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Rules dispute lands two golfers in emergency room

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If there was ever a time for the United States Golf Association to reexamine its strict and stringent, persnickety and penal rules … that time is now.

Because the penalty for not knowing if it’s one stroke or two, two club lengths or one, where it last crossed the hazard or nearest to where you were before entering the hazard can mean the difference between life and death.

OK, maybe not death. But injury so serious it landed two men in a Pennsylvania emergency room over the weekend.

According to a police news release, two golfers - one 42 years old and the other 63 – were playing together on Sunday at the Springdale Golf Course in South Union Township and “became embroiled in a heated debate over the rules of golf, specifically regarding water, on the fifth hole.”

The golfers were able to resolve the issue at that time and continue playing, but another argument was “reignited” on the seventh hole “similarly involving rules, or lack of understanding of said rules.” 

Both golfers were treated at Uniontown Hospital, and police were considering aggravated assault charges in the incident.

The way I see it, USGA, you have two options: 1) Change the rules to make them easier to remember and implement, or 2) Hire these two guys as rules officials – I dare any PGA Tour player to fudge the rules on their watch.