Tour and News

The New Rules: Today's Tour dawdlers need a good slap upside the head

Photo: Victor Juhasz
No matter how much you love golf, there are some things about watching it on TV that probably make you want to empty a full clip into your new flatscreen plasma.

Like lines on the ball for a start. Who started that crap? I suspect one of those short-game gurus who convince players to approach every shot as if it were a blindfolded tightrope walk over a pit filled with runoff from John Daly's RV.

In my thankfully rare tower moments, my nuts go numb watching players aim the line on the ball in the precise direction in which they want to start a putt. Then they step away and check it. Then readjust it. Then step away again and make sure it's right, by which time I'm drooling and delivering leg kicks to my cameraman like a dog chasing rabbits in its dreams.

Then, and only then, do they remove the ball marker, my faithful spotter bludgeons me back to consciousness, and I witness thirteen practice strokes, one last alignment check and a putt that is invariably six inches short.

New Rule: No lines on the ball, unless it's a line of coke, which would at least get the bastards moving. And, of course, Tour officials and DEA agents could then swoop down on the players on live TV. I see great chase-scene potential, hopefully from the blimp.

Moving on to a related matter: At any given time there are several relevant shots a TV producer could show you at home, so as he scans the wall of monitors in front of him, he needs an innate sense of who'll pull the trigger first.

Of course, once a decision is made and the director makes the camera cut, the chosen flaming slow-hole backs off his ball and three other shots that could have been shown instead (and will be shown later) are now in the air. This is how live golf becomes plausibly-live golf (that's actually what we call it), and announcers lose their hearing.

New Rule: A player may not address and then re-address his ball unless there is a major distraction. Major distractions are defined as follows:
1. A gust of wind in excess of 60mph
2. A sonic boom
3. Elin Woods

New Rule: No more tapping down imaginary spike marks after a missed putt.

Hey, Yippy, you missed an easy one because you suck. Deal with it.

From now on this will be a one-shot penalty, or in match play your opponent can deliver a free love-tap to your nads. That ought to do it.

New Rule: No more blaming the caddie after nuking a 9-iron into the skybox on 17 and sending shards of Miller Lite bottles and chunks of warm tuna salad into the hair of its occupants.

This means no more slamming the club into the bag and berating the hapless guy, who, despite smelling like a Nicaraguan dope field, begged you to hit the gap wedge.

Penalty: One shot, plus dinner tab for the caddie and his three favorite strippers.

New Rule: Read it quickly, and then weep. There are guys who have their caddie look at every putt from north, south, east and west, check the grain, slope, barometric pressure, Shotlink, write to Dr. Phil, and then crouch down behind them to make sure they're lined up correctly.

Then, just before the player makes a stroke, the caddie walks away exactly four and a half steps diagonally and freezes like he just noticed his wife standing by the bag, holding up the panties she found in his glove compartment.

Penalty: The player must tell Mrs. Looper the panties are his, and wear them for the rest of the season.

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