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Signing An Incorrect Scorecard - Should Rule Be Modernized?


Braivo
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The Lexi discussion prompted this line of thought, but let's not go down that path here.

In light of changes in technology, specifically TV and HD video replay, should the rule invoking a two stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard be modified or modernized?

Should there be a "time limit" for imposing such a penalty? 

Given that when the rule was created there was no such technology, so the only people that could point out an infraction were physically present (opponents, caddies, fans, etc.), therefore an inadvertent or unnoticed infraction would be handled immediately, or at the latest, on the way to the scoring table before the card is signed. 

Now, with the ability to replay, in slow motion, nearly every shot of every pro player we find ourselves with a different set of circumstances. 

Does the rule still hold with these changes? Or does it need an update?

Edited by RandallT
Added a poll. Nevermind! Probably bad poll.

- Mark

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We should put a poll, but I don't think we should change this particular rule. Seems like 2 strokes is a reasonable penalty for turning in a bad scorecard.

In the case of Lexi, though, she moved it about 3/4" or so. Half a ball at least? If another player had seen it it would likely be pretty obvious if they were watching her do it.

Another thought is maybe every caddie should also carry a camera to insure their players did everything right and turn in a proper scorecard?

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7 minutes ago, Braivo said:

The Lexi discussion prompted this line of thought, but let's not go down that path here.

In light of changes in technology, specifically TV and HD video replay, should the rule invoking a two stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard be modified or modernized?

Should there be a "time limit" for imposing such a penalty? 

Given that when the rule was created there was no such technology, so the only people that could point out an infraction were physically present (opponents, caddies, fans, etc.), therefore an inadvertent or unnoticed infraction would be handled immediately, or at the latest, on the way to the scoring table before the card is signed. 

Now, with the ability to replay, in slow motion, nearly every shot of every pro player we find ourselves with a different set of circumstances. 

Does the rule still hold with these changes? Or does it need an update?

I think they need to update the rule.   I think you could make a pretty good case that she did not actually sign an incorrect scorecard, since the penalty was assessed after she signed her card.  

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1 minute ago, Braivo said:

In light of changes in technology, specifically TV and HD video replay, should the rule invoking a two stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard be modified or modernized?

I fail to see what that has to do with this. If you want to discuss whether something should be a penalty if it can only be seen with an HD camera or zoom or something and not the naked eye, that's a different discussion altogether.

And we already have a Decision for that: http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!decision-18,d18-4, called "Television Evidence Shows Ball at Rest Changed Position But by Amount Not Reasonably Discernible to Naked Eye".

That doesn't apply to Lexi, or most rules infractions.

For example: http://www.pga.com/camilo-villegas-disqualified-kapalua-after-viewer-phones-in-rules-violation . Camilo was DQed after someone called in because he unknowingly violated 23-1 and didn't know (this was before the rule was softened to two strokes).

1 minute ago, Braivo said:

Should there be a "time limit" for imposing such a penalty?

I like the one we have now: the close of competition. It has a nice blend of the practical (when we hand the trophy over we don't want to have a Steve Harvey moment) with allowing for the actions of everyone through the full 72 holes to affect the final score, because it is a 72-hole competition, not four separate 18-hole competitions.

1 minute ago, Braivo said:

Given that when the rule was created there was no such technology, so the only people that could point out an infraction were physically present (opponents, caddies, fans, etc.)

I don't think that's accurate. Bobby Locke in 1957. Craig Stadler in 1987. That's not an accurate statement. Camilo in 2011, Michelle Wie was DQed in 2005 or whatever it was because Michael Bamberger saw it but didn't say anything until the next day. The list is longer than that, but those are the ones I've mentioned or others have brought up.

1 minute ago, Braivo said:

therefore an inadvertent or unnoticed infraction would be handled immediately, or at the latest, on the way to the scoring table before the card is signed.

Bamberger was present and waited a day to bring up the Wie drop. And again, 1957, 1987…

I support the current rule because it lets us get to the truth.

Imagine if you changed the rule to "end of the day" or "start of the next round." A video surfaces just after the deadline of a player kicking his ball in the rough, or doing something absent-mindedly like moving a stick that's behind his ball in a water hazard (pre-2019)… and the player goes on to win.

That's far worse, IMO, than penalizing the player for the infraction and then signing an incorrect scorecard.

And again, Bamberger: there's absolutely no guarantee. What if a spectator films a player doing something off the 18th fairway but the player signs the card before the spectator can get to the scoring tent, or they show the video to a friend an hour later and the friend says "oh my gosh that's so against the rules!"

There's no guarantee at all that just limiting rules infraction reporting to people "on the scene" will result in timely notification. It might HELP, but then you could also have situations like the one in my third paragraph in this section of my response.

1 minute ago, Braivo said:

Now, with the ability to replay, in slow motion, nearly every shot of every pro player we find ourselves with a different set of circumstances.

I don't think the technology means as much as you do. You wouldn't have needed HD to see Camilo in 2011. Or Lexi in 2017. Or Stadler in 1987.

1 minute ago, Braivo said:

Does the rule still hold with these changes? Or does it need an update?

I don't think so. I think it blends getting things factually right, punishing the player who doesn't follow the rules and signs an incorrect scorecard, offers a disincentive to trying to get away with things, and yet does so with a practical "close of competition" cut-off.

5 minutes ago, Marty2019 said:

I think they need to update the rule.   I think you could make a pretty good case that she did not actually sign an incorrect scorecard, since the penalty was assessed after she signed her card.  

Marty, with all due respect, you cannot make such a case. She incurred the penalty when she played from the wrong place. If you speed through a school zone you committed the traffic infraction when you sped through the school zone, not when you were notified of it.

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33 minutes ago, Marty2019 said:

I think they need to update the rule.   I think you could make a pretty good case that she did not actually sign an incorrect scorecard, since the penalty was assessed after she signed her card.  

 

26 minutes ago, iacas said:

Marty, with all due respect, you cannot make such a case. She incurred the penalty when she played from the wrong place. If you speed through a school zone you committed the traffic infraction when you sped through the school zone, not when you were notified of it.

I think what Marty may be saying, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that he sees the penalty action happening and the penalty being assessed as two separate events with different timelines. So the penalty was incurred during the round and the penalty was assessed after the round, two different instances. From that train of though, the argument makes sense.

I believe the disconnect is that the rules of golf generally consider the assessment of penalties to be fully retroactive. That means that once a penalty is assessed, the instance of the assessment is considered to be the instance of the event of the penalty action, regardless of when the actual decision was made on the assessment. Simultaneous instance. 

Put another way, penalties are added to the scores on specific holes. They aren't tacked on to the final score of a round.

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6 minutes ago, 406pat said:

I think what Marty may be saying, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that he sees the penalty action happening and the penalty being assessed as two separate events with different timelines.

They're not. The player incurs the penalty as soon as they do the action that incurs the penalty.

6 minutes ago, 406pat said:

So the penalty was incurred during the round and the penalty was assessed after the round, two different instances. From that train of though, the argument makes sense.

It's not a matter of when the penalty is assessed. Lexi failed to assess (or correct) it herself.

6 minutes ago, 406pat said:

I believe the disconnect is that the rules of golf generally consider the assessment of penalties to be fully retroactive. That means that once a penalty is assessed, the instance of the assessment is considered to be the instance of the event of the penalty action, regardless of when the actual decision was made on the assessment. Simultaneous instance.

It's not about when the penalty is assessed, it's about when it's incurred.

It's her duty to play under the rules. Under the rules, she incurred the penalty when she played from the wrong place. That means she didn't assess herself the penalty as the rules require, and so she turned in an incorrect scorecard, thus incurring a second penalty at that instant.

Both penalties were assessed the next day. They were incurred two separate times the prior day.

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I'm going with no change simply for the reason that @iacas has mentioned before.  Why would a player ever concern themselves with questioning/trying to do the right thing if the penalty occurred would be the same either way?

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Spin it anyway you want, but no, the rule addressing signing an incorrect score care should not be changed. Rules are rules, are rules. 

I like having tv viewers calling in infractions. I say this because I have seen first hand, in person, infractions ignored, while walking pro tournaments. When I asked the player's caddy about almost everytime, the reply was " not a big deal. Everyone out here does it". 

Fact is, in pro golf tournaments, the pros need help playing by the rules. 

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8 minutes ago, 406pat said:

 

I think what Marty may be saying, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that he sees the penalty action happening and the penalty being assessed as two separate events with different timelines. So the penalty was incurred during the round and the penalty was assessed after the round, two different instances. From that train of though, the argument makes sense.

I believe the disconnect is that the rules of golf generally consider the assessment of penalties to be fully retroactive. That means that once a penalty is assessed, the instance of the assessment is considered to be the instance of the event of the penalty action, regardless of when the actual decision was made on the assessment. Simultaneous instance. 

Put another way, penalties are added to the scores on specific holes. They aren't tacked on to the final score of a round.

This explanation is consistent with what I understand the requirements are for reporting your score.  Its up to you to have the correct scores for each hole.  Addition is not the player's responsibility.  Consequently, the penalty stroke(s) must be included for the correct hole, or the score is incorrect.

This rule has already been relaxed once, and it seems that change was a response to the "video age".  In this particular case, Lexi actually benefited from the change in the rules, otherwise she'd have been DQed.  Instead, she got to finish second in a Major.    

I think that rule change made sense, but I think to eliminate the additional penalty strokes for turning in an incorrect score would be going too far.  I hate the idea of "making rules to stop cheaters", but this is one circumstance where that type of motivation makes sense.  Without this "incorrect scorecard" penalty, a player might be motivated to try to omit mention of a potential violation, thinking that the worst that can happen is that they get the original penalty only.  As it stands, the player is better off resolving any potential penalty situation before they sign their card.  I know, that example, the thing I want to prevent, is different from a completely inadvertent (and unknown at the time) violation like Lexi's, but I think that they have to be covered by the same rule.

  • Upvote 3

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15 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

This explanation is consistent with what I understand the requirements are for reporting your score.  Its up to you to have the correct scores for each hole.  Addition is not the player's responsibility.  Consequently, the penalty stroke(s) must be included for the correct hole, or the score is incorrect.

This rule has already been relaxed once, and it seems that change was a response to the "video age".  In this particular case, Lexi actually benefited from the change in the rules, otherwise she'd have been DQed.  Instead, she got to finish second in a Major.    

I think that rule change made sense, but I think to eliminate the additional penalty strokes for turning in an incorrect score would be going too far.  I hate the idea of "making rules to stop cheaters", but this is one circumstance where that type of motivation makes sense.  Without this "incorrect scorecard" penalty, a player might be motivated to try to omit mention of a potential violation, thinking that the worst that can happen is that they get the original penalty only.  As it stands, the player is better off resolving any potential penalty situation before they sign their card.  I know, that example, the thing I want to prevent, is different from a completely inadvertent (and unknown at the time) violation like Lexi's, but I think that they have to be covered by the same rule.

This is probably covered somewhere else, but what if the player wants to dispute the penalty call? Is there a protocol for that? 

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6 minutes ago, Braivo said:

This is probably covered somewhere else, but what if the player wants to dispute the penalty call? Is there a protocol for that? 

Yes. There are procedures for that. They pulled DJ aside before he signed his card at the PGA at Whistling Straits, etc. Players can be shown videos, ask questions, etc.

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1 minute ago, Braivo said:

This is probably covered somewhere else, but what if the player wants to dispute the penalty call? Is there a protocol for that? 

That I don't know, as it pertains to "yesterday's" infractions.  I've definitely seen a player being shown tape of "today's" infraction before signing a card, to make sure he gets it right.  It makes sense that a player should be allowed to review tape from yesterday, if he's being potentially assessed a penalty for yesterday's play.  I'd guess that the officials reviewing the tape must be pretty dang certain before they say anything to the player, but the player should still have a chance to see what he (or she) did wrong.

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1 minute ago, DaveP043 said:

That I don't know, as it pertains to "yesterday's" infractions.  I've definitely seen a player being shown tape of "today's" infraction before signing a card, to make sure he gets it right.  It makes sense that a player should be allowed to review tape from yesterday, if he's being potentially assessed a penalty for yesterday's play.  I'd guess that the officials reviewing the tape must be pretty dang certain before they say anything to the player, but the player should still have a chance to see what he (or she) did wrong.

They do, yes. They don't just say "you're penalized, period."

And sometimes the rules officials are pretty certain, but if the player has a reasonable excuse… they may reverse their opinion. Had Dustin Johnson said "Yeah I felt a puff of wind, that's why I picked my putter up before the ball moved" they might have believed him and not penalized.

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32 minutes ago, 14ledo81 said:

Why would a player ever concern themselves with questioning/trying to do the right thing if the penalty occurred would be the same either way?

We are continually reminded here that this is supposed to be game of honor.  "oversights" of the nature we're talking about here, found out later will result in professional and social isolation, ridicule, etc by the player's peers.  Destruction of a career.0

I'm a bit surprised at the general overtone of complete lack of confidence some posters have about the integrity of anyone other than their individual selves.  If we really don't trust anyone else to actually live by this - then the whole concept is a farce we should stop pretending.  If so, the ONLY natural step is to disregard self policing and require independent referees for each players - those untrustworthy selfish conniving criminals.

29 minutes ago, Patch said:

 the rule addressing signing an incorrect score care should not be changed. Rules are rules, are rules.

that's the best one ever - the rule can't be changed because the rule is the rule......?  (???unless there is a rule that allows one to change a rule......but what if one wants to change the rule that allows one to change a rule,  then what)

Edited by rehmwa
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19 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

This explanation is consistent with what I understand the requirements are for reporting your score.  Its up to you to have the correct scores for each hole.  Addition is not the player's responsibility.  Consequently, the penalty stroke(s) must be included for the correct hole, or the score is incorrect.

This rule has already been relaxed once, and it seems that change was a response to the "video age".  In this particular case, Lexi actually benefited from the change in the rules, otherwise she'd have been DQed.  Instead, she got to finish second in a Major.    

I think that rule change made sense, but I think to eliminate the additional penalty strokes for turning in an incorrect score would be going too far.  I hate the idea of "making rules to stop cheaters", but this is one circumstance where that type of motivation makes sense.  Without this "incorrect scorecard" penalty, a player might be motivated to try to omit mention of a potential violation, thinking that the worst that can happen is that they get the original penalty only.  As it stands, the player is better off resolving any potential penalty situation before they sign their card.  I know, that example, the thing I want to prevent, is different from a completely inadvertent (and unknown at the time) violation like Lexi's, but I think that they have to be covered by the same rule.

How do you address how mush extra weight this rule gives to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds of a 4 round tournament?  By the above reasoning, players are less likely to resolve a rules issue - or to put it more bluntly, more likely to attempt to cheat - on Sundays versus the rest of the tournament.

I would be in favor of getting rid of the rule.  Also agree with @Lihu that you should have put in a poll. :-P

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9 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

We are continually reminded here that this is supposed to be game of honor.  "oversights" of the nature we're talking about here, found out later will result in professional and social isolation, ridicule, etc by the player's peers.  Destruction of a career.

Only if they're discovered.

And even then only if the crowd believes they cheated intentionally. A lot of people would still believe the "Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I didn't know!" bit, especially if it's well acted.

Or maybe it's the truth, they truly didn't know… in which case they failed in their responsibility to know.

9 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

I'm a bit surprised at the general overtone of complete lack of confidence some posters have about the integrity of anyone other than their individual selves.

It's not necessarily about that, but this is one of those rules that does deal with both cheaters and those who inadvertently don't follow the rules.

It's everyone's responsibility to follow the rules. If they fail at that, even unknowingly, they still deserve a penalty, IMO.

9 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

If we really don't trust anyone else to actually live by this - then the whole concept is a farce we should stop pretending.

This isn't only about people who intentionally cheat. I don't think Lexi intentionally cheated… but she didn't know (or follow, at least) the rules as she's required to do.

6 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

How do you address how mush extra weight this rule gives to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds of a 4 round tournament?

Why do you have to weight it? It's a 72-hole event. Change it to "before they sign the card" and you are giving extra weight to the first hole over the 18th hole. Change it to "before you start the next round" and some players will have 24 hours while others will have 24 minutes.

It's a 72-hole event. Those take place over a period of time, often four days. The current rule is practical and simple.

6 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I would be in favor of getting rid of the rule.

Why? You've not made a case for it.

And what do you mean you'd "be in favor of getting rid of the rule"? You'd not penalize any player who signs an incorrect scorecard at all, for any reason? Or what?

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4 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

How do you address how mush extra weight this rule gives to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds of a 4 round tournament?  By the above reasoning, players are less likely to resolve a rules issue - or to put it more bluntly, more likely to attempt to cheat - on Sundays versus the rest of the tournament.

I would be in favor of getting rid of the rule.  Also agree with @Lihu that you should have put in a poll. :-P

A completely fair question, and I don't have a great answer.  As @iacas has said, and I agree, this is a balance between getting it right as often as possible, and for practical reasons needing some finite end point.  The end point that makes the best sense to me is the completion of play on the last day of the competition.  There's no question that its an arbitrary cut-off, but nothing else makes any better sense to me.

2 minutes ago, iacas said:

And what do you mean you'd "be in favor of getting rid of the rule"? You'd not penalize any player who signs an incorrect scorecard at all, for any reason? Or what?

I guess this is the follow-up to the original question.  If the rule does indeed need to be changed, just how would the pro-change folks suggest it be worded?  We may not like the rule the way it worked out this time, but in trying to evaluate potential changes, we may conclude that its the best possible solution in an imperfect world?

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Why do you have to weight it? It's a 72-hole event.

You aren't weighting it, it's already weighted because of the extra time allowed between the signing of those cards and the end of the tournament, whereas when the tournament is concluded, its over.

6 minutes ago, iacas said:

It's a 72-hole event. Those take place over a period of time. It's practical, and simple.

This is exactly what I'm saying.  It's practical and simple for it to be considered one whole 72 hole tournament, as opposed to being broken down into 4 separate 18 hole tournaments.

7 minutes ago, iacas said:

You've not made a case for it at all.

And what do you mean you'd "be in favor of getting rid of the rule"?

I'd be in favor of them not tacking on extra strokes for a penalty that was discovered after the round but before the end of a tournament.  You still get your penalty for the actual infraction.

9 minutes ago, iacas said:

You'd not penalize any player who signs an incorrect scorecard at all, for any reason? Or what?

The rule would still apply in the case where the wrong scorecard WAS the actual infraction that occurred, i.e. you wrote down the wrong number.  But you wouldn't get penalized an extra 2 strokes for having committed an infraction that you didn't realize you committed on a previous day.

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    • Day 284 - More practice at home today: Chipping - Distance control with my short wedge shots has been an issue so ladder drill with eight balls; started hitting balls successively short (about 3 paces) to long (about 19 paces), then repeated starting with long to short.  Contact/low point control - 9 to 3 drill with a 7i checking to be sure that low point happens in front of ball (9 to low point) then trying to match the low point hitting AlmostGOLF balls. 
    • This may be a dumb question. But it looks like you carry a 2 iron and a 4 iron. Wouldn't a 3 iron fill the gap without bending anything? Or are you trying to get the distance up on your 2 iron so that it's closer to your driver distance? 
    • Yes,  I have had 2 U500s and the 3 iron was a degree weak off of spec so it had to be adjusted. You need to have them checked before you assume they are correct and then go from there. The 4 iron that I kept was fine. 
    • I was ~9 or so when Physical came out and me and my friends waited for it to come on the radio as often as possible. Much more recently (3 weeks ago), my daughter went to a theater summer camp and they learned and performed Grease so we'd been watching/listening to that A LOT lately as well.
    • Day 281, August 9, 2022 Hit 20 balls after lessons. Backswing feeling better. Just have to keep that while working on the transition. Almost can't throw it behind me enough.
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