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      Visit FlagstickRule.com   03/13/2017

      Visit the site flagstickrule.com to read about and sign a petition for the USGA/R&A regarding the one terrible rule in the proposed "modernized" rules for 2019.

Dave Saari

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About Dave Saari

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  1. I agree with your chuckle on that. They've been doing the sudden death format at the Masters for about 40 years and it has never lasted longer than 2 holes.
  2. I think the sudden death playoff method at the Masters is perfect and I hope they don't ever change it. That said, I also like that the majors do not all have the same playoff method -- it gives each one a unique flavor.
  3. You guys are right about one thing -- I just don't want to believe that golfers cheat. If she did, my heart is broken. But somehow I'll carry on anyway.
  4. So I watched the video a few more times. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I just can't get past this. I finally saw how she did it wrong -- she rotated the ball, replaced it, and then picked up the marker without ever looking at the marker. Her hand obstructed her view. So she just assumed she had put the ball in the right place and never verified it by actually looking at it relative to the marker. So this would still be a penalty under the new rules because she didn't do everything she should have to confirm it was placed correctly. I still think it was accidental, but I sincerely hope she takes this to heart and pays proper attention in the future. She certainly paid a big price for her error.
  5. Here's what the USGA web site has to say about the new proposed Rule 1.3(a)2: Proposed Rule: Under new Rule 1.3a(2), whenever required to estimate or measure a spot, point, line, area or distance, the player’s reasonable judgment would be accepted if: The player did all that could be reasonably expected under the circumstances to make a prompt and accurate estimation or measurement. This means that the player’s reasonable judgment would be upheld even if later shown to be wrong by other information (such as video technology). Reasons for Change: The Rules generally rely on the integrity of the player, and this is a natural and appropriate extension of this trust in the player. There are many times when the Rules require a player to estimate or measure a spot, point, line, area or distance, such as when the player: Uses a ball-marker to mark a ball’s spot, and then replace the ball, or Needs to find a reference point or reference line for taking relief (such as the nearest point of complete relief or the line from the hole through the spot of an unplayable ball), or to determine the extent of a relief area (such as measuring a fixed distance from a reference point or reference line). Such judgments need to be made promptly, and players often cannot be precise in doing so. So long as the player did all that could be reasonably expected under the circumstances: The player gets no penalty for any small inaccuracies, irrespective of any advantage gained. Accepting a player’s reasonable judgment would limit “second-guessing” that can arise from the use of enhanced technology (such as video review when golf is televised). ------------------------------------------ I highlighted the points that seem to apply to the Lexi improper ball placement situation. To me, this indicates that it would not have been a penalty under the new rules. But, Lexi should learn to be more careful as part of her responsibility to use reasonable judgment. This chain is going on and on with no apparent end. Those of us who have made mistakes in our lives seem to be willing to give Lexi the benefit of the doubt and do not think it was intentional. Those who have never made a mistake are not willing to do so and are convinced she cheated. The indications that she was obviously rotating the ball, that her hand partially obscured the marker from her eyes, that she was looking only at the ball and not at the marker or at any other point on the green, all indicate to me that she did it promptly, carelessly, and unintentionally. Others believe otherwise for various reasons. None of us will ever know for sure.
  6. I guess we just can't stop talking about this. The evidence clearly shows that the ball was not replaced on the same spot -- it was off by somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch. Some of you folks can't believe it was an accident and are convinced there was a spike mark or depression on the green even though you can't see any such thing in the video. What those folks are apparently not willing to consider is that Lexi did not have the low-angle video view from the opposite side of the ball that clearly shows the misplacement relative to the ball marker. She was standing behind the ball but off to the side and she clearly rotated the ball for some reason -- probably to align a mark on the ball or move the logo out of her view. While her marking technique was not the best, I believe her when she says she did not realize she was placing it incorrectly. If you try to imagine what SHE was looking at rather than the view you see in the video, I think it's completely reasonable. As I've stated above, the ruling was entirely correct according to the current rules, but would not have been made after January 2019 under the new rules. In my opinion, the new rules will be better. Many of you may not think so. We're all entitled to our opinions. After the penalty was assessed, Lexi battled back and got into the playoff. She has not to my knowledge protested the penalty. I don't understand why anyone would say she has handled this badly.
  7. And you guys know for an absolute fact that the camera did not move while recording the episode? It was either a hand held camera or a fixed camera located a long distance away.
  8. Looking at the video, there does not seem to be a spike mark or a depression. But, of course, the video is not perfectly clear. If she had marked from behind the ball, she would probably have done a better job, but she was probably trying to stand clear of the other mark that you can see in the video, so she did it from the side which could have resulted in parallax and an imperfect view of the situation. At the end of the day, only Lexi knows if she was aware of the error or not. The rest of us are only speculating.
  9. There's no question that Lexi violated the rules and was appropriately penalized in accordance with the rules. In an earlier post, I argued that the rule about replacing the ball in "exactly" the same place after marking is silly because nobody can do that -- the only question is how close to the "exact" spot can you actually get. The revised rules that take effect in January 2019 will appropriately fix this situation -- the player will be responsible to do his or her best to put it back in the proper position. If an opponent disagrees they can call it on the spot, but no retroactive review will be considered. Even those who are adamant that Lexi made an egregious error in her inexact replacement of the ball agree that it gave her no competitive advantage. She simply failed to replace it close enough to the same spot to comply with the letter of the rules, in their judgment. I would suggest that, if the rules fanatics really had detailed video surveillance of their own marking and replacement of balls on the green, they would find that they don't do as well as think they do. Getting it within a half inch in each and every instance is probably about the best they would do. It's obvious to me from the video that Lexi was rotating the ball to line up a line or mark on her ball or to move the logo away from the top position, and she simply misplaced it about a half inch off from the original spot. Under the current rules that resulted in a four stroke penalty, no matter who alerted the officials to the infraction. Some people are insisting she knew she had done it -- I believe she did it inadvertently. Under the current rules, that is irrelevant. In my opinion this defies common sense, and the 2019 rules revision will correct that. It's about time.
  10. I agree that Lexi violated the rules as they are currently written, and losing the tournament as a result was a bitter disappointment. For anyone to claim she did it on purpose is a real stretch in my mind. What no one has mentioned here is that it is physically impossible to replace a marked ball "exactly" where it was. No one in the history of golf has ever done it. Even if the most advanced laser measurement technology were used, it would not be possible for a human being to place the ball in "exactly" the same position. In general, the pros get the ball within a few millimeters of the correct spot -- Lexi was off by maybe half an inch. She was clearly trying not to disturb the area around the other ball marked near her own and so approached from the side. I personally don't think she did it intentionally, but was it careless or simply inadvertent? Under the current rules it doesn't matter. As someone above pointed out, the new rules will fix this. The minor discrepancy in placement made absolutely no difference to the outcome of the subsequent putt, yet the four-stroke penalty obviously cost her the tournament. This is one reason why the rules need updating. I used to be a rules purist, but things like this, where common sense plays no part in assessing penalties, have changed my mind.
  11. Thanks to all you guys. This looks like a great site. Wally, your daughter actually is a Yooper, eh? We cold weather knuckleheads just have to wait patiently for the courses to thaw out -- maybe in May. And then the bones and joints take another month after that to thaw out. What a great life!
  12. Thanks, Randall. I've only been a TST member for a couple of hours, and already I've learned something new! Looking over the referenced threads, I see that this USGA change was made just last year, so I suppose that's why I wasn't aware of it. I've only kept an "unofficial" handicap for many years, so it really doesn't matter, However, if I ever want to play at St. Andrews (instead of just visiting) I'll need to get an official one. I find this no-solo-rounds decision a bit ironic, though. Most people I play with when I walk on as a single are very ignorant of the rules, so playing with them doesn't serve as any kind of check on my own ability to follow the rules.
  13. "I find it ironic that I tend to play more by the rules when playing a solo round, considering I can’t apply those rounds to an official handicap index." (I haven't figured out how to properly quote from a post yet. Pleases excuse the newbie.) Is it really true that a player can't post a solo round for HCI purposes? Why not? As long as you comply with the handicapping guidelines and play to the best of your ability, why should it matter if you are playing alone?
  14. Hello, everyone! I'm a brand new member of this site. I retired in July of last year and moved to my former vacation cabin on the North Shore of Lake Superior, near Grand Marais, MN. I put the clubs away in early October after a frustrating year on the links, but now am itching to get back at it again. Since that probably won't happen until May, I need a good source for a daily golf fix. I'm hoping this place will be it!