New Golf Rules Will Limit Impact of TV Viewers and Scorecard Errors

Leaders from all major tours and organizations began meeting later that month.

The U.S.G.A. and R&A are leading a group of top officials who are modernizing the Rules of Golf. The proposal currently is under public review and expected to be effective in 2019. The two-shot scorecard error would have been eliminated under the proposed rules.

The U.S.G.A. and R&A also said only video from the telecast — not smartphones or other video from fans — can be used as evidence of a violation. It also said it would make it tougher for fans to call in if they think they see a violation on TV.

The change also means each tournament will assign one or more officials to monitor the video broadcast and help identify any violations or rules issues that might arise.

The PGA Tour has done this from time to time, but found that it often loses the use of a rules official on the course as he sits in a room watching TV for a violation that is rare over the course of the year.

According to the video review protocol for tournaments on TV, officials will not monitor or review any calls from views at home. That does not eliminate TV viewers from noticing violations — such as the incorrect drop by Tiger Woods at the 2013 Masters — but tournament officials will not have a method for fans to call, email or text.

In the case of the Masters, the viewer was a former rules expert who knew who to call at the course.

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