Pros Criticize PGA Tour for New Golf Rules & Their Response
It’s no secret that the PGA Tour execs have been trying to speed up the game. This has been a developing online golf betting story over the last couple of years since the sport is notorious for struggling to bring in younger viewers. The response from pro golf institutions has been to implement new golf rules in order to speed up the game. The belief is that a faster game will be more digestible to a younger crowd.
Putting aside those notions, the world’s top golfers have come out and criticized this newfound approach. In response, they’ve been told to “use your voice constructively” in an apparently growing drama. Most recently, there has been some Justin Thomas criticism circling the web. So let’s break down this recent drama and its potential sports betting implications.
Justin Thomas Criticisms of New Rules
All in all, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler have been the three most prominent critics of the new golf rules. These new rules might not seem so drastic to outside eyes as they only look to increase the speed of play. They look to bring about this change by restricting the height the player can drop the ball from and revoking caddies ability to line up shots. And although there has been massive support for these changes from the likes of Thomas Bjorn, Europe’s winning 2018 Ryder Cup captain, there has been some critiques as well. Most notably from the aforementioned US trio.
The rules were put into place at the start of this year’s season by the R&A and USGA, golf’s two governing bodies. However, it didn’t take long for world No. 4 Justin Thomas to voice his displeasure. Thomas described the amendments as terrible and made the claim that the USGA was not communicating with its players.
Humorously enough the USGA went on to claim, through its twitter handle mind you, that they need to talk with Thomas and that he had in fact cancelled all 5 of their previous attempts at a meeting. A couple days later, it became undeniably obvious that the USGA was in the wrong here. This is because they posted a tweet on Tuesday clarifying what actually happened. No doubt legal betting fans should get a laugh from how these events unfolded.
After further and more direct conversations with @JustinThomas34, we realize he did not avoid a discussion with the USGA nor cancel any meetings. We value his and all players’ opinions and are committed to a productive dialogue as the golf world adjusts to the modernized rules.
— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) March 5, 2019
Response From Other Pros
Thomas hasn’t been the only professional critical of the new rules. In fact, world No. 7 Fowler had an even funnier response to the situation. After he was penalized from dropping from shoulder height following a shank out of bounds in Mexico, Fowler proceeded to mock the situation in the next event. Specifically, Fowler performed a position that is now being dubbed the toilet drop as he squatted down and dropped the ball form under buttocks. Naturally Fowler was also penalized for this as well.
“This is a collaborative process, one the PGA Tour has been part of from the beginning, along with all organizations in the world of golf,” PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan told the media, stressing the point that they’re looking to communicate with the pros throughout this ordeal. “During this process we put forward a lengthy list of recommendations to improve the rules in many ways, including the removal of numerous penalties and virtually all our suggestions were incorporated.”
While some pros have been critical of the changes, others have come out to defend the governing bodies. Clearly this is a difficult issue to get right but one that both sides should strive to resolve.
Interesting that @RandA and @USGA are coming in for so much criticism from players and caddies.
Players from all over the world was asked their opinions about which rules should change, so was the tour refs and officials.
I for one think they listened!!
— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) March 4, 2019
In defence of @usga / @RandA.The rule on aligning up a player is a modification of an old rule,a caddie can’t stand directly behind a player as he’s hitting.This amendment being one of around 20 changes has come about with extensive input from our tournament referees and players
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) March 4, 2019