Originally Posted by Fourputt
There are no enforcement officers in the USGA. That isn't their job. It's up to the individual players and clubs to follow the rules. If they choose not to, there are always other clubs and courses.
I guess I was unusually lucky to join a public course men's tournament club that was self directed and self motivated. The club even paid to send me to my first one day rules seminar. I was already a rules geek, self-trained, and that just helped to reinforce my feeling that the rules area key to tying the past and the future of the the game together. I became the Men's Club Rules Chairman (and at first the only member of the rules committee). Our tournaments are played by the Rules of Golf, and the pro shop on the course has absolutely nothing to do with managing our competitions aside from monitoring our pace of play (we have our own self enforced policy which is more strict than the course policy).
If I was put in your position, I would simply leave that course. If I had to drive a half hour or 45 minutes to play, so be it. No self-important golf pro is going to tell me that his rules take precedence over the rules that the USGA publishes.
I've belonged to this private club for 27 years and I have a lot of friends there. My decision is to finish out the League's season which ends on August 19th. The League is once a week for 9 holes of 2 man per team match play. The format is win/lose & points. I would walk away today, but this is the only time my 72 year old partner plays golf weekly. He looks forward to getting out on Tuesday for 9 holes then having dinner at the club. I couldn't walk away from him in the middle of the season. As to my partner caring about the rules, he said he could care less anymore, I just play for the enjoyment. Next season I've decided I will not return to the league for sure.
I still play at this club in the summer frequently during the week + weekends with some great groups of guys who run some excellent games of quota pools & Nassau's with groups of 20-30+ guys a few times a week. Lot's of fun and good golf. So, leaving the club is not one of my future thoughts.
As far as the Pro & Committee's. 99% of my play 3-4 days a week is with groups of guys not run by the club. I have not for many years participated in any Club run tournaments (4-ball, member/member/ club championship) where you have to pay to play your own club for chits (Pro Shop Credits) in the pro shop where Pro V1's sell for $49 per dozen :-o There's a Golfsmith a few miles down the road that has a larger selection goodies and the prices are in-line. I already have 100+ club logo shirts in the closet that I've never worn so who needs more.
As in this instance of the rules decisions, I'm still blown away by the resident pro for his lack of standing behind the correct rules decision. Goes to show you his job supersedes the rules of golf. It's a shame the PGA, USGA & MGA don't have an enforcement or decision committee for the playing members of each association. It's these groups of associations that it's the playing member who supports them, but the poor golfer gets no benefits in return. So far, these organizations answer to my situation (who I've written all of them) is "Quit the Club". That doesn't solve the problem. It sweeps it under the rug and breeds future cheaters IMO.
Maybe it's about time these organization who make and distribute the rules of golf who we the players support stand behind the player and defend them from the actions of the cheat. I won't hold my breath