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


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7 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Maybe? I think their were several things combining:

  • the issue of the rule itself which was relatively new for the commentators compared to what they had during their amateur and pro playing days (I would be surprised if most former pros even consult a rulebook when they play after retiring)
  • the delay between the on-site ruling and the later question mark
  • the impression of the impact of the rule itself

I personally think the last one is where the public and some of the commentator emotion was coming from. Though, Jack, usually a moderating voice was focused on the delay.

I suspect many current / former players and a lot of fans just find the penalty wrong. He didn't do anything unusual or out of the ordinary in attempting to putt. He didn't touch the ball. How else is he supposed to putt? Is part of the Major test altering your normal ingrained putting routine or stance in order to limit potential penalties like this that are essentially random and unrelated to skill or sportsmanship?

Shouldn't the player be expected to manage his game in relation to the course conditions? What a player might get away with on a 10 Stimp might not work well on a 15. In any event grounding a club so very close to the ball in play is inviting trouble.

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I've been searching for any reaction from Johnny Miller to get a sense for what his take might've been. Doesn't look like he has tweeted since 2011: https://twitter.com/johnnymillernbc. It's tough to

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 p

Totally agree.  If you go back to the thread about Tigers BMW penalty several years ago I made the exact same point :) I get that, in theory, that could go both ways ... But in practicality, I do

1 hour ago, Asheville said:

Shouldn't the player be expected to manage his game in relation to the course conditions? What a player might get away with on a 10 Stimp might not work well on a 15. In any event grounding a club so very close to the ball in play is inviting trouble.

Yes, and I get your point about inviting trouble, but to what extent? Some NASCAR driver and his daughter got beat up by a bunch of drunks walking through a parking lot after a concert. Did he invite trouble by not steering way clear of them knowing drunks can be unpredictable? Maybe. Was he at fault - did he merit a trip to the hospital due to his incaution? No.

Reductio ad absurdum will we have players tiptoeing around the green or extensive tv commentary about replacing the ball with close ups of individual grass blades discussing ball replacement strategy or questions of proper placement in nanometers relative to the line between the center of the ball marker and the hole? Will a heavy player be at an inherent disadvantage due to greater deformation of the ground surface when standing near the ball to putt? Fundamentally, is that what the game is about?

I thought the point of higher stimp greens is to add challenge to the putting itself with a greater relative difference in speed uphill vs. downhill and more break overall. I don't think the intent is to create more random penalties and create a walking on eggshells effect. Maybe this perception is silly of me, because I'm relatively new to golf. But I don't think I'm alone in that view.

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47 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Yes, and I get your point about inviting trouble, but to what extent? Some NASCAR driver and his daughter got beat up by a bunch of drunks walking through a parking lot after a concert. Did he invite trouble by not steering way clear of them knowing drunks can be unpredictable? Maybe. Was he at fault - did he merit a trip to the hospital due to his incaution? No.

Reductio ad absurdum will we have players tiptoeing around the green or extensive tv commentary about replacing the ball with close ups of individual grass blades discussing ball replacement strategy or questions of proper placement in nanometers relative to the line between the center of the ball marker and the hole? Will a heavy player be at an inherent disadvantage due to greater deformation of the ground surface when standing near the ball to putt? Fundamentally, is that what the game is about?

I thought the point of higher stimp greens is to add challenge to the putting itself with a greater relative difference in speed uphill vs. downhill and more break overall. I don't think the intent is to create more random penalties and create a walking on eggshells effect. Maybe this perception is silly of me, because I'm relatively new to golf. But I don't think I'm alone in that view.

I'm sorry, I've not produced a reductio argument.

Players who wish to do well are expected to adapt to rainy days, windy conditions and fast or slow greens. If the greens are fast or steeply sloped, don't monkey around near the ball in play. 

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5 hours ago, Big C said:

I see your point, but from a practical standpoint, I don't know how you legislate that type of thing. It wasn't like Fox was taking shots at the USGA at every opportunity.

I didn't suggest it be "legislated." Just that the USGA may have some strong suggestions.

5 hours ago, Big C said:

And what it really boiled down to is a couple of guys - who happened to be employed by Fox at that time - expressing in the moment reactions to that unprecedented situation. Even if you think that Faxon and Azinger were way off base (I don't, although at worst, I might say their anger  was directed at the wrong issue), how do you tell on-air talent to dial it back without coming dangerously close to censorship? 

Who is to say the USGA isn't above censorship? Augusta National certainly - almost famously - censors their announcing crew.

I'm not saying it's "right" or "wrong" - just that the USGA may strongly suggest that things like the rules fuck-up be handled differently in the future.

5 hours ago, Asheville said:

Chambers Bay had some unusual situations from a Rules perspective and therefore had the USGA's Thomas Pagel in the broadcast booth all of the time.

I predict another full-time USGA Rules person will be on hand in the future.

I suspect that may be one of the changes they request…

7 minutes ago, Asheville said:

Players who wish to do well are expected to adapt to rainy days, windy conditions and fast or slow greens. If the greens are fast or steeply sloped, don't monkey around near the ball in play. 

Right. Jack Nicklaus somewhat famously said that he wouldn't ground his club in the rough for fear of the ball moving. He adapted so as not to be penalized.

Either way, @natureboy, the topic here is not to discuss the rule itself, Wattel, etc. but the FOX/USGA relationship.

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

Either way, @natureboy, the topic here is not to discuss the rule itself, Wattel, etc. but the FOX/USGA relationship.

Maybe by rolling with the controversy for media buzz, Fox did a long-term service to its partner by highlighting a general perception of that particular rule and how such a rule impacts the perception of the game affecting the whole 'grow the game' initiative. Sometimes undesired criticism even if a bit harsh can expand one's perception of an issue.

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2 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Maybe by rolling with the controversy for media buzz, Fox did a long-term service to its partner by highlighting a general perception of that particular rule and how such a rule impacts the perception of the game affecting the whole 'grow the game' initiative. Sometimes undesired criticism even if a bit harsh can expand one's perception of an issue.

I don't think that's what happened, but cool if you do.

I think the USGA was made to look worse than necessary by FOX, and that except for possibly changing their policy on notification and dispute resolution at major events, little good will come from it. People were talking about this harming the game. PGA Tour players were talking about creating their own rules. Etc.

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't think that's what happened, but cool if you do.

I think the USGA was made to look worse than necessary by FOX, and that except for possibly changing their policy on notification and dispute resolution at major events, little good will come from it. People were talking about this harming the game. PGA Tour players were talking about creating their own rules. Etc.

I agree there was definitely damage. Could be a silver lining IMO if the USGA 'gets' the aspects of the rule and the process that allowed Fox to hype the controversy. It probably didn't have to be such a flogging.

I think the 'separation' talk started with Charlie Hoffman in dealing with the inability to warm up after the delays. Did Fox try to hype that issue with complaints mostly player based, or were they just responding to their viewers with the rules controversy?

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18 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I agree there was definitely damage. Could be a silver lining IMO if the USGA 'gets' the aspects of the rule and the process that allowed Fox to hype the controversy. It probably didn't have to be such a flogging.

I think the 'separation' talk started with Charlie Hoffman in dealing with the inability to warm up after the delays. Did Fox try to hype that issue with complaints mostly player based, or were they just responding to their viewers with the rules controversy?

It was Fox Sports being Fox News. Facts don't mean much, 'cause we (that would be Azinger and Strange) can just make up our own. Furthermore, 3/4 of the golf world like it like that.

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2 hours ago, Asheville said:

It was Fox Sports being Fox News. Facts don't mean much, 'cause we (that would be Azinger and Strange) can just make up our own. Furthermore, 3/4 of the golf world like it like that.

What I'm saying is the Charley Hoffman thing could have been seized upon by Fox if they were out to create controversy. If with the rules situation they were responding to the volume of response to the issue then you might take the view that they were responding to the reactions of their viewers rather than simply seeking controversy.

I appreciate that the USGA rules guys tried to get the ruling right under the rules as written regardless of controversy. Of course it could have been worry about controversy if they didn't reverse the field ruling and it later affected the outcome the other way that prompted their actions. They were in a bit of damned if you do / damned if you don't.

Still, I think a lot of the emotional reaction by players and the general public may represent a larger issue than 'was the ruling technically correct' and 'is the rule technically sound' such that the rule has room for improvement.

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15 hours ago, natureboy said:

Didn't see it, but that seems more likely than for asking the question.

They booed Buck for asking the question. I saw it live. It was poor form on Buck's part and he knew it the second he asked it. DJ's reaction was like, "really??". Another reason I don't like Buck. DJ hit a 195 yard shot to 4 feet on the final hole of a very fatiguing US Open and Buck chose to focus on the negative.

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

They booed Buck for asking the question. I saw it live. It was poor form on Buck's part and he knew it the second he asked it. DJ's reaction was like, "really??". Another reason I don't like Buck. DJ hit a 195 yard shot to 4 feet on the final hole of a very fatiguing US Open and Buck chose to focus on the negative.

They were 100% booing the USGA, not Buck. Everybody knows Buck sucks so booing him would happen all the time. Most people have a bad taste in their mouth for the USGA and they acted in their USGA way in this instance when they should've acted with common sense.

I don't like Fox but they didn't sensationalize it, the USGA did. On the final stretch of a major tournament they announce that they just might at some point give a penalty stroke to a player who happened to be in the lead. Fox would be doing a disservice to that by downplaying it. 

 

The USGA decided to not believe DJ and then decided to hold onto their ruling until after the round so they could...well I don't know. Did they want to dramatically come out and tell the crowd..."DJ is penalized one stroke! He loses! BOOM RULES!" ::mic drop:

 

They acted dumb and everyone other than weird USGA apologists agrees. It was dramatic and needed to be covered on TV. If the USGA wants everybody to never question them, they should start their own broadcast.

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16 minutes ago, xcott said:

They were 100% booing the USGA, not Buck. Everybody knows Buck sucks so booing him would happen all the time. Most people have a bad taste in their mouth for the USGA and they acted in their USGA way in this instance when they should've acted with common sense.

I don't like Fox but they didn't sensationalize it, the USGA did. On the final stretch of a major tournament they announce that they just might at some point give a penalty stroke to a player who happened to be in the lead. Fox would be doing a disservice to that by downplaying it. 

 

The USGA decided to not believe DJ and then decided to hold onto their ruling until after the round so they could...well I don't know. Did they want to dramatically come out and tell the crowd..."DJ is penalized one stroke! He loses! BOOM RULES!" ::mic drop:

 

They acted dumb and everyone other than weird USGA apologists agrees. It was dramatic and needed to be covered on TV. If the USGA wants everybody to never question them, they should start their own broadcast.

Disagree. Let's leave it at that.

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Disagree that people were booing Buck for asking the question? That's not arguable actually. Where is the general outrage anywhere for buck asking the question? I've heard of no people saying that, I've heard many who are rightly upset at how the USGA handled the situation. People like to see golf tournaments decided by golf playing, not rule deciding. I know the USGA thinks everyone is a rules nerd and loves it, but it's not true. 

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1 minute ago, xcott said:

Disagree that people were booing Buck for asking the question? That's not arguable actually. Where is the general outrage anywhere for buck asking the question? I've heard of no people saying that, I've heard many who are rightly upset at how the USGA handled the situation. People like to see golf tournaments decided by golf playing, not rule deciding. I know the USGA thinks everyone is a rules nerd and loves it, but it's not true. 

What part of "Let's leave it at that?" didn't you understand? :-)

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I'm often intrigued by delusion, which is the only way one can believe the crowd was upset that Buck had the temerity to ask about the usga rather than the crowd was upset at the USGA for going all USGA. 

If you don't want to discuss on a discussion board, that's your prerogative. I'm not DJ and you're not the USGA, so I don't have to abide by your ruling to not discuss something even if you're suggesting it for no apparent reason.

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2 minutes ago, xcott said:

I don't like Fox but they didn't sensationalize it, the USGA did. On the final stretch of a major tournament they announce that they just might at some point give a penalty stroke to a player who happened to be in the lead. Fox would be doing a disservice to that by downplaying it. 

I completely disagree with this. Nobody has said Fox should've downplay it. C'mon. But Fox commentators shed very little light on the rule. My father and I were on DJ's side as we watched (and angry at the USGA). The next day, I saw him again, and we had both changed our mind- independently. He is a lawyer, and had a chance to understand the rule more in his lawyerly way. 

There was no need to downplay it, but there was a need to shed a light on why the USGA would've felt the need to do what they'd done. There was very little light-shedding, and the segments with the USGA seemed to have them on the defensive. That kind of stuff rubs off on our impressions of what is going on. It affected my impressions.

In my mind, the further I get from this, the more Fox looked like they were totally ill-prepared and unable to respond to the situation. They did worse than fail to shed light, they slanted the coverage to put the USGA on their heels.

The USGA acted honorably, even if they did fail at the first line of defense on the 5th green. They did the best they could in a high pressure situation.

4 minutes ago, xcott said:

The USGA decided to not believe DJ and then decided to hold onto their ruling until after the round so they could...well I don't know. Did they want to dramatically come out and tell the crowd..."DJ is penalized one stroke! He loses! BOOM RULES!" ::mic drop:

They acted dumb and everyone other than weird USGA apologists agrees. It was dramatic and needed to be covered on TV. If the USGA wants everybody to never question them, they should start their own broadcast.

Once again, the USGA did not question DJ's integrity. They did not "decide not to believe DJ." At this point, you are losing credibility by characterizing things that way.

I have no idea about the USGA, and I am not an apologist for anyone. Just a golf fan and bogey golfer who enjoys the sport. No connections in the industry. So I think that means I'm not a "weird USGA apologist," but...

the more I think about the timing of the ruling and how they delayed it until the end, the more I yawn about it. Sure it would've been nice to have a real-time score that was accurate, but the actual problem was that they had to explain to a premiere player in the game how the rule was written. That's hard to do in the back nine of a major. Apparently, the USGA needed to educate the world on how the rule worked, because ignorance of how the rule was written seems to have been astounding! Again, hard to do on the back nine of a major tournament.

Does it really matter that there was uncertainty on the back nine? DJ might've been one fewer stroke under par- so what? We can all do math of adding or subtracting by 1. Doesn't every player know that anything can happen, and they need to get in the clubhouse with the lowest score possible? Except maybe on the final hole, is a one shot difference in the leader going to change your strategy? 

These are professionals. They can deal with uncertainty. At this point, I think those that are pointing out how unfair it is for the players and fans to not know the actual score are mostly whining. Even Shane Lowry in a post-round interview totally downplayed how it impacted him- he mostly just yawned and said "yah, I heard on the 12th, but I was focused on my game and it had no impact. That was all stuff for the USGA to decide so who am I to question it."  

And we made it through just fine, not knowing if the penalty would be assessed. And if the ruling had impacted the result, so what? That's competition. 

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3 minutes ago, RandallT said:

the more I think about the timing of the ruling and how they delayed it until the end, the more I yawn about it.

Possibly because it was made irrelevant by DJ winning by more than a stroke. What if he was tied and then the USGA comes out and says...tournament over. DJ loses! That's without question the worst way to end what is supposed to be an entertainment product. Nobody in their right minds wants referees to end a match. There is no reason the USGA couldn't have made their decision in a timely fashion. If this were on the 18th green, that's one thing. However this was far from that. The USGA likely wanted the attention and wanted a chance to go all USGA in this situation. 

 

The USGA does not sit back behind the scenes, they court attention and they relished in the opportunity to decide a tournement with a rules decision. It's the dream come true for them. DJ ruined it for them fortunately. 

7 minutes ago, RandallT said:

DJ might've been one fewer stroke under par- so what? We can all do math of adding or subtracting by 1. Doesn't every player know that anything can happen, and they need to get in the clubhouse with the lowest score possible? Except maybe on the final hole, is a one shot difference in the leader going to change your strategy? 

Golf is entertainment pure and simple. It's not about the players but about the entertainment value. We watch golf to watch players of extreme ability perform. Nobody except a small slice of rules nerds are entertained by rulings. The USGA is like Joe West in baseball, they think people pay to watch them, when they don't. 

9 minutes ago, RandallT said:

And if the ruling had impacted the result, so what? That's competition. 

I'm ok with the ruling impacting the result, that happens. But waiting until the end is obviously courting attention and shifting the dramatics from the players onto the rules. 

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11 minutes ago, xcott said:

I'm often intrigued by delusion, which is the only way one can believe the crowd was upset that Buck had the temerity to ask about the usga rather than the crowd was upset at the USGA for going all USGA. 

If you don't want to discuss on a discussion board, that's your prerogative. I'm not DJ and you're not the USGA, so I don't have to abide by your ruling to not discuss something even if you're suggesting it for no apparent reason.

The interesting thing about audiences is we all have different perceptions of the same viewing. You are absolutely convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that everyone there had the same reaction as you did. You are also very condescending to anyone who differs from your opinion. This ruling issue seems to consume you to the point of being rude to other posters and moderators. You are argumentative for no other reason than you like to argue.

Let it go. When I said, "let's leave it at that", I meant please don't feel you need to get in the last word just to get in the last word with me. Respond to others posts. Go for a walk. Have some tea.

Spoiler

 

 

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