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Anna Nordqvist Grounds Club in Bunker, Loses U.S. Women's Open

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The more I think about it, the more I think the problem is really just the constraints of how many cameras/cameramen a broadcaster chooses to bring to a tourney, and how that creates a scenario where different percentage of shots can be scrutinised to the nth degree depending on the situation.I dont know who makes this decision.

Im also even curious now as to how golf tournaments ask cameramen/broadcasters to look for infraction, and maybe on what importance they place on rules-catching. Like, is it the USGA who requests X amount of cameras in the deal with Fox to guarantee they see X amount of shots closeup?

A similar problem might be is when an NFL game in a different stadium cant capture the same video replay  at a similar angle that another stadium might be able to. You have two games under the same ruleset that can receive the same amount of analysis. 

Edited by cutchemist42

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waiting for a top (rich) pro (or a group of pros) to hire a giant crew of cameramen like 3 or 4 per hole and huge staff of independent judges to real time review everything everyone else does (including super tight zooming) and start calling it all in throughout a big tournament - just to make a point

The Open - for example.  Home of golf, the effort to could be called "It used to be a game of honor" or "Big Brother - and his uncles, sisters and cousins - are watching"

live stream it all on Facebook - let the chips fall

(I'm being wry, I really doubt they'd discover much....)

39 minutes ago, iacas said:
  1.  and yet… nobody's giving them any credit for how quickly they decided and informed.

Noticed this - it was faster by far than Dustin's issue was....

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4 hours ago, No Mulligans said:

Unfortunately I can relate a bit.  I've become more and more forgetful, especially short term memory.  Chemo brain or age or both.  I don't drink so that only leaves...?

Hmm.. .yes... 

Just remember when you see pigtails on a lady they are not handlebars, buddy. 

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2 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

The only distinction I can think of is that in the case of a ball moving, the only potential advantage is the ball position. In a bunker, the rule is to prevent you from testing the ground. But it's ridiculous to think that any contact which is so minute that it can only be seen on video is enough to "test" anything.

For hazards, I think it's about both testing the conditions in a 'penalty' area and potentially improving your lie. For bunkers, I think the latter is more applicable since you can already test the conditions a bit with your feet - though not right at the ball. Exposing a bit of the back of the ball by even lightly grounding the club can substantially improve your chances of making clean contact, particularly if the ball has settled in a bit.

I agree with you that minute contact like that not detected by the player, RO, fellow competitor, or spectators is inconsequential in terms of why the rule is there in the first place, except perhaps in encouraging a player to employ a wide safety margin.

2 hours ago, Fourputt said:

The one thing I'll say is that every player knows the rule, and in my humble opinion, she took too much of a chance by trying to place the club too close to the ball at address.  Basically she took what I see as an unnecessary risk and was bitten for it.  It sucks because of the situation, but it was handled as well as was possible, notification was made as soon as the breach was verified, and putting blame on the USGA for her gaff is just sour grapes.

Not putting the blame on the USGA. I think under the rules she was correctly penalized.

I also agree she was dangerously close to the sand (Paul Runyan screams 'underreach' from his grave). IMO, a much bigger risk than DJ's actions at Oakmont.

However, without some sort of 'naked eye' type line in the sand (;-)), I forsee legions of telephoto lenses  or HD broadcasts monitored by respective opponent camps (like what @rehmwa said) arguing over single grains of sand and which camera angle or device is correct. To me that's an inconsequential sideshow to the essence of the play of the game itself. And technology for these kind of close-ups is only going to continue to improve. 

Edited by natureboy

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I think the flaw here is how the rules of golf operate.  I understand the rule here and generally appreciate rules that are black and white, as are the rules of golf.  But because of that black and white nature, combined with the reality of tournament golf and video review, you get these kind of situations.  One wonders if it would be better to have these issues go to the rules committee to decide, based on the available evidence (a) did the player gain an advantage?, or (b) was the infraction intentional?  If either is the case, then the penalty is assessed.  There are judgment calls in every other sport and they all seem to survive with them.  The solution I just outlined is anything but perfect -- you introduce human judgment into the mix, and you exacerbate the problem of delayed rulings.  It would be interesting, at the very least, to experiment with a policy like this.  It could well make things worse but we don't really know without trying things out. 

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4 minutes ago, tdiii said:

It would be interesting, at the very least, to experiment with a policy like this.  It could well make things worse but we don't really know without trying things out. 

Would it make sense first to experiment with limiting rule infraction observations just to those at least physically present at the event? TV coverage is always going to be uneven in its 'protection of the field', because of the natural focus on the leaders or big names.

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10 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Would it make sense first to experiment with limiting rule infraction observations just to those at least physically present at the event? TV coverage is always going to be uneven in its 'protection of the field', because of the natural focus on the leaders or big names.

I said something like this earlier. Golf is the only sport where people not actively involved in the game (participants and officials) can actually impact the outcome. Remove the outstide element and make for consistency. 

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1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

That sounds fine for this specific situation, but doesn't work as a general rule. "Notify after each competitor has made the same number of strokes on a hole" might be pretty unfair in another situation (shot OB that results in a third shot from the tee, for example...do you then wait for the other player's third shot? What if it's a putt?)

"As soon as practical", while it didn't necessarily result in the best outcome here, is still the best general rule

I'm not talking about changing any policy, and I have ZERO issue with the general rule.  Nothing would need change on the books, but it's not too much to ask the guy going out to notify them that he assess the situation as he does it.

In this particular situation, it seems pretty clear to most that it would have been better if they both found out prior to (or after) their third shots on 18.  Not in between.

 

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22 minutes ago, Braivo said:

I said something like this earlier. Golf is the only sport where people not actively involved in the game (participants and officials) can actually impact the outcome. Remove the outstide element and make for consistency. 

I always thought the Fan who paid their entry fees, or sat in front of a screen for any sporting event were also actively involved in that sport by showing their support. 

Removing the "outside element" just might create more opportunity for more consistent mistakes....

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1 minute ago, Patch said:

I always thought the Fan who paid their entry fees, or sat in front of a screen for any sporting event were also actively involved in that sport by showing their support. 

Removing the "outside element" just might create more opportunity for more consistent mistakes....

Yeah, but they don't get to call fouls, penalties, balls and strikes, etc. Big difference. 

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31 minutes ago, Braivo said:

I said something like this earlier. Golf is the only sport where people not actively involved in the game (participants and officials) can actually impact the outcome. Remove the outstide element and make for consistency. 

That's my instinct too. Though I would still include spectators as they often help find balls and point out balls colliding or other spectators moving the ball. Plus that's an interesting quirk of golf's unique history IMO.

I think many are afraid of infractions being missed when the USGA is the tournament host, but I wonder how much this HD stuff has happened with The Open Championship?

I see folks mentioning the Tiger drop at Augusta being called in by an offsite RO watching the broadcast. That prevented an incorrect drop under the rules from standing. But why didn't the RO's actually there get it right in the first place - or others on site spot it by watching the telecast? It's a pretty basic procedure, right?

Many consider that scenario a good outcome of the 'all evidence' rule. Is it bad for golf if a number of these were to be not penalized during Majors and that fact gets magnified by the media cycle and some broadcasters' desire to create a 'buzz'?

Are the rules so complex requiring an on-site RO to keep track of so many factors that to prevent basic errors like Tiger's an appeal needs to be made to the entire TV audience? If so, is that the best way to deal with the core problem?

Edited by natureboy

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40 minutes ago, tdiii said:

I think the flaw here is how the rules of golf operate.  I understand the rule here and generally appreciate rules that are black and white, as are the rules of golf.  But because of that black and white nature, combined with the reality of tournament golf and video review, you get these kind of situations.  One wonders if it would be better to have these issues go to the rules committee to decide, based on the available evidence (a) did the player gain an advantage?, or (b) was the infraction intentional?  If either is the case, then the penalty is assessed.  There are judgment calls in every other sport and they all seem to survive with them.  The solution I just outlined is anything but perfect -- you introduce human judgment into the mix, and you exacerbate the problem of delayed rulings.  It would be interesting, at the very least, to experiment with a policy like this.  It could well make things worse but we don't really know without trying things out. 

The purpose of the rule is to prevent players from testing the hazard surface before play. It was pretty clear that isn't what happened. I think when somebody grounds their club in a hazard, 99% of the time its an accident. 

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6 minutes ago, natureboy said:

That's my instinct too. Though I would still include spectators as they often help find balls and point out balls colliding or other spectators moving the ball. Plus that's an interesting quirk of golf's unique history IMO.

I think many are afraid of infractions being missed when the USGA is the tournament host, but I wonder how much this HD stuff has happened with The Open Championship?

I see folks mentioning the Tiger drop at Augusta being called in by an offsite RO watching the broadcast. That prevented an incorrect drop under the rules from standing. But why didn't the RO's actually there get it right in the first place - or others on site spot it by watching the telecast? It's a pretty basic procedure, right?

Many consider that scenario a good outcome of the 'all evidence' rule. Is it bad for golf if a number of these were to be not penalized during Majors and that fact gets magnified by the media cycle and some broadcasters' desire to create a 'buzz'?

Are the rules so complex requiring an on-site RO to keep track of so many factors that to prevent basic errors like Tiger's an appeal needs to be made to the entire TV audience? If so, is that the best way to deal with the core problem?

Right. You can replay any major sporting event and find plenty of poor or missed calls. People may even call in when they seem them, doesn't matter. The outcome of the game / match is decided on the field of play by the players and officials that are present. 

Different levels of scrutiny being applied to different players based on the number of live television shots of theirs are broadcast is inconsistent. Leave it on the course. 

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Waste areas versus bunkers, Hi-Def cameras focusing in on grains of sand or blades of grass around a golf ball or free drops given from a large amount of temporary on-course obstructions - wonder how Bobby Jones or Old Tom Morris would feel about all of the scrutiny or controversy that players these days play under.

At some point in time, something will happen that really goes south with all of this high-tech imagery or some of these local rules in a major and things will get very ugly.

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I do know that Azinger and Inkster are sharing my sentiments.Their was an injustice on notifying Lang before her shot and after Anna hit therefore allowing Lang to change shots.I dont really think it wouldve mattered but fair is fair but like has been said Fairness doesnt matter.Still nobody has explained why the bunker shot was reviewed  and zoomed in on in first place.Is most bunker shots reviewed like that or were they just bored and playing with the camera.

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2 hours ago, Braivo said:

This thought crossed my mind as well. There is certainly the possibility for bias when it comes to which players get the close-ups and which ones are aired on TV. 

I am talking my theories out loud, brainstorming. 

Golf, right now, is the only major sport where the outcome can be determined by someone not involved in the actual event. (i.e. a TV viewer noticing an infraction and calling in).

In all other sports the use of video camera replay is restrained to a certain set of rules. Golf loves rules, why not add some more about use of cameras? 

The camera should not change an event after it has taken place. In football, once the next play starts the last play cannot be reviewed. The same should apply to golf. Once the next shot is hit it's done, move on. If the players or caddies did not notice the infraction in the moment then it is too late.

Either way it's "not fair" but only one way is consistent. 

You cannot compare golf to any other sport for TV coverage.  The playing field is too large and too varied, and there are too many contestants for uniform camera coverage.  That is simply not an option.  Even in football and baseball, the replays are "inconclusive" nearly half the time, and those games are played on a finite field where the action is fairly well contained.

20 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

The purpose of the rule is to prevent players from testing the hazard surface before play. It was pretty clear that isn't what happened. I think when somebody grounds their club in a hazard, 99% of the time its an accident. 

The real intent of the rule in this instance is to prevent the player from improving his lie or area of intended swing.  It would be pretty hard to effectively test the surface when starting one's backswing (any more than you did by just walking into the bunker), but you could easily improve the swing path.  I've watched casual players do so, and with apparent intent - hard to believe that they normally drag the club on the ground for 6 inches before it starts to lift.  :whistle:

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1 minute ago, Fourputt said:

You cannot compare golf to any other sport for TV coverage.  The playing field is too large and too varied, and there are too many contestants for uniform camera coverage.  That is simply not an option.  Even in football and baseball, the replays are "inconclusive" nearly half the time, and those games are played on a finite field where the action is fairly well contained.

The real intent of the rule in this instance is to prevent the player from improving his lie or area of intended swing.  It would be pretty hard to effectively test the surface when starting one's backswing (any more than you did by just walking into the bunker), but you could easily improve the swing path.  I've watched casual players do so, and with apparent intent - hard to believe that they normally drag the club on the ground for 6 inches before it starts to lift.  :whistle:

That would be some gold medal cheating right there...

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28 minutes ago, natureboy said:

That's my instinct too. Though I would still include spectators as they often help find balls and point out balls colliding or other spectators moving the ball. Plus that's an interesting quirk of golf's unique history IMO.

I think many are afraid of infractions being missed when the USGA is the tournament host, but I wonder how much this HD stuff has happened with The Open Championship?

I see folks mentioning the Tiger drop at Augusta being called in by an offsite RO watching the broadcast. That prevented an incorrect drop under the rules from standing. But why didn't the RO's actually there get it right in the first place - or others on site spot it by watching the telecast? It's a pretty basic procedure, right?

Many consider that scenario a good outcome of the 'all evidence' rule. Is it bad for golf if a number of these were to be not penalized during Majors and that fact gets magnified by the media cycle and some broadcasters' desire to create a 'buzz'?

Are the rules so complex requiring an on-site RO to keep track of so many factors that to prevent basic errors like Tiger's an appeal needs to be made to the entire TV audience? If so, is that the best way to deal with the core problem?

Quick, short answer to the Tiger issue is that there wasn't any issue at the time.  The rule is something like you drop "as close as you can" to the previous spot.  There is leeway there (more than there is with some people and shoulder heights :-P) and so nothing was an issue until his interview after the round when he himself said "I moved back a yard or two" or something to that effect.  The evidence there wasn't really the video so much as the admission.

I don't know how they'd do it, but considering the role that HDTV is playing in all of these infractions, I would not be opposed to them brainstorming ideas to improve the rules in that regard.  The NFL has had to alter and expand their rules in a lot of cases to account for the advanced scrutiny provided by HDTV (like, what, exactly is a catch), so maybe golf should consider it as well.

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