On Saturday a tiger escaped in Augusta, Georgia, USA. More accurately the zoo keeper decided to open the cage door, and who knows how much damage will result from this decision? My understanding is that the zoo keeper justified his action by saying he was only going by the rules. He was quoted as saying, ‘The rule doesn’t prescribe exactly what’s right and wrong.’ Now I see the problem.
So Tiger escaped under another rule, Rule 33-7. Disqualification Penalty; Committee Discretion.
- A penalty of disqualification may in exceptional individual cases be waived, modified or imposed if the Committee considers such action warranted.
- Any penalty less than disqualification must not be waived or modified.
- If a Committee considers that a player is guilty of a serious breach of etiquette, it may impose a penalty of disqualification under this Rule.
I don’t have any strong views about whether Tiger Woods was lucky to escape disqualification in the Masters or not, but I do feel strongly about Rules in any walk of life. Generally we have far too many rules, and especially in golf. This is good news for lawyers, politicians, and men in blazers, but not good for the rest of us.
Golfers, even tour players, do not understand all the rules, and especially their poorly defined ambiguities. And who can blame them? These rules are open to interpretation, endless debate, and every week players are disqualified as a result.
If golf wants to continue to broaden its appeal to a wider public as an Olympic sport then they must simplify the rules so that we can all understand them. Otherwise potential new fans will switch off the TV in confusion.Other sports have successfully made these changes, and it now time for golf to do the same.
What other areas of life can we simplify by ditching or clarifying the rule book? Would it bring greater freedom and prosperity, or lead to anarchy? There are no easy answers, as the zoo keeper explained previously, ‘The rule doesn’t prescribe exactly what’s right and wrong.’
Have a great week (Rule Number 1),