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Golf: Taking The Mickey Perhaps?

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

Who am I to disagree with Michael Bamberger’s words proudly displayed above the bar at the Machrihanish Golf Club.
“If I were allowed to play only one course for the rest of my life, Machrihanish would be the place.”

And yet I can not agree when he writes, “More of that (cheating) will lead to the death of the game as we know it. The best antidote to possibility is to bring in as many rules officials as possible, including TV viewers.”
Given my admiration for most of his work I’m thinking Michael is, “Taking the Mickey” an expression more familiar to the Brits whereas our American friends would most likely say, “Taking the piss”

A note for those about to Google search “Where the heck is Machrihanish?” please note that much as I enjoy playing Machrihanish, the nearby Machrihanish Dunes provides even more enjoyment however it did not exist when Michael played Machrihanish.

Stating his case

In supporting his case for more rules officials and call-ins from TV viewers Michael writes, “The Doris Chen LPGA 144-hole Q-School situation, where she clearly willfully violated a rule and may have been abetted by her mother, is another illustration that some golfers will try to get away with things if they can.”
Long story short, her Mother moved her out-of-bounds ball back into play.

Fair play
Every time; honestly every time an important rules issue comes to my attention I recall watching on TV, Peter Thomson and Bobby Locke on the 18th green and final hole at a St Andrews Open Championship and the following is from Wikipedia.
“His (Bobby Locke) win in the 1957 Open Championship was with some controversy. Locke had failed to properly replace his ball after marking on the 72nd green, and proceeded to putt out. This had been confirmed through newsreel footage provided to the R&A after the trophy presentation. The rules at the time made no provision for a two shot penalty, thus Locke's win could have been overturned through disqualification. However, the Championship committee did not enforce the disqualification rule, citing "equity and spirit of the game" as overriding factors in sustaining the posted result.”

Spirit of the game and old farts
God bless the USGA and the R&A for trying to reinforce the spirit of this great game, simplifying the rules and hopefully assisting in shedding the image of a game ruled by a bunch of old farts. However one has to ask if they’ve it right when presented with a recent example of a need for further simplification and for decisions made that are more in tune with the spirit of the game.
Speeding up the game is on the agenda of the USGA and the R&A and yet this is allowed to happen.
I’ll leave it to Andy Roberts to report.

Crazy golf rule
Andy reports, “CRAZY GOLF RULE SEES EUROPEAN TOUR HOPEFUL DENIED PLAYOFF SPOT” His headline not my need for emphasis.
Andy writes, “Petrozzi was docked two strokes on his final hole - under Rule 13-2 - after he walked through a bunker to pace out his yardage, before then raking his footprints in the sand.

Despite making a hole-in-one and five birdies on his closing six holes for a round of 65 and 6-under total, the resulting two-stroke penalty brought him back to 4-under and proved costly as it denied him the chance of a playoff for an alternate spot.”

Gotcha!
RULE 13-2, explained...
A player must not improve or allow to be improved, his line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole.

I leave it to you to decide if this decision is in the spirit of a game especially since it’s said that one of the major reason for people not attempting to try golf is because they feel they would need to read-up on the rules of the game.

Links to Michael Bamberger Kyle Porter on the Chen affair and Andy Roberts

Quote of the Day
“The law is an ass” - As written by Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist and of whom I can find no mention if Charles attempted to play or for that matter attempt to read the golf rules book.
Come too think of it perhaps in his time there was only the 13 original rules.

What's the meaning of the phrase 'The law is an ass'?
Said of the application of the law that is contrary to common sense.

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