Did Lefty Get it Right?

This week we are combining our Putting Tip and Q&A in one mailing.

It involves a situation on the putting green upon which we felt you may be interested in making comment.

By now, most golfers have seen the extraordinary sight on the 13th green during the 3rd round of last week’s U.S. Open of one of the world’s best golfers after putting his ball and missing the hole, proceeding to jog after the ball and striking it back towards the hole before it came to rest.

Please share your thoughts below.

40 thoughts on “Did Lefty Get it Right?

  1. The us open is by far my least favorite major. All that is missing around the greens are the volcano hole ( wait, they have that) and the windmill and clowns mouth. As a half decent golfer, I take no joy in watching the worlds best players put up with this rubbish. Phil got it right.

    • .”All that is missing around the greens are the volcano hole ( wait, they have that) and the windmill and clowns mouth.” I submit that most PGA tournament deserve the Putt-Putt reference. A true competition is when the best conquer the best.
      Apparently that is Brookes Koepka.

  2. As much as I love Phil Michelson, he should have been disqualified from the US Open. I understand all the arguments against doing so — but his actions were a blatant and willful disregard of The Rules of Golf. Rule 33-7 certainty gives The Committee the ammunition to do so. The last paragraph of that rule reads “If a Committee considers that a player is guilty of a serious breach of etiquette, it may impose a penalty of disqualification under this Rule.” If what Phil did isn’t a ” serious breach of etiquette,” I don’t know what is. To wit, Phil even admitted guilt in the myriad press conferences which followed the incident. The “excuse” that precedent was set when John Daly similarly breached etiquette during a previous open in my book is easily fixed. During pre-tournament publicity, the players and the public are told that any willful breaches of etiquette such as the Michelson and Daly incidents will result in immediate disqualification. Period.

  3. I tend to lean with Raymond. PGA players are pampered, in part because their play and personalities generate zillions of dollars for many, including themselves. There was no pampering last Sunday! Still, I’m not sure I would have handled it any better. Phil was out of the race, isn’t a fan of the USGA, and is a flawed creature. OK, 2 strokes, and let’s move on. He’s been, and will continue to be, a lot of fun to watch and is great for the game! If anything, I was more put off by the loaded questions Curtis Strange asked,, than Phil’s responses.

  4. He hit a moving ball, 2 stroke penalty, lets move on. More importantly, why does the USGA insist on turning our national championship into clown golf by making greens rock hard and running 14. They are the best golfers in the world, so what if they make some birdies. Most golfers would not be able complete a round of golf under the rules of golf on a US Open setup at Shinnecock and there is not a single hazard on the course. The most exciting golf tournament in the world doesn’t have rough, and birdies and eagles abound. As well as plenty of doubles and others. That would be the Masters if you haven’t figured it out.

    • I dropped my membership years ago but unfortunately, the USGA’s main source of income is television revenues. However, a hopeful sign is that recently they begin soliciting input. The USGA does provide valuable information to member club via their agronomy section with on site inspections. The handicapping system is also valuable. However, their desire to protect par via course setup and equipment rules is often misguided because it’s directed at elite players who aren’t even USGA members rather than the 99.9% of golfers who are affected.

  5. In this case, I agree with Amy, his wife…… Phil had a “bad moment.” My personal opinion is that the USGA lost control of the course, and I think it was on the edge of being “clown golf.” I have been a member of the USGA for years, however their handling of this event has made me question that membership…….. I am not sure I will be renewing when the time comes.

  6. I must say that for me it is a clear violation of the rules (1-2) and also a serious breach of etiquette. Both of which should have invoked punishment by DQ and subsequent disciplinary action as would no doubt have been the case had it not been PM? Imagine if a rookie or a controversial character (non USA) had transgressed in this way, I hesitate to suggest that the proverbial book would have been thrown at him/her and their golf career as a Professional would most likely be over. As for the USGA trying to save face, I say grow some balls as you have lost face BIG time.

  7. Regardless of of the perceived response by Phil as to the USGA setup, I for one loved seeing the multi millionaire whiners shooting at par or over. Every week I watch as they demolish poorly setup courses as they shoot -20. To see them struggle like the rest of us and see their response of “unfair” makes me laugh.
    The USGA is being chastised for making the U.S. Open a true test of skill instead of being easy-peasy. Didn’t seem to bother Brookes Koepka.

  8. US Open is a great tournament. Fox would not be allowed within 10 miles of the Masters. I think Fox would rather tape the whole thing and then show the parts they like. I consider myself a “died in the wool golfer” and have seen the last 60 Opens.
    After this one, maybe I will only watch the parts I like.

    • Although we can’t unsee recent events, none of us will give up golf or stop watching Frank’s videos or stop buying his great products. Thanks Frank for answering all our questions…

  9. According to Decision 1-2/0.5, the action of “stopping a ball from rolling into a water hazard” is a serious breach of the Rules and calls for disqualification (in stroke play; loss of hole is enough of a penalty in match play). I know the USGA didn’t use Rule 1-2, instead relying on 14-5; I would contend that Phil’s action was more like the description above than simply “making a stroke at a moving ball.” (Unless you think it’s logical to punish “making a stroke” at a ball rolling into trouble so much more lightly that “stopping” or “deflecting” it. There IS logic to the Rules of Golf, right Frank?)

    • While I appreciate everyone’s frustration with Phil, I think he was clearly within a series of stupid rules. The rule is clear…a stroke at a moving ball is a two stroke penalty. Of course, it is usually applied when the player inadvertently or accidently makes a stroke at a moving ball..but the rule doesn’t say that. Phil clearly made a stroke [the “putt” lipped out and could have easily gone it] “Deflecting” or “stopping” isn’t a stroke, it is a foot wedge, using a flag stick, throwing your putter at the ball. Phil did none of these things. Now, you might say, as I would, that the rules were poorly written. But, when you need hundreds of pages to outline the rules and thousands of pages to explain them, well, you get poorly written rules. As Phil said, until his PR people got to him, “toughen up.”

  10. Ha, love all the comments. DQ no way, cheat nope. Take a drop, really, so when is it justified to use the rules to your advantage and when is it not. We see players all the time use the rules (stretch) to improve their situation whether it be to improve their lie or position on the course be it near a sprinkler or cart path etc. Generally if the situation is iffy the rules official gives the player the benefit of doubt. The rule specifically exempts movement by wind or a double hit, there are not many options left to influence the ball. Did it help his score, maybe, maybe not, in essence it took him 4 strokes to hole out and he most likely would have done that anyway maybe in fewer strokes had he let the ball roll. He played the hole and followed the rules as they are written end of story.
    Is it a good or bad rule, well that’s another topic.

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