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19th Hole

POLL: High school golfer called penalty on self, lost tournament. Would you do the same?



Bobby Jones once said that being commended for calling a penalty on yourself in golf is like being congratulated for not robbing a bank.

We’d all like to think we have the moral fiber to penalize ourselves, should we commit an infraction. But what if it costs you a tournament? Or worse, what if you’re a high school golfer and it costs your team a victory?

Such was the situation for Kate Wynja, a senior at Sioux Falls Christian in South Dakota. She won the Class A state golf meet on Tuesday. However, as the scores were being added, Wynja realized she signed for a “4” on the final hole, rather than the 5 that she made.

“I knew I needed to tell them,” Wynja told “It was really sad, mostly because I knew what the result would be. I knew that I would be disqualified and it broke my heart for the team. But I knew I couldn’t leave without saying something.”

In revealing she signed an incorrect scorecard, Wynja was disqualified and her team lost.

Wynja tweeted the following after the incident.

So, here’s the question: through the magic of anonymous polling, you can tell us, honestly, what you would have done in Wynja’s situation. While it’s possible others knew/could have known she made five on the hole, we’ll assume for this thought experiment that only she knew and the weight of calling the penalty was only upon her conscience.

Would you have penalized yourself for an incorrect scorecard?

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  1. Geoffrey Holland

    Jun 11, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Dawie Van Der Walt voted no.

  2. Richard

    Jun 11, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    The no voters should be ashamed of themselves. No integrity.

  3. JThunder

    Jun 9, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    She should be applauded for her integrity. But moreover, anyone who voted “No” or wouldn’t do the same should be ostracized. It would have been nice had she mentioned the impact of cheating and lying on other people, instead of just mentioning God. It’s great to have faith, but the problem in the world now is that even most people who claim to have faith lack empathy – and so continue to treat others poorly until their weekly “cleansing”.

    It does say a lot about the world that an act of integrity is front page news. What might it be like if her “superiors” used Twitter for positive messages instead of negative ones?

    • Boyo

      Jun 11, 2018 at 5:54 am

      I voted no because I never had an incorrect score card.

    • Thomas A

      Jun 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

      I agree. She seems to be giving a shout out to herself for being such a good Christian.

  4. Terry

    Jun 9, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Good on her. Could you imagine how much the world would be a better place if everyone held themselves to this level of integrity?

  5. CDub

    Jun 8, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    This is a terrible rule and should be eliminated. The punishment does not fit the crime and it also doesn’t make the game more fair. Penalties should be used to equal the playing field if a player is trying to gain an unfair advantage. This “integrity” rule deters players from correcting an inadvertent mistake.

    • Ron

      Jun 8, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Agree, this is by far the dumbest rule in all of sports, and it should be changed in the modernization of the rules next year. But won’t be.

  6. DS

    Jun 8, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    If it was the difference between winning, and losing, or tying (ie, the 1 stroke actually meant something), AND my scorecard showed a LOWER score than I actually made, I’d call it on myself in 2 seconds. If I wrote a higher score than I made, or if I had won or lost by enough that it didn’t matter, then my lips are sealed. Another dumb golf rule that will be in the hopper during one of the next rules reviews by the governing bodies.

    • Mark

      Jun 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      If you sign for a higher score then that is your final score – no additional penalty. You are only disqualified when you sign for a lower score than what you actually shot.

  7. Mike Cleland

    Jun 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Good for you girl. You did the right thing. Everyone makes mistakes & it’s great that you have the integrity to takes responsibility for it. Too bad we don’t have more states like South Dakota.

  8. Michael Molloy

    Jun 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    God this.. God that. She is so holy, so this should really be a non event for someone this ‘good’. I wonder does she recycle. That is probably a more worthwhile pursuit for the good of mankind, than going to church.

    • Michael H

      Jun 8, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      You realize you’re bashing a 16-18 year old?

  9. NWW

    Jun 8, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Good for her. She is a real golfer and has some integrity.

    I am always appalled by some of the stupid comments people make about these kinds of stories.

  10. Todd Dugan

    Jun 8, 2018 at 10:15 am

    To do anything else would have been cheating.

  11. lke

    Jun 8, 2018 at 7:33 am

    how do you happen to sign a bogey instead of par at the last hole of the last day?

    it looks more like she tried to adjust the score and the had guilty conscience

  12. Sean Foster-Nolan

    Jun 7, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    My son called a penalty on himself during a high school tournament. He lost his match, but I was very proud of him. His coach wasn’t too happy though.

  13. Piss

    Jun 7, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    If this girl wasn’t cute this would be a non story

    • Heavvy

      Jun 8, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      This is the most accurate comment so far.

  14. hot n cold

    Jun 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Dumbest rule in golf. No other sport has this antiquated notion of how score is kept, and it doesn’t “make golf, golf”. Amend the score so it is correct, done.

  15. Pete O'Tuibe

    Jun 7, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    The people who declared they would not call the penalty are not real golfers. Golf is a game where YOU are playing for YOURSELF and if YOU need to cheat to succeed, then YOU are a miserable failure. Go away and do something else, just get off my golf course.

    • henry

      Jun 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      Haha wait. So what she did is now considered cheating?

  16. TCJ

    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    There is no God.

  17. Mark

    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I can’t figure out why people are making this out to be a big deal – integrity is the foundation of golf. There is no question as to the right thing to do in this situation during a tournament. I guess our society has gotten to a point where integrity is OK up to a point but can be negotiable if the cost is deemed too high. Yes, it sucks that her team lost as a result of the DQ, but I don’t see any other option.

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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf



We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.


But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”


We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing




Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.



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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway



In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway


Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.


Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.


Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway


There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.


Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.


As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.


If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.


But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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