The Trouble With Golf
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man. Opposing opinions are welcome but they are wrong. As always, please, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head.
Any possible political interpretation to this post are a product of the readers mind at in no way the intent of this cranky old man.
We interrupt this wonderful Masters Tournament week with a gripe about why golf is losing popularity. It is not just golf, this is symptomatic of many issues in our world today.
Golf has rules. Golf has lots of rules. Without rules any game, and life itself would just be chaos. I have no problem with rules, my problem is when rules are not tempered with common sense.
I don’t believe that children should bring guns into school. I don’t think children should bring in toy guns to school. If a five-year-old makes his hand into a gun and says “Bang, bang” common sense should determine:
Was the five-year-old innocently playing cops and robbers, or was he making a direct threat to another five-year-old? If it just seems like play, talk to the child and simply tell him “We don’t play guns of any sort in school, so please don’t even play fake guns with your finger.” End of incident, no need for it to go to the Supreme Court.
Golf treats rules with this same ridiculous no budge zero tolerance philosophy, and they do it to the detriment of the game.
Last week in a LPGA tournament, Lexi Thompson was leading by several strokes. In lining up a putt, she moved her ball an imperceptible distance (to me) and then made her putt. This act of picking up your ball, cleaning it, and replacing it before you putt, is done on every single hole. The ball must be put back in the same place it is lifted.
Lexi Thompson lifted and cleaned her ball before a putt, made the putt and then finished her round. A TV viewer felt she replaced the ball a quarter inch off her mark (I did not see this even in replay). This viewer e-mailed the observation to the tournament officials and they reviewed the act and agreed. She was penalized two strokes, and since she then signed her score card without this penalty which was accessed the next day, she was charged another two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard.
She was not advised of this decision until the twelfth hole the next day, which is a pretty big psychological penalty in itself.
Look, if the infraction was egregious, like if she moved the ball even slightly closer to the hole and an official spotted it, then give her a penalty. Two strokes is ridiculous, maybe one, but to have it not noticed by Lexi herself, her caddy, her opponent, a large crowd, TV commentators who are paid to see such things, and any official; but be called on by some dick-head at home watching a close-up on TV is beyond absurd. Then to tack on two more strokes for signing her score card incorrectly when it was not incorrect until the next day when officials agreed with the lone dick-head who called them on it, is beyond-beyond-absurd. *
I’m all for rules, I’m all for tradition, and I don’t want to go back to the days when an umpire missed a call by a mile and after a few moans everyone just went, “Oh well, it’s just part of the game.”
Sometimes in sports, in golf and in life there is a time where those in charge should just say, “Well yeah, that’s the rule, but when the rule was made there is no way that it was meant to have certain consequences so, SCREW IT." and just move on.
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.
*The 4-stroke penalty put Lexi behind by two strokes with 6 holes to play. She went on to tie but lost in a sudden death playoff.