Tim Finchem created a buzz in the golf media world with the admission that if fans want to call in a rules infraction, it is their right to do so. This will create thousands of call-ins by armchair golfers who think they see, or possibly do see, something.
For the most part, PGA Tour golfers know the rules but, Ian Poulter even reluctantly admitted, "I still dont know all the rules, there's too many."
Although there are Tour golfers who admit they don't know every rule, is "see something, say something" always the best idea?
Why encourage fans to police the PGA Tour?
With social media being an integral part of the world we live in, it is quite easy to reach the PGA Tour via Twitter or Facebook with a comment or an @ statement. Although seemingly harmless, not every fan with a Rules of Golf book should be an armchair referee.
"Cutting them (fans) off is not an option at this point" said Finchem, and he has a point. With the PGA Tour grasping for audience, the Commissioner isn't turning away any viewers but, rather, welcoming them in as pseudo-refs.
Telephoning the Tour is an option but would create a glut of calls for every piece of dirt that a fan thought was moved illegally. Perhaps Finchem will set up a special hotline that he could man during each event?
One good thing that may come out of all of this is that fans may actually dust off their copies of the Rules of Golf. Golfers may finally READ and understand the rules!
Should the game of golf remain pure or should the new media be welcomed into the sport? Paddy Miller mentioned that the Commissioner has compromised the integrity of the game and is jeopardizing the tradition of golf itself.
Golf has always been a sport of honor in which golfers call an infractions on themselves...if they know that an infraction was created.
If a Tour player, however, didn't realize that he broke a rule, he could go on to win the event which would be unfair to the other golfers. With money and position at stake and knowing that technology now rules the airwaves, it is impossible to keep the tradition of the game completely status quo. Hopefully a resolution that is fair to all will be achieved.
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