USGA Delights Pros with Elimination of Viewer Call-Ins re Rules

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The armchair officials will have to find something else to do with their time in 2018, as the USGA has proclaimed that it will no longer take the calls of home viewers who ring in to report rules infractions on the players.

The ban goes into effect on January 1 of 2018.

Professional golfers are some of the most law-abiding athletes in the world of sports, but the rules of golf are so complicated that they truly defy interpretation.

The USGA will insert the following procedure into the game. One or more officials will be assigned to monitor the broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve rules issues as they arise.

We have our hands up for that job, although our scant knowledge of the Rules of Golf would mean that everyone would get away with anything, much as when we won a hole in match play with a par, we would offer our opponent a bogey, rather than a double, triple, or worse.

The USGA will eliminate viewer call-ins from the decision process.

For grounding the club in a hazard: Press 1. For failing to replace a mark on the green when it was previously moved to clear another player’s putting line: Press 2. For all other issues: Press 3, or stay on a line and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.

Some big name golfers who have in the past gotten nabbed by TV viewers aided by incessant, slow-motion, high-definition replays in the past include Tiger Woods at the 2013 Masters, Dustin Johnson at the 2016 U.S. Open and Lexi Thompson at the 2017 ANA Inspiration.

We ourselves called in one time when Greg Norman was hit by his own shot and failed to assess himself the correct two-shot penalty in a tournament in the mid-1980s.

We are still on hold for that one, but there is some great hold music on the line.

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