Poll: Will Leaving Flagsticks In The Cup Become A Thing In Pro Golf?

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I’m still fascinated by the Golf.com exclusive reporting that Bryson DeChambeau’s plans to start leaving the flagstick in for most putts when the 2019 Rules of Golf kick in.

Given that he just won his fourth tournament in five starts, DeChambeau’s methodology and madness is bound to have some copycats if he proves it to be a useful way to putt.

But some have predicted it will be a visual mess for pro golf, as Hank Haney did. He sees the USGA and R&A having to back off the rule, or face PGA Tour intervention of some kind in the form of a local rule.

I certainly can see where the sight of some players wanting the flag tended and others leaving it in could turn greens into a weird game of Twister as caddies navigate through lines and wait to hear from the player if they want the stick in or out.

There will also be others who test things out with regulation flags in the green and undoubtedly many opinions what works. The Forecaddie has info on the actual PGA Tour stock flagstick, in case you have COR testing to do.

The Golf.com gang batted around the flagstick matter too and scores some points worthy of consideration. This from Luke Kerr-Dineen was spot on:

Kerr-Dineen: If the anchor ban provides the precedent, we can deduce that golf’s rules are decided — at least in part — by how the powers that be want the game to look. It’s not something that’s specific to golf. The NFL is a classic example of legislating the game in a way that makes it more marketable. If the bosses upstairs see Bryson putting with the flagstick in and don’t love the look of it, don’t be surprised to see them “revisit” this rule.

Personally, I can’t comprehend the advantage being worth the visual distraction that is so different from what players are used to. But I also can’t fathom anchoring a putter

This trend could go a few ways and I’d would love to hear what you think. I voted for the top one. Especially if Dave Pelz or others do more testing with putts and see no harm in the practice.

What will happen in 2019 with flagsticks and putting?
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Well Won't 2019 Be Fun: Bryson Intends To Leave Flagstick In While Putting

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At least, until the first putt clanks off the fiberglass and he looks at the innocent synthetic material holding a flag in disgust. Thankfully, flagsticks don’t have feelings.

Nice exclusive here from Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier on Bryson DeChambeau revealing during a photo shoot that at all fiberglass flagstick events, he will be putting with the pin in the hole. The new Rules of Golf will allow for putting with flagsticks in the hole starting January 1, 2019. The change was designed to speed up the game. But the mad scientist has done the calculations and sees another rationale.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick,” he said. “In U.S. Opens, I’ll take it out, and every other Tour event, when it’s fiberglass, I’ll leave it in and bounce that ball against the flagstick if I need to.”

It’s interesting that DeChambeau goes on to say he thinks this will make the hole play bigger and that his good, good friends at the USGA will ultimately backtrack on the rule.

I don’t see that, but I could envision a scenario where players start griping about strange things and airing odd grievances.

Or the USGA and R&A could announce a slight increase in the size of the golf ball, fueling conspiracy theories that the move was not to slow down distance but to mess with Bryson.

There will also be the inevitable re-airing of the flagstick vs. pin moniker. But wouldn’t it be fun if the science backs him up.

Who Says He Doesn't Play Well With Others? Patrick Reed Offers A Helping (Backstop) Hand* (*Or Was It Justin Rose)

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*Those who stayed up to watch think Justin Rose was the kind helper. I will review tape Monday to confirm. Until then…my original snark that will happily be transferred to the former World No. 1 if he’s not protecting the field.

Maybe being on a Ryder Cup team bonded them, maybe he’s just lazy, maybe those grooves just really needed cleaning instead of protecting the field, or maybe Patrick Reed is just trying to be less of a maverick by leaving his ball next to the hole. Either way, he did it at the HSBC Champions so that Tony Finau could slow down his bunker shot just like we saw a year ago in Napa.

Yet another example of insidious behavior inside the ropes in the name of faster play when it’s could conveniently save someone strokes no different than turning a blind eye to someone improving their line. At least in a few months when the new rules of golf take hold, players won’t have to pretend to look the other way when a “ball mark” is repaired in their line. Tap away. Too bad the new rules find a way to address this nonsense.

USGA, R&A Budge In Final Green Reading Book Ban

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The full release is here. Golfweek’s Brentley Romine has the highlights of the final announcement.

Here is what was gleaned from the feedback period of the green reading book limitations presented this summer:

Some of the changes made to the original proposal following the feedback period include the removal of: (1) the proposed minimum slope indication limit of 4% and (2) the prohibition against using handwritten notes to create a copy or facsimile of a detailed green map.

Additions to the original proposal include: (1) a new size limit for the printed book/material (restricted to pocket-size), (2) a new prohibition against magnification of putting green information and (3) a new requirement that any hand-drawn or written information must be in a book or on a paper meeting the size limit and must be written by the player and/or his or her caddie.

Reading Mike Stachura’s Golf World account, the author sounds pretty skeptical of Thomas Pagel’s claims on behalf of the USGA suggesting that the limitations will still limit these books in competition.

The new interpretation, however, seems to shift from some of the original proposal’s fundamental convictions. In July, Pagel said, “Basically, the books are giving them a recommended line, and that goes too far. The skill of reading a green was diminishing, quickly going away. And we wanted to make sure it was retained.” But there were two factors that seemed to sway the decision away from specific restrictions on the information in any green-reading book. One was history, and the other was enforcement.

“First, we know the ability to take notes has been part of the game for a very long time, and we did not want to get away from that,” he said. “I also heard loud and clear about the challenge of enforcing the rule. Players were asking, How do I know if my notes are OK? and How do I know if the notes another player has on the other side of the fairway are OK?

Will this turn out to be another anchoring ban that ultimately leaves people wondering if players are skirting the rule? I hope not.

"Our modern wink-wink culture is at odds with what golf is supposed to stand for."

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After reading Golf.com’s Anonymous Tour Pro survey, Michael Bamberger came away disturbed by the suggestions of cheating or bending the rules on the PGA Tour. Bamberger was particularly annoyed with the assertion by one anonymously quoted player that officials are letting the players down.

But the job of enforcing the rules is fundamentally on the players. If the rules officials see a drop going awry, it is their job to step in and make sure it’s done correctly, and that is what they generally do. If one player says the ball crossed at point A and the other point B, the rules officials have to adjudicate, and they generally do. They are not the police. They’re not trying to catch players. Their first job is to help players turn in the most accurate scorecard they can. It is each individual player who serves as a police officer. He should be doing an ongoing and continuing and intense investigation of his own play and the play of the others in his group.

"How long will it take the governing bodies to rescind the new rule that allows players to repair any damage on putting greens?"

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That’s the question Alistair Tait asks for Golfweek as the new rule book has come off the press and the strangest new rule in golf is just months away from debuting. I figured it would take a few years but given the scenarios presented by Tait, it’s easy to envision a revision sooner than later rescinding the right to “repair damage” in your line.

Rest assured, this new rule will unreasonably delay play. It won’t affect the pace of play of fast players. What it will do is allow the snails to slow down even more. Imagine the slowest player you can think of who takes an eternity on the greens. Imagine how many blemishes said player is going to find in his or her line. I can see a situation where players will make four or five repairs on a 15-foot putt. It’s not that long ago I saw a major champion repair three ball marks on a 10-foot putt.

Given the widespread improvement of putting surfaces in golf, perhaps the golf course superintendents of the world will save the governing bodies.

Then again, it could take just one or two weeks where greens are not ideal and the sight of players setting up shop to primp and repair a line will send fans looking for their remotes and TV executives to pick up their red phones.

Lexi's Back, Contending And Adds Another Rules Infraction

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Lexi Thompson is back on the LPGA Tour after taking a short leave to get refreshed and to gather her thoughts after a rough 2017.

And she's back to bad luck on the rules infraction side of things, though this one is most definitely on her shoulders. 

Kevin Casey explains why her taking lift, clean and place relief caused the infraction

More Call On Outright Green Reading Book Ban

Alistair Tait for Golfweek on Laura Davies and Catriona Matthew criticizing the R&A for failing to ban green-reading books outright:

“I think they should ban them completely,” Matthew said. “They’re kind of halfway what’s acceptable, what’s not. If you don’t want people to use them, just ban them outright.”

Matthew, winner of the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open, feels the governing bodies have waited too long.

“I kind of think they’ve got a little out of hand,” Matthew said.

USGA, R&A Hope To Make Green-Reading A Skill Again

 An example of what won't be allowed.

An example of what won't be allowed.

The news first reported here by Golfweek during The Open sounds like it will curtail the use of green reading books in competition.

For Immediate Release for those who will be affected by this:

USGA, The R&A Announce Plans to Limit Use of Green-Reading Materials Beginning in 2019

Clarifications reaffirm the position that a player’s ability to read the greens is an essential skill that should be retained; still allows for traditional yardage books, handwritten player and caddie notes

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. AND ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (July 31, 2018) - The USGA and The R&A are proposing regulations regarding the use of green-reading materials, reaffirming the need for a player to read greens based on their own judgment, skill and ability.

Following a six-week period of feedback and consultation with interested parties that begins today, the regulations will be finalized in a published “interpretation” of Rule 4.3 (Use of Equipment) and adopted Jan. 1, 2019, when golf’s new rules take effect.  

“Both the USGA and The R&A are committed to the position that a player’s ability to read their line of play on the putting green is an essential skill that should be retained,” said Thomas Pagel, Senior Director, Rules of Golf and Amateur Status for the USGA. “The focus of the interpretation is to develop an approach that is both effective and enforceable.”

David Rickman, Executive Director – Governance at The R&A, said, “We have looked carefully at the use of these green-reading materials and the extremely detailed information they provide and our view is that they tip the balance too far away from the essential skill and judgment required to read subtle slopes on the greens. It is important to be clear, however, that we still regard the use of yardage books and handwritten notes to be an entirely appropriate part of the game.”  

The key elements of the proposed interpretation are as follows:

  • Minimum Slope Indication Limit – A minimum slope indication limit of 4 percent (2.29 degrees) is proposed (this includes lines, arrows, numbers or any other indicators); this will have the effect of eliminating such indicators of slope from those areas of the putting green where the hole is most likely to be positioned (which tend to be cut on reasonably flat sections of the putting green with a degree of slope of less than 3.5 percent - or 2 degrees). This proposed limit also equates roughly with the amount of slope that is readily visible to the naked eye. 

  • Maximum Scale Limit – A maximum scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480) is proposed; this will limit the size in print form to a pocket-sized publication and has the effect of restricting the space for handwritten notes (also referenced below).

  • Indicative Information - General information that is included in traditional yardage books or course guides, such as basic illustrations that show the outline of the putting green and include indicative information like the tops of ridges or general slopes, will continue to be permitted.  

  • Handwritten Notes - Handwritten notes will continue to be allowed, but such notes cannot be used to create either a direct copy or a facsimile (replica) of a detailed green map. 

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the USGA at rules@usga.org or The R&A with questions, feedback or suggestions for improvement prior to Sept. 14, 2018. 

The draft interpretation and illustrations can be viewed here.

The governing bodies will issue the regulation by no later than Oct. 15, 2018 for its planned Jan. 1, 2019 adoption. 

Hmmmm: R&A Conducts Surprise, Random(?) Driver Test

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Thirty players were greeted with letters from the R&A ordering them to offer up their drivers for a COR test. It's not clear if the tests were random or if the players were specially chosen by their manufacturer affiliation or driving distance average.

Welcome to Scotland!

Tim Rosaforte reports for Golf Channel on what appears to be a step-up in the effort to ensure there are conforming drivers in this week's Open Championship

Keegan Bradley, Brendan Steele and Brooks Koepka all confirmed that their drivers all passed the COR test (coefficient of restitution, or spring-like effect) administered by the R&A.

This was the first time the R&A took measures that were not part of the distance insight project being done in conjunction with the USGA.

 

There are two ways of looking at this. 

The sunny side up take would believe this is just part of normal monitoring and amidst some rumblings that this year's distance increase could be fueled by hot drivers.

The cynical take says this is the act of a desperate governing body looking for something to blame this year's increases on, instead of simply anticipating that a combination of technology, athleticism, fitting and a generation of players reared on modern clubs have passed the testing procedures by. AKA, anything not to do something about the Joint Statement of Principles.

Bryson Reports Positive Compass-Related Talks With USGA

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One can only imagine where the conversations have gone, but even with his trusty compass banned, Bryson DeChambeau says his negotiations with the USGA have gone swimmingly. Next stop, NATO summit!

Kevin Casey highlights several of Bryson's pre-John Deere Classic remarks on the rules controversy that saw his "unusual" device banned.

“I think it was a big step for me to be able to talk with (the USGA) one-on-one, not necessarily going through the (PGA) Tour or anything like that, albeit it’s a great way as well. Nothing against the Tour, but just being able to talk to (the USGA) directly is very, very nice, so that we can have a personal relationship first off and be mutually beneficial.”

At least, until they ban green reading books.

"There is no deterrent if a player knows his (or her) Tour lacks either the process or stomach to expose them."

Great line from Eamon Lynch in his Golfweek column zeroing in on PGA Tour cheating, of which there is very little. Nonetheless, with an incident like last week's Sung Kang drop location refuted by his playing partner Joel Dahmen, not addressing such situations publicly gives the impression of rules enforcement complacency. 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan took a positive step in making public drug test violations. He ought to put in place a similarly transparent process to address credible accusations of cheating. The number of deceitful players is small, but there is no deterrent if a player knows his (or her) Tour lacks either the process or stomach to expose them.

It’s inevitable the Tour’s standing will be impacted if a player is found to have cheated. What is avoidable, however, is tarnishing the hard-earned reputation of the 99 percent with a perception that rogues are shielded from the reckoning they deserve. 

Look no further than slow player as example A when nothing is done. 

Phil Most Definitely Did Not Call A Penalty On Himself

Just weeks after his U.S. Open breach of etiquette and subsequent claim to have used the rules to his advantage, Phil Mickelson breached the same rules he purported to know so well during Sunday's the Greenbrier Classic.

The violation, which I'm pretty sure 99.9% of PGA Tour pros know is a no-no:

The conversation with official Robby Ware:

It's fascinating to see the PGA Tour on all of its social media accounts billing this as a player calling a penalty on himself. It's an unusually desperate and ignorant position to take from the land of #LiveUnderPar (well except in this case). 

To review: Mickelson asked a question sensing he might have violated the rules and likely anticipated someone spotting the violation on the PGA Tour Live telecast. He got the explanation from Robby Ware and was subsequently penalized after Ware double checked, out of kindness.

So please, whether this "called a penalty on himself" nonsense is born out of ignorance or just a marketing effort to show that living under par means calling penalties on oneself, do not lump this incident with the many folks who have called penalties that no one else could see or possibly have known about. Especially since many of those incidents, which we rightly hold up  for being incredible displays of integrity, happened because the player could not live with themselves thinking they had violated the rules.

Phil's case was a simple act of ignorance. He would have been assessed a penalty after a those monitoring the telecast would have passed the word along of his silly-stupid move.  

Unless, of course, no one was watching PGA Tour Live. A very real possibility. 

Rules Of Golf Double Standard? USGA Says Bryson's Compass Use Violates Rule 14-3

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In reading the USGA statement on Bryson DeChambeau's use of a compass, it's easy to see how they determined it to not be a "usual piece of equipment," just as the Rules forbid. (Rex Hoggard had the statement here first, and here is Golfweek's Kevin Casey with a roundup of the back and forth over Bryson and his compass, including the full statement and rule reading. 

The compass and protractor work Bryson was doing certainly could be seen as fitting this description:

Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an abnormal manner:

a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or

b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; 

One reason the compass and protractor yardage checking might not be a usual device? Most golfers, caddies and others would not know what to do with them! 

Also fitting the Rules description for unusual devices assisting play would be yardage books with gradients shot by rangefinders that disallowed in competition, and of course, green reading books which are now a usual piece of equipment because they were not immediately deemed unusual soon enough.

The same green reading books where he was using his protractor to double check a hole location!

Do these inconsistencies undermine the credibility of golf's Rules? How can they not? 

Dahmen V. Kang: The PGA Tour And An Increasingly Complicated Relationship With The Rules Of Golf

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With no incentive to induce a headache other than acting as a professional golfer protecting the field, Joel Dahmen spoke out when asked by a fan about a bogus drop he saw Sung Kang take at the Quicken Loans National. (Kang finished third and earned a spot in The Open.)

A witness and ShotLink volunteer corroborated Dahmen's account with not a shred of doubt about what he saw, reports Bill Speros. The dispute grew so heated that they even let a group go through as Dahmen sought to protect the field and Kang insisted his ball started over dry land before a last minute plunge into the TPC Potomac hazard. 

The PGA Tour backed Kang's account of the drop and suggested an absence of clear evidence:

“A PGA Tour Rules Official handled the ruling, interviewing both players, caddies and marshals in the vicinity. The official then took Kang back to where he hit his second shot, and Kang confirmed his original belief that his shot had indeed crossed the margin of the hazard. With no clear evidence to prove otherwise, it was determined by the official that Kang could proceed with his fourth shot as intended, following a penalty stroke and subsequent drop. The PGA Tour will have no additional comment on this matter.”

While ShotLink is manned by volunteers working long hours and prone to the occasional mistake, they are generally very good at the most basic task: zero in on the ball and mark it for the computers to do their thing. The account of Dahmen, when combined with his anger at the choice by Kang to drop closer to the hole and Kang's claim of being "95% sure" where his ball crossed, sound dreadful given how much we know today's players are loathe to call out their peers in the PGA Tour's increasingly fraternal culture. 

Meanwhile, the corresponding ShotLink depiction of the ball's landing spot suggests Kang's ball would have needed to take a hard last minute hook into the hazard. Dahmen's concern was backed up by ShotLink volunteer Michael Klosk's account to Golfweek:

“Kang was insistent (’95 percent sure’ in his own words) his ball came back and entered the hazard at about 35 yards out. I caught bits and pieces of the exchange, but the rules official did quote ’95 percent sure is not 100 percent sure’ before driving Kang back to look at the line again. Kang then returned and argued some more with Dahmen, to which (Dahmen) replied, ‘If you can sleep at night, then take your drop,'” Klock said in an email to Golfweek detailing the encounter.

The incident lands as the PGA Tour and several players have begun to chip away at the Rules of Golf. Consider:

--The PGA Tour has never issued a statement about the backstopping practice even after Jimmy Walker wrote on Twitter that he leaves a ball down for those he likes or feels sorry for. Any player who might mark their ball in a desire to protect the field, is now seen as not "one of the boys."

--The PGA Tour openly defied the USGA and R&A's views on distance and seems poised to fight any effort to protect the role of skill in golf in order to market the athleticism of today's players. 

--Phil Mickelson stopped his ball from rolling down a slope at the U.S. Open and has not been --condemned or fined (to our knowledge) for conduct unbecoming. Two young superstars found his behavior funny. 

--For years players have regularly "fixed a ball mark" without asking their playing partner for approval. It's apparent they really just want to smooth out a blemish in the green. The practice is so pervasive that we now have the dreadful new 2019 rule of golf allowing for players to pamper their line to the hole.

--The PGA Tour has resisted empowering officials to hand out slow play penalties for years, with former Commish Tim Finchem even declaring that he didn't see such rules enforcement as necessary.

--Under Finchem's watch, the PGA Tour steadfastly refused to support drug testing until golf wanted to join the Olympic movement. 

Add it all up and the optics are deteriorating. The PGA Tour acts like rules are more of an annoyance than serving as the foundation for maintaining golf's special place in the sporting universe. For years players have barked about making their own rules--usually after a USGA course setup blunder--but the players then remind us why that would not be a good idea.

Over time, the PGA Tour has been able to avoid being seen as condoning shady behavior by making sure the guys take their hats off to shake hands, donating more than all other sports (combined) to charity, and banking on sponsors to keep supporting these (mostly) high-integrity athletes. 

The problem now? Legalized gambling is coming. Golf is seen as a potentially lucrative opportunity, one that will dry up the minute bettors think the bro culture that bred backstopping and this peculiar culture of devaluing the importance of rules for unclear reasons.

And how long before the folks putting their sponsorship dollars on golf wonder what other rules-workarounds the players are up to? Or worse, when will sponsors see incidents like Dahmen v. Kang or players leaving a ball down as a backstop for a buddy, and question the price they pay to be associated with a sport known for its adherence to rules, not its ability to fudge the rules.

Yes the Rules of Golf are wordy and annoying. Especially when you just want to tap a bump in the green or when asking players to take their medicine when hitting a bad shot into a hazard. But the rules are also in place to help Joel Dahmen's of the world protect the field. The PGA Tour needs to start taking them as seriously as Joel Dahmen did Sunday at the Quicken Loans National. 

Lexi Reveals Just How Much Grief Last Year's ANA Penalty Caused

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Powerful stuff from Lexi Thompson at her ANA Inspiration press conference a year removed from the four-stroke penalty that cost her a major. 

Penalties, which, by the way, could not happen again thanks to changes in the rules, as Larry Bohannan explains in the Desert Sun.

From Beth Ann Nichols' Golfweek story:

“That night was extremely rough,” said Thompson of the hours that followed the toughest loss of her career. “I was screaming, crying. You know, I’ve re-lived it for a while. I had nightmares about it. You know, I still occasionally do.”
Thompson, 23, cried on every tee shot that followed her encounter with rules officials after the 12th hole. She said it was the fans who allowed her to finish the way she did.
“I heard them chanting my name on every shot, every tee,” she said. “I heard them on the green chanting my name, and I was like, I have to finish strong for them.” 

Rules Simplification: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pros

As we near the USGA and R&A rolling out their extensive, exciting and bold simplification of the 2019 Rules of Golf, Ryan Herrington at Golf World makes a shrewd point worth checking out: be careful what you wish for elite players.

After all, simpler rules mean you better know them!

With so many sections and subsections and sub-subsections, if you broke a Rule because you didn’t know it was a Rule to begin with, you often were forgiven for making an honest mistake. With a modernized Rules book, that defense becomes far more flimsy.

Indeed, if the Rules are going to be easier to understand, then golfers are going to be expected to genuinely understand them. In particular, golfers who make a living playing the game.

In that respect, the modernized Rules may well present a new set of challenges when they finally go online on New Year’s Day 2019.

Will Golf Be Worse Off By Rules Taking Onus Off The Player?

That's the pointed question Michael Bamberger poses for Golf.com after the USGA and R&A announced the end to viewer call-ins, penalties for scorecard signing issues caused by retroactive penalties and the creation of dedicated replay watchers.

Bamberger sees the change as "soft" and his view was echoed by some rules experts I heard from in response to the rule:

How about the responsibility to know the rules and to play by them? How about doing it correctly the first time? The whole ball-dropping issue with Tiger Woods at 15 in the Saturday round of the 2013 Masters was that he dropped incorrectly. The whole ball-marking issue with Thompson at the ANA Inspiration was that she marked incorrectly. Neither player ever stood up and said, "I take responsibility for this whole mess."

Golf, by tradition, is severe, austere, Calvinistic. Every aspect of it. That's why the spectators are quiet. That's why one player does nothing to interfere with another. That's why Joe Dey, the first PGA Tour commissioner, late of the USGA, carried a bible in one pocket and a rule book in the other when he officiated.  

I certainly agree that there is a softening effect worth considering, particularly if the softening actually leads to something worse than mere player ignorance of the rules. If there is an opening created here, as Bamberger contends, does it lead to players bending the rules out of ignorance or entitlement? A case could be made that we already see that with backstopping or the current ball mark fixing of non-ball marks on greens.

I can see where some “softening” is acceptable.

However, from the player perspective the rules have become cumbersome and with an audience looking to catch you doing something wrong and needing HD to do it, I can see where some "softening" is acceptable. Crossing the line into rule bending or breaking is where things get scary for the game's integrity.

Why Could Replay Reviews Still Occur After A Card Is Signed?

This remains the one question I have from Monday's announcement of an end to viewer call-in tips and penalties for signing cards that were thought to have been signed correctly at the time.

As explained by theUSGA's Thomas Pagel and R&A's David Rickman, a review could still take place on, say, Friday, after something occurred on Thursday. Only now, the player will not be penalized for signing an incorrect card should a penalty be assessed by the review.

As we noted onMorning Drive, this leaves open the question of how such a delayed review would take place if the tour's had an official watching the live telecasts. Any review over a few minutes past the round's conclusion would only occur because the official missed it the first time. In this case, the official would only be working off of some sort of outside tip to review a possible infraction.

Ron Sirak, appearing a few minutes before me on Morning Drive, raised the suggestion of reviews no longer happening once the card is signed.I would agree.

I'm sure the tours and governing bodies have considered scenarios and have their reasons. Then again, we thought going from DQ to penalty strokes would solve things and as Ryan Herrington notes at Golf World, that wasn't so.

Interestingly, the two-stroke penalty only went into effect in 2016 when USGA and R&A implemented the most recent changes to the Rules of Golf. Prior to that, players would be disqualified if they had signed their scorecards and were later found to have committed a penalty that they had not accounted. In changing the rule to be more lenient, officials acknowledged a DQ was a punishment that didn’t fit the crime.

Lexi Thompson, the cause for this emergency local rule, praised the organizations.

Golfweek's roundup of player reactions is here. Lexi's post:

I was informed of the two rule changes this morning from my management team at Blue Giraffe Sports. I applaud the USGA and the R & A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf. In my case, I am thankful that no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future. I just finished an amazing week at the QBE Shark Shooutout in Naples, and I am excited to begin my offseason. I will have no further comment on these changes as I look forward to now spending time with my family and friends. I hope everyone has an awesome Holiday season, and I wish everyone a healthy and happy 2018! 🎁

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on Dec 11, 2017 at 5:32am PST