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Parents in Montana can’t watch their children golf, and nobody is happy about it

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In Montana, as you may have heard from an irritated friend at some point during the past month, spectators cannot watch high school golf.

Nick Petraccione of KBZK originally did a deep dive into the following passage from the Montana State High School Association Rulebook in November.

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Petraccione found the “designated” areas are generally the first tee box and the 18th green, but at some courses, there are no such area. Needless to say, as the KBZK report has been disseminated through the golf mediasphere over the past month, most are not in favor of the MSHA’s position.

Before drilling down into some of the dissent, it’s worth considering the logic of spectator restrictions. Per Petraccione:

“It comes down to a few factors: mainly that golf courses and tournament managers are involved in opening those spaces, not the MSHA. Other factors include parents being unruly, disrupting play, spectator safety, and illegally coaching players on the course.”

Fair enough. But the other side of the coin, beyond parents merely wanting to watch their kids play, is that the MSHA could be “trampling on civil rights,” per James Greenbaum, an attorney KBZK spoke with.

“The highest court has stated many times that difficulty of enforcement is no excuse for trampling on civil rights. They are discriminating against children and parents in an outrageous manner in violation of the federal and state constitution. That is a fundamental right, for their parent to bond with their child and encourage them in something as innocent as a sporting event. … How could you deny a parent that right?”

The outrage, as mentioned, is abundant. Major-winner Shaun Micheel tweeted his disbelief. Micheel also suggested the policy handicaps potential college recruits.

“Scores are only part of the bigger picture…That being the intangibles like attitude, etiquette and temperament. How does the player handle adversity? All of the extra things that are part of competing. Coaches aren’t able to evaluate those things by looking at just the final score.”

Chris Kelley, a parent of a high school golfer in Montana, created a Change.org petition aimed at bringing awareness and ultimately changing the rule. Dylan Dethier at Golf.com filed a look at some of the petition’s signees, which include Xander Schauffele’s father and a handful of coaches. You can view the petition here.

The MSHA has declined to comment.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Stephen Finley

    Jan 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    If you’ve ever been to a few high-school tournaments, you’ll know why a lot of people think this is a good rule.

    And no, it has not a damn thing to do with “civil rights.”

    And double no, it’s not that “parents in Montana can’t watch their children golf” (we’ll ignore the amateurish use of “golf” as a verb — “did you golf today?”…”yup, I golfed a 74,” etc.), now is it? They can watch their children play on the weekends. On an evening when there’s no tournament. All summer. Any non-school-sponsored events. And so forth. This tabloid-headline thing is just dumb.

  2. David

    Jan 18, 2018 at 6:51 am

    This has nothing to do with civil rights. Not everything you want is a civil right. It’s about prevention of cheating and disruption of play. Some parents are too controlling and want to interfere in whatever their child does. I’m not saying I agree with it, but some adults are too childish to just watch.

  3. Ronald Montesano

    Jan 15, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Amen. As a high school golf coach and teacher, I support this distancing. If parents wish to follow their progeny, their are plenty of junior tour events that accommodate them. Ground the helicopters for a while.

    • Stephen Finley

      Jan 18, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Just came here to make the same glaringly obvious point.

  4. Lee

    Jan 14, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    I can only imagine every high schooler in Montana wishing they had voting rights to keep the status quo. What high schooler wants their parents following them around?

  5. Howard

    Jan 14, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    We can’t have spectators in San Diego either.

  6. Dad & Mom

    Jan 13, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I disagree. Just look at what Tiger’s dad did for him. Parents are an integral part of helping their kids on the golf course and perhaps should be allowed to caddie for the kids.
    Good parents make good golfers of their children and that’s undeniable.

  7. Crazy About Golf

    Jan 13, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Kind of a dumb policy. But, geez, let’s not pretend (Mr. Greenbaum) that this is some egregious violation of civil rights.

  8. Bert

    Jan 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

    During a junior tournament last year I watched a young girl continually demeaned by her dad every time she hit an errant shot. It was sad to watch a really good player cry as she completed her round. I believe it should always be a Condition of Competition that interaction between the parent and the player would be grounds for disqualification. But why would you disqualify a player for being continuous ridiculed. Parents should stay far away from the player, keep their expressions under control and never interact with the player.

    Just let them play!

  9. astout59

    Jan 13, 2018 at 10:21 am

    I played 4 years of high school class B golf in Montana and I had no issue with my mom and dad not being able to see me play other than coming up the last hole to the clubhouse or teeing off 1. I didn’t need a cheering section outside of my coaches and teammates and I doubt you’ll find many teenagers that disagree with me.

  10. Doobie

    Jan 13, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Yeah we can’t have outsiders come in and take over things and ruin it for the locals, can we, eh Yanks?

  11. Mat

    Jan 13, 2018 at 2:45 am

    I’m happy for the kids.

  12. Mj

    Jan 12, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Good ideaThere are manyWell meaning parents out thereWho knows zero about golf. I’m in assistant high school coat and I see it all the time. Are you staying in areas where no doubt the balls going to go. Many high school kids don’t know where the balls going. The parents don’t know the rules either.
    I think it’s a baseball game at one accuse other team of cheating etc. It’s just a major hassle for everyone involved including the kids

  13. Andrew

    Jan 12, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    There is nothing wrong with the existing rule. Unless you live in Montana, mind your own business. What is wrong is the herd of naive drones from California infesting Montana for 20 years and forgetting to leave their ignorant ideologies back in their dying land. These idiots tend to sue in lieu of taking responsibility for their ignorance. Imagine a lawsuit each tourney from some texting/tweeting drone walking wherever they feel like and getting hit by an errant shot.

    • Andrew

      Jan 12, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      PS. I’m sure the mentioned Scribe Greenbaum loves the possibility of suing others!

  14. Hawkeye77

    Jan 12, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Attorney is wrong, state high school authority can set the rules, just spouting off for media attention.

    It’s their issue, they know the facts and history that led up to the restrictions.

    Silly effort on another site to sign some petition as if “golf” in general should be pressuring a situation for which little real information is out there and is irrational overreaction.

    Social media society we live in and anyone can exploit it,

  15. HeineyLite

    Jan 12, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Great idea, there are some crazy over board golf parents!!! Me included…

    • 4right

      Jan 12, 2018 at 6:28 pm

      Agreed, I volunteer at junior events and wow, parents should stay away…

      • JR

        Jan 13, 2018 at 4:04 am

        I posted the same thing and my comment was deleted.

  16. Golfer123

    Jan 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    A lot of European junior tournaments have a policy where parents and spectators can only watch the golf on like the first tee, 18th green and every other hole which can be viewed from the clubhouse. This rule came about when parents were getting a little too ‘involved’ with their child’s play. I myself think thiat not being allowed on the course as a spectator/ parent is a good thing because it gives the players a chance to be more independent and make choices themselves on the course.

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19th Hole

SPOTTED: Anthony Kim “recent” swing sighting?

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Anthony Kim, once one of the best golfers in the world, hasn’t played in a PGA Tour event since 2012. Today, he’s only 33 years old, but he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place with an apparent insurance situation. Essentially, if he plays, he allegedly loses a bunch of money. Here’s more on those details.

On the Tuesday of 2018 Ryder Cup week, Instagram user and golf teacher @jamesridyard posted a video of Anthony Kim. The original video description said it was a recent video, but the description has since been updated saying “not my video.” Geez, even the Instagram descriptions about Anthony Kim are mysterious.

When is this video from exactly? We’re working on figuring that out right now. We’ve even tried identifying the model of his shoes to see when they released, but no luck yet. They look like Nike Roshe’s but with Air Force soles? Either way, the video is certainly from post-2012, that we know for sure.

Update: @jamesridyard says the video is “at least two years old” in a recent update of his video description.

Check out the post below for yourself…

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#AK ???? (pt 2) #soundup . . . Not my ????

A post shared by James Ridyard (@jamesridyard) on

In case that video doesn’t work, here’s another…

What do you think of Anthony Kim’s “recent” move?

Note: We will update this story when we confirm exactly when this video is from.

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What’s changed? Brandel Chamblee explains why he now thinks Tiger Woods can win another major

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Often regarded as a “Tiger hater,” Brandel Chamblee told our Johnny Wunder on the Gear Dive podcast that his is, in fact, a huge Tiger Woods fan and always has been.

If you caught any of Chamblee’s remarks on the Golf Channel after Woods’ win at the Tour Championship, you know the analyst was plenty eloquent and complementary of the 80-time PGA Tour winner and what he achieved.

“Dan [Hicks, on NBC] was just alluding to this was the most improbable comeback in the history of sports, for a lot of different reasons. We know his injuries. He came back from emotional and psychological toil the likes of which nobody has ever been hit with in the game of golf.

“He gives the impression of somebody who’s purified by golf, that he’s gone through these sad realities of life. He’s gone through the surgeries and the scrutiny. And he’s come out the other end and he just wants to play the game right.”

Chamblee spoke further about Woods and the 14-time major champion’s latest victory on the Gear Dive. The full 50-minute interview is well worth a listen, as Chamblee discusses modern instruction, the most important recent invention in golf teaching technology, what’s in his bag, and much more–but here are a few of his best Tiger Woods takes.

Commenting on the magnitude of Woods win for the golfer’s career, Chamblee said, “It sort of got this historical freight train back on the tracks. Everything is on the table. It’s possible he could win more majors. It’s possible he could get to 90 wins…he looks healthy. He’s pain free.”

“I’m far more convinced with what he did this week than what he did at the PGA Championship. At the PGA, the golf course was really soft and that allowed him to miss fairways…but ever since the PGA…he’s been a much, much better driver of the golf ball. All of a sudden, that makes major championships a possibility for him.”

“In my opinion, he’s the greatest player who’s ever played. Nobody has ever played golf like him. But he didn’t just beat his competitors…he defeated his demons. That’s what made it so compelling. We’re all familiar with his issues. Most of relate to most of them…we’re all fixated on them..We know it slowed his career down…he was knocked off the highest pedestal. To re-establish his reputation as a leader in the game…as a an intimidating player…it went a long way toward becoming the alpha male again in the game of golf.”

Chamblee had this to say about his reputation as a critic of Tiger Woods.

“I’m a huge Tiger fan. Always have been. I love watching the game played at the level he’s played it. He’s the best who’s ever played it.”

And he said this about Woods process of tearing down and rebuilding his golf swing multiple times.

“To me, that’s the craziest thing in the history of sports. No athlete gets to a position where they dominate, they absolutely emasculate their competition, and they’re consistent as well…nobody gets there and then abandons the technique that they used to get there. Nobody.”

“I started working at the Golf Channel in 2004. He was in the middle of a swing change. He was changing the golf swing that he used to win four majors in a row…Imagine you’re me. You’re sitting in that chair. He’s in a down year in 2004. He’s changing his golf swing. What are you going to say? This is a good idea? I like the changes he’s working on? He’s trying to get better? It makes sense to me? Hell no, you’re not going to say any of that! That’s ridiculous…the craziest thing in the history of sports.”

Great stuff. Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods says he would put himself on the all-time Mount Rushmore of Golf

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Who’s on your “Mount Rushmore” of golf?

For Tiger, apparently, it’s Snead (Sam), Jones (Bobby), Nicklaus (Jack), and “me” (Tiger Woods). He put himself on the Mount Rushmore of golf! Watch the video below…

It’s basically impossible to argue with him here; 14 majors and now 80 wins. Who could you even replace Woods with… Arnie? Ben Hogan? Both possibilities. But certainly Tiger has the better resume when it comes to victories.

What makes this video so great though is that there are so few athletes in all of sports who have the confidence (arrogance?) to put themselves on a list like this. Michael Jordan would definitely put himself on the Mount Rushmore of basketball, and surely Joe Namath would put himself on the Mount Rushmore of football. But in golf where respecting tradition is so important, it’s shocking to hear a statement like this… in the absolute best way possible for Team USA ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Never have the words “me” been so intimidating. Good luck, Europe, you’re gonna need it.

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