Tour, Finchem continue to review rules of golf


SAN DIEGO – PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem again reinforced the idea Wednesday that the sport, at both the pro and recreational level, would benefit from a streamlined version of the rules.

Progress, however slow, has been made in recent months. In November, the USGA announced a new rule that would protect players from being penalized when a ball’s movement was detected only through the use of enhanced technology. Still, the possibility exists that a player could be disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard if a different violation (marking, points of relief, etc.) occurs.  

Finchem said that the issue at hand has more to do with the rules themselves, and whether they are applied reasonably and fairly.

“I think making a mistake – an unintentional mistake that could lead to disqualification – to me is too extreme,” he said Wednesday on the eve of the Farmers Insurance Open.

There has been some worry that simply ignoring video evidence would make players less motivated to learn the rules. Said Finchem: “At this level, a two-shot penalty is all you need as a motivation to know the rules. Two shots is huge. So losing a player for a week because of some silly mistake to me is not consistent.”

Finchem also said that the Tour is continually exploring its options when it comes to viewer call-ins. Though a rules official doesn’t currently monitor the TV coverage, the Tour has experimented with that option in the past and could again in the future.