Joe Pub­lic Will Have No Say

The Kilted Cad­die ex­presses his opin­ion about the sig­nif­i­cant changes con­cern­ing the Rules of Golf and the Hand­i­cap Sys­tem…

HK Golfer - - Contents - By The Kilted Cad­die

The Kilted Cad­die ex­presses his opin­ion about the sig­nif­i­cant changes con­cern­ing the Rules of Golf and the Hand­i­cap Sys­tem.

With re­gards to the lat­ter there will, as from 2020, be a sin­gle world hand­i­cap sys­tem based on the US model which av­er­ages all the rounds that you play in­clud­ing so­cial ones. I think this is fairer as it re­flects more a per­son’s over­all abil­ity and should ward against so-called ‘ban­dits’. How­ever, the max­i­mum hand­i­cap is go­ing up to 54 to try and in­duce less able play­ers to the game. Un­for­tu­nately, a neg­a­tive and slightly cyn­i­cal me thinks this could lead to a few prob­lems. Golfers can be an aw­fully canny lot when big prizes are float­ing around the am­a­teur cir­cuit.

As for the Rule changes they are mostly straight­for­ward and sen­si­ble with the aim of speed­ing up play. Hoorah! For in­stance, you may now putt on the green with the flag­stick unat­tended, only look three min­utes for your ball and take forty se­conds to play your shot. All well and good here and this has re­ceived much cad­die ap­proval. How­ever, we then have the ex­cep­tion to Rule 6-6d and what I

call the Lexi Thomp­son camp ap­pease­ment rule. For this has surely been in­tro­duced to pla­cate those who feel that the young Texan lass was un­duly hard done to when she re­ceived four penalty shots in the ANA In­vi­ta­tional back in 2017.

But let’s look again at what ex­actly hap­pened here as I think it is im­por­tant for the world of golf writ large and de­serves to be scru­ti­nised with the ob­jec­tiv­ity and se­ri­ous­ness that it de­serves.

What hap­pened then? Well es­sen­tially, some bloke sit­ting on his sofa, I think in Wis­con­sin, was en­joy­ing the TV cov­er­age of the event and no­ticed that Lexi did not re­place her ball prop­erly. He picked up the phone to alert the golf­ing au­thor­i­ties at the event who agreed and gave her the penal­ties, to the stu­pe­fac­tion of Lexi and her fans.

Now to say that I am mon­u­men­tally sus­pi­cious of her mo­tives here is a pre­pos­ter­ous and gross un­der­state­ment. Look at what hap­pened over the mark­ing of this 2-foot putt. Firstly, she stands in a very awk­ward po­si­tion to mark her ball, in fact al­most at right an­gles to the ball-hole line. Why? Then she places the marker at a skewed po­si­tion in re­la­tion to this line, lifts the ball and re­places it.

In­ter­est­ingly, when chal­lenged next day she said, ‘I just put it right in front’, which in­deed may well be true, and I do in fact ac­cept that bit is true. But sorry Lexi, you sure didn’t mark it right be­hind! We ain’t liv­ing in some quan­tum uni­verse here my dear. That inch didn’t just pop out of some wan­der­ing and er­rant black hole.

Any­way, what­ever one thinks, we now have a rather won­der­ful ex­cep­tion rule to fore­stall ret­ro­spec­tive penal­ties, and in­deed, the in­tro­duc­tion of video anal­y­sis to the game. But, un­for­tu­nately, no longer

for ea­gle-eyed dudes hang­ing out on so­fas in Wis­con­sin I’m afraid. Joe Pub­lic will have no say.

And oh, by the by, a new rule al­lows you to re­pair spike marks on the green! It wouldn’t have helped Lexi any­way be­cause she said there weren’t any spike marks on those greens. Hmm.

Ok, I re­alise that the stakes are very high in sport nowa­days and par­tic­u­larly so in pro­fes­sional golf. But we are and have al­ways been an hon­ourable, un­tainted and no­ble sport. Let’s try and keep it that way. For we don’t want to go the way of FIFA with its shenani­gans and that game’s pa­thetic pro­fes­sional foul non­sense. Nor in­deed the dreaded dop­ing claim fi­as­cos of ath­let­ics and cy­cling. And now, of course, the balltam­pering of cricket. Yes, cricket.

For good­ness sake! The Aus­tralian cap­tain, the sec­ond most es­teemed bloke in the coun­try, the best player in the world. Ad­mits to cheat­ing.

It’s enough to make you start greet­ing.

/H[L 7KRPSVRQ UHFHLYHG IRXU SHQDOW\ shots in the ANA In­vi­ta­tional back in 2017

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