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"Spirit of the Game"

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SmithersJones
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Post by incontinentia Mon 21 Sep 2015, 12:53 pm

Should this element of golf be done away with altogether?

I know there is honour in it, but it does seem to create a lot of grey areas and different interpretations of what constitutes the "spirit" of the game and what doesn't.

Some examples: 1. using a long putter to measure a drop is considered not to be within the spirit of the game by some commentators, although perfectly within the rules.
2. Mickelson was criticised, and branded a cheat in some quarters for exploiting a loophole which allowed him to play illegal grooves. Again, the spirit of the game was cited.
3. The recent Solheim Cup debacle.

Should a professional sport have to abide by this (possibly outdated) code of honour??
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Post by gw Mon 21 Sep 2015, 1:24 pm

I think maybe it's time the rules were changed so that gimme's are not an option in cempetition matchplay, it would solve a lot if issues.

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Post by SmithersJones Mon 21 Sep 2015, 1:29 pm

There are two spheres of operation here - the spirit of the game in general, where players call penalties on themselves and shake hands (with their hats off) before and after a round and generally treat fellow competitors with respect. Then there's the spirit of an individual match which can be generous and relaxed or tight and uptight, dependent mainly on the history of the competition, the level at which it's played and the nature of the proponents.

I believe the former is a must at all times and the latter is variable but should be honoured regardless - you don't give a putt to an opponent who's been making you make everything, you don't start making idle chit-chat if the round has been played in stony silence etc. (if it's clear from the start that your opponent is a miserable git then idle chit-chat can be a great tool for winding them up, but you have to do that from the off!) So in essence, yes there absolutely is a place for the spirit of the game, but in matchplay in particular that isn't always the same spirit.
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Post by George1507 Mon 21 Sep 2015, 2:32 pm

I think the spirit of the game needs to be preserved because that's why a lot of people play golf. It's the kinship and camaraderie that people enjoy, and if you chip away at the spirit, all that goes out of the window.

There were so many opportunities to save that situation yesterday from turning into an ugly, dispiriting argument, and they were all missed.

Charley Hull could have given the putt, instead of marching off the green having apparently conceded it. I think it's pretty rude to march off the green if the putt is not conceded, so what was she doing?

Suzann Petterson could have backed down when questioned, and said that the putt was indeed conceded.

The referee could (indeed should) have asked Angela Lee to replace her ball and putt out, which is allowed under a decision on the RoG.

Carin Koch could have suggested that the Europeans concede one of the American second shots on the last hole, effectively giving the US a half point (which would have been fair).

And finally Suzann Petterson shouldn't have said what she did afterwards, and then recanted it all today.

It just makes golf look like a stupid, hide bound, rules centric game where you are more likely to have a row than have fun.

Golf needs stuff like that like a hole in the head at the moment.


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Post by George1507 Mon 21 Sep 2015, 2:34 pm

I think the spirit of the game needs to be preserved because that's why a lot of people play golf. It's the kinship and camaraderie that people enjoy, and if you chip away at the spirit, all that goes out of the window.

There were so many opportunities to save that situation yesterday from turning into an ugly, dispiriting argument, and they were all missed.

Charley Hull could have given the putt, instead of marching off the green having apparently conceded it. I think it's pretty rude to march off the green if the putt is not conceded, so what was she doing?

Suzann Petterson could have backed down when questioned, and said that the putt was indeed conceded.

The referee could (indeed should) have asked Angela Lee to replace her ball and putt out, which is allowed under a decision on the RoG.

Carin Koch could have suggested that the Europeans concede one of the American second shots on the last hole, effectively giving the US a half point (which would have been fair).

And finally Suzann Petterson shouldn't have said what she did afterwards, and then recanted it all today.

It just makes golf look like a stupid, hide bound, rules centric game where you are more likely to have a row than have fun.

Golf needs stuff like that like a hole in the head at the moment.


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Post by Davie Mon 21 Sep 2015, 3:09 pm

George1507 wrote:

The referee could (indeed should) have asked Angela Lee to replace her ball and putt out, which is allowed under a decision on the RoG.


Don't think so

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Post by Davie Mon 21 Sep 2015, 3:16 pm

Decision 2-4/3
Player Lifts Ball in Mistaken Belief That Next Stroke Conceded
Q.

In a match between A and B, B made a statement which A interpreted to mean that his (A’s) next stroke was conceded. Accordingly, A lifted his ball. B then said that he had not conceded A’s next stroke. What is the ruling?

A. If B’s statement could reasonably have led A to think his next stroke had been conceded, in equity (Rule 1-4), A should replace his ball as near as possible to where it lay, without penalty.
Otherwise, A would incur a penalty stroke for lifting his ball without
marking its position – Rule 20-1 – and he must replace his ball as near as possible to where it lay

Not applicable to this situation as no statement was made

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Post by George1507 Mon 21 Sep 2015, 5:38 pm

Well that's the issue. Clearly Angela Lee thought something to the effect of 'that's good' had been said, or so she said.

Maybe it was a caddie.

She didn't know who said it.

In equity I would have suggested she replace the ball. I think there's enough to apply that interpretation.

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Post by Davie Mon 21 Sep 2015, 7:38 pm

I don't recall anywhere seeing her claim she heard a verbal concession .. except a vague reference to a crowd noise

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 21 Sep 2015, 7:43 pm

"I could have sworn I thought I heard it was good," is what Lee is quoted as saying on Golf Channel.

This seems a fairly rational account of the incident:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/tears-tension-after-match-ends-controversy/

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Post by Davie Mon 21 Sep 2015, 7:48 pm

From that very link ...

Lincicome confirmed at the end of Sunday’s singles matches that she did shout to Lee not to pick up her ball, but it was too late.

“I did that because I wasn’t 100 percent sure it was conceded,” Lincicome said.


And also ...

Maselli (the match referee) said the Rules of Golf provided a remedy for Lee, but he said it wasn’t applicable.

“There is a decision that allows the player to put the ball back down if something confuses her, but there wasn’t anything in my interview of the facts that allowed her to put the ball back down and putt,” Maselli said. “There would have had to have been something uttered by the team, a caddie, one of the helpers, one of the assistant captains or captain, but nothing was said by anybody.”

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 21 Sep 2015, 8:22 pm

Interestingly, the same site criticises Lincicone for not being "more of an advocate for Lee". Perhaps it was because Lincicone knew her partner had dropped a clanger?

The only thing that doesn't sit quite right is that the referee had already reversed his call once; perhaps if he could have been a bit more solicitous in establishing the genesis of the apparent misunderstanding, he could have found a way to reverse his reversed call!


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Post by George1507 Mon 21 Sep 2015, 9:08 pm

If nobody said anything, why did the referee start to say the hole was halved? He started to say the hole was halved, then Petterson said the putt wasn't conceded. So he changed it to a European win.

All unsatisfactory.

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Post by Shotrock Mon 21 Sep 2015, 9:13 pm

Why should the referee reverse any call? A referee is certainly not needed to clarify a concession.

Pettersen and Hull did not concede the putt and if Lee "thinks" she heard "good" from anyone it's HER responsibility to make sure it came from the only people that matter: Pettersen and/or Hull. No rule against darting to the next green while your opponent is (rather should be) putting.  

Was it "gamesmanship" on Pettersen and Hull's part. Absolutely.

I thought it was pathetic they didn't give the 18" putt and bolted off the green. Evidently poor Hull felt some remorse almost immediately and now Pettersen has issued heartfelt apology. Yahoo.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 21 Sep 2015, 9:22 pm

The referee DID reverse his call, that's the point I tried to make.
My take on things is that 19-y-o Hull was taking her lead from Pettersen as the "senior" partner; but don't see how either is to blame for anything. Surprised you haven't blamed Luke Donald and Sergio, but imagine that's coming next!

There are precedents but my google touch is too hamfisted to help me recall them. I DO know Jason Day made Casey hole a one footer a few years ago though . . . .

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Post by Shotrock Mon 21 Sep 2015, 9:39 pm

The referee can't make "the call" as you suggest, he can only report concessions the players themselves agree to. The referee cleared up any confusion quickly since Hull/Pettersen certainly did NOT intend to give any putt of a full 18" on that hole and made that known before they teed it up on 18.

What, on earth, does Jason Day's concession (or not) to Paul Casey have to do with anything?

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 21 Sep 2015, 9:49 pm

Nothing, just have a feeling that Casey was also involved in a he said, he said also, searching for a precedent. But plenty of short putts are not given, and rightly so.

Sr,
I just feel that a ref with his wits about him could have pre-empted the situation which is described in the link presented above. Maybe not but don't present Pettersen as the villain, she certainly didn't break any rules.
Thank goodness the Jacobsen/Faxon screw up or the Fowler horlicks didn't attract the same vitriol.


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