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New Rules Of Golf Decision: Absolving Tiger 18-4

As I understand it, the new "Decision" in the Rules of Golf to be announced Tuesday provides that, where there is a recording (say, like this one) showing a ball having possibly left its location (like this one) and has possibly come to rest in another location (like this one), the ball will not have been deemed to have moved if the movement was not "discernible" to the "naked eye."

Tiger, you're absolved!

So much for hopes that we might have found a way to make signed scorecards, apparently the last binding document in the world, less-binding should video evidence surface before a tournament's conclusion.

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Reader Comments (25)

Yes, this is correct (also see Harrington some other examples etc) and it's prob a good rule

As to scorecards, if you have non-binding scorecards and someone gets a penalty added say early Sat AM, it could impact the cut. (basically their are logistical issues). I'd be more in favor of a rule that says after play is done for the day, or after you sign your scorecard, card is locked from call-ins. Basically you catch it during the run of play, or it doesn't count.

Of course the first time that happened you would have a host of people screaming that they player should "do the right thing" and WD, rules be dammed.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
ITYM 18-2.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterT. Mitchell
I ref a bit.I am not fitted with super-slo-mo.I like the idea of no penalty unless discernible to the naked eye. What does ITYM mean?!
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
"I Think You Mean"
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterT. Mitchell
Bravo, Chico! Agree wholeheartedly that it's a good decision.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
Only one problem. Tiger said he did see it move. It's just that he also claims he saw it move back. \
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Coleman
you say golf isn't growing, isn't appealing to the next generation--

i say embrace audience participation. Take a page from Simon Cowell. --run a number to text your rules violations into at the bottom of the screen, right on top of the promo for the Big Break.

Involvement would skyrocket. young people would be drawn into golf by having to help granpa figure out "this texting thing" and more rules officials would be need to sort through the texts..Everyone's a winner!
11.18.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails

There was no <sarcasm> font for your post. PLEASE tell me you were kidding about running a text line to call in violations. The mere thought has me reaching for some Tums. :)
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
kidding....but it would add a whole new dimension.

For example, the network could total the number of calls they get for each contestant.

"Now here's Win Mc Murry with a rundown on rules calls..."

"Thank you Erik K,--

"As of now our Taco Bell Rules Hotline has Tiger ahead on calls, but since Vijay hit it into the woods on 4 his numbers have been spiking...we'll have super slo-mo of Vijay and his caddie in the jungle after this message from Taco Bell...."
11.18.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
And if a text was deemed to be accurate and "caught" a cheater, then that person would get a spot in the following weeks Pro-Am or they could have a follow up show where the guy who got caught gets to confront the texter, giving it a Jerry Springer like effect. And the Tour could keep stats on who has the most breeches......I like it.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Hammerstien
Oh, Mr. Tiger, sir, we're so sorry that some people thought you were cheating. We'll make sure it never happens again, sir. We'll change the rules for you, sir.

The message the USGA and the R&A is sending to Tiger.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
I'm confused. I thought that there already was a rule that pertained to ball movements and such that were picked up by HD TV and not apparent to the competitors ? What is the difference in this case ?
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Other than Tiger, who says the movement of the ball was not "discernible" to the "naked eye"?
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Beckner
It's a gentleman's game. Unless you're an adulterer. In which case we have couch rats and HD.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
The USGA is like a sieve these days. First everybody talks to the Golf Digest writer and now with the rules changes. I apologize to the USGA if Geoff received the details in a normal media fashion but it does sound like people talking when they shouldn't. Maybe muzzles for the staff and volunteers for Christmas?
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick Adams
How is watching a regular speed of a HD video not "discernible to the naked eye"? Looks pretty obvious to this naked eye. And, I'm an unabashed Tiger fan.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
I think this is a predecessor for the Rule 14-1b, the anchored stroke rule. They will have to see the club anchored to the body or a forearm anchored via the naked eye and not HD TV. All the people, many on here who don't like the belly putter, will be calling IN And saying I saw the club touch his belly on the 5th and 9th holes. I wonder if a TV guy sees it move via his eye and than has video to back it up, what they will say.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark
This isn't about "the Tiger ball". This rule appears to be constructed using that incident as a teachable moment and how to avoid potential future controversies.

@smails- I CAN'T believe I missed an appropriate chance to throw the quote, "you're killing me Smails"! :)
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
Mark, if it touches the shirt but not the belly is that a violation?
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF no. Brushing a shirt would not constitute anchoring.
11.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
Let me see if I've got this right. Tiger Woods insisted he thought his ball oscillated and, even though there was overwhelming evidence to support he was wrong, we just have to accept his word for it?
Agree with Chico on the naked eye rule. The interpretation part, not so much because its nothing short of an escape clause for the conveniently blind. If you play the game competitively you've been there, crouching down, trying to decide what debris can be safely moved or not. If you take a chance and it moves, you know it. You're that close, on top of it and not 2-paces removed.
11.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
What are the chances players will be handing in letters from their optometrist to say their eyesight ain't what it used to be?
11.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlly
@BrianS -

The old "hi-tech" rule saved the player from being disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard (because he could not possibly have known). However, the penalty strokes were still applied.

The new interpretation essentially removes the penalty if the movement is so minuscule that it couldn't be noted by the naked eye (or, you couldn't distinguish between oscillation vs. movement).
11.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterScrambler
c&c: Yes.

And what D. mac says.
11.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG

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