Most pros don’t want disciplinary punishments public: ‘They’ve got to protect our image’

March 20, 2017

Should the public know when Tour pros are crossing the line? The players have spoken: no way.

Sports Illustrated/ released its annual anonymous pro poll on Tuesday, in which we asked 50 pros for their unfiltered opinions on dozens of topics ranging from pace of play, scheduling, Tiger Woods’s future and more. One of the questions was if the PGA Tour should publicize its disciplinary actions against players, in which 56% said no. Forty percent said yes and 4% answered “don’t know.”

“No. We have the public’s trust,” one said. “Why mess with that?”

One player, who answered no to the question, said it’s up to the Tour “to protect our image,” while another said that information should be released based on the infraction.

Unlike most major professional sports organizations, the PGA Tour disciplines players for recreational drug use and other “conduct unbecoming a professional” in secret. Doping suspensions are the only type of disciplinary action handed down by the Tour that are disclosed to the public.

Of those polled, only 22% said they have been fined or disciplined by the Tour.

“No, (I haven’t been disciplined),” one said, “but I’ve been threatened.”

And yes, all sorts of offenses can lead to fines.

“I was fined $200 for peeing on the golf course once,” said one player. “I mean, what could I do? There weren’t enough port-o-johns!”

You can read the entire survey here or take a portion of the survey below.