Time to Fix Things
July 8, 2013
By Dan Daly
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Since I had so much fun playing PGA tour commissioner recently when I took an eraser to half the events on tour I figured, why stop there? Why not go ahead and solve all the problems on the PGA tour. Look, I’m no “rocket engineer” as Sergio likes to say, but there are some issues on the tour that really aren’t that hard to fix. And since literally no one ask for my opinion I figured I would go ahead and volunteer it anyway.
Unfortunately, I have given up on things like Rickie Fowler’s terrible outfits, the absurd number of players that insist on wearing flat billed hats, whether Vijay is a cheater (yes), the horrible nicknames given to three hole stretches, The Players being called the “fifth major”, TV announcer’s insisting that Jim Furyk is a gutsy player and the fact that they continue to allow ABC to air the British Open.
As for the rest...
Get in the hole guy (Or whatever other ridiculous things people scream these days after players hit) – News flash, no ball will ever “GET IN THE HOLE” with a driver on a 523-yard par five. Look, just because you buy a ticket to a tournament that doesn’t give you a free pass to be a jackass. Every hole of every golf tournament has multiple marshals; I would give them the authority to kick a guy out on the first offense…no questions ask. And I would hire a guy like Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci, Casino) to execute it for me. So if you don’t want to get thrown out of the tournament head first through the gate…don’t scream like a douchebag. If you want to cheer loudly or even talk shit to Sergio, that’s fine. But the second you scream “MASHED POTATOES” after Mickelson hits or “ROCKET BAL-ZIER” after Jason Day tees off…you are gone, period.
Range Finders – I would give all the caddies a range finder. I know, I know, getting the right yardage is part of the game, but come on; is there really a caddie or player out there in this day and age with pin sheets and sprinkler heads that doesn’t get it right…given enough time? Oh, and the fact that they all use them during practice rounds anyway. They still have to figure out slope, wind and what it is to each part of the green but let’s not insult people’s intelligence and just assume everyone can add numbers like 147 to the middle, plus 8. Roughly thirty-six full shots a round, times 30 seconds, equals 18 minutes I just knocked off of each players round. You’re welcome.
Rules Officials – I would put a rules official with each group Thursday through Sunday. How hard is that? This is the one thing the USGA actually does right. You would need roughly 48 on Thursday and Friday and roughly 35 over the weekend. You mean to tell me you can’t find a rotating group of 60 or so PGA certified guys that know the rules of golf and would do this job for $30-$40k a year plus benefits? Every other sport does it, is it really that hard? Not only would it speed up the pace of play but it’s not up to the players or their playing partners anymore to call penalties on themselves or wait for some fat, out of shape rules official in a golf cart to mosey his ass over from the 14th fairway to the 12th green. The rules official makes the call on the spot and that’s final. And most importantly it would eliminate this ridiculous trend where people phone in to some secret “bat phone” and call penalties on players from their couch.
Pace of Play – I would throw away the “clock.” PGA tour players have been around long enough, they know how to cheat the system when they are put on the clock. Each rules official is given the discretion to call a penalty on a player for slow play. It’s a judgment call and if a guy is taking too long…BAM, penalty, sucks for you, play faster. It’s not a perfect system but it’s no different than a foul in basketball or pass interference in football. Put the officials with the quickest triggers in the groups with the slowest players. Second violation in the same round? Thanks for playing, let me show you to the clubhouse because you have just been disqualified. Two DQ’s in the same season? Suspended. Sorry Kevin Na and Ben Crane, you get Dan Daly this week, you are already on the clock before you even tee off.
Smaller Fields - Just like we need less tournaments, we also need smaller fields. I would knock it down to a 96, 99 or 102 man field and the top 50 and ties make the cut. Sound familiar? The gentleman at Augusta National Golf Club subscribe to that theory every April and you know what, it works. Everyone tees off of number one all four days and the guys in last place during the weekend aren’t finished before the galleries show up, the TV cameras are turned on and the leaders tee off. I realize there is a 1% chance someone making the cut on the number can still go super low over the weekend to win but that is a chance I am willing to take.
Masters TV Coverage – Truthfully I’m scared to even address this because I’m afraid I may get a FedEx package on my front porch from Hootie and the boys that blows up when I open it; but enough is enough. We all agree that you are the best and most prestigious tournament on the planet and exclusivity is a large part of that but the fact that in this day and age I can’t watch morning coverage of the Masters on Thursday and Friday is ridiculous. And yes, I fully realize the PGA tour has no say over how the Masters runs their tournament, but again, this is a world where I am the fake commission of the PGA tour so screw it, I’m adding it to my list.
Oh, and on second thought, I would ban flat billed hats.
Until Next Week,