Monday, August 23, 2010

Golf's Stupid Rules

     Golf is always referred to as the gentleman's game.  That same holier than thou attitude was definitely prevalent during the Tiger Wood's scandal.  Although Tiger allegedly had more extramarital affairs than the average guy; you can't tell me that he is the first golfer to cheat on his wife.  How can so many "gentleman" screw up the game with stupid rules?  It has even bled over to the women's game as well.  A lot of these PGA and LPGA rules are really petty.  I don't understand the mentality on a few of them.  And if it was just because the founders of the game made these rules, then why don't they change them today?  The rules stand out because they have caused a lot of would be champions to be disqualified.  Many sports have had rule changes and rule additions to help try to make things better.  Here are a few examples of some of the more silly rules in professional golf.
     In 1987, at the Andy Williams Open, Craig Stadler's ball landed in the mud, under a pine tree, on the 14th hole during the last round.  Due to the positioning of the ball, he had to kneel down to play it.  He put a towel down so he wouldn't destroy his light-colored pants.  He went ahead and finished the round and he placed second at the end of tournament. So the trophy was handed out and everybody went home.  The very next day, someone saw the error on the highlights and notified PGA officials.  Stadler was disqualified for illegally building a stance by kneeling on the towel.  Again I say he had finished in second place.
     In 2008, at the State Farm Tournament, Michelle Wie had turned in her second place scorecard and forgot to sign it.  She had only walked out of the room and someone called her back so she could sign it.  She came right back in the room, in a matter of minutes, to find out that she was disqualified.  She didn't leave the course, or the grounds, or even the clubhouse.  Just because she left a roped off scoring area, that disqualified her.  Just like Stadler, she had a second place finish.
     The most recent case involves Hall of Fame golfer Julie Inkster.  In 2010, Julie Inkster was disqualified from the Safeway Classic Tournament.  During the tournament, there was a 30 minute delay at the 10th hole.  She put a weight on her club and took some practice swings to loosen up.  She later comes to find out that's not legal during tournament play.  A television viewer saw her breaking this rule and informed tournament officials by email.  Inkster finished the round and on her way to the clubhouse, she was informed that she was disqualified.  She was only three shots off of the lead at the time.
     These petty rules have got to go.  If I go out and play the best golf in my life and win a tournament, it could be taken away just because I forgot to sign my scorecard before I leave the room.  That's crazy to me.  I think the PGA officials should look into changing some of these rules.  Imagine if all sports had this kind of officiating.  Someone watching the superbowl could call the NFL and say that they saw a player on the offensive line commit a holding penalty.  Then what would they do; take the trophy away from the New Orleans Saints? 

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