When Dustin Johnson was penalized at the PGA Championship on the 72nd hole and that penalty resulted in him missing a play off I took a hard line on the situation. On the 'Grey Goose 19th Hole' following the PGA I expressed a view that he should have had better situational awareness. We even did a segment on whether the Rules of Golf should take intent into consideration. I strongly argued that the rules should be cut and dry.
After seeing what happened to Juli Inkster Saturday I'm starting to change my opinion on the Rules of Golf. Juli was disqualified for taking practice swings with a warm-up weight on the shaft. And this was after a 30-minute wait on the 10th tee. She could have accomplished the same thing by holding two clubs in her hand.
Let me be perfectly honest here. As someone who has played the game at all levels for a lifetime I had no idea that using a weight was a rules violation. Because of the gallery situation Dustin Johnson had no idea he was in a bunker. Inkster clearly wasn't aware of Rule 14-3/10. In the last week we have seen a 3-time PGA Tour winner and a Hall of Famer caught up in unusual rules situations that have had devastating consequences.
Could it be that the Rules of Golf are just too complex and confusing? Are we are getting into a situation where players are going to be so fearful of a rules violation that it paralyzes them? This could have an extremely negative impact on the already turtle like pace of play in golf. Are the Rules of Golf turning into the U.S. Tax Code? Do the governing bodies need to take a look at major revisions?
I'm certainly starting to lean in that direction.