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CR McDivot

No rule prohibuting unsportsmanlike conduct?

14 posts in this topic

When I learned to play, instruction in etiquette and common courtesy came before actual golfing skills were taught. It was of the utmost importance to behave as a gentleman on the course. There was generally no need to institute a rule prohibiting being an ass!

Admittedly this was a long time ago, but when exactly did it become acceptable to throw a childish fit over a bad shot, throwing/breaking clubs and/or cursing in competition or even in a casual round?

This sort of behavior demeans the spirit of the game and IMHO should be penalized by disqualification in competition, and sternly frowned upon in casual play.

Flame away, heathen!

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Originally Posted by CR McDivot

Admittedly this was a long time ago, but when exactly did it become acceptable to throw a childish fit over a bad shot, throwing/breaking clubs and/or cursing in competition or even in a casual round?

I have heard rumours that this has happened tens of years ago already. Not sure about hundreds.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CR McDivot View Post

When I learned to play, instruction in etiquette and common courtesy came before actual golfing skills were taught. It was of the utmost importance to behave as a gentleman on the course. There was generally no need to institute a rule prohibiting being an ass!

Admittedly this was a long time ago, but when exactly did it become acceptable to throw a childish fit over a bad shot, throwing/breaking clubs and/or cursing in competition or even in a casual round?

This sort of behavior demeans the spirit of the game and IMHO should be penalized by disqualification in competition, and sternly frowned upon in casual play.

Flame away, heathen!

I'ts never been acceptable, but it also isn't a new thing.  There have been club and tantrum throwers for as long as I've known about the game, and that's more than 40 years, and certainly for long before that.

There is recourse under the rules for an exceptional breach of etiquette.  Rule 33-7:

Quote:

33-7 . Disqualification Penalty; Committee Discretion

A penalty of disqualification may in exceptional individual cases be waived, modified or imposed if the Committee considers such action warranted.

Any penalty less than disqualification must not be waived or modified.

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.

...and this decision:

Quote:

33-7/8

Meaning of "Serious Breach of Etiquette"

Q. In Rule 33-7 , what is meant by a "serious breach of etiquette"?

A. A serious breach of etiquette is behavior by a player that shows a significant disregard for an aspect of the Etiquette Section, such as intentionally distracting another player or intentionally offending someone.

Although a Committee may disqualify a player under Rule 33-7 for a single act that it considers to be a serious breach of etiquette, in most cases it is recommended that such a penalty should be imposed only in the event of a further serious breach.

Ultimately, the application of a penalty for a serious breach of etiquette under Rule 33-7 is at the discretion of the Committee.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

I'ts never been acceptable,

This.......

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Where do you draw the line constituting illegal behavior? There's no way you can do it objectively and only controversy will result.

Example: Tiger Woods hits a bad shot on hole 72 at the US Open but manages to finish with a 1 shot lead afterwards. He lets loose an obscenity under his breath, but there's no mistaking what he said and every camera in the world caught it. A senior rules official who's had enough of Tiger decides to get him disqualified because in his opinion, swearing has no place on the golf course and he doesn't want the kids watching on TV to imitate the behavior.

Example 2: Jim Furyk is in contention on hole 16 at the waste management open, someone yells an insult to his mother during his backswing and he angrily yells for him to be thrown out. A rules official considers any such interaction with a fan to be unsportsmanlike conduct and gives him a DQ, costing him the win.

Example 3: Bubba Watson hits a wild drive and finds his ball against a tree root. He attempts to crush the shot onto the green but nearly breaks his wrist instead and releases the club, sending it flying onto the green. A strict "no throwing clubs" rule has been instituted with zero tolerance because it has no place in golf and Bubba is DQ'ed from the event.

Example 4: Freddie Couples has an opportunity to win a Masters title but hits a hook on the final hole, and drops his club in frustration. An official in the club decides it's such a great story after he went on to win that they declare him the winner and overlook the infraction because he's a class act most of the time. This being the Masters, nothing the USGA, PGA, or R&A; can do will make them change.

Example 5: The first woman qualifies to compete in the Masters. She plays terribly despite her incredible length and racks up high scores on the front. Bob Barker begins to heckle her a bit because none of her pets are spayed or neutered, and it ends up getting ugly. Bob really starts asking for it, and she finally loses her cool and pops him in the jaw. An all out brawl ensues, resulting in her disqualification.

Bobby Jones had the attitude that the game should police itself and players build their own legacy. I don't think players benefit from bad behavior like this and I think they suffer from a poor image if they do it often.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

Where do you draw the line constituting illegal behavior? There's no way you can do it objectively and only controversy will result.

Bobby Jones had the attitude that the game should police itself and players build their own legacy. I don't think players benefit from bad behavior like this and I think they suffer from a poor image if they do it often.

Which is why it's left up to the committee.  They make the assumption that the committee will use good judgement in its decision to impose or pass on a given offense.  It's also why the recommendation is worded to suggest that such an imposition should only be made after multiple (and relatively grievous) offenses.  I don't see dropping a club over one's back in disgust as even significant.  Snapping the shaft over one's knee, or helicoptering it 30 yards is more serious, as is screaming f-bombs that echo off the distant hills.  Doing it more than once in a competition should be subject to review.  It's a matter of severity.  There is nothing wrong with a controlled display of emotion.  When it's not controlled, then some level of action should be taken.

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Am I the only one that saw Furyk's gross violation on sportsmanship on the 9th green!!  After he missed his put, then tapped in he stood about 20' away in direct sight of Dufner and proceeded to take a putting stance as Dufner was lining up his putt.  Furyk even stood glancing over toward Dufner, waited until Dufner was at address and about to hit.  At that point Furyk took a practice swing.  I believe that his actions were intentional and totally classless.  He lost me as a fan.  If that was somebody in my weekly group he would have had 3 clubs wrapped around his neck.  He should be fined heavily.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Which is why it's left up to the committee...

Apparently, the committees have been more concerned with offending out of control players than upholding a modicum of decorum.

So much the worse for the state of the game.

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Please, fellas, don't conflate that money-making travelling circus, the PGA Tour, which exploits golf with our game of golf. Why should we even care, apart from the obvious fact that these guys can hit some pretty good shots, how they run their business ... make no mistake, this is an entertainment business not a sport.

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Originally Posted by Asheville

Please, fellas, don't conflate that money-making travelling circus, the PGA Tour, which exploits golf with our game of golf. Why should we even care, apart from the obvious fact that these guys can hit some pretty good shots, how they run their business ... make no mistake, this is an entertainment business not a sport.

Pretty sure it can be both.

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Originally Posted by CR McDivot

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt

Which is why it's left up to the committee...

Apparently, the committees have been more concerned with offending out of control players than upholding a modicum of decorum.

So much the worse for the state of the game.

Jeeze... unbend that stiff neck a bit.  So you would rather the everyone was as dull and boring as Dufner?  That would be guaranteed to send the Tour into bankruptcy in about 2 years.  The rule is just fine as it is.  I don't believe I've ever seen an out of control player on Tour... certainly not on TV.  I know from personal knowledge that Baddely lost it at the International several years ago, but I think he must have heard about it from the Tour, because he's been a poster child of decorum since then.  And that tantrum wasn't even televised.  Only us tournament volunteers ever knew about it.

I think you are far too sensitive.  Time to lighten up a bit and let players be human.  The rule will still take care of any cases which warrant it.

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Originally Posted by jawhhi

Am I the only one that saw Furyk's gross violation on sportsmanship on the 9th green!!  After he missed his put, then tapped in he stood about 20' away in direct sight of Dufner and proceeded to take a putting stance as Dufner was lining up his putt.  Furyk even stood glancing over toward Dufner, waited until Dufner was at address and about to hit.  At that point Furyk took a practice swing.  I believe that his actions were intentional and totally classless.  He lost me as a fan.  If that was somebody in my weekly group he would have had 3 clubs wrapped around his neck.  He should be fined heavily.

If you asked Dufner about it, I bet he did not even notice.

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Originally Posted by jawhhi

Am I the only one that saw Furyk's gross violation on sportsmanship on the 9th green!!  After he missed his put, then tapped in he stood about 20' away in direct sight of Dufner and proceeded to take a putting stance as Dufner was lining up his putt.  Furyk even stood glancing over toward Dufner, waited until Dufner was at address and about to hit.  At that point Furyk took a practice swing.  I believe that his actions were intentional and totally classless.  He lost me as a fan.  If that was somebody in my weekly group he would have had 3 clubs wrapped around his neck.  He should be fined heavily.

Yep.  I think you're the only one.

BTW, welcome to the forum!

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Originally Posted by Asheville

Please, fellas, don't conflate that money-making travelling circus, the PGA Tour, which exploits golf with our game of golf. Why should we even care, apart from the obvious fact that these guys can hit some pretty good shots, how they run their business ... make no mistake, this is an entertainment business not a sport.

And the PGA Tour doesn't do anything, directly or indirectly, to expose people to the sport and encourage play.

Bonus points for the use of the word conflate though.

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