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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


134 posts / 12291 viewsLast Reply

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5 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

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.

The USGA already handled this...

“New Decision 34-3/10 implements two standards for Rules committees to limit the use of video: 1) when video reveals evidence that could not reasonably be seen with the ‘naked eye,’ and 2) when players use their ‘reasonable judgment’ to determine a specific location when applying the Rules,” according to a statement from the USGA.

“The use of video technology can make it possible to identify things that could not be seen with the naked eye,” the statement continued, noting the example of “a player who unknowingly touches a few grains of sand in taking a backswing with a club in a bunker when making a stroke.”

 

7 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

Add the penalty points to the score and keep going. I like it.  

So you like the fact that someone who breaks two rules because they claim they dont know the rules or the sport they are playing will only get penalized for breaking one rule?

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12 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

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.

They're not. See @klineka's response above.

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

They're not. See @klineka's response above.

I saw the response and stick with my point. Final point.  Anyone lying about their score in the crew I play with will be playing alone. Bottom line.  Lie in this game and you are out. 

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1 minute ago, gjunkie57 said:

I saw the response and stick with my point. Final point.  Anyone lying about their score in the crew I play with will be playing alone. Bottom line.  Lie in this game and you are out. 

You wouldn’t know.

And you can stick with your point all you want; you were wrong and they’d already addressed HDTV, etc.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

You wouldn’t know.

And you can stick with your point all you want; you were wrong and they’d already addressed HDTV, etc.

I think you miss the point.  To claim dishonesty requires a knowledge of an infraction and intent to deceive.  So stick with your proposition.  If someone in my group intends to deceive then he’s out.  Dont claim dishonesty when you mean ignorance.   They are not the same.  And trust I will know because we are all watching each other.  

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

You wouldn’t know.

@gjunkie57 You realize this right? Remember when Hideki clearly repaired his divot when he saw his ball was rolling back towards him? It was pretty obvious he improved his lie. But unfortunately no one can claim to know whether he was honest or not. He said he had no intention of improving his lie. So nothing was done about it. They just went with his word.

9 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

I saw the response and stick with my point. 

What? Come on...you can make points and argue them. That's just fine. But when you are clearly shown you stated something incorrect just own up to it. 

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26 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

@gjunkie57 You realize this right? Remember when Hideki clearly repaired his divot when he saw his ball was rolling back towards him? It was pretty obvious he improved his lie. But unfortunately no one can claim to know whether he was honest or not. He said he had no intention of improving his lie. So nothing was done about it. They just went with his word.

What? Come on...you can make points and argue them. That's just fine. But when you are clearly shown you stated something incorrect just own up to it. 

I own up to the point that the usga addressed my point.  But my second point is to claim they are rewarding dishonesty is unwarranted. That I stand by.  

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57 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

I think you miss the point.

No…

57 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

To claim dishonesty requires a knowledge of an infraction and intent to deceive.

No, it doesn't. I can not know that someone was dishonest… and they're still dishonest.

57 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

If someone in my group intends to deceive then he’s out.

You wouldn't necessarily know that they were dishonest or deceptive!

57 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

Dont claim dishonesty when you mean ignorance.

Dude, throughout this topic, I've said BOTH because they're different things. The new rule rewards dishonesty AND ignorance.

57 minutes ago, gjunkie57 said:

And trust I will know because we are all watching each other.  

You can't watch everyone all the time. And that's beside the point.

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

No…

No, it doesn't. I can not know that someone was dishonest… and they're still dishonest.

You wouldn't necessarily know that they were dishonest or deceptive!

Dude, throughout this topic, I've said BOTH because they're different things. The new rule rewards dishonesty AND ignorance.

You can't watch everyone all the time. And that's beside the point.

Your poll question has dishonesty in both answers.  I disagree with the dishonesty point. The answers to this poll question are flawed because they imply the same outcome, rewarding mad behavior.   

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1 minute ago, gjunkie57 said:

Your poll question has dishonesty in both answers.  I disagree with the dishonesty point. The answers to this poll question are flawed because they imply the same outcome, rewarding mad behavior.   

The answers aren’t flawed. It’s a poll. The fact of the matter is if you’re dishonest you are now in a better position than a few years ago. You can claim you didn’t know if caught or you might just get away with it.

Virtually no downside.

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I haven't read all of this, but do have a couple of thoughts. I also haven't read all of the new rules yet. Do they still say that a player is expected to know and abide by the rules? If so, maybe a clear breach of the rules that you claim you didn't know about wouldn't be a valid excuse and the exception wouldn't apply if you just said you didn't know that hitting it OB was stroke and distance. I'm not sure how that would be interpreted. 

I don't think that Lexi would get away with marking her ball to the side, because she definitely knows she's not allowed to do that. I do think if someone tried to get away with a penalty by claiming ignorance, that it would work once and once only. After the once, you couldn't claim you didn't know anymore.

Reading the wording, it feels to me like what they are trying to catch here is a situation where someone addresses the ball, then steps away and goes up to look at the shot from a different angle, the ball rolls over a couple of times and they come back unaware that the ball moved. Something like that.

That said I don't like that they changed this. I think the 2 strokes was appropriate.

One last question - the only way this is an issue is if an infraction comes to light after the card has been signed and submitted. If it happens during play then the "I didn't think it was a penalty for hitting it OB" thing only works if the person marking your card is also ignorant of the rules. If that's the case, how is the infraction going to be realized anyway? I guess it's conceivable that someone in the group behind could have seen someone hit it OB and then hit it 4 more times into the hole and spot later that they had put down a 5 on the card. I really don't see this happening very often though. The only impact this has is the result is the same whether it comes up before or after the card is signed. I'm not a huge fan of that, but I don't see it as the end of the world either. 

It's also still in people's best interests to know the rules, because when you accidentally breach rules is when the crazy results you find in the decisions book come about. It's much easier to make a 10 if you don't know the rules at all than if you do.

Edited by Ty_Webb

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My two cents. The USGA has limited number of events per year. The US Open always has pandemonium to begin with, and their other events are continuously being ruined my these post round/ next round rules. USGA is attempting make this go away. It’s just funny to me that USGA is old school, hard ass, say tough luck to players who lose due to some unfair circumstance created by USGA....but mess with their livelyhood/legacy and USGA instantly becomes modern and forgiving. 

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5 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

I haven't read all of this, but do have a couple of thoughts. I also haven't read all of the new rules yet. Do they still say that a player is expected to know and abide by the rules? If so, maybe a clear breach of the rules that you claim you didn't know about wouldn't be a valid excuse and the exception wouldn't apply if you just said you didn't know that hitting it OB was stroke and distance. I'm not sure how that would be interpreted.

 

The new version of the Decisions doesn't address the "unknown penalty" thing. So no, I think that if a player says "I didn't know" then it counts as an unknown penalty.

5 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

I don't think that Lexi would get away with marking her ball to the side, because she definitely knows she's not allowed to do that. I do think if someone tried to get away with a penalty by claiming ignorance, that it would work once and once only. After the once, you couldn't claim you didn't know anymore.

Once and once only… if they're a known entity. I could easily see a kid getting away with it a few times as kids play a variety of events, a bunch of different tours, etc. And that's not counting the times he isn't caught.

5 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

That said I don't like that they changed this. I think the 2 strokes was appropriate.

Hell I thought the DQ was appropriate, but I think two strokes is far, far better than what we have in 2019's rules.

5 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

I really don't see this happening very often though.

Probably only because you're using the unlikely example of a player not knowing OB is a stroke and distance penalty.

5 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

It's also still in people's best interests to know the rules, because when you accidentally breach rules is when the crazy results you find in the decisions book come about. It's much easier to make a 10 if you don't know the rules at all than if you do.

No, it's not. It's beneficial to know the rules that help you, but it's not beneficial anymore to learn the rules that can hurt you, because there's no downside to being ignorant. Worst case you get the penalty incurred; best case you don't get the penalty.

You're missing out on the fact that by encouraging ignorance - by giving merit and weight to ignorance - that people will not be incentivized to know the rules. If you, for example, breach a rule and nobody's watching, because you've been incentivized to not know the rules, despite the Rules still saying a few times that it's your responsibility to know them and enforce them on yourself, that you won't even know that you incurred a penalty and it won't ever be added to your score because you're the only witness.

The rules are promoting and encouraging ignorance and cheating, all under the guise that golfers are "honest," in a time when they're likely less honest (and less knowledgeable) than ever.

5 hours ago, Slim_Pivot said:

The USGA has limited number of events per year.

This isn't just about the USGA or their events - the R&A is the ruling body for the entire rest of the world outside the US and Mexico, and they co-authored the rules changes too. This is about ALL of golf, too, not just the U.S. Open and the British Open.

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58 minutes ago, iacas said:

No, it's not. It's beneficial to know the rules that help you, but it's not beneficial anymore to learn the rules that can hurt you, because there's no downside to being ignorant. Worst case you get the penalty incurred; best case you don't get the penalty.

You're missing out on the fact that by encouraging ignorance - by giving merit and weight to ignorance - that people will not be incentivized to know the rules. If you, for example, breach a rule and nobody's watching, because you've been incentivized to not know the rules, despite the Rules still saying a few times that it's your responsibility to know them and enforce them on yourself, that you won't even know that you incurred a penalty and it won't ever be added to your score because you're the only witness.

The rules are promoting and encouraging ignorance and cheating, all under the guise that golfers are "honest," in a time when they're likely less honest (and less knowledgeable) than ever.

Let's suppose that the rule you don't know has to do with where to drop if you hit it in a hazard. Let's suppose your ignorance leads you to believe that you can drop the ball in the fairway level with where the ball landed in the water as opposed to being determined based on where it crossed the hazard. You would get a big advantage from dropping like that, if you were not caught. If you were caught though you'd be playing from a wrong place and it would be a serious breach, so you'd be disqualified. That's why there is still harm from being ignorant. 

I also find it highly unlikely that anyone is going to know the rules that are advantageous and not the ones that could hurt - if that's the argument  you made, you better have a very good reason why you know exactly what you're doing when it helps and not when it hurts. Being accused of cheating is something that sticks. It's about the worst thing you can do to someone. If someone claims they didn't know something was a penalty and they clearly should have done, they're going to be accused of cheating. 

The thing is, as things are right now, how many examples can you give of a person being disqualified (or getting a 2 stroke penalty) because they signed for a wrong score as a result of a penalty they didn't know about that wasn't a result of something on the television? I've been playing the game reasonably seriously for nearly 30 years and I have never heard of that happening outside of the pro tours. People occasionally get DQ'd for things like playing a wrong ball and not fixing it in time or not signing their scorecard. That's it though. Either people get caught breaking the rules in real time (in which case no change) or they don't get caught at all (in which case no change).

Conceptually i don't like this because it feels like it's been done to help out Lexi in her "was it/wasn't it cheating incident". I think she should have been DQ'd anyway for that one. Be that as it may, I really don't see this having a genuine impact on anything. If nothing else, you are incentivized to know the rules so that you can pin your opponent/fellow competitors for breaking the rules. All you need to do is say "I'm not sure if that's right - we should check when we get in". That neutralizes the exception to the rule.

 

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1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

That's why there is still harm from being ignorant.

I've never said there's no potential for harm from being ignorant.

1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

I also find it highly unlikely that anyone is going to know the rules that are advantageous and not the ones that could hurt

I've seen it. Kids learn that they get free drops from cart paths, but don't know that a lost ball is stroke and distance and will just drop a ball where they think it was lost, for example. People are encouraged to learn the things that help them and particularly now encouraged NOT to learn the things that hurt them.

1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

if that's the argument  you made

It's a tiny part of why I don't like this rules change. But man, you're on a roll trying to put words into my mouth… 🙂

1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

Being accused of cheating is something that sticks.

Not necessarily.

And not really in today's world. A known cheater - DQed from a local tournament after cheating in front of his coaches (shaving a shot from a hole score) and having cheated for years, knowingly, an open secret among his peers, just helped his team win a state title here in PA.

Another player, related to the above, cheated in a tournament against my daughter a few years ago. Natalie called her on it eight times. Eight times on the back nine alone my daughter had to correct her score. And this is a pretty well known local junior player with national success.

I see cheating among the college players I coach. Some of it's passive, or even laziness… or stupidity. But some of it's intentional, and the stigma doesn't seem to carry anywhere near the weight it used to carry when I was a kid.

Kids in particular don't seem to be like they used to be. And I'm trying really hard not to do the ol' "back in my day…" routine. Maybe it happened when I was a kid…

1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

It's about the worst thing you can do to someone.

I'm not sure you're in touch with junior golf these days.

This is neither here nor there, though, and my argument boils down to a simple thing: the Rule about an "unknown" penalty incentivizes ignorance, whether actual or of the made-up variety. There's only upside to not recording a penalty on your card, and the majority of the time, you're going to get away with it. The small chunk of the time you don't, you're no worse off than if you'd included the penalty.

1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

The thing is, as things are right now, how many examples can you give of a person being disqualified (or getting a 2 stroke penalty) because they signed for a wrong score as a result of a penalty they didn't know about that wasn't a result of something on the television?

Dude, that's a horrible argument. How many examples can you give of someone breaching some rule I can look up? C'mon… it's not about that. It's about the simple fact that the USGA/R&A are incentivizing ignorance, again, whether real or made-up.

I can tell you this, though: I've had several instances in my role as a college coach where this would have happened had there not been the risk of a DQ or an additional penalty. Furthermore, my players are incentivized by my own rule that if I ever find out that they cheated, that they'll be immediately and permanently kicked off the team.

But consider this: if I wasn't a moral person, who believes in the honor system and in being truthful. If I was more like an "if you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'" kinda guy… why would I administer rules tests to my college players? Why wouldn't I tell them "hey, don't ask anyone about any possible penalties, because then you can't say you didn't know; just play dumb" or something like that?

Again, this moves golf:

  • Toward the direction of needing referees to call penalties on people rather than them calling them on themselves.
  • Away from the idea of getting more things "right" when other sports, with coaching challenges and automatic play reviews and the like, to getting things right.
1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

Either people get caught breaking the rules in real time (in which case no change) or they don't get caught at all (in which case no change).

And if those were the only possibilities… there'd be no need for the rule.

Paula Creamer DQed herself from a tournament awhile back because she realized she'd switched out a club during a rain delay or something. Had Camilo Villegas been asked about fixing his divot (or moving the divot, or whatever he did) a few years ago after his round, he would have been able to get away with just the penalty, not anything additional for not knowing the Rules (he was DQed). Lexi got what she deserved, but now it would just be two strokes, despite the fact that it's her responsibility to both know and play by the Rules of golf.

It happens, despite your proclamation that it doesn't.

Tiger Woods took an inappropriate/incorrect drop at the Masters. Should have been DQed, was given two additional strokes because The Committee supposedly had previously blessed the drop before I called some people.

1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

I think she should have been DQ'd anyway for that one.

The rules at the time were two additional strokes only, so I'm not sure how you could arrive at that.

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14 hours ago, iacas said:

I've never said there's no potential for harm from being ignorant.

I've seen it. Kids learn that they get free drops from cart paths, but don't know that a lost ball is stroke and distance and will just drop a ball where they think it was lost, for example. People are encouraged to learn the things that help them and particularly now encouraged NOT to learn the things that hurt them.

It's a tiny part of why I don't like this rules change. But man, you're on a roll trying to put words into my mouth… 🙂

Not necessarily.

And not really in today's world. A known cheater - DQed from a local tournament after cheating in front of his coaches (shaving a shot from a hole score) and having cheated for years, knowingly, an open secret among his peers, just helped his team win a state title here in PA.

Another player, related to the above, cheated in a tournament against my daughter a few years ago. Natalie called her on it eight times. Eight times on the back nine alone my daughter had to correct her score. And this is a pretty well known local junior player with national success.

I see cheating among the college players I coach. Some of it's passive, or even laziness… or stupidity. But some of it's intentional, and the stigma doesn't seem to carry anywhere near the weight it used to carry when I was a kid.

Kids in particular don't seem to be like they used to be. And I'm trying really hard not to do the ol' "back in my day…" routine. Maybe it happened when I was a kid…

I'm not sure you're in touch with junior golf these days.

This is neither here nor there, though, and my argument boils down to a simple thing: the Rule about an "unknown" penalty incentivizes ignorance, whether actual or of the made-up variety. There's only upside to not recording a penalty on your card, and the majority of the time, you're going to get away with it. The small chunk of the time you don't, you're no worse off than if you'd included the penalty.

Dude, that's a horrible argument. How many examples can you give of someone breaching some rule I can look up? C'mon… it's not about that. It's about the simple fact that the USGA/R&A are incentivizing ignorance, again, whether real or made-up.

I can tell you this, though: I've had several instances in my role as a college coach where this would have happened had there not been the risk of a DQ or an additional penalty. Furthermore, my players are incentivized by my own rule that if I ever find out that they cheated, that they'll be immediately and permanently kicked off the team.

But consider this: if I wasn't a moral person, who believes in the honor system and in being truthful. If I was more like an "if you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'" kinda guy… why would I administer rules tests to my college players? Why wouldn't I tell them "hey, don't ask anyone about any possible penalties, because then you can't say you didn't know; just play dumb" or something like that?

Again, this moves golf:

  • Toward the direction of needing referees to call penalties on people rather than them calling them on themselves.
  • Away from the idea of getting more things "right" when other sports, with coaching challenges and automatic play reviews and the like, to getting things right.

And if those were the only possibilities… there'd be no need for the rule.

Paula Creamer DQed herself from a tournament awhile back because she realized she'd switched out a club during a rain delay or something. Had Camilo Villegas been asked about fixing his divot (or moving the divot, or whatever he did) a few years ago after his round, he would have been able to get away with just the penalty, not anything additional for not knowing the Rules (he was DQed). Lexi got what she deserved, but now it would just be two strokes, despite the fact that it's her responsibility to both know and play by the Rules of golf.

It happens, despite your proclamation that it doesn't.

Tiger Woods took an inappropriate/incorrect drop at the Masters. Should have been DQed, was given two additional strokes because The Committee supposedly had previously blessed the drop before I called some people.

The rules at the time were two additional strokes only, so I'm not sure how you could arrive at that.

For someone who is suggesting that I am putting words in your mouth, your selective quoting is interesting.

I was under the impression that she got away with four strokes because she claimed she didn't realize that she had moved it. If she moved it deliberately, then she could have been DQ'd. 

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2 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

For someone who is suggesting that I am putting words in your mouth, your selective quoting is interesting.

I quoted and responded to almost everything you posted. It's not selective, except to ignore stuff that's off topic.

2 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

I was under the impression that she got away with four strokes because she claimed she didn't realize that she had moved it. If she moved it deliberately, then she could have been DQ'd. 

She didn't know she hadn't put the ball back where she should have (though she should have), and at the time that was 2+2. Now it's just… the original 2 you incurred. It was not a DQ last year, not if she didn't know she'd breached the penalty. The DQ thing was done away with a few years ago.

If you're suggesting she knowingly cheated, then yeah, DQ was still the rule. And still is in 2019.

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47 minutes ago, iacas said:

I quoted and responded to almost everything you posted. It's not selective, except to ignore stuff that's off topic.

I talked about how remote the possibility of this occurring was and then said given that there are two possibilities. You quoted me saying there are two possibilities and then said there were other possibilities. I mean - yeah - that's what I said.

 

17 hours ago, iacas said:

I've never said there's no potential for harm from being ignorant.

But consider this: if I wasn't a moral person, who believes in the honor system and in being truthful. If I was more like an "if you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'" kinda guy… why would I administer rules tests to my college players? 

Two quotes from your post right there. The first one answers the second one.

 

One last question - do you know for certain that pleading ignorance will get you excused the penalty? It says if you didn't know about the penalty then you're excused the additional penalty. It also says you are expected to know the rules. If your reason for ignorance is that you don't know the rules, are you breaking something else? Or will that excuse potentially just not fly? I don't honestly know. I think it could be interpreted that you are expected to know the rules, so not knowing the rules isn't a reason to not know you had a penalty. Not knowing you had a penalty would be limited to a situation where you knew the rule, but didn't know you'd broken it for some reason. I don't see anything in the quoted rule that would go against that interpretation, but maybe I missed it or you have some other info that I don't.

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