ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The memo PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent to players on the brand new Rules of Golf may be interpreted in special ways based as lots on the timing as the message. One topic was to be patient. “We are devoted to gambling underneath those rules as we examine their effectiveness … And it’s crucial to know well that we aren’t at the finish line yet,” Monahan stated in a memo despatched Monday. Another changed into to examine the USGA as an associate in preference to a villain. “This is a collaborative system, one the PGA Tour has been part of from the beginning, along with all groups inside the international of golf,” he wrote.
The desire is that it will lead players to prevent complaining about the rules and truely follow them. The latter has now not been as big of a hassle as the media – social or in any other case – has a permit on. According to ShotLink facts that track each shot at the PGA Tour, the most effective three penalties under the brand new guidelines were assessed to tour participants on roughly 258,000 shots hit this 12 months. One of them was the final week within the Honda Classic when Adam Schenk became penalized for two photographs because his caddie stood behind him for a tight shot out of the bunker. The caddie alignment rule already turned into adjusted at the fly a month earlier in Phoenix, allowing a participant to avoid the penalty if he steps out of his stance.
Schenk did not, although it changed into obtrusive his caddie became there to discuss the high-quality way to play the shot, not to show him in which to hit it. No depend. Modern regulations are still written in black and white. That’s while Justin Thomas, who earlier inside the week had said the brand new rules had been “terrible,” tweeted the ruling with two hashtags: grow the game and USGA. The USGA, a convenient scapegoat from too many U.S. Opens that had been marred by way of policies disputes (Oakmont) or route setup (Saturday at Shinnecock), decided to chew returned with a tweet that becomes shockingly beside the point for such an austere employer that has been around for 114 years.
It accused Thomas of canceling every assembly they’d scheduled, mentioned that USGA guidelines specialists have been on a website online for five direct tournaments to begin the year (Thomas performed 3 of them), and recommended that he “name us.” He did. And it became nasty. Thomas said no meetings had been ever scheduled, a good deal much less canceled, and the USGA tweet turned into misguided. Monahan executive Mike Davis left him a message pronouncing he could call Thomas to make an apology. He USGA quickly sent any other tweet thanking Thomas to contact them “offline ” (translation: privately). Mn Tuesday, the USGA corrected itself with every other tweet – lacking an excuse – saying that Thomas did no longer cancel any meeting or ward off any dialogue and that it valued all of the gamers’ evaluations.
So maybe the USGA merits a few credit scores. If no longer for the official tweet, odds are Monahan might now not have despatched the memo to gamers. The message nonetheless had to be added. “It changed into important to remind the membership of the function we play, how essential their voices are and to hold to make certain our players give us optimistic comments we need to have a right dialogue with the governing bodies,” Monahan stated Tuesday at Bay Hill. Some of the remarks haven’t been all that constructive.
After failing to drop the ball from knee-peak, Rickie Fowler, penalized in Mexico City, said the brand new regulations are “no longer doing any favors to our game.” Neither changed into Fowler with the aid of now not taking possession of his mistake, instead suggesting the rule can be changed. Thomas thinks the new guidelines are terrible, a blanket announcement for twenty-four regulations. Most of that has introduced not a special feel that has been missing (eliminating a leaf from a bunker, repairing spike marks on the green, removing penalties for accidentally moving your ball at the inexperienced). During five years of meetings to reshape the rules, the PGA Tour had a few 50 objects on its list of proposals. Tyler Dennis, the tour’s VP of competition, said merely all of them had been included. This wasn’t just a USGA and R&A characteristic. It becomes all and sundry.
The PGA Tour concept should set its own rules in a dangerous direction and one that does not hobby Monahan. He sees the expert excursions working with – and being heard by using – the USGA and R&A. What would those guidelines appear like, anyway? Rules, historical or modern, have furnished a structure for golf at each level for extra than 250 years. Why is it a hassle now? What’s amazing is that as much as present-day golfers examine themselves as athletes, they can’t seem to figure out how to bend ever so barely to drop the ball at the knee stage.
Is it in reality that difficult?
The discussion is healthful. A reasonable debate can cause exchange. Or all the drama created through a lot of unnecessary complaining. Thomas did simply that during Phoenix, leading to the caddie-alignment tweak. But be reasonable. Be affected person. Minus the theatrics, the knee-degree drop should quickly be as habitual as taking off a courtesy vehicle (with a complete tank of gasoline). “This is an enterprise in which trade isn’t a herbal act,” Monahan stated Tuesday. “You have this quantity of exchange; you’re sure to have questions. We expected that, and that’s in which we are. Some guidelines have become a lot of dialogue, and they’ll retain to get a lot of debate. But proper now, those are the guidelines we’re gambling underneath, and we need to let them carry out.”