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Fox and the USGA - Changes Coming Due to Coverage of Rules Event?

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I started a new topic on this based on this comment:

39 minutes ago, Asheville said:

In most cases I suspect that the player would want to know. (The "know" vs "not know" was merely a result of two former players running their mouths on TV before they had bothered to read the Rule.)

It's interesting, if you think about it… will the USGA dictate to Fox how they screwed up and misrepresented the USGA? Would this have happened on NBC?

In other words, the USGA chose FOX as their broadcast partner, and FOX - by allowing their former players turned announcers to go on for so long about how unfair things were, and to misunderstand and mis-apply the rules, certainly didn't do the USGA any favors. Will this cause a change in the way the USGA allows FOX to cover their events?

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16 minutes ago, iacas said:

I started a new topic on this based on this comment:

It's interesting, if you think about it… will the USGA dictate to Fox how they screwed up and misrepresented the USGA? Would this have happened on NBC?

In other words, the USGA chose FOX as their broadcast partner, and FOX - by allowing their former players turned announcers to go on for so long about how unfair things were, and to misunderstand and mis-apply the rules, certainly didn't do the USGA any favors. Will this cause a change in the way the USGA allows FOX to cover their events?

They certainly should sit down with the broadcast team and talk about how this all unfolded. Former players not knowing rules or applying old wives tales (all putt break toward Ray's creek) should be cause for concern. But also, they should take some of the blame and stated that the local RO made a mistake too.

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I prefer the television broadcasters having the ability to speak honestly about the organization they are covering.They should be able to comment on the rules and what they think the rules should be. Also they should fire Joe Buck because he sucks at calling any sport,

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It was a huge ruling, the USGA should have requested air time to clarify the rules if they felt FOX was doing them a disservice.  Maybe FOX and the other broadcast channels need to hire a golf rules expert, like the NFL does, who can explain questionable rulings.  

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19 minutes ago, xcott said:

I prefer the television broadcasters having the ability to speak honestly about the organization they are covering.They should be able to comment on the rules and what they think the rules should be. Also they should fire Joe Buck because he sucks at calling any sport,

At least Buck is aware that people do not like him.

 

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I don't have a problem with Fox doing the broadcast, what is starting to annoy me is having to watch Jack Nickalus at every tournament. Just show the golf coverage already.

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42 minutes ago, xcott said:

I prefer the television broadcasters having the ability to speak honestly about the organization they are covering.They should be able to comment on the rules and what they think the rules should be. Also they should fire Joe Buck because he sucks at calling any sport,

I met Joe one time and he's a good guy. I think he's pretty good at football and baseball, IMO. I think he needs to take a page out of Tirico's book, though, and learn that you have to announce golf differently. I feel like he tries to announce golf like it's football sometimes.

I don't think the USGA will drop Fox, but I'm sure there will be a conversation about it. I was surprised yesterday at hearing not just the Fox guys go after the USGA, but then showing tweets from players blasting the USGA as well.

 

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I don't care for Fox's broadcast of golf tournaments.  My favorite network is CBS and the Golf Channel.  I think that the local official at #5 made the right call based on the information presented by DJ.  I also think DJ was forthcoming and honest.  As television is the lifeblood of any sport, the USGA needs to figure out how to get the call correct at the time of the specific event.  I think in the future, anytime one has his/her putter anywhere in the vicinity of the ball, and it moves, there will be a penalty assessed.

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3 hours ago, boogielicious said:

They certainly should sit down with the broadcast team and talk about how this all unfolded. Former players not knowing rules or applying old wives tales (all putt break toward Ray's creek) should be cause for concern. But also, they should take some of the blame and stated that the local RO made a mistake too.

The announcers (as well as DJ and Westwood) all used terminology during the broadcast indicating their (mis)understanding that as long as the putter isn't sole/grounded during address, there wouldn't be a penalty.

Even this morning on the Golf Channel, Duval and Nobilo mention how DJ didn't sole/ground his putter behind the ball, implying that would be the reason for causing a ball to move and result in a penalty.

52 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

It was a huge ruling, the USGA should have requested air time to clarify the rules if they felt FOX was doing them a disservice.  Maybe FOX and the other broadcast channels need to hire a golf rules expert, like the NFL does, who can explain questionable rulings.  

They had Jeff Hall of the USGA in the booth (while DJ was on the 12th green or so), explaining why he felt DJ had caused the ball to move.  I don't know if he had heard their discussions of soled/grounded during address (probably not), and they didn't bring up that specific point of misunderstanding with him at that time, so he might not have known that he had to clarify that point. He did clarify that DJ did not give another reason why the ball moved (e.g., no gust of wind).

I expect that the handling of this (type of) situation wouldn't have been much different on CBS, NBC, Turner, or the Golf Channel.

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Someone on Saturday, I think, was lining up his putt on a par 3.  Joe Buck said, "[Player's name] with his 2 ball."

Right then, he needed to be walked out of the broadcast booth and off the premises. 

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1 hour ago, newtogolf said:

It was a huge ruling, the USGA should have requested air time to clarify the rules if they felt FOX was doing them a disservice.  Maybe FOX and the other broadcast channels need to hire a golf rules expert, like the NFL does, who can explain questionable rulings.  

They had David Fay.  The problem is that when a rules official completely blows it, as in this case, IMO, the old loyalties come back.  As this incident gets more discussion and the local RO comes under fire you can bet that every person in the "rules community" will come to this guy's defense.  It is human nature, but IMO the rules official on the scene just choked and acted as if he had never read that Decision.

47 minutes ago, Lastpick said:

I don't care for Fox's broadcast of golf tournaments.  My favorite network is CBS and the Golf Channel.  I think that the local official at #5 made the right call based on the information presented by DJ.  I also think DJ was forthcoming and honest.  As television is the lifeblood of any sport, the USGA needs to figure out how to get the call correct at the time of the specific event.  I think in the future, anytime one has his/her putter anywhere in the vicinity of the ball, and it moves, there will be a penalty assessed.

The reason the local official made the wrong call is because of exactly what you said, he based it solely on information presented by Dustin Johnson.  Which is not what the Decision says he should do.  He didn't assess any of the factors listed in that Decision - if he had the conclusion would have been obvious, IMO.  Two factors weighed against the player - proximity in both space and time between his actions and the ball moving.  No indication at all of any other factor that could have caused the ball to move.  Based on the "rules of evidence" in the decision it had to be a penalty, IMO.  

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2 hours ago, xcott said:

I prefer the television broadcasters having the ability to speak honestly about the organization they are covering. They should be able to comment on the rules and what they think the rules should be.

I prefer that they speak intelligently and honestly. They failed on the intelligently part. They continually and repeatedly gave bad information about what the ruling would be/should be and why.

2 hours ago, newtogolf said:

It was a huge ruling, the USGA should have requested air time to clarify the rules if they felt FOX was doing them a disservice.  Maybe FOX and the other broadcast channels need to hire a golf rules expert, like the NFL does, who can explain questionable rulings.  

They did, but the fact remains that the idiots in the booth rattled on for quite awhile - with bad information - before the USGA officials could get to the booth to clarify things.

David Fay did the best he could but it was after the fact and after a lot of incorrect speculation and whatnot by the former players.

59 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

The announcers (as well as DJ and Westwood) all used terminology during the broadcast indicating their (mis)understanding that as long as the putter isn't sole/grounded during address, there wouldn't be a penalty.

Correct.

59 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

Even this morning on the Golf Channel, Duval and Nobilo mention how DJ didn't sole/ground his putter behind the ball, implying that would be the reason for causing a ball to move and result in a penalty.

Yup. That's what I think the USGA would have a problem with. The former players made the USGA look worse by repeatedly talking and getting the information, the rules, etc. wrong.

59 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

I expect that the handling of this (type of) situation wouldn't have been much different on CBS, NBC, Turner, or the Golf Channel.

As do I, which is why I started this thread.

FOX is not used to dealing with the USGA and has little to no history covering golf.

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I honestly don't expect the broadcasters to know the intricacies of every single golf rule. It would be nice, but not necessary. Access to someone who does would be just fine.

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2 minutes ago, xcott said:

I honestly don't expect the broadcasters to know the intricacies of every single golf rule. It would be nice, but not necessary. Access to someone who does would be just fine.

Then I suspect the USGA would prefer they not pontificate if they do not understand/know.

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22 minutes ago, iacas said:

Then I suspect the USGA would prefer they not pontificate if they do not understand/know.

I suspect the USGA is actually doing scrooge mcduck dives into their piles of cash that they got from Fox. 

 

Hell their TV spot even says this

 

"We all agree rules are important even if some don't always make sense."

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3 hours ago, Missouri Swede said:

The announcers (as well as DJ and Westwood) all used terminology during the broadcast indicating their (mis)understanding that as long as the putter isn't sole/grounded during address, there wouldn't be a penalty.

Even this morning on the Golf Channel, Duval and Nobilo mention how DJ didn't sole/ground his putter behind the ball, implying that would be the reason for causing a ball to move and result in a penalty.

They had Jeff Hall of the USGA in the booth (while DJ was on the 12th green or so), explaining why he felt DJ had caused the ball to move.  I don't know if he had heard their discussions of soled/grounded during address (probably not), and they didn't bring up that specific point of misunderstanding with him at that time, so he might not have known that he had to clarify that point. He did clarify that DJ did not give another reason why the ball moved (e.g., no gust of wind).

I expect that the handling of this (type of) situation wouldn't have been much different on CBS, NBC, Turner, or the Golf Channel.

Fox did their due diligence in having the USGA Rules Guys on after the tournament was over to explain themselves - and from my point of view the USGA guys did nothing to clarify things other than to pretty much say they didn't believe DJ and were unwilling to go along with the ruling made by the USGA rules guy following the group.  The explanation offered was that there was no compelling evidence that DJ did anything but since the ball moved and there was no other explanation available he must have been at fault.

This whole fiasco is just more of the same mess the PGA Tour and the USGA have gotten themselves into by allowing HD video review of certain situations after the event takes place to be considered as means to call penalties or even disqualify a player (remember the issue that started it all where Craig Stadler used a towel at Torrey to "build a stance" under a tree and thus was disqualified after the round was over?)  Unless you want to set up a "war room" at the tournament site that reviews every shot of every player it really means that only tournament leaders will be under such scrutiny - I suppose they could have an LCD sign behind each green letting a player know if his score for the hole was under video review and then make the call on the spot (like they do on hockey goals).

USGA has a rules guy following each group - should be the responsibility of that guy to make the call on the spot and regardless of what TV shows later you have to go with the call "on the field".  Rules guy asked DJ if he caused the ball to move and his answer was that he did not - it should have ended there.  It's totally unfair that players are at the whim of whatever view the TV cameras may show and what shots will be seen and what shots will not;  if you really wanted to take such stupidity all the way to its conclusion you could HI-Def the ball every time a player addresses it and then apply a penalty even if a player has a ball oscillate on him which is not a violation of the rules but may look like the ball moved.

At some point you just have to trust the players and the on-course officials to do their jobs correctly.

 

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4 minutes ago, Coronagolfman said:

Fox did their due diligence in having the USGA Rules Guys on after the tournament was over to explain themselves…

That was after they spouted quite a bit of ignorance. The first impression was the wrong/misinformed one.

4 minutes ago, Coronagolfman said:

The explanation offered was that there was no compelling evidence that DJ did anything but since the ball moved and there was no other explanation available he must have been at fault.

The explanation was more that there was nothing else that was more likely to have caused the ball to move.

4 minutes ago, Coronagolfman said:

This whole fiasco is just more of the same mess the PGA Tour and the USGA have gotten themselves into by allowing HD video review of certain situations after the event takes place to be considered as means to call penalties

The HD video is irrelevant. The issue was not "did the ball move?" but "what was Dustin doing right before the ball moved, and how close was he to the ball?"

4 minutes ago, Coronagolfman said:

USGA has a rules guy following each group - should be the responsibility of that guy to make the call on the spot and regardless of what TV shows later you have to go with the call "on the field".  Rules guy asked DJ if he caused the ball to move and his answer was that he did not - it should have ended there.

The rules guy screwed up, but also, DJ misrepresented what he did.

4 minutes ago, Coronagolfman said:

It's totally unfair that players are at the whim of whatever view the TV cameras may show and what shots will be seen and what shots will not;

It really isn't about the player being on camera. He stepped away and called over the rules official. Had the RO done his job, and perhaps even had Dustin demonstrate everything he did leading up to the ball moving, he would have reached the same conclusion.

Video, if it exists and isn't to the level of "you can see it in HD but not with the human eye in realtime," simply serves to help make sure things are done correctly. That the ruling is right. That's important.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

That was after they spouted quite a bit of ignorance. The first impression was the wrong/misinformed one.

The explanation was more that there was nothing else that was more likely to have caused the ball to move.

The HD video is irrelevant. The issue was not "did the ball move?" but "what was Dustin doing right before the ball moved, and how close was he to the ball?"

The rules guy screwed up, but also, DJ misrepresented what he did.

It really isn't about the player being on camera. He stepped away and called over the rules official. Had the RO done his job, and perhaps even had Dustin demonstrate everything he did leading up to the ball moving, he would have reached the same conclusion.

Video, if it exists and isn't to the level of "you can see it in HD but not with the human eye in realtime," simply serves to help make sure things are done correctly. That the ruling is right. That's important.

The ruling was not right.  That's very important.  The ruling was incorrect as it was not more likely than not Dustin's actions that caused the ball to move. 

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Note: This thread is 1181 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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