I have been asked for my personal comment on the Lexi Thompson penalty, and in this instance, feel obliged to do so for two reasons, first because it was, in many respects very debatable, and second because I feel strongly about the issue of armchair referees.
For reference the Rules of Golf define, in part ; “Referee A “referee” is one who is appointed by the Committee to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules. He must act on any breach of a Rule that he observes or is reported to him.” There are slightly different duties for Match Play.
An “armchair referee” is not a person appointed by the Committee and in my opinion, the Rules of Golf do not contemplate that the “reporting” of a breach would emanate from outside the venue of the competition.
Using a technology — designed to provide enhanced entertainment with fantastic slow-motion HD visuals of ball compression at impact, facial expressions of both the thrill of conquest, the heartbreak of misfortune, or the grains of sand as the ball explodes from a bunker — to override that which we consider sacrosanct i.e. the integrity of the golfer, is inappropriate and violates the very fundamental essence of the game.
Let’s try to protect the Spirit of the Game which relies on integrity of the golfer, to not only show consideration for others but to abide by the Rules. Hence, we have no need for referees or umpires – except in major events to help the competitor interpret the rules — we are those people.
We play golf to satisfy a subconscious urge to evaluate ourselves while in the pleasant company of other likeminded people, in an attractive environment. The rules lend order to this wonderful activity but let’s make sure we apply them appropriately knowing what it is that we are trying to protect.
I encourage you to leave your comments below.
3rd April 2017 Post: Lexi Thompson Penalty
Dear Frankly Friends,
Yesterday we witnessed yet another rules drama at a major championship.
We would like to hear what you think about the four-stroke penalty that Lexi Thompson was assessed on the 13th tee of the final round, after a TV viewer emailed the LPGA to alert them to a rules infraction they had seen on TV the previous day.
We are very interested in hearing what you have to say about this issue. Please share your thoughts by replying below.
Frank and Valerie