Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

A guide to calling in penalties

Published

on

I have a confession to make. Well, not really a confession, that would mean I did something wrong. And how could anyone consider what I did the wrong thing?

What do you ask?

It was me. I called in the rules violation on Sun Young Yoo at the CME Group Titleholders event. For those that did not see her egregious flouting of the rules, Yoo came to the 14th hole within one stroke of the lead on Friday.  She drove her ball into the overgrowth and tried to hit out, but ended up hitting the ball deeper into the bushes. She then decided to take a one-stroke penalty for an unplayable lie and drop. So far so good. But here is where she should have pulled her rule book out.

When she set up to take a drop, she didn’t property extend her arm 90 degrees before dropping the ball! Can you believe it! I mean really. Not knowing how to drop the ball, how is she even playing on Tour? Even weekend hackers know you have to extend your arm 90 degrees. I was just sitting there in my mom’s basement where I live, eating a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos when I saw what she did. But I didn’t really know what to do? Who do I call? Is there someone I can call?

Then I remembered an incident that involved Camilo Villegas in 2011, when he moved the divot from his shot while the ball was rolling back to his feet.  How did they do it? I quickly looked up the golf course pro shop and called. A nice kid answered and I explained what I had just seen. He didn’t seem too impressed. I told him nothing less was at stake than the reputation of the tournament!

He put me on hold.

No mind, I had a cell phone too. My mom pays for it. I call the LPGA Tour offices hoping to get someone who understood what was happening. No such luck, they put me on hold too. Then I realized I had the internet! Twitter! So I tweeted the LPGA they needed to review the tape and assess another stroke penalty. After waiting by the phone, I direct messaged the LPGA my phone number in case they wanted to talk to me, I finally saw online Ms. Yoo had been assessed another stroke penalty.

Now I’m sure Ms. Yoo is a fine lady and a fine golfer. After the round she said about the incident, “My arm wasn’t high enough. All I want to say is I did not try to cheat. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just picked up my ball and dropped it instinctively.”

It must have had some affect on her, because she went from three behind after the round to shooting 74 and 75, finishing in 24th place. Well, hopefully she will learn from me calling in the rules violation. Maybe it will help her in the future. Maybe she will see a competitor violate a rule and be able to penalize her in the future.

I’ve seen and heard all the comments from players and fans saying people who call in penalties should get a life, but isn’t that what makes golf great? We can play the same courses, use the same clubs and play by the same rules. And if those rules aren’t followed, we can cost players strokes! What better way to feel part of the television coverage than to look for penalties?

Sure there are people that get paid for a living to monitor tournaments. They must not have enough, because fans calling in penalties are becoming more prevalent.

Padraig Harrington was disqualified from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the European Tour in 2011 for his ball moving after he replaced it on the green. Poor Padraig went from an opening round 65 and in contention to sitting on his couch. Now that one was tough to see. I had to watch the replay over ten times before I noticed it. The fan that called in that one is a pro, he or she should be on Tour.

Instead of stopping penalties being called in, I think more sports should allow fans to be involved in referring the games. Heck, the police should use it too. See an old lady jay walking … call it in. See a mom speeding in her car …  you got it, call it in.

Just a couple of days ago I tried calling the NFL offices after the refs blew a holding penalty in the Monday night game between the Panthers and Eagles. They didn’t even have anyone answering the phone! I tried tweeting Roger Goodell and he didn’t even respond. So thank goodness for the PGA, European and LPGA Tours. And thank you for letting fans feel a part of the game.

Sure I look like the petty loser who had my lunch money stolen as a kid, but so what. I changed the outcome of a golf tournament. How many of you can say that?

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum. 

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Seth is an avid golfer playing year round in Florida.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Rolf

    Dec 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Oh, this is good. It’s going to be like an airport here, with all the things flying over peoples’ heads.

  2. Harley

    Dec 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    No offense dude, but that is pretty terrible. I don’t mind fans calling out infractions that are blatant rules infractions but does the fact that her hand was four inches lower than it should have been have any bearing on the outcome of a golf tournament?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion & Analysis

Have you got Golfzheimers?

Published

on

While it has taken more than a quarter century of teaching golf to arrive at this point, I have come to the conclusion that there is an as-yet-unnamed epidemic condition afflicting a great majority of players. This condition is so prevalent that I think it is high time it was given a name. So let me be the first to navigate those uncharted waters and give it one in hopes that, once formally recognized, it will begin to be more seriously studied in search for a cure. I will call this condition “Golfzheimers,” as it is the complete inability most golfers have to remember the vast majority of good shots they have ever hit (even those hit only moments before), while having the uncanny ability to instantly recall every chunk, shank, skull, and chili-dip they’ve hit since sometime back around when balls were still covered with balata.

Now trust me, I’m not making light of a very troubling and serious disease. My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s, and it is a heartbreaking condition.  n truth, I could have just as easily named this “A Golfer’s Senior Moment,” since the term is ubiquitous enough, if I really believed someone would actually take offense (and I am truly sorry if you do).  I didn’t, though, because it was after a conversation with my late grandmother one day that I was suddenly struck with how oddly similar her lack of short-term memory, combined with her ability to vividly remember things that happened 40 or 50 years ago, was in some ways to how most golfers tend to think.

As long as I have been playing and teaching, I’ve been searching for different ways to learn to accept bad shots, keep them in perspective, and move on without letting them affect the next shot, hole, or round. When it comes to swinging the golf club, I can generally teach someone how to hit pretty good shots in a fairly short period of time, but teaching them to remember them with the same level of clarity as those of the more wayward variety often seems like trying to teach a blind man to see. Despite a general awareness of this phenomenon by most players and its detrimental effect upon their golf game, little has been suggested until now as to why it exists and what if anything golfers can do about it. And while research in the field of neuroscience suggests that our brains are hard-wired from the caveman days to catalogue and assign more importance to events that are considered dangerous or threatening, what about the game can have become so dangerous (other than to our egos) that we all seem to be fighting such an uphill battle?

Numerous psychological studies have found that the majority of people can remember five bad experiences more readily than five good ones, and assuming this is true, it speaks a great deal about how we have been conditioned to think since an early age.  The concept of scarcity, a term popularized in the self-help world, essentially describes a lens through which many of us have been conditioned to look upon our world, our lives, and apparently our games, with far too much regularity. It is through the use of this concept that many of our parents kept us at the dinner table as children, far beyond our wishes and long after our dinners were cold. We were guilt-ridden, not because we might be unappreciative of the time and money that went into providing us with that dinner, but because there were millions of starving children in China or some other far-off country that would have been tripping over themselves for even the remnants of that liver and onions our mothers had beset upon us.

As a proud parent, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve used the scarcity tactic a time or two myself during moments of desperation. Being naturally an optimist, though, I try to avoid succumbing to its siren song because I prefer to teach my daughters a far better lesson. At the same time, my girls are proof positive of these same studies and our ability to recall, as evidenced by another thing we do at that very same dinner table — we play a game called high and low. I’m sure you’ve heard of it; it’s where you ask your kids what their high and low moments were during the day. With my kids, I ask them to tell me the low first, preferring to close their day’s reflection with something positive, but it’s uncanny how often recalling something positive makes them really pause and reflect, while if something negative occurred, their recall of it is nearly instant and typically very descriptive.

The good news for both my daughters and the general golfing public, however, is there is a very effective way to short-circuit this type of thinking, and it comes from the field of hypnosis. From this moment forward, make a point not only to remember every good thing that happens to you, but to stop and savor it. If you are paid a compliment, don’t just brush it off. Stop to relish it for a moment and recognize the responsible person with more than just the perfunctory, “Thanks.” If you accomplish a goal, regardless of how small, reward yourself in at least some small way, all the while reminding yourself how good it feels to follow through on your intentions. And if you actually hit a golf shot well, reflect a moment, make a point to enjoy it and remember the moment vividly, and actually thank your partners when they say, “Nice shot” rather than blowing it off with some sort of, “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while” type of comment.

Hitting the golf ball well is actually a near miraculous achievement when you consider the complexity of the swing and the incredible timing and hand-eye coordination it requires. Enjoy it (or anything else for that matter) when it actually comes off right. Do it several times a day for a month or more and there will be subtle changes in your brain chemistry, how you feel, and your outlook on life. You will notice, and so will those closest to you.  Make it a long-term habit and you might even be able to avoid ever having your playing partners ask this unfortunate question: “Have you got Golfzheimers?”

Your Reaction?
  • 6
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

The History of Course Design is Yours to Play at Oglebay

Published

on

There is a much-talked about “New Golden Age” of golf course design underway that is driven by demand for ever-more spectacular courses at the top end of the resort golf market. Destinations such as Streamsong, Bandon Dunes, Cabot Links, Sand Valley and others provide the traveling golfer a spectacular golf experience; unfortunately, it comes at a price tag that is equally spectacular. When a week playing golf in Florida can cost as much as a week in Scotland, where do you go for a golf getaway that doesn’t require a second mortgage?

Oglebay Golf Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia, doesn’t just provide an affordable golf vacation option; with its three golf courses, it provides players the chance to experience a condensed history of American golf course design through its three courses. The resort sits on land that was once owned by a wealthy industrialist and is now a part of the city park system. Located about an hour from Pittsburgh, Oglebay draws the majority of its golfers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. It’s kind of cool that when you drive to Oglebay from the Washington, D.C., you hit all of those states except Ohio, which is just a few minutes away from Wheeling. The area is especially picturesque in the autumn months when the changing colors of the leaves are at their peak.

The property has a rich history in the business and sporting history of West Virginia, but the three golf courses, Crispin, are a special prize that taken together form a primer on the history of golf design in the past 90 years. The 5,670-yard Crispin course is a one-off design by local golf enthusiast Robert Biery that was completed in 1930 and is a fascinating study of design techniques of that era. The slopes and elevation are severe and extreme by today’s standards. A clue was the raised eyebrow of the assistant pro when I said that I would walk the course. Uneven lies are the order of the day, the product of a time when there was neither the money nor equipment readily available to create gentle slopes and even surfaces; the course is true to the original contours of the West Virginia hillside.  There is little relief on the greens, which run a little slower than typical greens but make up for it in size and slope. It is by far the shortest of the three courses but the par-4 8th hole and par-5 9th holes are a thousand yards of joy and pain.

Hole No. 6 at the Klieves course

The Klieves Course is a 6,800-yard, par-71 Arnold Palmer design that was completed in 2000. The design features broad fairways, mildly undulating greens and opportunities for heroics on short par-4’s, all the prototypical characteristics of modern resort golf courses. While some architects choose to torture and torment, Palmer courses put a premium on fun and this one is no exception. The par-5, 515 yard 6th is a great example of the risk/reward available without that challenges the resort golfer without the need to humiliate. The course is very well maintained tee to green, and you’ll want to keep a fully charged battery to take photos of the vistas from the elevated tee boxes.

Hole No. 13 at the Jones course

In my humble opinion, the true gem is the Robert Trent Jones course. The 7,004-yard, par-72 Course carries a healthy 75.1 rating/141 slope from the back tees. It utilizes a gorgeous piece of land that meanders across the West Virginia hills to give a mesmerizing collection of holes that are equal parts scenery and challenge. Both nines start from elevated tee boxes hitting down into valleys that offer classic risk/reward propositions. Usually I have no problem identifying a favorite hole or two, but on this course it’s difficult. Having said that, the stretch of No. 4 (par 3, 193 yards), No. 5 (par-5, 511 yards) and No. 6 (par-4, 420 yards) are among the best I have played anywhere as a show of nature’s beauty and the at of laying out a golf hole. And the four par 3’s are not the place to pic up an easy birdie. The only one less that 190 yards from the tips is the 158-yard 15th, which is protected by a small, undulating green. All in all, it’s a perfect representation of the genius of Robert Trent Jones.

The golf is good at Oglebay and the prices are better. You can get in 18 at the Oglebay courses for as little as $32…on the weekend. And when you’re not playing golf, you can take advantage of the myriad of outdoor sports activities, tour the Oglebay mansion, hit the spa or visit the Glass Museum on the property (I promise it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds). There’s a lot of great new golf resorts out there and that’s a good thing for the golf industry, but destinations like Oglebay prove that there’s a lot of life left in the old classics as well.

Your Reaction?
  • 81
  • LEGIT7
  • WOW4
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

Podcasts

Two Guys Talkin’ Golf: “Are pro golfers actually underpaid?”

Published

on

Equipment expert Brian Knudson and GolfWRX editor Andrew Tursky argue whether PGA Tour players are actually underpaid or not. They also discuss Blades vs. Cavity backs, Jordan Spieth vs. Justin Thomas and John Daly’s ridiculous 142 mph clubhead speed.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP3
  • OB0
  • SHANK37

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending