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Three Minute Searches, the NCAA National Championship, and "If You Wanna Play That Way…"


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  • iacas changed the title to Three Minute Searches, the NCAA National Championship, and "If You Wanna Play That Way…"

I can understand a parent going off like that, especially one that doesn't know the rules of golf. For a coach, and a pretty good player who has probably played competitively... That is absurd. On some point, I understand protecting his golfers, but to do so by allowing them to cheat is not the right thing to do. 

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I congratulate you on your civil behavior. I cannot say I would’ve responded in such a fashion.

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(edited)

I was thinking about that image as I was reading. You saved me looking for it!

It's ****ing outrageous.

The term people in Australia tend to use when someone points out a rule is "Geez.... we're not playing for sheep stations!" When I reply, "Yeah, but we're playing by the rules." people tend to behave very oddly. They just don't understand that they are playing against the field, not just with three people.

 

A few weeks ago my regular partner and I were playing with some guys we didn't know too well. My mate hit one in a penalty area and we looked for what was probably between 2:40 and 3:10. My mate found his ball and picked it up. (It was very playable).

The other guys just couldn't understand what he was doing. My mate said "Time was up" and as it was stableford he just walked with us to the green and took a wipe.

The other two guys just behaved as if it was the weirdest thing they had ever seen. They couldn't believe it.

I know for sure that if anything is going to have me carted off to hospital on a golf course it will be after I have yelled out "3 minutes!!!!!" to someone 200m away who has been searching for at least 5 minutes.

The craziest thing is that in a lot of penalty areas you're better off not finding it anyway because you'd be doing well to get it out. If it's not visible after 20 seconds you probably don't want to find it. Especially if your point of entry is only metres away.

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I haven't been on here much lately, but I still check in from time to time. Of course you were doing the right thing, and of course the other guy was in the wrong. It's a shame that coaches/parents don't respect the rules, especially in competition. I read @ChetlovesMer's post on his stroke plus distance debacle in city men's league, and these two resonate with me a lot.

I would say that 75-90% of people I get paired with do multiple things that violate the rules, but they are all casual rounds, and those people paid their money, and as long as I am not betting with them, I just let them do their thing. I have never played any competition, and haven't kept an official handicap in my 2.2 years back in the game, but I always try to play by the rules (to the best of my ability, cause I don't know everything). Those that don't at least attempt the same are only hurting themselves in casual play, and are full blown cheats (in my eyes) in competitive play.

Thanks for the good read!

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58 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I congratulate you on your civil behavior. I cannot say I would’ve responded in such a fashion.

Well, I did basically call him a cheater and repeat the "go f*** yourself" back to him. So I don't know that I'd call it "civil." 🙂

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7 minutes ago, iacas said:

Well, I did basically call him a cheater and repeat the "go f*** yourself" back to him. So I don't know that I'd call it "civil." 🙂

Civil is over rated. I’m more on the side of, as long as there is not physical harm, let him have it. 😁

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

the S kid is cool with it. He gets it, he was just pissed he found it after time. He's fine." So, that's a relief, as I don't have to worry as much about retribution of some kind for my player. I even chat with the S player on the ninth tee about his home course and some other things. He seems annoyed at his lack of luck for the day, but otherwise, doesn't seem to hold anything against me. Credit to him.

This seems to happen all the time. I used to be a little league umpire and if a kid got called out he was normally fine with it. I mean disappointed, but fine. The coaches, however, were sometimes huge D-bags. I once had a coach pull his team off the field because of a fair ball vs foul ball call. I umpired for two seasons and I probably have 100 stories of D-bag coaches or parents. ... Parents I sometimes get. They don't always know the rules. But coaches... come on. 

 

9 hours ago, saevel25 said:

I can understand a parent going off like that, especially one that doesn't know the rules of golf. For a coach, and a pretty good player who has probably played competitively... That is absurd. On some point, I understand protecting his golfers, but to do so by allowing them to cheat is not the right thing to do. 

This

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8 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

I would say that 75-90% of people I get paired with do multiple things that violate the rules, but they are all casual rounds, and those people paid their money, and as long as I am not betting with them, I just let them do their thing.

Ding!

I'm with you, brother. If you are playing a casual round, do what ever you want. I couldn't care less what you write down on your scorecard. Personally, I'm trying to improve and learn to play in tournaments and competitive events (granted against hcp), so I really try to follow the rules. 

And to be honest, most of them aren't that difficult. Every now and then I come across a one that I'm confused on. 

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

As many here know, I coach a college golf team. We're a DIII team, one of the Penn State schools, and we won our conference championship and the Automatic Qualifier. This is the fourth time the last five times the National Championship has been played that we've been there since I started coaching six years ago, and the eighth time in the last nine times it's been played.

Let's bear in mind throughout this that this is the National Championship. The winner will get a big-ass trophy, the same as the DI winners you see on Golf Channel in a few weeks.

Tuesday is our first day. We're off at 10:20 to 11:00, #5 player to #1. We're paired with two other schools, which I'll call "R" and "S." Sunday we had gotten a bunch of rain, the steady drizzling kind. The host site (Oglebay Resort) is pretty mountainous, so it drained just fine, but it was still a bit soft in places. Enough to warrant lift, clean, and place (and they, like me, abhor using it unless necessary) for the first two rounds, since play is split over two courses.

Anyway, our #5 guy flares his ball out to the right a bit. The R kid (a lefty) pulls his ball right as well, but as it's a pull, it goes farther.

I stay on the tee to get everyone on my team started, and I glance down eventually and my #5 guy is looking for his ball. He looks for another 30 seconds before he finds it. The R kid is looking for his ball. My guy plays his ball, after the S kid in the fairway moved out of the way, and then the S kid goes back and plays his shot, too. The R kid has continued to look for the ball the whole time, along with spectators. Both other players, my guy and the S kid, begin searching as well. The R kid himself makes multiple wide loops (often going much too far), but on the tee we're commenting on how it's been at least eight minutes, maybe ten. We were back on schedule, and they hadn't even found the ball when it was past time for the next tee time to go out.

At what was 100% certainly the 6:00 mark or later, 95% the 7:30 mark or later, and maybe as late as 10:00 since he started searching, someone finds the ball.

From the tee, we then see the kid marking the ball and getting his driver out. We assume he's going to come back to the tee, and begin to figure out who can drive him back. Then we see him measuring, presumably because the ball was embedded. The #4 R kid calls the R coach, who had himself searched for at least ~2:00 at the end, and the coach doesn't answer. He calls again, no answer. I call my #5 player, and say "hey, stop him from playing that ball. It's been like eight minutes. Tell him to talk with his coach." My player says something like "Okay coach" and I assume he's got it, so he hangs up.

The conversation on the tee centers around the fact that if the player plays the ball, and tees off on the second hole, he'll be DQed. The R kid knows this, my #4 player knows this for sure, and the starters know it too.

A Rules Official is on the scene, apparently (we thought he might be able to drive him back to the tee), and then we see the kid taking a drop and playing the ball!

The RO was on the scene, so we say something about how we must not have known something. The RO drives up to the tee, and the #4 players finally tee off, ten minutes late.

After the players leave, the starter and I ask the RO what happened. He said "oh, they were looking for a ball, and the coach, player, and all the spectators said it was close but definitely under 3 minutes." I said, "woah, no way" and the starter said "we timed it up here and it was about ten minutes!" (We hadn't started a timer, but we had a clock, and we'd stood around and noted the passage of time on several occasions.) The RO said "they told me it was < 3 minutes, all agreed." I said something like "well, I don't think they had an actual timer, because had they, it would have been way past five minutes, let alone three." The RO said "Well, I made my ruling, what's done is done. I wish they hadn't lied to me." He looked pissed (at the player/spectators). ROs don't like being lied to.

I visit with my player on the fourth tee and point out that he needs to start a timer, not only for pace of play reasons, but because of the Rules. They've been doing this most of the year, but because he was looking for his ball, he hadn't started a timer. (He should have for his ball, too, on the first hole.) He also tells me he knows it was way past three minutes, but he was "outvoted" 6-1 or something, so he didn't speak up. He's Canadian, we joke (he is half so), so he's too polite, but whatever. What's done is done.

My player had bogeyed the first, holed out for eagle on the second, bogeyed the fourth, and chipped in for birdie on five. I drive up to his drive on the left side of the fairway on the sixth to joke with him that I like how he solved his putting problems - by just not having to putt too much, by holing out and chipping in! 😄

He says "Yeah, can you believe it?" or something like that, then points out that the S player's ball is lost in the left rough, and he'd hit two balls. The spotters had only seen the second, which they found before the player arrived, but they hadn't seen his first. The S player, some spectators, and the spotters were already looking for the ball, as was his coach.

My player walks over, I put my gloves back in my cart and walk over behind him. He says "oh hey coach, my phone's in my cart, can you start a timer?" I do so, but it takes me 10 seconds to do launch the app and start the timer on my watch. We are this point a minute into the search, by my estimation.

I give my player a 1:00 warning, which he passes along. I give him a 20-second warning, he passes it along. I tell him time is up — twice, because he didn't hear the first time — and he passes that along. As people are leaving the field — the player to get a club to play his provisional — someone finds his original ball about ten seconds after my player had told him "time." (Which was actually about 10 seconds after my 3:00 was up, which was again started about a minute after the player had started searching.)

The S coach, the S father, and the S player begin cursing loudly. F words, everything else. They're cursing at the situation, not at me or my player. I get it — you'd almost rather never find it than find it ten or fifteen seconds after time (or 4:00) has elapsed.

The player makes a triple (a bogey with his provisional), which given the lie and area of the first ball, he may have also made with it anyway… and calms down.

I then see the S coach stomping up toward me. "Here we go…" I think. He's going to ask me what I used to time the search or something, I suspect.

Well, yes and no… but he doesn't ask me what I used to time the search, I am immediately cursed at and asked "Who do you think you are to be timing the searches?"

Long story short, he calls me a bunch of names, and says three things that I won't forget (because I've remembered them long enough to write them here):

  • "they're just going to have to wait on the next tee anyway" (the next tee indeed had a couple of groups waiting to play the par three).
  • "The kids are here for an experience, not to be dicked over by an asshole coach."
  • "We should just let the Rules Officials time the searches…" (There were only a few rules officials per course, roving.)

I said some things about how "3:00 is 3:00, and he looked for about 4:00, and the rules are pretty clear on this type of thing…" He said something about what had happened on the first hole with the R player, which is a fair point, but his player could have timed that guy, too. Someone should. He said something about how only the Rules Officials should time things, and I said something about how it's every player's responsibility to know and follow the Rules of Golf.

He starts to walk away saying something about how "Okay, if that's how you want to be, if that's how you want to play it… to f*** these kids over" or something (mixed with calling me more curse words), and I'd had it. I said something like "You know, I'm sick of the people who want to bend and break the Rules calling the people who know and follow the Rules names and acting like they're victims. I should be saying to you 'Hey, if you want to cheat and break the rules, if that's how you want to play it… three minutes is three minutes."

He mutters something and then says "We should just let the USGA rules officials decide this" and I say "I am a USGA rules official, too, buddy." He says "go f*** yourself" and I reply in kind. He walks over to the parents and the spectators of his team (about three or four of them) and points and gestures at me repeatedly. I'm smiling (beneath my mask) because I imagine what an ass he will look like to someone, anyone, who knows the rules.

I am fearful for my #5 player that he's going to get dicked over the rest of the round (and we play with these guys in the second round, too), and to be careful. I catch him up on the "conversation" and stress to him using a timer for his ball searches and those of others. Again.

The S coach is then talking to the same RO as gave the ruling on one. He points at me repeatedly, whatever. Talks to the RO for several minutes. The RO drives away, and he avoids me. My player says he overheard something about "etiquette violation" and says maybe the coach was saying that only players can keep time, not a coach.

Whatever.

On the ninth tee, my player says "oh, the S kid is cool with it. He gets it, he was just pissed he found it after time. He's fine." So, that's a relief, as I don't have to worry as much about retribution of some kind for my player. I even chat with the S player on the ninth tee about his home course and some other things. He seems annoyed at his lack of luck for the day, but otherwise, doesn't seem to hold anything against me. Credit to him.

I see the RO and walk over to talk to him. I say "how's it going?" and he says "You know, the course deserves some of the blame for the pace of play, but the players do too." We make small talk for a few more seconds and he says "you know, that other coach complained to me about you. I talked to him. If he takes it to the Committee, they can deal with it, but I listened to him and chose to ignore it." I said "ha ha, yeah, it wasn't helped by the situation on the first hole, but I had timed him and it was the three minutes on my timer AND the time he had been searching before that. Plus a little after. Sucks that he found his ball not too long after, though. The kid is cool with it, though." He said "yeah, I told him if it's over 3:00, then it's lost." I said "Well, he said 'they're here for an experience' and 'they're just going to have to wait on the next tee.' too." The RO said "he said that?" I said "yeah, and he said 'if that's how you want to play things, that's on you buddy'." The RO said "you know, I'm sick of the rules officials or people who know the rules being the bad guys while the people who want to cheat are the victims." I said "I'd told him the same thing!" The RO said "You know what I would have said if someone kept a timer for me, and told me when time was up? I'd have said THANK YOU to that person, especially if they knew what they were doing." I said "I'm actually a USGA official as well, just obviously not for this event…" and he cut me off to say "then, yeah, screw that guy. Play by the rules."


First, if you made it this far and are still reading, congratulations.

Second, this coach is apparently a pretty good player, and I'd expect him to know and understand and want to follow the Rules of Golf.

Third, this is the goddamn national championship. What kind of "experience" does he want his players to have, breaching and breaking and bending the Rules of Golf? Again, the player himself seemed cool with things. It's the coach who made an ass of himself.

I joked with my players that I would have been tempted, if I had an extra copy, to wrap a copy of the Rules of Golf and put a bow on it and hand it to him on the first tee the next day. I'd have highlighted and tabbed a page re: lost balls and 3-minute searches. And I'd have said something like "just thought you might want some nice summer reading in case your boys make it back here next year" or something.

I know that the 3:00 search rule is probably one of the most violated rules.

Look, people, follow the rules. I let this guy come at me for a long time, and remained civil. I returned the "go f*** yourself" comment after he had come out and said that I was the one who was at fault for not just bending the Rules because "that's how I want to play it."

But do what's right. Follow the Rules, even if you suffer at the hands (or mouths) of idiots like this fella.


TL;DR: Yet again, the person who knows and follows the Rules of Golf is screamed at and called names by someone who wanted to break and bend the Rules.

Still TL;DR:

large.sportsmanship_rules.jpg

This is why we can red card coaches and parents in youth soccer. Sad display of poor sportsmanship.

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Its disappointing when any figure of authority is offended when rules are enforced, or purposely breaks the rules themselves.  That authority figure might be a parent, coach, a clergyman, a member of the military or law-enforcement, or an elected official, and the rules must apply to all of them, and its their role to teach their subordinates (children, players, congregation, whatever) to show integrity in following the rules.  Its absolutely for players to enforce rules on themselves and on one another, its absolutely appropriate for a coach to provide honest information (i.e. the time elapsed since the beginning of a search) to help enforce the rules. 

I'm just happy to hear that the player S didn't follow his own coaches lead.  I'm also hoping that the R player wasn't one of the left-handed Stoneleigh members who's at the event, along with his university team and his Dad.

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I've been in a scenario similar before, except I was the player who went over the time and it was an assistant coach who found my first ball as I was addressing my provisional. 

Yeah, it really sucks to find the first ball after it's already been declared lost. Knowing that you could have avoided the two strokes if you'd just looked "right over there" instead, but the ball was lost and now at least you aren't out the $4 of a nice ball (assuming you pay for balls, I know many high school/college golfers don't during school tournaments).

There was no discussion or arguments on the course, I just told him to toss me the ball and continued to play my provisional, but after the round he pulled me aside to tell me I should have just played the original ball since it was found before I hit the provisional. In all honesty I probably would've scored worse from the position of the original ball (deep in a bush requiring a drop that still would leave me in a bad position), and the ball was already lost. A lost ball stays lost, and if you find it after it's no different than coming out of the woods with an extra couple balls left by earlier golfers.

I've also had the coach/caddy of another player in summer tournaments try to twist the rules against me as some kind of "gotcha!" at the scoring tent (where he wasn't even supposed to be allowed) over an event that happened very early in the round. I had pointed out to his player that you can't play from inside of an ESA like you can with other lateral hazards, and apparently that upset him when the player agreed with me rather than him so he claimed I looked too long somewhere on the front 9 for my ball. I hadn't looked for that long, I found it before the other players even started playing their golf balls, but he got himself worked up enough that I just withdrew and left without signing my scorecard or dealing with any of that hassle. This was a guy who made a big deal on the first tee (and multiple other times throughout the round) about being a PGA Professional and that we should all listen to his advice (against the rules) because he was a pro.

Those incidents, among others I've encountered along the way, have led me to believe that the people who want to bend the rules are most often the people not actually playing in the event itself, but those who are "indirectly participating" as a caddy/coach/etc. There are no consequences for them directly, if caught the blame lands on the player, but if their players do well they can take the credit. They also usually know enough about the rules to be dangerous, either from intentional or unintentional misinterpretation.

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I read the whole thing. I am thinking a "whole enchilada" badge should be awarded!  

Seriously, the experience is playing in a national NCAA championship. While D3 is not as competitive as D1 streaming live on the Golf Channel, it is still the national championship. While no one wants to see their kid card a double or triple to start their round, it is still the national championship.  Oh, and it is competition golf. Everyone knows what they signed up for. The player seemed to accept his fate, and the coach should know better. Sorry but even if you don't have a shot of advancing or winning, you still follow the rules and protect the field. 

 

 

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The thing that bugs me most is that this coach doesn’t realize that every player needs to play by the same rules. Either he thinks his players should be exempt from it or he thinks all the other players are cheating too. Not great either way. 

I’m very out on people who get pissed at the rules being enforced. It’s not because the guy calling you out wants to beat you. It’s because the field needs to play by the same rules. We all take 3 minutes to search for a ball. You can’t have one group take 3 minutes, another take 10, another take 5, etc. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@iacastough situation, seems like you handled it the best ya could, and with class (even w the zinger at the end 😀) Other guy seemed like a grade A jerk. How did your team end up doing?

Somewhat random question, any restrictions on phone/texting during a tournament round like this?

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4 hours ago, Brock said:

Somewhat random question, any restrictions on phone/texting during a tournament round like this?

By whom? Coaches? No.

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On 5/13/2021 at 11:00 PM, iacas said:

Well, I did basically call him a cheater and repeat the "go f*** yourself" back to him. So I don't know that I'd call it "civil." 🙂

I would call it “civil”. You were just repeating the language that was used in your direction.

Here is a legitimate question, Erik.  I hit it in the shit on the left side of a hole. There are spectators up ahead that start searching for my ball, as I wait for my playing competitors to hit, and eventually hit a provisional ball to potentially save some time... When does the clock start? I’m assuming when I reach the area of where the ball is likely to be, as I did not authorize the spectators to search for my ball.

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7 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

I would call it “civil”. You were just repeating the language that was used in your direction.

Telling someone to go f*** himself is not civil. Regardless of what he said before that.

7 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

When does the clock start? I’m assuming when I reach the area of where the ball is likely to be, as I did not authorize the spectators to search for my ball.

Yes, you're right. It's when you get to the area and begin searching.

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