Rules Of An Armchair Referee: Do They Need Changing?

I like to watch The Golf Channel just as much as any other golf nut but does that qualify me to be a rules expert or a referee? I don’t think so. I along with thousands of other viewers enjoy watching golf tournaments on TV and yes they may be a novelty to me but that doesn’t make them any less important to others. When I hear that regular viewers are calling out players for minute penalties, it seems outrageous. The most recent offense was yesterday stemming from a TV viewer watching the tournament in Abu Dhabi. Padraig Harrington was caught when his golf ball rolled back a dimple and a half (seriously this viewer must have been watching on an HDTV to catch this). He should have takes 2 strokes for this but unknowingly signed his scorecard and now has been disqualified from the tournament. I think this is unheard of for so many amateur TV refs to be able to make calls that will make a break a player’s placement in a tournament. It happened to Camilo Villegas and Ian Poulter both in the last few months.

I think the PGA should take into consideration that only PGA officials should be able to make these calls and if they don’t see, well then that’s life. However, since it is the issue with the scorecard being signed inaccurately and officials are able to revisit plays maybe players should be given the same courtesy. I’m sure the players would be more than obliged to add the extra strokes instead of being disqualified from the tournament.

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