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Unknown Penalties  

74 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.
      11
    • No, players are responsible for knowing the Rules of Golf, and are now being incentivized to be ignorant and/or dishonest.
      63


137 posts / 15948 viewsLast Reply

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2 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

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).

 

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

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

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. 

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. 

@ColinL, @MacDutch....these would be good comments to respond to if you choose to do so. 

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On 10/19/2018 at 4:11 PM, NM Golf said:

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

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. 

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. 

I'm not seeing the advantage.  If you breach a rule and know to take penalty you are 1 or 2 strokes worse off than if you hadn't breached it.  If you breach a rule and don't know to take a penalty but it is later discovered and added to your score, you are the same 1 or 2 strokes worse off.  The only two ways in which you can have an advantage is 1)if you breach a rule and no-one including yourself knows you have;  and 2), if you are dishonest and  knowingly don't take a penalty you know you have incurred. 

If I understand correctly, iacas wants  the player who has the penalty for a later discovered breach added to be further punished for his ignorance -   pour encourager les autres,  I presume.   In my view, threatening players into learning the rules is not the purpose of a penalty in golf.  And considering you see so many players with no knowledge of the rules, as a threat it doesn't seem to working too well, does it?

We should also bear in mind that one of the reasons for not knowing you have incurred a penalty is not being ignorant of the rules, but being unaware you have broken one.   Take touching sand in a bunker with your backswing, for example.  I know perfectly well that is not allowed and I get a 2 stroke penalty for doing so, but I could simply not have realised, not have noticed that I had.  That is not ignorance of the rule, but genuinely not knowing there had been a breach.  I do not need an additional 2 stroke penalty to encourage me to know the rules.  I know them but I might  breach one of them without noticing.

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

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. 

Maybe this is OT, and I obviously agree with you on the rule, but saying it's a "millennial way of thinking" is ridiculous.  Sigh.

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2 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Maybe this is OT, and I obviously agree with you on the rule, but saying it's a "millennial way of thinking" is ridiculous.  Sigh.

No, unfortunately it isn’t. It’s quite accurate.

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4 hours ago, ColinL said:

I'm not seeing the advantage.  If you breach a rule and know to take penalty you are 1 or 2 strokes worse off than if you hadn't breached it.  If you breach a rule and don't know to take a penalty but it is later discovered and added to your score, you are the same 1 or 2 strokes worse off. 

It creates an advantage to cheating and/or ignorance in two different cases...which you mention yourself:

4 hours ago, ColinL said:

The only two ways in which you can have an advantage is 1)if you breach a rule and no-one including yourself knows you have;  and 2), if you are dishonest and  knowingly don't take a penalty you know you have incurred. 

Right....and those are both huge!  The first encourages ignorance of the rules (better not to know, you might get away with it) and the second encourages cheating.

:offtopic::

Spoiler
2 hours ago, Vinsk said:

No, unfortunately it isn’t. It’s quite accurate.

Yeah, fortunately (I guess?) it is.  If you want to make a nuanced point about how the millennial generation tends (that's important) to view authoritative rules with what are perceived as strict penalties, there is something there.  Generally speaking, more recent generations tend to question rules and penalties more than generations like Baby Boomers who would just "shut up and listen" to perceived authority figures.

But...saying that "the rules are just so hard so if you don't want to learn them, that's okay, no penalties for you" is somehow indicative of an attitude held by millennials more than other generations (either before or after them) is idiotic and over-simplistic.

 

Edited by Hardspoon

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4 hours ago, ColinL said:

I'm not seeing the advantage.

The advantage is that they won't include a penalty they incurred over a more knowledgeable golfer. The ignorant golfer has an advantage.

4 hours ago, ColinL said:

If you breach a rule and know to take penalty you are 1 or 2 strokes worse off than if you hadn't breached it.

That player has gained an advantage over the golfer who doesn't need to be "caught" just to add the strokes they incurred to their score.

4 hours ago, ColinL said:

The only two ways in which you can have an advantage is 1)if you breach a rule and no-one including yourself knows you have;  and 2), if you are dishonest and  knowingly don't take a penalty you know you have incurred.

We know. Hence "ignorant" and "dishonest."

4 hours ago, ColinL said:

If I understand correctly, iacas wants the player who has the penalty for a later discovered breach added to be further punished for his ignorance -   pour encourager les autres,  I presume.   In my view, threatening players into learning the rules is not the purpose of a penalty in golf.  And considering you see so many players with no knowledge of the rules, as a threat it doesn't seem to working too well, does it?

It's not a "threat." It is the responsibility of the player to know and follow the rules. This change removes the incentive to do so.

Again, see the taxes analogy above. If you are supposed to know and pay your taxes, and don't, you pay not only what you owed, but an additional penalty. If you take a book out from the library, and don't return it or renew it on time, you pay a late fee. You don't get to claim that you didn't know something.

Like @Hardspoon said above… this change is pushing golf toward the direction of needing actual referees.

While every other sport is moving toward getting more accurate results - replays, coach challenges, etc. - golf is moving the opposite direction. No call-ins even for someone who has knowingly broken the rule. Incentivizing ignorance/cheating with this change.

2 hours ago, Vinsk said:

No, unfortunately it isn’t. It’s quite accurate.

FWIW, the guys and gals who made these 2019 rules are not Millennials.

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A player of integrity who knows the rules but who breaches one without noticing has his attention drawn to it after he has put in his card.  He immediately goes to the committee and reports that he has been advised that he had breached this rule but he had not noticed that he had .  The penalty is added on to his score and he feels relieved that he did not inadvertently end  up with a better score than he should have done.  

He has, in short, done the right thing, the honest thing.  He has shown integrity.   Is it just that he be penalised  a further two strokes because other golfers might deliberately cheat their way to a better score than they made?

[By the way, if  I make an honest mistake in a tax return and correct it after the return date, I don't get penalised.  Perhaps US tax law is different.]

Edited by ColinL

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4 hours ago, ColinL said:

A player of integrity who knows the rules but who breaches one without noticing has his attention drawn to it after he has put in his card.  He immediately goes to the committee and reports that he has been advised that he had breached this rule but he had not noticed that he had .  The penalty is added on to his score and he feels relieved that he did not inadvertently end  up with a better score than he should have done.  

He has, in short, done the right thing, the honest thing.  He has shown integrity.   Is it just that he be penalised  a further two strokes because other golfers might deliberately cheat their way to a better score than they made?

[By the way, if  I make an honest mistake in a tax return and correct it after the return date, I don't get penalised.  Perhaps US tax law is different.]

Am I missing something about this? Knowing a rule but not knowing you breached it isn’t the same  as claiming to not know a rule. 

DJ for example: He knows you can’t ground your club in a bunker. He was penalized for doing so after the fact. Why? Because he didn’t know he was standing in an area that was deemed a bunker. Rules had been posted claiming those areas to be classified as hazards yet he didn’t know that. Isn’t it his responsibility to know that? Yes. So he was assessed the penalty.

One if the stand out features in golf is the integrity of players and that it’s the only sport I believe where players call themselves out. Can you imagine a referee in football calls illegal formation on a guard but the player says he didn’t know he was breaching any rule...oh ok...never mind. Do you see the problem here?

Edited by Vinsk

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

FWIW, the guys and gals who made these 2019 rules are not Millennials.

Yes I’m aware of that. I agreed with the statement that it’s a Millennial attitude.

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Am I missing something about this? Knowing a rule but not knowing you breached it isn’t the same  as claiming to not know a rule. 

DJ for example: He knows you can’t ground your club in a bunker. He was penalized for doing so after the fact. Why? Because he didn’t know he was standing in an area that was deemed a bunker. Rules had been posted claiming those areas to be classified as hazards yet he didn’t know that. Isn’t it his responsibility to know that? Yes. So he was assessed the penalty.

One if the stand out features in golf is the integrity of players and that it’s the only sport I believe where players call themselves out. Can you imagine a referee in football calls illegal formation on a guard but the player says he didn’t know he was breaching any rule...oh ok...never mind. Do you see the problem here?

Yes, I think you may be missing something.  There is more than one way of not knowing about penalty strokes you have incurred.  There is ignorance of the rule (and that includes DJ's error) and there is knowing a rule but not realising that you have breached it eg by not noticing you touched sand with your backswing in a bunker, not noticing you accidentally moved your ball, not noticing that you had teed up in front of the markers.  You cannot know what you have not seen.  In such a situation it's right that the player cops the penalty for whatever it was, but not right that he should be further penalised.

Exception – Failure to Include Unknown Penalty: If one or more of the player’s hole scores are lower than the actual scores because he or she excluded one or more penalty strokes that the player did not know about before returning the scorecard.

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6 minutes ago, ColinL said:

not noticing you touched sand with your backswing in a bunker, not noticing you accidentally moved your ball, not noticing that you had teed up in front of the markers.  You cannot know what you have not seen

Careless? I think the no call if not visible by human eye will eliminate instances like the Norqvist one. But even then..she could've been more careful to not touch any sand. I'll let that one go. But the others...isn't that just plain careless behavior? Should carelessness be excused? Because again I think this goes the wrong direction in that other sports do not forgive this. 

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5 hours ago, ColinL said:

A player of integrity who knows the rules but who breaches one without noticing has his attention drawn to it after he has put in his card. He immediately goes to the committee and reports that he has been advised that he had breached this rule but he had not noticed that he had.  The penalty is added on to his score and he feels relieved that he did not inadvertently end  up with a better score than he should have done.

A few things on this:

First… tough shit. It was his responsibility to know that he breached the rules, and he failed to do so. It's my responsibility to pay my taxes properly and on time, and if I fail to do so, I don't get to claim ignorance.

How often is this going to happen? Remember, all of these things need to occur:

  • A supposedly honest and knowledgeable player does something in which he incurs a penalty, but doesn't know it.
  • Another player sees this, and doesn't say anything at the time, despite being close enough to see it occur.
  • The player signs his scorecard, and still hasn't realized or been told.
  • The player who saw it but didn't say anything earlier tells the player he incurred a penalty. The player agrees that he committed a breach without previously knowing about it for himself.

To use your earlier example… a player is close enough to see a player brush the sand in the backswing, doesn't say anything, and the player hitting the ball doesn't see it, somehow. Then, when told later, after he turns in his scorecard, he believes it enough to say "oh, I didn't know I had touched the sand, but I'll take your word for it over my own eyes."

C'mon. You're reaching.

And… let's say this actually does happen. Let's pretend that the guy hits bunker shots with his eyes closed and the player who spotted the infraction had some sort of actual reason not to say anything until after the player signed his scorecard, despite being close enough to see, with his naked eye, sand being brushed in the backswing. Yeah, I agree that would suck to be that player.

But what sucks more? Incentivizing ignorance and/or outright cheating.

Rules like this are never going to be perfect, because we can't actually get inside people's heads to know whether they're being dishonest, we can't ever reach 100% knowledge, and what feel like "honest mistakes" can happen and might seem to some like it's overly harsh… But the USGA/R&A have traded this in for incentivizing cheating and ignorance by letting them get away with nothing but the penalty they actually incurred.

Think about it.

Let's say you're coaching a team. You educate your golfers on the times when they get free drops. They learn all about immovable obstructions. You teach them all about abnormal ground conditions. Temporary water. Embedded balls.

You don't tell them anything about penalty situations. If nobody in their group notices, they'll save a shot or two now and then. If someone does notice, they'll get the penalty they actually incurred.

The Rules say in a few places that players are responsible for knowing and applying the Rules of Golf, and this rule says the opposite: don't do that. Rely on someone else, and if they fail to hold you to the Rules, you just get away with it.

5 hours ago, ColinL said:

He has, in short, done the right thing, the honest thing. He has shown integrity.   Is it just that he be penalised  a further two strokes because other golfers might deliberately cheat their way to a better score than they made?

He hasn't really done the right thing. He should pay an additional penalty. He didn't uphold the rules. He didn't call a penalty on himself.

Let's look at the Lexi Thompson example. That's probably a better example than your ridiculous bunker shot one.

Lexi should know that she can't lift the ball two inches and move it one inch laterally in the less than two seconds it took her. It's her responsibility to know that, and to replace the ball on the proper spot.

She failed to do so. Her playing partners didn't notice, either, because honestly it's not their responsibility to watch her like a hawk. I don't care what her excuse is - that she thought she put it back in the right spot, that she didn't notice, etc. It's her responsibility to put it back in the actual right spot, to notice, and to play by the Rules of Golf.

She didn't, and she deserved not only the penalty she actually incurred, but an additional penalty for failing to uphold the responsibility. It was two breaches:

  • Failure to put the ball back in the proper spot.
  • Failure to uphold the Rules of Golf and call the penalty on herself for the first thing.

Two breaches, separate actions.

5 hours ago, ColinL said:

[By the way, if  I make an honest mistake in a tax return and correct it after the return date, I don't get penalised.  Perhaps US tax law is different.]

And if you make a mistake but correct it before you turn your scorecard in, you get the original penalty and nothing else, too.

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20 hours ago, Vinsk said:

 

@ColinL, @MacDutch....these would be good comments to respond to if you choose to do so. 

Yes, but I allready wrote that the old (current) rule is better then the new one. I just don’t like the way the poll was made up.

To be more clear: I don’t like the new rule at all.

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It's clear that the agenda behind this thread is too strong to make it worth the time trying to put up an argument to the contrary in the expectation it will be engaged with rather than bludgeoned.  

By the way you have misunderstood and misrepresented much of what I have said and so there's nothing more to be said.

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17 hours ago, ColinL said:

The only two ways in which you can have an advantage is 1)if you breach a rule and no-one including yourself knows you have;  and 2), if you are dishonest and  knowingly don't take a penalty you know you have incurred. 

This new rule encourages the dishonesty and knowingly not taking a penalty because the worst case scenario if you are called out for it is that you claim you didnt know it was a penalty and you get assessed the 1-2 strokes, where previously you got penalized for both the penalty you committed on the course, and then also by signing the incorrect scorecard.  

Try to think about it from a dishonest person's point of view. If they committed a penalty that they think they might be able to get away with, why not try to get away with it? Best case scenario they get away with it and have 1-2 strokes lower, worst case under the new rule they just get assessed the penalty as long as they claim they didnt know they broke a rule (whether they actually knew the rule or not is near impossible to prove in most cases)

As a golfer, it is your responsibility to know the rules, and when you break a rule you should get penalized. There's a rule about signing an incorrect scorecard, so if you break that rule because you failed to report another rule that you broke, you should get penalized for both since you broke two rules. 

9 hours ago, ColinL said:

A player of integrity who knows the rules but who breaches one without noticing has his attention drawn to it after he has put in his card.  He immediately goes to the committee and reports that he has been advised that he had breached this rule but he had not noticed that he had .  The penalty is added on to his score and he feels relieved that he did not inadvertently end  up with a better score than he should have done.  

He has, in short, done the right thing, the honest thing.  He has shown integrity.   Is it just that he be penalised  a further two strokes because other golfers might deliberately cheat their way to a better score than they made?

You are correct that he has done the right and honest thing, but he still broke a second rule by signing the incorrect scorecard. Just because he did the honest and right thing doesn't mean that he didnt break another rule.

Compare it to driving a car and speed limits. If the maximum penalty anyone could get for speeding (no matter how fast) was $100, a lot more people would likely speed compared to now where excessive speeding can result in significant fines/jail time.

If the maximum penalty anyone could get for not reporting a rule violation is just their original penalty, theres a very good chance more people will likely not call penalties since the worst that will happen is they have to apply the original penalty and nothing more. 

 

41 minutes ago, ColinL said:

It's clear that the agenda behind this thread is too strong to make it worth the time trying to put up an argument to the contrary in the expectation it will be engaged with rather than bludgeoned.  

By the way you have misunderstood and misrepresented much of what I have said and so there's nothing more to be said.

There isn't an agenda behind this thread, it's just a pretty clear cut case that if someone who breaks two rules is only going to get penalized for one, then more people will likely break rules and claim ignorance.

We are engaging you, but you have put up very little evidence to support how someone who breaks two rules but only gets penalized for one will encourage more honesty and less ignorance in the game of golf

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1 hour ago, ColinL said:

It's clear that the agenda behind this thread is too strong to make it worth the time trying to put up an argument to the contrary in the expectation it will be engaged with rather than bludgeoned.  

By the way you have misunderstood and misrepresented much of what I have said and so there's nothing more to be said.

Complete bullshit.

The “agenda” is clear: I dislike the new rule and I’ve said why. Calling it an agenda implies there is nefarious hidden thing when the opposite is true.

I engaged with your points. And if you feel they were bludgeoned, then make better points.

You can’t present a persuasive argument supporting your take, so you allege “agendas” and “misunderstanding.”

Make your case. How is this rule a good thing? I don’t think it is and I’ve shared why.

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I dont think dishonesty should be applied to the poll question.  I think the usga is dealing with a situation where someone with a hdtv and tivo spends hours looking to see if a pebble was disturbed in a trap and calling in after the round is over.  No dishonesty, a true unknown infraction.  Add the penalty points to the score and keep going. I like it.  

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