Golf has finally gotten rid of its most unpopular rule


The USGA and R&A said that starting January 1, one or more officials would be assigned to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve rules issues as they arose.

Assign one or more officials to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve Rules issues as they arise Discontinue any steps to facilitate or consider viewer call-ins as part of the Rules decision process.

"A lot of the stuff that people are looking to call penalties on from home - a good majority of those penalties go away with the rules modernization code", he said, according to Golf Week.

All of the organizations represented on the working group - the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA, Ladies European Tour, the PGA of America - studying this issue since April will introduce the local rule in 2018, and the former two-stroke penalty for not calling a penalty will be permanently removed when the modernized Rules of Golf take effect on January 1, 2019.

Thompson had a three-shot lead in the final round of the ANA Inspiration when a TV viewer noticed she had improperly replaced her golf ball on the green during the third round. She was penalized two strokes for breaking that rule and another two for not calling the penalty in the first place.

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On Monday, the USGA and R&A announced that calls or emails from viewers looking to report a rules violations will no longer be taken. Thompson lost the tournament in a playoff.

R&A Executive Director, David Rickman, said: "This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019".

Video review will be limited to material obtained from the committee's broadcast partner. Material from smartphones or individual camera will no longer be used, with these protocols being the latest measures that have been engineered to address the concern and uncertainly related to video evidence.

So while many fans will be upset that they can't have some sort of outcome on live golf events, this seems like a much better solution for the players. These officials could still assess penalties for violations they spot on coverage if they deem the player had knowledge of the rule they were violating and committed the violation on objective, disregarding the rules.