Pop quiz: What’s the only document more complicated than the USA’s IRS tax code? You guessed it, the Rules of Golf!
I’ve just read through, ok glossed through the new and immediate rules decisions by the USGA and R&A regarding video evidence, disputes, and decisions. Golf has had such a bad reputation because of things like the recent Lexi incident the governing bodies obviously felt it immediately necessary to do something. In regular fashion, they added more language to the rules which doesn’t address the main problem.
If the committee concludes that such facts could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye and the player was not otherwise aware of the potential breach, the player will be deemed not to have breached the Rules.
The above line is the key to the new changes, and I completely agree with the sentiment. If it isn’t humanly possible to conclude there’s a breach in the rules, then there are no rules broken. That’s the good part, but not the elephant in the room.
What’s completely missing from the new rules is the way that rules infractions are discovered, reported, and the timing in which these notifications happen. I’m talking mainly about the viewer call-ins, emails, or social networking of rules infractions. In the case of Lexi Thompson, she was notified and penalized an entire day later, and during her final round. In my opinion, any possible infractions and related penalties should have an expiration date. Perhaps once the next day’s tournament tees off, all possible issues from the previous round become invalid. If there isn’t an upcoming round, perhaps one hour after each player finishes the tournament is the point at which any questions about rules violations become moot.
That time limit can apply to any source of the possible infraction, whether another player, a spectator, a rules official, or some fat dude sitting on his couch eating Cool Ranch Doritos who has nothing better to do than shuttle his DVR back and forth 12,000 times to see if Segio’s ball moved on the 13th at Augusta in the final round of the Masters. That has to be the worst run-on sentence I’ve ever typed, but it sure rolls off the tongue nicely.
In my opinion (yes I realize nobody is asking for it) there should be NO call-ins. No emails. No tweets of rules infractions. There’s no other sport on the planet who allows such a thing and it’s one more way the golf industry makes itself look more dumb in the eyes of the general public.
My friend and I go back to the early-mid 80’s. Cee Clone is what he calls himself. Back in the day CC and I played football together and he was one crazy bastard, and really tough. He sent the football coach to the hospital, but that’s a story for another day. Then there was the day Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast album came out. The Utah Highway patrol couldn’t even handle CC. One more story for yet another day.
During the Masters I couldn’t help noticing CC’s social posts about his cat. She was glued to the action on TV. “My cat can’t stop watching the playoff!” he said.
Once I’d gotten wind of the cat (I think she had 9-Lives Turkey & Giblets for lunch) I had to do an interview. You know, find out the real story. And here the story is. 10 questions with CC about Kira, the Masters cat:
What is your cat’s name?
Is this the first year the cat has watched The Master’s, or does she watch it every year?
This is the first year but she watches a lot of tv.
Who was your cat’s prediction to win this year’s Master’s?
Sergio of course after his first round.
Does your cat think the birds chirping in the TV broadcast audio are real, or piped in by the TV production crew?
She doesn’t care. She’s more interested in the game.
What is your cat’s favorite hole at Augusta National Golf Club?
Duh, 13th. Same as Phil’s.
What did your cat think of Matt Kuchar’s ace on hole #16 in the final round?
Too little too late. Too bad he didn’t win a car.
Did your cat think Sergio was toast when he blocked his approach right on #10, then pulled his tee shot into the trees left of 11 fairway?
Of course. Who didn’t think it was another Sergio meltdown?
Was your cat surprised that neither Sergio Garcia or Justin Rose could make a winning birdie putt on the final hole of regulation?
She says we all saw that double choke coming.
Kira watches Justin Rose on the 18th hole in the playoff against Sergio Garcia
What did your cat think of the one playoff hole (pictured above)?
Don’t three putt Sergio!
Does your cat stick around after the tournament is over and watch the green jacket ceremony?
No. We watched Street Outlaws. Love the 405!
There it is. Kira loves the Masters. A cat like no other. A cat for the ages. In your life have you seen a cat like this? Yes
Okay this has taken some time but I’ve had a change of heart about Rickie Fowler. When Fowler first hit the PGA Tour it seemed like the only notable thing about him was his orange jumpsuit, or what I like to call the “traffic cone” apparel script. Here it is below.
After this year’s Masters though I’ve changed my tune about Fowler. First I watched some of the pre-Masters interviews and was impressed. Then I saw Rickie on Thursday morning at the ceremonial tee shot, which was just Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. This was the first time Arnold Palmer was missing following his passing. In my opinion, a historic moment in golf. There may have been, but I didn’t see any other tour players who made the effort to attend that ceremony.
At that point in time I realized something. Rickie gets it.
During the Masters he played very well and ended up in the 2nd to last group, paired with Jordan Spieth. Rickie was at the top of the leaderboard even during the final round, before Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia separated from the field.
So this is an official HOG-style hats off to Rickie Fowler. Looking forward to his first major win. Hopefully it comes before 73 attempts unlike Sergio’s did.
Thanks to all who commented, retweeted, and facebooked in the Masters 2017 pin flag giveaway, courtesy of MMO Golf. Congratulations to the user (sorry, “patron”) “gonzo” for winning the prize. Contact me via the site contact form here with your shipping information and I’ll have MMO Golf get your prize right out to you!
If you want to pick up a flag like this, or buy other Masters stuff, head to MMO Golf!
I feel like I’ve been on crack for four straight days and I’m now in withdrawal. I need some Masters methadone. I’m so spent. Sitting on the couch eating salt and vinegar chips and watching the drama of the Masters Tournament is draining.
Once again the Masters delivered. There’s no golf tournament product like it. The genius of Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie in creating Augusta National Golf Club shines every year. THE MASTERS NEVER DISAPPOINTS.
I’ll chime in with some commentary soon. I need to catch my breath and absorb another incredible Masters… process it.
Until then congratulations to Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose on an epic battle and showing great sportsmanship. I’ll finish tonight with one bit of great news: Only 361 days until the 2018 Masters Tournament! Can’t wait.