Alright, so the ongoing saga of the golf world versus the new modernized Rule of Golf rages on. This time… Or shall I say that once again the USGA is directly in the crosshairs.
If it isn’t bad enough that the rules struggles have been the thing of near animosity (no fault of the USGA) or the fact that they’ve made an embarrassment of themselves in USGA-sanctioned tournaments. Pick any one of the borderline idiotic rulings. Dustin Johnson’s “BunkerGate I” in 2016 at Oakmont. Then there was Anna Nordqvist’s infamous “BunkerGate 2” (also in 2016) when the U.S. Open was played at CordeValle Golf Club. I was actually gutted for both athletes at the time. Of course, there’s the debate every year and ultimately complaints from the player’s in the field about course set-up. Honestly, I think Mike Davis was setting up the courses fine. It should be difficult for these guys and girls to win the title. But it also shouldn’t be set up like a resort course nor it shouldn’t be a battle of attrition. Perhaps, I’m just getting mellow in my old age.
Say, the USGA loves to make questionable penalty calls but how about the one that they didn’t make? Phil Mickelson in the 2018 U.S. Open. Another irritating gaffe. It ‘s speculation on my part but if his name was Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Rory (no not that one… the other one) or I dunno… Kevin Na? Penalty? Almost a likelihood.
So in the last 24+ hours we had a brazen response from the USGA Public Relations department in response to criticism of the new rules by PGA TOUR star Justin Thomas. In a move that I’ve never seen before (I wouldn’t be so bold as to label it unprecedented) the USGA lashed back over social media (Twitter).
“Justin, we need to talk. You’ve canceled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.” -USGA PR
I actually went as far to commend them for it. They fought back and stuck up for themselves. Awesome! After all of the bitching and complaining from player’s about the rules from the safety of a keyboard they called out someone. Kudos. That was right up until today… March 5th, 2019.
It turns out that the USGA backed up quicker than the “Speed of Light” and backtracked their statement. It turns out that he (Thomas) did not avoid communication or meetings with the USGA. As you’ll read below.
Seriously, to the brain trust of the USGA you folks really need to get your collective heads extricated from your arse. If any or all of the above instances from your National Championships weren’t bad enough this looks really bad. I’m dying to know who the individual was. Your credibility almost seems to be diminishing in a way.
The golf world will adjust to the new rules. In my article yesterday I suggested “growing pains”. I stand by that assertion but being a man of conviction I also stand by my word that you (the USGA) need to get your @!#$ together.
Until The Next Tee!!