails wide right into rough. Pounds club into ground. Solid chip leads to 5-foot par putt. Result: par.
13 (par 4): Tee shot finds rough down left side. Approach from 113 yards lands near middle of green. Rolls in birdie putt from 22 feet. Result: birdie, moves to 3 under.
14 (par 4): Opted for safe play to fairway on short par-4. Good decision, as he sticks approach from 88 yards to tap-in range. Result: birdie, moves to 4 under.
15 (par 5): First poor swing with driver all day, as tee shot sails right into the native bushes. Hits provisional that finishes in fairway but manages to find his initial shot. Takes a penalty and hits third shot that finishes behind dune near green. Approach lands near edge of green. Two putts for bogey. Result: bogey, falls to 3 under.
16 (par 4): Drive to native area down right side. Terrific approach that finds back of green and spins back to 15 feet. Birdie putt misses right. Result: par.
17 (par 3): Tee shot comes up just short of green. Delicate chip leaves tap-in par. Result: par.
18 (par 4): Finds fairway. Approach hits greens but bounces off to left. Made 8-footer to save par. Result: par and a score of 3-under 69.