Golf’s governing bodies have a message for armchair rules officials who reach for the phone whenever they think they’ve spotted a rules violation in a televised tournament: “Don’t bother. We got this.”
Effective Jan. 1, the U.S. Golf Association, R&A and the game’s major professional tours no longer will accept calls and emails from fans who think they have spotted rules violations. The governing bodies – in conjunction with the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America – agreed to assign at least one rules official to monitor all tournament telecasts and resolve any rules issues.
“The message is, have confidence in those conducting the event that if you’ve seen it, they’ve seen it, and there’s no need for anyone to call in what they think they have seen,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf and amateur status.
The move is an effort by the governing bodies to reclaim control of tournaments, much like other sports in which rules challenges are handled by league officials monitoring games in real time.
This issue has tarnished some of golf’s biggest championships in recent…