New year, new rules.
That’s the new motto for Golf fans around the country as we enter into yet another era of golf and technology. Starting in 2018, at least one rule will be changed that has been leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths for years: at-home golf enthusiasts will no longer be able to call in and demand an official review of a mistake made on the course that was visible to onlookers but missed by on-course officials during a publicized round of golf.
Some who are less educated in the rules of golf may be surprised to learn that this was, indeed, ever a rule to begin with. However, here we are. And as you may have guessed, there have certainly been some controversial decisions based around this rule that have taken away championship titles.
To better understand why the rule is getting nixed, let’s take a look at why it was created in the first place, and how the sport will change because of its absence.
Why This Rule Was Introduced
The USGA and R&A have created and managed an intense set of standards for the sport of Golf ever since the game was popularized. While they were the ones to ultimately create this rule, they also understand that sometimes the rules need to change as the game adapts.
In fairness to the USGA and R&A, golf is a difficult sport to officiate in the first place. Athletes are using very minimal pieces of equipment over a very large surface of play, making it nearly impossible for two human eyes to witness every single action of a golfer and the ball the use. With the introduction of video replay and television syndication, a whole new view of Golf was introduced. This new view gave way to better officiating as well as a wider audience. Even if two human eyes couldn’t see everything, a camera sure could.
Because of the concerns that this mismatch of officiating presented, many believed it would be only fair to allow those who saw a mistake to notify officials, as there was less of a chance that they could have seen the same view while on the course.
Why Golf Will Be Better Without It
While the idea of having an army of officials helping out at every angle, it certainly takes away from the game during play. It doesn’t seem very fair to have a trained professional’s ruling on the same level as a fan’s ruling. And with technology constantly developing, golf officials don’t need the outside help for reviews; they have all the replay options available to them on site.
Another major reason that losing this rule will be better for everyone is that it will even the playing field. For instance, the same mistake that cost one player a championship on a televised game on a weekend afternoon doesn’t have the same chances of being seen in a game during the week.
Golf purists and general sports fans alike will be able to agree on this one: it just makes sense. How do you feel about the change? Tweet your answers to me or comment below!