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Unknown Penalties  

70 members have voted

  1. 1. Read the first post, and answer this: Do you support the lack of any additional penalty strokes for penalties "unknown" to players, despite their responsibility to know, follow, and apply the Rules of Golf?

    • Yes, the USGA/R&A are right to reward ignorance and dishonesty.
      10
    • No, players are responsible for knowing the Rules of Golf, and are now being incentivized to be ignorant and/or dishonest.
      60


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I don't know, if only the two answers could lean me in one direction or the other......(and yeah, I agree with E - it's a game, games have rules, everyone needs to play by the SAME set.  no brainer)

Edited by rehmwa

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1 hour ago, bkuehn1952 said:

The one benefit to the change is it eliminates the "gotch'a" players who see a competitor breach a Rule but don't say anything until just after the card is handed in.

How often did this ever happen? And… this would only ever work if the competitor who incurred the penalty has failed already to know and follow the rules.

1 hour ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Yes, a competitor is supposed to say something at the time they note the possible breach but there are plausible excuses like "I assumed he knew and added a stroke" or "It did not register with me that it might have been a breach until just now."

Both of which are, IMO, preferable outcomes. Neither of those are "gotcha" situations at all. The only "gotcha" type situation would be when a competitor knowingly waits to mention something.

And even in that case, the defense is simple: if you know and abide by the Rules, nobody can "gotcha" you because you've already asked about the situation and/or included the penalty.

1 hour ago, bkuehn1952 said:

At least now there is no "reward" for the sneaky S.O.B. to delay mentioning a possible breach.

So you'd rather have it this way, or you're just trying to present an incredibly thin case in playing devil's advocate?

1 hour ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Still, I agree with 95% of the respondents who feel the change makes ignorance of the Rules (real or feigned) a possible strategy for some.

I assume maybe just playing devil's advocate.

To which I'd say the rules have to first concern themselves with the competitor himself, not someone else trying to play "gotcha." The competitor first and foremost has to be the concern.

 BTW, @MacDutch and @ColinL, the poll isn't nearly as slanted as you seem to think. Please, share with us how you think the USGA/R&A are not doing those things.

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18 hours ago, NM Golf said:

Basically I view this as the Rules haters have won. Over the years on this site we have had more than a few occasions where people have argued about how unfair the Rules of Golf were, or about how it is not necessary to follow all the rules all the time. Those people, that way of thinking, has prevailed in changing the Rules of Golf. It's ridiculous, they are removing one of the very things that makes golf special. Integrity and calling rules infractions on yourself has successfully been replaced now by "I didn't know, it wasn't my fault."

Feigning ignorance should never allow someone to succeed. 

 

I doubt that this where the rule change has come from. They have said in their notes that they are trying to strike a balance between rules that are simple enough to be  understood, complex enough to be fair (i.e. all the various exceptions/decisions), and preserve the spirit of the game. I think the spirit of this rule is to cater for situations where golfers, especially newer competitors, fall foul of an obscure part of the rules and are then given what could be perceived as a cheating penalty. These situations  are rare, so I suspect that it's a perception thing - avoiding situations which reinforce the idea that the rules of golf are complicated and penal. 

Whether or not this is a good way to achieve that is a different matter, but I doubt it was done to throw a bone to the folk who just don't like rules, who simply shouldn't be part of competitive golf. 

 

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1 hour ago, Moxley said:

I doubt that this where the rule change has come from. They have said in their notes that they are trying to strike a balance between rules that are simple enough to be  understood, complex enough to be fair (i.e. all the various exceptions/decisions), and preserve the spirit of the game.

What's complex about "failure to include a penalty stroke or strokes results in an additional two strokes per breach."?

What about allowing and even encouraging people to either be ignorant or dishonest "preserves the spirit of the game" or makes the game "more fair"?

Players are responsible for knowing and applying the Rules.

How many people do you think would pay their taxes properly if they realized that, worst case, they'd have to pay what they owed without any penalty at all? Taxes are arguably more complex than the Rules of Golf.

1 hour ago, Moxley said:

I think the spirit of this rule is to cater for situations where golfers, especially newer competitors, fall foul of an obscure part of the rules and are then given what could be perceived as a cheating penalty.

It's a "you didn't honor your responsibility to know the rules" penalty. And once again, it's not like they added a provision to exclude this penalty from beginner competitions (remember: they did add a provision to allow for "maximum score" type competitions, and could have done something like that for this).

1 hour ago, Moxley said:

These situations  are rare, so I suspect that it's a perception thing - avoiding situations which reinforce the idea that the rules of golf are complicated and penal.

Players who know the rules know that they can help you, too. And the rules in EVERY sport are, at times, penal.

1 hour ago, Moxley said:

Whether or not this is a good way to achieve that is a different matter, but I doubt it was done to throw a bone to the folk who just don't like rules, who simply shouldn't be part of competitive golf. 

That's @NM Golf's deal. I don't know why they made this the rule, but I dislike it regardless of their reasons.

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3 hours ago, Moxley said:

I doubt that this where the rule change has come from. They have said in their notes that they are trying to strike a balance between rules that are simple enough to be  understood, complex enough to be fair (i.e. all the various exceptions/decisions), and preserve the spirit of the game. I think the spirit of this rule is to cater for situations where golfers, especially newer competitors, fall foul of an obscure part of the rules and are then given what could be perceived as a cheating penalty. These situations  are rare, so I suspect that it's a perception thing - avoiding situations which reinforce the idea that the rules of golf are complicated and penal. 

Whether or not this is a good way to achieve that is a different matter, but I doubt it was done to throw a bone to the folk who just don't like rules, who simply shouldn't be part of competitive golf. 

You're over simplifying it, I don't think they threw anyone a bone I just think they caved to the masses who feel the rules are unfair. The rules of golf are not popular because they are harsh. Sign an incorrect scorecard and you were DQed, accidentally make you ball move and it was a penalty, stuff like that. I mean look at the Lexi Thompson debacle, she was trying to gain an advantage by incorrectly replacing her ball on the green (i.e. cheating), she was called on it, she lost the tournament, she cried, and she was made a poor victim of those mean old golf rules.

The USGA and the R&A took the teeth out of the rules so no one ever has to be a "victim" like poor old cheating Lexi Thompson.

Edited by NM Golf
Added R&A

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4 hours ago, Moxley said:

I think the spirit of this rule is to cater for situations where golfers, especially newer competitors, fall foul of an obscure part of the rules and are then given what could be perceived as a cheating penalty. These situations  are rare, so I suspect that it's a perception thing - avoiding situations which reinforce the idea that the rules of golf are complicated and penal. 

But if this change is in response to "Lexi-form" situations, then this change isn't about about obscure parts of the rules.

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I talked at length about this today with my Psychology class.   We were starting a scientific method analysis and I used your example as a biased opinion poll.    Don't get me wrong, I completely agree that the rules are there for a reason and the change was not in the best interest of the game but the poll gave me a way of showing the students that bias has no place in a scientific method.   

 

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3 hours ago, dennyjones said:

I talked at length about this today with my Psychology class.   We were starting a scientific method analysis and I used your example as a biased opinion poll.    Don't get me wrong, I completely agree that the rules are there for a reason and the change was not in the best interest of the game but the poll gave me a way of showing the students that bias has no place in a scientific method.

Yep. No sweat. I'm not using the scientific method here. 🙂

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I just don't get the fuss about this particular rule.  The game depends on the integrity of the player and the rules are based on the premise that players will proceed honestly.  Why pick out one rule over all the others which can be bent, broken or manipulated by the dishonest?

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19 hours ago, iacas said:

What's complex about "failure to include a penalty stroke or strokes results in an additional two strokes per breach."?

The complexity of the rules as a whole derives , at least in part, from the extent to be which they need to be understood. That's not to say that implication that you don't need to understand all the rules doesn't come with problems, as already well highlighted in this thread. 

19 hours ago, iacas said:

What about allowing and even encouraging people to either be ignorant or dishonest "preserves the spirit of the game" or makes the game "more fair"?

 

It doesn't, but they may have decided that they don't think this will happen, or at least not often enough to be a problem. There are already more effective ways that a dishonest player can take advantage of the rules to cheat. For instance, If you hit a shot over water, and claim you saw it reenter the hazard green side , it matters not what anybody else saw (or indeed what happened), you get yourself your favourable drop. 

19 hours ago, iacas said:

How many people do you think would pay their taxes properly if they realized that, worst case, they'd have to pay what they owed without any penalty at all? Taxes are arguably more complex than the Rules of Golf.

True, but this is just sport and the incentives are generally lower. It's a shame that this provision doesn't apply to low level competitions for newer players, since the temptation to cheat (and impact on the field) increases in competitions where there is something at stake. 

20 hours ago, iacas said:

It's a "you didn't honor your responsibility to know the rules" penalty

Different people see it differently, some see it as a cheating penalty, see @NM Golf's post for an example. Either way it's a penalty of shame.

20 hours ago, iacas said:

(remember: they did add a provision to allow for "maximum score" type competitions, and could have done something like that for this).

I think we're agreed on this point. 

 

 

 

 

18 hours ago, NM Golf said:

You're over simplifying it, I don't think they threw anyone a bone I just think they caved to the masses who feel the rules are unfair. The rules of golf are not popular because they are harsh. Sign an incorrect scorecard and you were DQed, accidentally make you ball move and it was a penalty, stuff like that. I mean look at the Lexi Thompson debacle, she was trying to gain an advantage by incorrectly replacing her ball on the green (i.e. cheating), she was called on it, she lost the tournament, she cried, and she was made a poor victim of those mean old golf rules.

The USGA and the R&A took the teeth out of the rules so no one ever has to be a "victim" like poor old cheating Lexi Thompson.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying, but I think I preferred your first post. 

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4 hours ago, ColinL said:

I just don't get the fuss about this particular rule.  The game depends on the integrity of the player and the rules are based on the premise that players will proceed honestly.  Why pick out one rule over all the others which can be bent, broken or manipulated by the dishonest?

That's your argument?

The game also asks that people know and enforce the rules on themselves. You can be completely honest, but ignorant, and that now serves to your benefit only. Worst case, you get the penalty you actually incurred, with no incentive to know and follow the Rules of Golf.

Why pick out one rule? First, I'm not doing that. I'm talking about a major shift in how every rule is applied and enforced because this particular rule goes right to the heart of "by following the Rules, applying all penalties, and being honest in all aspects of play." Players are responsible for knowing the rules… except they aren't, really. And it's said more than once. Later on: "Players are responsible for applying the Rules to themselves: Players are expected to recognize when they have breached a Rule and to be honest in applying their own penalties." Except, we don't care if they fail in this core, basic requirement.

Again, what used to be a DQ within the last five years is now nothing at all. This "rule" affects every other rule.

2 hours ago, Moxley said:

The complexity of the rules as a whole derives , at least in part, from the extent to be which they need to be understood. That's not to say that implication that you don't need to understand all the rules doesn't come with problems, as already well highlighted in this thread.

No, this is a cop-out. It's a millennial type way of thinking, an "everyone gets a trophy because the Rules are really hard" type of approach. The Rules you need to know are not that complex. They're not. I learned 'em as a 15-year-old. My daughter knows them. She's known them since she was about 13. Some of them took her making a mistake, like hitting a wrong ball. But she knows them.

The Rules in every sport are complicated, and 15 minutes of study can get you to where you understand the situations you encounter in almost every round of golf.

2 hours ago, Moxley said:

It doesn't, but they may have decided that they don't think this will happen, or at least not often enough to be a problem.

This argument doesn't hold any water. The number of times things are likely to happen is not a factor, or else we wouldn't have all sorts of Decisions and things in the Rules that have happened incredibly infrequently. The Rules of Golf are meant to address EVERY situation, and when they don't, you're to apply equity. Had this "you get no additional penalty" thing not been added, equity would have been DQ, because that's the rule for writing down a score lower than the one you actually took.

If your argument is "it'll happen infrequently," why not leave the rule in the way it was, with two strokes, to further decrease the likelihood that it'll happen AND to provide an incentive for not being dishonest OR ignorant?

2 hours ago, Moxley said:

There are already more effective ways that a dishonest player can take advantage of the rules to cheat.

Poor argument, because:

  • This way ADDS to the ways a dishonest person can cheat.
  • This way removes the incentive to learn and understand the Rules.
  • This way removes the incentive to ask about a rules infraction while it's actually happening, because having asked, you can't claim ignorance anymore.
  • This way contradicts the earlier statements about how players are responsible for knowing the Rules.

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On 10/18/2018 at 12:16 AM, iacas said:

BTW, @MacDutch and @ColinL, the poll isn't nearly as slanted as you seem to think. Please, share with us how you think the USGA/R&A are not doing those things.

The poll is a rant, you can try to argue your way out of that, but that will not change my mind about your poll.

But off course the old rule (as it is right now) is far better then the new one.

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If I were involved in golf at the level the OP is, I’d be pretty pissed off about it as well because of the bullshit it will likely bring about.

It won’t affect those of us who don’t compete, but I’d imagine it will become an issue at some point for many who do.

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6 hours ago, Moxley said:

Thanks for clarifying, but I think I preferred your first post. 

I have no idea what this comment means. Are you a Lexi Thompson fan?

59 minutes ago, MacDutch said:

The poll is a rant, you can try to argue your way out of that, but that will not change my mind about your poll.

But off course the old rule (as it is right now) is far better then the new one.

So what if it is a rant, the new rules have some major issues. I think @iacas said it best. It is a millennial way of thinking, the rules are just so hard so if you don't want to learn them, that's okay, no penalties for you. 

17 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

If I were involved in golf at the level the OP is, I’d be pretty pissed off about it as well because of the bullshit it will likely bring about.

It won’t affect those of us who don’t compete, but I’d imagine it will become an issue at some point for many who do.

Exactly! I play a lot of tournament golf and I see guys all the time that have no knowledge of the rules. In the past that was an issue for them and I have seen it cost them a tournament, now they actually have an advantage. 

Edited by NM Golf

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7 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Exactly! I play a lot of tournament golf and I see guys all the time that have no knowledge of the rules. In the past that was an issue for them and I have seen it cost them a tournament, now they actually have an advantage. 

That's a different way of saying it, and a powerful one at that.

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On 10/19/2018 at 11:11 AM, NM Golf said:

Exactly! I play a lot of tournament golf and I see guys all the time that have no knowledge of the rules. In the past that was an issue for them and I have seen it cost them a tournament, now they actually have an advantage. 

Yup - this part is even worse, to me, than the problem of someone who intentionally lies (saying they "didn't know" a rule).

I think this rule moves golf away from a game of integrity, self-policed by the players, and towards a game that has to be "refereed".  That's not a good thing, even at the professional level (the only level where it's even remotely practical).

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8 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

I think this rule moves golf away from a game of integrity, self-policed by the players, and towards a game that has to be "refereed".  That's not a good thing, even at the professional level (the only level where it's even remotely practical).

That's another good way of putting it.

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