Football, definitely. Baseball, sometimes. Basketball, not so much. Golf, forget about it. What am I talking about? Reviewing a TV tape after the fact to penalize a player who may or may not have broken a rule. I am not saying this just because the most famous player in the game was involved in such incidents, although he gets more attention primarily because he is on television way more than the guy who finishes dead last. I am saying this because golf relies on players monitoring themselves, whether it is the player himself or his/her playing partners protecting the rest of the field. It is what makes the game so great. No umpire, no referee, and no instant replay. Been that way for hundreds of years.

If television footage is going to be used to monitor a golfer’s performance, then it should be applied equally to all players in the field. This is not the case. Only a select few are shown during a broadcast. The player who tees off at dawn is never on camera. In the other major sports, every crucial play is recorded throughout the contest, as are all players on each team for the duration. Even then, plays are missed or misinterpreted. How many times has an umpire blown a tag on a runner where TV clearly reveals the opposite?

Does it sound like I am for banning people calling in and penalizing a player for something they believe they witnessed from home on the couch? Not necessarily. If all participants are informed beforehand that on-air footage will be used to monitor rules, then fine. In that case, everyone knows, and they will act accordingly. Then it is fair game, in my opinion.

By Mike Stevens
Tampa, Florida
USGTF Level III Member
Three-time National Hickory Champion



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