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Proposed solution to "backstopping"


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#1 GMR

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 03:05 AM

Very very simple. Change the rule such that BOTH balls are played as they lie, even after a collision. You are right by the pin and opponent knocks you off the green? Tough luck, should have marked. Guarantee guys start marking anytime there's even a remote chance the opponent's shot might impair their own position.

Thoughts?


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#2 xxio

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 04:14 AM

I hit my 2nd shot to 3feet from 220 on a par5.

My playing partner hitting his 3rd from 80yards hits my ball and knocks it into a greenside bunker.

I think the current rule is fine. It just needs a rules official to be there to enforce the marking before the shot.

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#3 ghostrider

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:16 AM

How many times has someone actually seen this work? Only times I can remember do not apply since the first player has not had a chance to mark. He might still be walking to the green when the second player hits his ball. I can't remember seeing it from inside 10 yards or so

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#4 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:21 AM

View PostGMR, on 13 June 2018 - 03:05 AM, said:

Very very simple. Change the rule such that BOTH balls are played as they lie, even after a collision. You are right by the pin and opponent knocks you off the green? Tough luck, should have marked. Guarantee guys start marking anytime there's even a remote chance the opponent's shot might impair their own position.

Thoughts?
No

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#5 GMR

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:42 AM

View Postxxio, on 13 June 2018 - 04:14 AM, said:

I hit my 2nd shot to 3feet from 220 on a par5.

My playing partner hitting his 3rd from 80yards hits my ball and knocks it into a greenside bunker.

I think the current rule is fine. It just needs a rules official to be there to enforce the marking before the shot.
How many times have you ever seen that happen?  Just like landing in a divot or finding yourself in a super thick clump of rough that the mower missed or missing a putt because your putt hits a bump 6" from the hole, just bad luck that you learn to deal with.  Counteracting that, there are just as many situations where you'd actually benefit (leave ball above the hole, opponent's approach nudges it and it rolls down into gimmie distance, for example).  The likelihood of any of these events is very remote, and at least this change would remove the ambiguity of needing of replace your ball to the exact place it was, when in practice you may have been 200 yards away when the balls collided and therefore not able to easily ascertain its previous exact position.


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#6 bbp1

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:13 AM

much adoo about nothing. Its just rub of the green. Sometimes marking your ball slows down play. Whatever players decide is fine.
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#7 sui generis

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:20 AM

View PostGMR, on 13 June 2018 - 03:05 AM, said:

Very very simple. Change the rule such that BOTH balls are played as they lie, even after a collision. You are right by the pin and opponent knocks you off the green? Tough luck, should have marked. Guarantee guys start marking anytime there's even a remote chance the opponent's shot might impair their own position.

Thoughts?

Not good. The player is entitled to the lie which his stroke gave him. D13-2/8.5 is a clear example of this principle.
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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#8 davep043

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:17 AM

View Postxxio, on 13 June 2018 - 04:14 AM, said:

I hit my 2nd shot to 3feet from 220 on a par5.

My playing partner hitting his 3rd from 80yards hits my ball and knocks it into a greenside bunker.

I think the current rule is fine. It just needs a rules official to be there to enforce the marking before the shot.
I agree with sui generis, and xxio in that the current rule is appropriate.  However, it doesn't need a rules official, it needs players to do what they should be doing, not helping their buddies whenever they can.  Its not a team game (in most cases).

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#9 Stuart G.

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:20 AM

Just my opinion and I'm certainly not any kind of insider, but If the ruling bodies thought there really was a problem with the rule that needed to be addressed, I would have expected they would have taken the opportunity to do it in the 2019 re-write.

Edited by Stuart G., 13 June 2018 - 07:29 AM.


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#10 FKA HB

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:21 AM

Came on here to say this exact thing.  This whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.  People can't honestly be worked up about this.


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#11 Swisstrader98

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:24 AM

I liked DJ’s response at the press conference at Shinnecock when they asked him about backstopping. He was like “HUH”?? Not even sure he knew what the term meant.

Edited by Swisstrader98, 13 June 2018 - 07:25 AM.


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#12 davep043

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:31 AM

View PostSwisstrader98, on 13 June 2018 - 07:24 AM, said:

I liked DJ's response at the press conference at Shinnecock when they asked him about backstopping. He was like "HUH"?? Not even sure he knew what the term meant.
DJ isn't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, although 140 characters just might be the kind of reading he'd consider.  I'd be surprised if he's ever read the actual rule, or has thought about the reasoning behind it, and I don't think he's alone in that.  Based on what I've read from other players, most don't understand the rule either.

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#13 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:34 AM

View Postdavep043, on 13 June 2018 - 07:31 AM, said:

View PostSwisstrader98, on 13 June 2018 - 07:24 AM, said:

I liked DJ's response at the press conference at Shinnecock when they asked him about backstopping. He was like "HUH"?? Not even sure he knew what the term meant.
DJ isn't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, although 140 characters just might be the kind of reading he'd consider.  I'd be surprised if he's ever read the actual rule, or has thought about the reasoning behind it, and I don't think he's alone in that.  Based on what I've read from other players, most don't understand the rule either.
Or maybe he's dumb like a fox, a little Columbo perhaps? Probably not :)

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#14 Need4spd

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:46 AM

This little controversy is definitely in the running for most overblown story of the year. Yes, Walker was stupid for saying what he did but this whole issue is not even close to being worthy of the attention it’s receiving.
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#15 JaNelson38

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:47 AM

Why is this even talked about or an issue?

View PostGMR, on 13 June 2018 - 05:42 AM, said:


How many times have you ever seen that happen?  Just like landing in a divot or finding yourself in a super thick clump of rough that the mower missed or missing a putt because your putt hits a bump 6" from the hole, just bad luck that you learn to deal with.  Counteracting that, there are just as many situations where you'd actually benefit (leave ball above the hole, opponent's approach nudges it and it rolls down into gimmie distance, for example).  The likelihood of any of these events is very remote, and at least this change would remove the ambiguity of needing of replace your ball to the exact place it was, when in practice you may have been 200 yards away when the balls collided and therefore not able to easily ascertain its previous exact position.

When was the last time you have ever seen a PGA Tour pro use another player's ball as a "backstop" on the green?  Because I certainly cant remember an instance.

The last thing this game needs is another set of rules to confuse the playing public


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#16 MtlJeff

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:55 AM

I think they need to reconsider the ruling for what happens if your ball gets moved by a dinosaur while you are marking. Or if you hit into the water and a mermaid throws it back and it hits you

Also don't think it's fair if your ball is affected by the sudden gravity of a collapsing star while putting.

Is anyone going to address these things?

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#17 third-times-a-charm

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:16 AM

Stupid solution to a NON ISSUE. The only people who care about this are bored old men. Stop it.
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#18 Dave230

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:26 AM

Louis Oosthuizen would have been the most popular man at Augusta if this rule applied.

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#19 GMR

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:26 AM

To be fair I tend to agree that "backstopping" rarely if ever turns out to be much of an issue. That said, if some among us believe that the way the current rules are structured creates a potential hole in terms of the integrity of the field (as players can decide rather or not to possibly help one another), the "solution" I threw out there is to just play the ball as it lies and be done with it--poof, ambiguity avoided.  Clearly not a popular opinion!

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#20 bazinky

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:31 AM

I watch a LOT of golf, and I have yet to witness an instance of backstopping in the wild. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if someone can show me an instance of where this has impacted the outcome of an event, I would really appreciate it.

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#21 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:33 AM

this is an issue not because it happens all the time but instead because some are taking advantage of the vagueness in a rule and others are not. for every time we see a ball left behind the hole while another chips up, how many instances did this happen and not shown on tv. how is this handled during team events at any level of play?

a simple fix in my mind is to change the rule so that balls on the green are not to be marked until all players balls have made it to the green. The approaching player can however ask to have a ball marked in instances where a ball is blocking the hole. At least this way every player is under the same impression and no one is doing favors for their buddy.

overall whatever the rule it just needs to be enforced and followed the same by all players.

Edited by HoosierMizuno, 13 June 2018 - 08:46 AM.

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#22 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:37 AM

View Postbazinky, on 13 June 2018 - 08:31 AM, said:

I watch a LOT of golf, and I have yet to witness an instance of backstopping in the wild. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if someone can show me an instance of where this has impacted the outcome of an event, I would really appreciate it.

has it decided the eventual winner on a sunday? maybe not. has it decided who makes the cut, who finishes inside the top 20, made a difference in season earnings....doubt we'll really know. of all the shots and holes played, how many does tv actually show?

my thought is why sit around waiting for the worst possible scenario to happen, knowing that it could, instead of making a simple change to ensure it doesn't happen.

i think golf is unique in that guys don't have a contract up front like other sports where they there isn't much difference in a 3rd vs 7th place finish. golf to many on tour isn't necessarily only about a win or nothing. to many guys a couple shots difference throughout 4 days or a 17th place finish vs a 30th is a big deal. we simply need to make sure everyone is playing by the same interpretation of the rules.

Edited by HoosierMizuno, 13 June 2018 - 08:42 AM.

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#23 BrianMcG

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 08:37 AM

View Postbazinky, on 13 June 2018 - 08:31 AM, said:

I watch a LOT of golf, and I have yet to witness an instance of backstopping in the wild. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if someone can show me an instance of where this has impacted the outcome of an event, I would really appreciate it.

Here you go. It cost some players $100,000.
http://thecomeback.c...-yesterday.html

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#24 Stuart G.

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:03 AM

View PostBrianMcG, on 13 June 2018 - 08:37 AM, said:

Here you go. It cost some players $100,000.
http://thecomeback.c...-yesterday.html

you left out the word "likely".

And what's the effect on the pay-out when one player makes a putt he likely would not have made had another player in the group not shown him the line?

I find it interesting that people are up in arms about one type of 'help' but accept the other one w/o a second thought. There are lots of other ways that playing with other people can 'help' us.  It's just an inherent part of the game.

Edited by Stuart G., 13 June 2018 - 09:04 AM.


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#25 davep043

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:05 AM

View PostBrianMcG, on 13 June 2018 - 08:37 AM, said:

View Postbazinky, on 13 June 2018 - 08:31 AM, said:

I watch a LOT of golf, and I have yet to witness an instance of backstopping in the wild. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if someone can show me an instance of where this has impacted the outcome of an event, I would really appreciate it.

Here you go. It cost some players $100,000.
http://thecomeback.c...-yesterday.html
Exactly.  Jason Kokrak should have told Finau to wait while he marked his ball.  By NOT speaking up, he directly cost two players a boatload of money.  And if we believe Jimmy Walker, many players will make the decision to mark, or not to mark, based on their relationship with the other guy.  In my book, that's simply wrong.  
I have another suggestion.  When it turns out that a backstopping ball actually does influence the outcome, the "culprit" should write a check to each player who loses out as a result.  In the instance with Finau, Kokrak should write a checks to Mickelson and Hadley for $103,000 each.  THAT would get them to mark their balls more often.


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#26 davep043

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:12 AM

View PostStuart G., on 13 June 2018 - 09:03 AM, said:

It's just an inherent part of the game.
But that's just the thing, its not an inherent part of the game.  ANY player can require that the ball be marked and lifted, the players canNOT (edit...added the NOT part to make this correct) agree NOT to lift such a ball.  A referee can intervene and request that the ball be lifted.  The integrity of the game relies in each player protecting the field.
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Q.In stroke play, a competitor's ball is in a position to assist the play of a fellow-competitor and the competitor is in a position to lift the ball under Rule 22-1 without delaying the fellow-competitor's play. However, the competitor does not take any action to invoke the Rule. Would a referee be justified in intervening and requesting the competitor to invoke the Rule to protect himself and the rest of the field?

A.Yes. If the competitor were to object, there would be strong evidence of an agreement not to lift the ball for the purpose of assisting the fellow-competitor in breach of Rule 22-1. The referee would be justified in so advising the competitors involved and warning that failure to lift the ball would result in disqualification under Rule 22-1.

I believe that there will be a rules official with each group during the US Open.  I wonder if the USGA will encourage those rules officials to intervene if they see a backstopping circumstance arise.  I wouldn't expect that to happen at a regular tour stop, I believe those rules officials basically work for the players, and I'm not sure that the players would choose to see this particular rule enforced.

Edited by davep043, 13 June 2018 - 09:47 AM.


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#27 Stuart G.

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:37 AM

View Postdavep043, on 13 June 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:

But that's just the thing, its not an inherent part of the game.  

Sorry, but as long as there is no hard requirement in the rules to lift a ball that may assist a player, yes it will be.  

View Postdavep043, on 13 June 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:

ANY player can require that the ball be marked and lifted, the players can agree NOT to lift such a ball.  

e.g. The key word being "can", not "must".


View Postdavep043, on 13 June 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:

22/7

Ball Assisting Fellow-Competitor on Putting Green; Procedure for Referee If Competitor Does Not Lift Ball

Q.In stroke play, a competitor's ball is in a position to assist the play of a fellow-competitor and the competitor is in a position to lift the ball under Rule 22-1 without delaying the fellow-competitor's play. However, the competitor does not take any action to invoke the Rule. Would a referee be justified in intervening and requesting the competitor to invoke the Rule to protect himself and the rest of the field?

A.Yes. If the competitor were to object, there would be strong evidence of an agreement not to lift the ball for the purpose of assisting the fellow-competitor in breach of Rule 22-1. The referee would be justified in so advising the competitors involved and warning that failure to lift the ball would result in disqualification under Rule 22-1.

The importat part being in bold.  IMO, the emphasis on the protection of the field referenced is in the context of protecting them against the presence of such an agreement, not the potential assistance by itself.


View Postdavep043, on 13 June 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:

I believe that there will be a rules official with each group during the US Open.  I wonder if the USGA will encourage those rules officials to intervene if they see a backstopping circumstance arise.  I wouldn't expect that to happen at a regular tour stop, I believe those rules officials basically work for the players, and I'm not sure that the players would choose to see this particular rule enforced.

I wouldn't hold my breath.  :-)

There has been little indication (that I've seen at least) that the ruling bodies feel the need for anything to change.  The cries of 'outrage' have been coming from many places, but the ruling bodies is not one of those sources.

Edited by Stuart G., 13 June 2018 - 09:46 AM.


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#28 North Texas

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:40 AM

I'm truly amazed that people are actually failing to see that there is an integrity issue involved here.

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#29 Redjeep83

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:43 AM

View PostGMR, on 13 June 2018 - 03:05 AM, said:

Very very simple. Change the rule such that BOTH balls are played as they lie, even after a collision. You are right by the pin and opponent knocks you off the green? Tough luck, should have marked. Guarantee guys start marking anytime there's even a remote chance the opponent's shot might impair their own position.

Thoughts?

bad solution, hitting someones ball on the green happens more often when both players being too far from the green to mark. It's happened to me and I've hit other players ball from too far a distance to mark the ball.

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#30 davep043

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:49 AM

View PostStuart G., on 13 June 2018 - 09:37 AM, said:


There has been little indication (that I've seen at least) that the ruling bodies feel the need for anything to change. The cries of 'outrage' have been coming from many places, but the ruling bodies is not one of those sources.
The cries of outrage over some of the video review penalties did apparently lead to changes in the policies of the professional tours and to changes in the wording of the rules of golf.  Who knows what might happen.


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