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Saturday, April 15, 2017

To Call or Not to Call (Video)

Today I'd just like to make sure you all know both sides of the continuing argument about the Lexi Thompson ruling at the ANA a couple weeks back. I've got an article and a video for you.

The article is from Golf Digest and is called Viewer Discretion Advised. In it Jaime Diaz covers the discussions between the USGA, R&A, PGA Tour, LPGA and European Tour since the whole thing took place. It also discusses the rule that might change it -- the proposed Rule 1.3a(2).

The video is from Morning Drive's interview with Michael Bamberger about why viewer phone-ins should be allowed. Needless to say, his is going to be a controversial opinion!

The one thing I gathered from these two pieces is that a rule change may be a much bigger issue than many people expect. To me, this is an issue grounded in the history of the rules -- namely, that video was never considered when the rules were made because video wasn't even a possibility at the time. For that reason, I don't think "video police" who aren't on the premises of the event should be allowed to act as referees. Having tournament officials use video to confirm infractions -- including questionable behavior witnessed by fans attending the event -- would be allowed.

To me, that seems to fit the spirit of the rules.

But it's becoming more and more clear that this will be an issue about the "squeaky clean" image that the major golf organizations wish to maintain. Whether it's intended or not, that image is being called into question more and more as the debate goes on, especially with Jack Nicklaus having used the term cheating during a TV interview to describe a situation at the 2015 Presidents Cup. (That incident is mentioned in the article as well.)

As a result, I'm afraid this might get ugly before it's over. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

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