Charley Hoffman was in contention this past week at the RBC Canadian Open, when he found himself with an unfavorable lie in a greenside bunker.
This is one of those cases where the rules of golf can be used to a player’s advantage, if they know the rules well enough. Hoffman had a lie where the ball was way below his feet, so he dug his feet into the bunker and found concrete lining. Because this concrete interfered with his stance, so Hoffman said, he was given a free drop.
This free drop gave him a much better stance and lie, giving him a better opportunity than the other shot would have. It didn’t help him either way though, because he was unable to reach the green and ultimately lost in a playoff against Jhonattan Vegas.
Hoffman’s playing partner, Kevin Chappell, had something to say about the controversial drop, as you can hear in the video below.
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) July 30, 2017
You can see Chappell in the red shirt pointing towards Hoffman saying, “Look at the sh**-eating grin on his face.”
The comment was just a joke, and Chappell clarified in a tweet that he had no problem with the drop his partner took.
Thanks for the support and all the comments. For the record I had no problem with Charlie's drop, I just had to give him a hard time. #RBC
— Kevin Chappell (@Kevin_Chappell) July 30, 2017
Even though Chappell said afterwards that he didn’t mind the drop, he wasn’t wrong for making a comment on the ordeal because the rules of golf have become ridiculous. They’ve always been ridiculous, but recently it seems as if they are either used against you, or there are such small nuances in them, that players who use them to their advantage seem unfair.
Jordan Spieth used the ruling to his advantage just recently at The Open. He took an unplayable lie on the 13th hole after missing the fairway off the tee. Instead of going back to the tee or dropping two club lengths away from the original ball, Spieth was left with a third option. He could drop the ball anywhere behind the unplayable lie, while still in the same line.
This brought him to the practice grounds and ultimately recovering his game for his third Major Championship win. This is a bit different than digging your feet in to a bunker to get a better lie, but he still did get a better lie just by knowing the ins and outs of the rules of golf.
Spieth had three options to choose on ONE ruling. Sure, golf is situational and therefore needs these rules, but it’s also causing casual viewers to tune out. If the you can’t even understand the rules, how can you watch?