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New USGA and R&A Video Rules Missed the Elephant in the Room

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, April 25th, 2017
Categories: BoneheadsGolfGolf For WomenGolf Rules and RegulationsMiscellaneousPro GolfUSGA
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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.

867-5309

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.


2015 U.S. Open Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, June 22nd, 2015
Categories: GolfJordan SpiethPGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryTiger WoodsU.S. OPENUSGA
Tags:

I’m a bit hammered this morning.  Certainly a case of U.S. Open hangover.  I had expected to be getting ready to watch a Monday playoff today, the day after Sunday’s final U.S. Open round.  Dustin Johnson’s stunning and heartbreaking 3-putt on the final hole nixed that great idea.  Boy I feel bad for the guy.  He looked like he’d seen a ghost after that 3-putt.  I probably would have thrown up after that, if I was in that situation.  Hell, I would have probably thrown up before each putt…

Hats off to Jordan Spieth for putting the winning number up on the board and putting the pressure on DJ to tie him.  The Spieth story is becoming legendary in a very short period of time.  It is quite a time in golf, with Tiger seemingly on the way out and Spieth and McIlory taking over.

Chambers Bay

Chambers Bay quickly became a very polarizing topic of discussion on golf TV, interwebs, and socials.  Having been to Chambers Bay myself, and playing dozens of rounds of golf in Scotland, I’m a fan of hard, fast, brown golf.  So I get what course architect Robert Trent Jones II was going after.  The course’s location though, meant not just hard conditions, but Poa annua grass on the greens.  We deal with Poa here in Salt Lake too.  It grows faster than other grasses and has tougher leaves.  So when a green isn’t 100% Poa (like Pebble Beach), it gets bumpy.  It can be very frustrating to putt on greens like that and many pros voiced their displeasure with the bumps, along with their displeasure of the USGA setup. Fans see a brown course and think it is dead. They expect golf to be like Augusta National and the Masters Tournament. In reality, almost no courses have that kind of budget and with water as short as it is becoming, minimalist brown golf is the future. Plus, it is more fun in my opinion.

Chambers Bay Golf Course

Chambers Bay – Click for more…

I engaged (perhaps still) in some great debates on my Twitter and Facebook pages with friends about the setup and conditions.  It seems, almost like the fans or haters of Tiger Woods, that people either loved the course or hated it.

Gary Player had some pretty harsh commentary about Chambers Bay.  I was quite surprised he called out RTJ like he did. Then again, he’s a golf course architect and RTJ is a competitor who just had his course featured in the U.S. Open.  So I take his commentary in that context a bit:

On Sunday the greens looked to be rolling quite well.  Spieth made an incredible long-range putt for birdie on the 16th which had perfect speed and dropped in on the side of the hole.  No bumps there. DJ’s 3-putts all rolled nicely, unfortunately for him the first two didn’t roll nicely into the hole.

Jordan Spieth

Well if the golf media wasn’t already in a Spiethgasm, they will be now. Be ready for the Spieth-slam talk, and for the ever popular “will Spieth break Jack’s major championship record?” drivel. That of course between the “hottest women in golf” and “hot wives and girlfriends” photo gallery garbage.

How can you not have a Spiethgasm though? This 21 year old kid is doing something special, and I’m glad I’m here to witness it. What’s more is he’s not an overpowering player like Tiger Woods was (yeah I said was). He’s not long, but he’s long enough. There are really no holes in his game. No weaknesses I can see. The next few years are going to be a joy to watch.

Dustin Johnson

I felt really bad for DJ after the 3-putt. The look on his face was unreal. He was melting. I melted too. He’s had many chances to close out majors. Undoubtedly he has the game. He needs to overcome the pressure and mental aspects of winning the big ones and he’ll get it done.

Tiger Woods

What’s wrong with Tiger Woods? A lot apparently. After rounds of 80 (+10) and 76 (+6) he went home early. I tuned in just in time Friday to watch him DUFF a 3-wood. It was a horrid shot, so bad that I recorded it and watched it several times in disbelief. There were so many things wrong with that particular swing that it looked like a 15 handicapper.

There are many theories as to what Tiger’s problem is. A new one discussed in my golf group is his possible fear that his will be the biggest fall from the top in sports history. I don’t know what the problem is, and it is likely a combination of many many things. Physically he looks fine, which leaves the only possible solutions within the 5-inch course between his ears.

Jason Day

I watched Jason Day collapse on the 18th hole Saturday, a result of vertigo. Man that’s terrible and I felt for the guy. He did manage to finish the tournament but what a story it would have been had he won the tournament. A valiant effort by Day.

Rory McIlory

Rory McIlory is no Tiger Woods. Tiger was much more consistent when in his best years. Rory is super-streaky. When he’s hot, nobody can beat him. When not, he can miss cuts. McIlory showed some life in the tournament, but in the end was not a factor. No worries about his game. That’s the way he rolls.

Branden Grace

Wow tough deal for Branden Grace (also known as “Branden Gracen” on the Fox broadcast).  Standing on the 16th tee he was at -5, tied with Spieth, two shots ahead of the nearest competitors.  One swing later his 3-wood goes out of bounds and kills his chances of winning.  Brutal.

Fox Sports Coverage

Funny how so many people hated the Fox Sports coverage of the Open, even before they saw it. It seems those same people hated the course before they saw it in action as well. I didn’t expect the Fox broadcast to be perfect and it certainly was not. There were dozens of instances of bad camera work, shaky commentary, and technical issues.

There was a little too much talking, almost like baseball announcers who think they have to fill up all the dead space with sound.  Many complain(ed) that all Greg Norman does is talk about himself.  Seemed like Greg was fine to me and not this self centered personality they made him out to be.

What I did like was the drone coverage, since I too build and fly drones, mostly for flying over golf courses and shooting video and photos.

foxdrone1

Many complained about not seeing the shots, and I agree. Fox had it tough though, having to break themselves in at such a difficult venue.

Overall I’d give Fox a C grade and I do expect they’ll analyze what they did, listen to the critics, and try to improve their product.

Conclusion

In the end the 2015 U.S. Open was exciting, controversial with regards to course setup like EVERY U.S. Open is, and produced a stellar leader board of the world’s best golfers. The USGA got what they wanted, a handful of players under par and a test that filtered out all but one of the top two players in the world as its champion.


Chambers Bay Scorecard

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Categories: Golf CoursesPro GolfU.S. OPENUSGA
Tags:

While enjoying the U.S. Open this week, here’s a Chambers Bay scorecard you can use to follow along and get to know the flow of the course.

Chambers Bay Scorecard

Chambers Bay Scorecard

And check the following link if you’d like to see a few Chambers Bay photos.

Chambers Bay Golf Course

Chambers Bay – Click for more…


U.S. Open Commentary

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, June 16th, 2014
Categories: PGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryU.S. OPENUSGA

Greetings from 33,000 feet, the day after the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst’s #2 course came to a conclusion. While flying to the next Hooked on Golf Blog World Tour stop I’m attempting to write on my Google Nexus 7 tablet, which is working okay, albeit a bit slow and clunky on the typing end.  Can’t use my laptop.  Not enough room as Delta has cut down on space.  No I’m not  in first class.  I’m on a golf blogger budget.  I apologize in advance for typos and autocorrect errors.

Below are a few comments on this year’s U.S. Open, the players and the venue.

Pinehurst #2

This is the first major championship other than the Masters where the golf course may have been the biggest star.  This Donald Ross design had recently been restored by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.  Gone was the rough and in its place was native sand with small grass clumps and bushes.  The edges were much more rugged and purposefully unkept.  The ground was hard and brown, like Scottish links courses.

In short it was a beautiful example of modern minimalist golf design.  I especially liked seeing puffs of dust when players would hit from the fairway.  That is real golf folks.  Not the over-watered, overly-green salad bars most of american golf courses have become.  Easy on the ranch dressing please.

Barring the scoring of the winner, German golfer Martin Kaymer, I think the United States Golf Association’s setup produced what they wanted, a couple of players at or just below par.

Martin Kaymer

Raise your hand if you thought Martin Kaymer would win. If you thought he would lap the field, quit your day job and go into sports betting or perhaps fortune telling.

After starting the tournament with two five-under 65’s, Kaymer was untouchable.  He would have had to melt down in Normanesque fashion for anyone else to have a chance.  That didn’t happen.

Kaymer looked to be playing a different course than the rest of the field.  The German golfer was flying down the autobahn in a Porsche 911 while the rest of the field was driving a 1993 Buick on Louisiana State Road 85.

Final winning margin: seven strokes.

Kaymer now has two majors (2011 PGA Championship) and THE PLAYERS (always write that in ALL CAPS, that’s what they do) Championship win earlier this year.

Phil Mickelson

With Tiger Woods out of the tournament while still recovering from back surgery, Phil Mickelson was star the ever-predictable golf media glommed onto.  I think many golf scribes already had their stories written for when Phil won the U.S. Open and completed the career grand slam.  That didn’t happen.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy was the Las Vegas odds favorite to win.  He did play some solid Open golf, but like most of the field could not get close enough to threaten.  He was on the dance floor but could not hear the band.

Rickie Fowler

Better known for his apparel than his golf game, Rickie Fowler might have claimed a major championship if Kaymer was not in the field.  The golfer/traffic cone gained respectability tying for 2nd place.  His Sunday orange outfit was subdued compared to the usual “traffic cone” look. This orange and white combo had more of a cream sickle look.  Fortunately the cream sickle didn’t melt. That could have been messy.

Eric Compton

Mentioned about 45.2 billion times in the broadcast was the story of Eric Compton.  What a story, having reached a tie for 2nd place having undergone TWO heart transplants.

The guy has a lot of heart.  I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

Cut

Interesting to note who missed the cut.  Some very big names failed to make the weekend including Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, and El Gato (Angel Cabrera).  Luke Donald can only be described as a major disappointment.


2014 U.S. Open Final Leader Board

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Categories: PGA TourPro GolfRory McIloryU.S. OPENUSGA
Tags:
POS PLAYER TO PAR R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL
1  KAYMER, Martin -9 65 65 72 69 271
T2  COMPTON, Erik -1 72 68 67 72 279
T2  FOWLER, Rickie -1 70 70 67 72 279
T4  BRADLEY, Keegan +1 69 69 76 67 281
T4  DAY, Jason +1 73 68 72 68 281
T4  KOEPKA, Brooks +1 70 68 72 71 281
T4  JOHNSON, Dustin +1 69 69 70 73 281
T4  STENSON, Henrik +1 69 69 70 73 281
T9  SCOTT, Adam +2 73 67 73 69 282
T9  WALKER, Jimmy +2 70 72 71 69 282
T9  SNEDEKER, Brandt +2 69 68 72 73 282
T12  FURYK, Jim +3 73 70 73 67 283
T12  SIEM, Marcel +3 70 71 72 70 283
T12  ROSE, Justin +3 72 69 70 72 283
T12  NA, Kevin +3 68 69 73 73 283
T12  KUCHAR, Matt +3 69 70 71 73 283
T17  TODD, Brendon +4 69 67 79 69 284
T17  POULTER, Ian +4 70 70 74 70 284
T17  HOLMES, J.B. +4 70 71 72 71 284
T17  SPIETH, Jordan +4 69 70 72 73 284
T21  GRIBBLE, Cody +5 72 72 72 69 285
T21  STRICKER, Steve +5 70 71 73 71 285
T23  HORSCHEL, Billy +6 75 68 73 70 286
T23  BADDELEY, Aaron +6 70 71 73 72 286
T23  KAPUR, Shiv +6 73 70 71 72 286
T23  MCILROY, Rory +6 71 68 74 73 286
T23  MOLINARI, Francesco +6 69 71 72 74 286
T28  BERGER, Daniel +7 72 71 78 66 287
T28  MCDOWELL, Graeme +7 68 74 75 70 287
T28  PERRY, Kenny +7 74 69 74 70 287
T28  MICKELSON, Phil +7 70 73 72 72 287
T28  DUBUISSON, Victor +7 70 72 70 75 287
T28  DE JONGE, Brendon +7 68 70 73 76 287
T28  KIRK, Chris +7 71 68 72 76 287
T35  REED, Patrick +8 71 72 73 72 288
T35  ELS, Ernie +8 74 70 72 72 288
T35  GARCIA, Sergio +8 73 71 72 72 288
T35  HAAS, Bill +8 72 72 71 73 288
T35  MATSUYAMA, Hideki +8 69 71 74 74 288
T40  OOSTHUIZEN, Louis +9 71 73 78 67 289
T40  BLAIR, Zac +9 71 74 73 71 289
T40  JOHNSON, Zach +9 71 74 72 72 289
T40  BJERREGAARD, Lucas +9 70 72 72 75 289
T40  MULROY, Garth +9 71 72 70 76 289
T45  WILLETT, Danny +10 70 71 78 71 290
T45  SIMPSON, Webb +10 71 72 73 74 290
T45  GOOSEN, Retief +10 73 71 71 75 290
T48  FITZPATRICK, Matthew (a) +11 71 73 78 69 291
T48  HURLEY III, Billy +11 71 74 75 71 291
T48  ENGLISH, Harris +11 69 75 75 72 291
T48  MOORE, Ryan +11 76 68 71 76 291
T52  NOH, Seung-Yul +12 70 72 76 74 292
T52  WOODLAND, Gary +12 72 71 75 74 292
T54  LANGLEY, Scott +13 72 71 75 75 293
T54  CINK, Stewart +13 72 72 74 75 293
T56  QUINN, Fran +14 68 74 79 73 294
T56  CASEY, Paul +14 70 75 74 75 294
T56  LINDHEIM, Nicholas +14 72 73 72 77 294
59  LEONARD, Justin +15 75 70 75 75 295
T60  HENLEY, Russell +17 70 74 82 71 297
T60  TWAY, Kevin +17 72 72 81 72 297
T60  CEJKA, Alex +17 73 71 77 76 297
T63  STADLER, Kevin +18 77 68 78 75 298
T63  RASK, Clayton +18 73 71 77 77 298
T63  VAN PELT, Bo +18 72 72 75 79 298
66  WEEKLEY, Boo +19 71 73 80 75 299
67  TANIGUCHI, Toru +29 72 73 88 76 309

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