Golf’s governing bodies will now assign one or more officials to monitor video broadcasts of competitions to help identify possible rules issues. The additional two-stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on a scorecard when a player was unaware of the infraction will also be eliminated.
Golf fans will no longer be able to call in or e-mail possible rules violations they witness while watching broadcasts of tournaments on television, ESPN.com reported.
The sport’s governing bodies, led by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A, which governs the rest of the world, made a joint announcement on the morning of December 11th that beginning January 1st, 2018, such information will not be considered in administering the rules of golf, ESPN.com reported.
The PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, European PGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America are on board with the decision, ESPN.com reported. As part of the new rule, all of the organizations have agreed to assign one or more officials to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify rules issues.
In addition, the USGA and R&A have approved the adoption of a local rule, also starting January 1st, that eliminates the additional two-stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on the scorecard when the player was unaware of the infraction, ESPN.com reported. That penalty will permanently be removed when a modernization of the Rules of Golf takes place on Jan. 1, 2019.
The viewer call-in issue has been a hot topic in the game for years, ESPN.com reported. The governing bodies have always maintained that information gathered from anywhere to properly administer the rules—there are not typically rules officials with every group—was fair game.
There have been numerous examples of how viewer call-ins have altered tournament outcomes, with the most prominent recent one involving Lexi Thompson at the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration tournament that past April, when it was discovered she had failed to properly mark her ball on a green.
A viewer e-mailed rules officials about the possible infraction, which occurred during the third round but was not verified until the final round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for the infraction and two more for signing an incorrect scorecard. She went on to lose the tournament in a playoff.
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