New amendments to the rules today could see common sense come into golf at last. Here is a look at the rule change.
Brief overview of the changes. Rule 6-6d, bored already? Stay with me. Previously when a player unknowingly committed a foul and then signed a scorecard, he could be disqualified for incorrectly signing off. What does ‘unknowingly committed’ mean?
ESPN’s Jason Sobel mentioned the best example of this inflexible and harsh rule being applied.
Craig Stadler, popular figure and owner of the tour’s most impressive moustache, was disqualified from the 1984 Andy Williams Open at Torrey pines because of this rule. ‘The walrus’ as he is known, finished the tournament in second place, a decent day at the office we’d all agree. Little did he know a TV viewer from Iowa (a.k.a officious little do-gooder without a life) had contacted organisers to whistleblow on an infraction the walrus had committed earlier in the tournament.
That towel you see Stadler kneeling him on cost him all his prize money. It was deemed that he had ‘built a stance’ by using the towel to stop his trousers from getting dirtied. A pro should really know his stuff yeah? Agreed, it is his job after all – so a two shot penalty right?
Wrong! because he had already signed off on the round he was disqualified from the entire competition, hard to imagine the rotund Stadler could be anymore gutted.
For a sport that has almost had less amendments than the constitution this is sensible and we love it. So from now on ‘limited exception’ will be shown to players and that’s huge language as far as golf rules go- believe me I just flicked through the Royal and Ancient handbook, what a page turner.
…Oh yeah and when you address your putter to the ball and it moves slightly (previously a penalty), you’re all good from now on. Rule 18-2b motherf*****s.