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Another rules issue, what would you do?


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#1 MikekiM

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 12:55 PM

Had an issue come up in our regional tournament this weekend, and I'm curious to know what others would have done.

Day 2 of our regional tournament playing in the second to last group as a 3-some.  On hole 2 one caddie mentions to me that he saw the 3rd caddie step on the players ball accidentally.  I was the marker for that player so asked him if anything happened and he denied it. I hadn't seen it, so I didn't pursue it any further
.
Fast forward to the tee of the 5th hole, and that same caddie lined up his player and remained in place during the tee shot (Rule 14-2 violation).  I mentioned it to him right away and said he couldn't stand there and he knew he messed up.  Told his player not to play so quickly and give him time to move.  I felt that was a sufficient warning.  Next hole 6 on the putting green he did the exact same thing.  Lined up his player's putt and remained there.  I called him on a 2stroke penalty for violation of 14-2.  He was naturally upset at me.

On the next hole there was a rules official on the green, the caddie talked to the rules official about the offense, so the rules official approached me and instructed me to change the penalty to a warning, instead of an actual penalty. I asked him why since I had warned him on the previous hole, but he wouldn't provide an explanation, only that we'll consider it a second warning instead.

Would you have pressed further?  The player and caddie have played dozens of USK tournaments, and know the rules.  They aren't noobs or anything by any stretch. The kid ultimately ended up T2, but 5 strokes separated 2nd to 6th so the penalty would have had an impact on results.

Was it worth complaining over?

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#2 heavy_hitter

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:11 PM

View PostMikekiM, on 25 September 2017 - 12:55 PM, said:

Had an issue come up in our regional tournament this weekend, and I'm curious to know what others would have done.

Day 2 of our regional tournament playing in the second to last group as a 3-some.  On hole 2 one caddie mentions to me that he saw the 3rd caddie step on the players ball accidentally.  I was the marker for that player so asked him if anything happened and he denied it. I hadn't seen it, so I didn't pursue it any further
.
Fast forward to the tee of the 5th hole, and that same caddie lined up his player and remained in place during the tee shot (Rule 14-2 violation).  I mentioned it to him right away and said he couldn't stand there and he knew he messed up.  Told his player not to play so quickly and give him time to move.  I felt that was a sufficient warning.  Next hole 6 on the putting green he did the exact same thing.  Lined up his player's putt and remained there.  I called him on a 2stroke penalty for violation of 14-2.  He was naturally upset at me.

On the next hole there was a rules official on the green, the caddie talked to the rules official about the offense, so the rules official approached me and instructed me to change the penalty to a warning, instead of an actual penalty. I asked him why since I had warned him on the previous hole, but he wouldn't provide an explanation, only that we'll consider it a second warning instead.

Would you have pressed further?  The player and caddie have played dozens of USK tournaments, and know the rules.  They aren't noobs or anything by any stretch. The kid ultimately ended up T2, but 5 strokes separated 2nd to 6th so the penalty would have had an impact on results.

Was it worth complaining over?

1.  Why would the caddies keep score?  That is the players responsibility.  My son has played in US Kids Tournaments since he was 8, including 2 world championships, and I never wrote down a score for him.  Very rarely have ever come across a dad in the same time that did write the scores down for their kid.

2.  It is the players responsibility to call rules infractions, not caddies or dads.

I would have said right off the first tee box that we are not doing this.  Let the kids play and we will move along at a much faster pace.

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#3 heavy_hitter

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:18 PM

I probably didn't answer your question.  My personal feeling is that I wouldn't want my kid to win because a caddie got a player a 2 stroke penalty.

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#4 leezer99

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:34 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 25 September 2017 - 01:18 PM, said:

I probably didn't answer your question.  My personal feeling is that I wouldn't want my kid to win because a caddie got a player a 2 stroke penalty.

I think he's saying the player ended up T2 without the penalty but would have dropped to solo 3rd with the two stroke penalty.  No real impact on status gained either as the two players below that were T4.  Had he received a four shot penalty though he would have only dropped to T3 with two other kids.  Still no impact on 6th place.

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#5 MikekiM

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:58 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 25 September 2017 - 01:11 PM, said:


1.  Why would the caddies keep score?  That is the players responsibility.  My son has played in US Kids Tournaments since he was 8, including 2 world championships, and I never wrote down a score for him.  Very rarely have ever come across a dad in the same time that did write the scores down for their kid.

2.  It is the players responsibility to call rules infractions, not caddies or dads.

I would have said right off the first tee box that we are not doing this.  Let the kids play and we will move along at a much faster pace.

View Postheavy_hitter, on 25 September 2017 - 01:18 PM, said:

I probably didn't answer your question.  My personal feeling is that I wouldn't want my kid to win because a caddie got a player a 2 stroke penalty.

The penalty would only have affected the player in question, dropping him from a T2 to either a solo 3 or T3 and thus changing his status from Burgandy to Green.  It would not have changed the winner.

As for who called it, I left it up to my son.  I explained the rule to him after the warning and let him know what he the options for it were.  He said rules are in place for a reason, and that people need to play and follow the rules, so he wanted to assess the penalty if he did it again.  So that's when I talked with the caddie about it.

As for the score keeping normally my son writes his own scores when we're walking using a pushcart..  I had a bad knee so was in a cart and had the scorecard with me, so for the sake of simplicity I was transcribing the scores he told me.

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#6 heavy_hitter

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 02:15 PM

I don't understand people like that.  There are people that follow the rules and people that try to skip in line.  Unfortunately, this will end up catching up with the kid in the end.  There was nothing more that could be done on your part.  You would have looked like the bad guy had you pushed the issue.  The US Kids official did nothing in helping to eliminate this behavior in the future with this father.  I am glad I am done with US Kids.  It was fun when we were doing it, but there is also a burden of caddying and dealing with other parents.  Parents, unfortunately, have found a way to ruin many sports in our country because of their desire for their child to excel.  Everyone wants their kid to do well, but some parents have zero sense of reality.  The goals of these kids should be to have fun, get better, and enjoy the game.  A dad lining a kid up on shots is not making the kid better.

Edited by heavy_hitter, 25 September 2017 - 02:15 PM.


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#7 leezer99

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 02:25 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 25 September 2017 - 02:15 PM, said:

I don't understand people like that.  There are people that follow the rules and people that try to skip in line.  Unfortunately, this will end up catching up with the kid in the end.  There was nothing more that could be done on your part.  You would have looked like the bad guy had you pushed the issue.  The US Kids official did nothing in helping to eliminate this behavior in the future with this father.  I am glad I am done with US Kids.  It was fun when we were doing it, but there is also a burden of caddying and dealing with other parents.  Parents, unfortunately, have found a way to ruin many sports in our country because of their desire for their child to excel.  Everyone wants their kid to do well, but some parents have zero sense of reality.  The goals of these kids should be to have fun, get better, and enjoy the game.  A dad lining a kid up on shots is not making the kid better.

We had a dad in our group that lined up putts, etc for his son.  He even had his son pace off each putt and then put a number to it in feet and then hit a putt that number of feet.  I asked my son if he knew what a 15' putt felt like and he looked at me like I had a foot growing out of my head.  There was even a hole where my son and the other kid had hit their tee shots to a par three and were walking up to the green (I was already on the next tee) and once they were up to the green the other kid hadn't even tee'd off yet.  No wonder we got put on the clock.

Edited by leezer99, 25 September 2017 - 03:38 PM.


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#8 tiger1873

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 03:34 PM

I see a lot parents do this sort of thing. Really didn't think of it as a rule infraction but I guess it really is.   I also don't have a problem with the parents keeping score either if there caddies allowed and there younger.  Once they hit 11 or 12 you need to wean them off the caddie

One thing to keep in mind if the kids are younger this may actually speed up play.   The kid still has to execute the shot so it's less of an issue for me and once there old enough no caddies are allowed anyways.  The one thing not mentioned is other kids will talk about them having to be coached on every shot. Kids have a way of making fun that type of behavior and will respect kids who do not line up putts with caddies.

I have more of a problem with kids and dads who do not count penalties and all there stokes or drop balls and such. Everyone makes mistakes but some are repeat offenders all the time.  That is when a penalty is really justified.

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#9 tiger1873

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 03:37 PM

I should also add I struggle with the same issues and how to approach them when you see rules broken sometimes there a lot worse then just putting alignment.  I think most of us want to be fair and protect the field but I also don't want to be known as that dad who is hard to play with.

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#10 heavy_hitter

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 04:03 PM

View Posttiger1873, on 25 September 2017 - 03:37 PM, said:

I should also add I struggle with the same issues and how to approach them when you see rules broken sometimes there a lot worse then just putting alignment.  I think most of us want to be fair and protect the field but I also don't want to be known as that dad who is hard to play with.

You need to look at it differently.  They are the ones that are difficult by not following or knowing the rules.  You need to learn to just be blunt about it.  You can be blunt and at the same time cordial.  

What do you do if an 11 year kid is on the 14th hole and hits OB without playing a provisional?  You know what the field is and you know they are in going to be in last place.  Do you push the issue and make them go back and hit another ball?  Or do you explain the rule to them and look the other way on that day?


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#11 tiger1873

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 05:33 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 25 September 2017 - 04:03 PM, said:

View Posttiger1873, on 25 September 2017 - 03:37 PM, said:

I should also add I struggle with the same issues and how to approach them when you see rules broken sometimes there a lot worse then just putting alignment.  I think most of us want to be fair and protect the field but I also don't want to be known as that dad who is hard to play with.

You need to look at it differently.  They are the ones that are difficult by not following or knowing the rules.  You need to learn to just be blunt about it.  You can be blunt and at the same time cordial.  

What do you do if an 11 year kid is on the 14th hole and hits OB without playing a provisional?  You know what the field is and you know they are in going to be in last place.  Do you push the issue and make them go back and hit another ball?  Or do you explain the rule to them and look the other way on that day?

I hear what you say and I have no problem when people are stickler to rules. But my experience has been different around here in Texas. If you push the rules   most people will not want to play with you including in junior tournaments. In the past I have brought flagrant violations up to an official and they basically say let it go.  Everyone knows there is cheating going on but very very few mention it.  A lot times you have college interns running the tournaments and they simply are not going to stand up to parents out there.

So the question is at what point do you stand up and fight for it. Right now for my kids tournaments don't count for anything other then medals.  These kids and parents in the end cheat themselves and waste valuable time that should be spent practicing their game and learning how to score lower with the rules.

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#12 sui generis

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 05:57 PM

Shakespeare's Polonius in Hamlet said, "To thine ownself be true."

In stroke play you have a duty to your fellow-competitors; exercise your responsibility by informing the Committee of what you see without judgement, then get on with your own game.

Edited by sui generis, 25 September 2017 - 05:57 PM.

Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.

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#13 darter79

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 08:46 AM

View Posttiger1873, on 25 September 2017 - 05:33 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 25 September 2017 - 04:03 PM, said:

View Posttiger1873, on 25 September 2017 - 03:37 PM, said:

I should also add I struggle with the same issues and how to approach them when you see rules broken sometimes there a lot worse then just putting alignment.  I think most of us want to be fair and protect the field but I also don't want to be known as that dad who is hard to play with.

You need to look at it differently.  They are the ones that are difficult by not following or knowing the rules.  You need to learn to just be blunt about it.  You can be blunt and at the same time cordial.  

What do you do if an 11 year kid is on the 14th hole and hits OB without playing a provisional?  You know what the field is and you know they are in going to be in last place.  Do you push the issue and make them go back and hit another ball?  Or do you explain the rule to them and look the other way on that day?

I hear what you say and I have no problem when people are stickler to rules. But my experience has been different around here in Texas. If you push the rules   most people will not want to play with you including in junior tournaments. In the past I have brought flagrant violations up to an official and they basically say let it go.  Everyone knows there is cheating going on but very very few mention it.  A lot times you have college interns running the tournaments and they simply are not going to stand up to parents out there.

So the question is at what point do you stand up and fight for it. Right now for my kids tournaments don't count for anything other then medals.  These kids and parents in the end cheat themselves and waste valuable time that should be spent practicing their game and learning how to score lower with the rules.

Thats no way to play.  If thats the case I would get the tournament director invloved or I find a new place to play. The only issue I've ever run into and 7 year olds forgetting how to count. There was this group in front of us last weekend that the kid keep riding on the push cart, I thought that was a bid on the shaddy side.  That being said, if a rules offical is not wanting to enforce the rules I would go over his head especally if this is an on going issue.

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#14 Noles

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 08:48 AM

I never understood how a rules official can come to the conclusion to not assess a penalty when one was clearly committed.  "We'll just consider it a second warning."  WTF is that?  OK, I'll just pick my ball up out of this bunker and drop it next to the hole.  I can't do that?  Just give me a warning.  Seriously though, this stuff drives me nuts.  And the notion that the person pointing out the violation is in the wrong is really backwards.  When my son played US Kids I would get into it with another parent every so often about rules.  It always went the same way.  A parent tells their kid to do something that is completely against the rules.  I nicely tell them that I think the rules say to proceed differently.  Parent gets mad at me for pointing it out.  It always amazed me how a parent can be constantly giving swing advice to their kid, be able to carry on a very informed conversation about equipment and what's best for kids of different sizes but suddenly has no idea how to properly take relief from a cart path.

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#15 tiger1873

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 09:49 AM

View Postdarter79, on 26 September 2017 - 08:46 AM, said:


Thats no way to play.  If thats the case I would get the tournament director invloved or I find a new place to play. The only issue I've ever run into and 7 year olds forgetting how to count. There was this group in front of us last weekend that the kid keep riding on the push cart, I thought that was a bid on the shaddy side.  That being said, if a rules offical is not wanting to enforce the rules I would go over his head especally if this is an on going issue.

I agree but I don't think I will get anywhere complaining though about it. The tour directors out there probably doesn't want to upset a lot parents and I am pretty sure they would if they actually enforced them like they should.  The rule MikeKim is talking about is broken a lot here. About half the kids playing every week have parents who caddie this way lining them up and over coaching them.

When my daughter was younger it was even higher probably 80-90%. I am not sure where the dividing line is for this.  I can understand doing everything you can to help you kid get through the first couple of tournaments when there 7 or 8. But once they actually know where the hole is you have no business saying they need help aligning the putt and shot. At some point you lose the fact that kids are playing and it's a case where Dads are competing against other dads.


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#16 leezer99

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 10:51 AM

View Posttiger1873, on 26 September 2017 - 09:49 AM, said:

View Postdarter79, on 26 September 2017 - 08:46 AM, said:

Thats no way to play.  If thats the case I would get the tournament director invloved or I find a new place to play. The only issue I've ever run into and 7 year olds forgetting how to count. There was this group in front of us last weekend that the kid keep riding on the push cart, I thought that was a bid on the shaddy side.  That being said, if a rules offical is not wanting to enforce the rules I would go over his head especally if this is an on going issue.

I agree but I don't think I will get anywhere complaining though about it. The tour directors out there probably doesn't want to upset a lot parents and I am pretty sure they would if they actually enforced them like they should.  The rule MikeKim is talking about is broken a lot here. About half the kids playing every week have parents who caddie this way lining them up and over coaching them.

When my daughter was younger it was even higher probably 80-90%. I am not sure where the dividing line is for this.  I can understand doing everything you can to help you kid get through the first couple of tournaments when there 7 or 8. But once they actually know where the hole is you have no business saying they need help aligning the putt and shot. At some point you lose the fact that kids are playing and it's a case where Dads are competing against other dads.

Rules officials are doing the kids a disservice by not upholding the rules.  If you want to play in a league that rakes three footers or plays preferred lies then that's fine.  If on the other hand you want to compete on an even playing field testing yourself against your peers then you'll need to find a place that fosters that environment.  We like the USK environment for the camaraderie it fosters among the kids and I know the friendships my son has made will last a long time.  For tournament golf though there are a lot of options available.  Taking the parents out of the equation is really the first step though.

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#17 heavy_hitter

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 11:27 AM

View Postleezer99, on 26 September 2017 - 10:51 AM, said:

View Posttiger1873, on 26 September 2017 - 09:49 AM, said:

View Postdarter79, on 26 September 2017 - 08:46 AM, said:

Thats no way to play.  If thats the case I would get the tournament director invloved or I find a new place to play. The only issue I've ever run into and 7 year olds forgetting how to count. There was this group in front of us last weekend that the kid keep riding on the push cart, I thought that was a bid on the shaddy side.  That being said, if a rules offical is not wanting to enforce the rules I would go over his head especally if this is an on going issue.

I agree but I don't think I will get anywhere complaining though about it. The tour directors out there probably doesn't want to upset a lot parents and I am pretty sure they would if they actually enforced them like they should.  The rule MikeKim is talking about is broken a lot here. About half the kids playing every week have parents who caddie this way lining them up and over coaching them.

When my daughter was younger it was even higher probably 80-90%. I am not sure where the dividing line is for this.  I can understand doing everything you can to help you kid get through the first couple of tournaments when there 7 or 8. But once they actually know where the hole is you have no business saying they need help aligning the putt and shot. At some point you lose the fact that kids are playing and it's a case where Dads are competing against other dads.

Rules officials are doing the kids a disservice by not upholding the rules.  If you want to play in a league that rakes three footers or plays preferred lies then that's fine.  If on the other hand you want to compete on an even playing field testing yourself against your peers then you'll need to find a place that fosters that environment.  We like the USK environment for the camaraderie it fosters among the kids and I know the friendships my son has made will last a long time.  For tournament golf though there are a lot of options available.  Taking the parents out of the equation is really the first step though.

100%

Taking the parents out of the equation is key.  It changes the landscape for sure.  You will still get the occasional parent trying to give information to the kid.  That is when it is the other parents responsibility to nip it in the bud.

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#18 Matt J

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 11:34 AM

I don't know that there is a provision for ever giving anyone a warning.  I agree with the other poster above that it's the players decision to submit his score, and it's between he and his marker and ultimately a member of the Committee to decide if there's a penalty.  Ultimately even under the proposed rule change reporting a score after being told of an infraction is still an automatic DQ, so the player, no matter the age, needs to weigh the consequences and make a value distinction.

I think the proper move is to find out if there is a Committee in place and inquire how they want to deal with it.

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#19 leezer99

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 11:51 AM

View PostMatt J, on 26 September 2017 - 11:34 AM, said:

I don't know that there is a provision for ever giving anyone a warning.  I agree with the other poster above that it's the players decision to submit his score, and it's between he and his marker and ultimately a member of the Committee to decide if there's a penalty.  Ultimately even under the proposed rule change reporting a score after being told of an infraction is still an automatic DQ, so the player, no matter the age, needs to weigh the consequences and make a value distinction.

I think the proper move is to find out if there is a Committee in place and inquire how they want to deal with it.

Without debating right or wrong, the problem with your statement is that USK doesn't DQ kids.  Instead they give a score of 10 on the hole where the infraction occurred.  It does take kids out of contention in regional events like this though.  

I was under the impression that USK had someone posting here as well.  Would be interesting to hear their point of view.

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#20 MikekiM

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 05:17 PM

Guess it's only fitting to come and find out that the rules official that had us change the penalty was the tour director for that kid's local tours.

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#21 kekoa

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 05:39 PM

View PostMikekiM, on 26 September 2017 - 05:17 PM, said:

Guess it's only fitting to come and find out that the rules official that had us change the penalty was the tour director for that kid's local tours.

Guy needs to be fired or be out of rules totally.

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#22 heavy_hitter

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 07:22 PM

View PostMikekiM, on 26 September 2017 - 05:17 PM, said:

Guess it's only fitting to come and find out that the rules official that had us change the penalty was the tour director for that kid's local tours.

And that is some BS.

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#23 farmer

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 03:25 PM

This is a very awkward situation for the OP.  He didn't want to hurt the kid, but then there is the field to consider.  He warned the caddie/father, if that stops the behavior, no harm-no foul.  After that warning being brushed aside, having an official tell him to ignore the rule leaves the OP with the choice of (I suspect) causing a big uproar, or leaving with a bad taste.  A bad scenario either way.  As stated above, the solution is to remove the caddie/parent.

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