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Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

In 2016 the USGA did amend Rule 6-6d. A player who inadvertently does not assess himself a penalty because he did not know a breach is no longer disqualified and instead is assessed a two-stroke penalty.  The problem with this new rule is that the USGA made the rule to prevent amateurs who don’t know all of the rules from being disqualified from a tournament.  

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

The problem I have is that this is their living when it comes to PGA Tour players, and I feel they should know the rules.  

A lawyer cannot go into court, make a mistake, and say to the judge, I didn’t know that rule.  He would look ridiculous!  This brings me back to a statement I have mentioned before.  I think the pros and the amateurs should have different rules and different equipment!  Now I know I am opening a can of worms here, but I think it’s crazy when Pat Perez hits the ball in a water hazard and says he did not know that there was a penalty!  This opens the door for pros in the future to avoid disqualification and automatically say they did not know the rule, no matter how basic it is.

I would love to hear feedback on this subject.  Please post your comments below!  Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of Back9Network, for this thought-provoking article!

Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing - Give me a Break!  

As the PGA Tour returns to the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, a.k.a. the Greatest Show on Grass, the Rules Junkie harkens back to Pat Perez’s rules run-in and subsequent disqualification from the event in 2013.

Perez’s DQ is worth revisiting for a few reasons, but mostly so we can get a better grasp on the truly confounding changes made to Rule 6-6d in the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf. The amendment to 6-6d forgives ignorance of the rules, but still penalizes someone in Perez’s predicament when a clerical error has been made.

The dispatch from the scene via Golf Channel.

With the projected cut currently hovering at 3 under, Perez’s rounds of 72-72 left him at 2 over, unlikely to advance. When he incorrectly signed for an even-par 71 in the second round, though, he earned himself an early exit from the event.

The hole at issue was the short par-4 17th, where Perez ran into trouble despite a drive that left him less than 50 yards to the hole. After his approach went into the water behind the green, he ultimately two-putted for a double bogey 6. Perez signed for a 5 on the hole, however, and was disqualified as a result.

One of the four major changes to the Rules effective Jan. 1, 2016 was the “Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card.” The USGA explained it as follows:

The PGA introduces a new exception.

Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached.  And must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.

The amendment allows for leeway when it comes to being blatantly ignorant of a rule, but not for writing an incorrect number down. The rule states, “the competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score he writes down for each hole on his score card. If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified. If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands.”

To read the rest of this story on understanding this confusing rule, go here!

Source:  Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway    Back9Network

Pictures: Twitter/@GolfweekMag

Thanks for reading – Ignorance of the Rules is a Good Thing – Give me a Break!

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