1. Sports

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Holiday Valley Ski Resort

Readers Respond: Should TV viewers be able to alert officials to golf rules violations?

Responses: 68


It happens a few times every year: A golfer commits a rules violation, but nobody notices (including the golfer). Except for someone watching the tournament on television. That viewer manages to make some calls, and brings the rules violation to light. The offending player is penalized, sometimes even disqualified, as a result.

Is that fair? Should a television viewer be able to affect the outcome of a golf tournament? Or does every rules violation deserve to be brought to light, regardless of the way it happens? What's your opinion on home viewers catching rules infractions in televised golf tournaments?


No, never under any circumstance! This is not done in any other sport. In fact it would be considered ridiculous in any other sport. In a very real sense, empowering the viewer this way allows him/her into the players wallet! Tell me one example where you or the viewer would allow that to happen to themselves! No excuses or rationalizations, just one example where anyone would let a "viewer" make a call that effects your money. Stop giving power to couch potato who probably couldn't break 100 in real competition.
—Guest Dan Morgan


It is ridiculous to let viewers call in a golf infraction, can you see someone calling in about a missed penalty in football? That's why there are officials that follow the players around. They should be the only ones to make the call.


If people can call in then no one wins until every piece of film is reviewed, players disqualified and standings adjusted etc. So The Masters or British Open champion would be tentative only and awarded a light green jacket for the Masters and a pint mug for the Open. Which can be upgraded one week later after all judicious steps have been taken to confirm the finish. TV Golf isnt slow enough.
—Guest tda


Golf is Played in real time. Like any other sport rules violations should be enforced during play by players and officials. We rarely if ever go back and change scores in any other sport, individual or team.
—Guest Ron Hansen

34 rules

I think the emphasis in your question is placed on the wrong question. Given that in stroke play each player has a responsibility to "protect the field" and that a rules official cannot be everywhere at one time. The viewers can act as another eye to help ensure that the players act according to the rules. We wouldn't need to worry about viewers if the players knew the rules. In this particular case as in most of these circumstances the player is in the best position to determine if the ball moved. If there is doubt, and there was as the player asked others for their opinion, then he could have followed the instructions in Rule 3-3 and or called for a walking official to attend and provide a ruling. To suggest an alternative to Rule 6-1 really is unacceptable, it's as bad as coming in second in a tournament only to find that the player who beat you by one stroke did not count a penalty stroke and was lucky that no one caught him. Folks, if you do not play by the rules you do not play golf.
—Guest Hugh Borthwick

comment only

The public should be allowed to comment, BUT the content should be used to get officials notification, not player DQ.
—Guest c6er

No TV Viewers

This is the only sport where someone can call in and report, it just isn't fair.
—Guest JWhite

what number are they calling????

i've heard for years a "viewer" called in to report a rules violation. what number are they calling??? the networks don't display it. their websites don't either. it has to be someone in the video booth who's ratting out the players.
—Guest jerry

TV viewer reporting golf rules breach

No, that should be the responsibility of the player and/or anyone in his group to call the penalty or summon a rules official. Too, selective. The rules are for all and all are not on TV.
—Guest Ron Roden

absolutely not

where do these dimwits come from! definately no. Not only that , these out of date rules that have nothing to do with actually gaining an example should be reviewed and updated. they belong to a time when the ruling classes had absolute disdain for the rest of us!
—Guest fred

All or NONE

Unless ALL golfers have cameras on them at ALL times there should be NO call in officials allowed! CASE CLOSED
—Guest UP Hacker


1. Not every player is televised for every shot they hit. 2. The course is full of "officials", one should be assigned to each player, being eliminated as the player is eliminated. 3. Use instant replay in golf whenever they allow viewers to call in plays as they see it for baseball, football and basketball. Remember the blown Perfect Game for a Detroit pitcher !!


Watching golf, according to my wife at least is like watching the grass grow. What's next, time out for an instant replay? And does that mean ALL competitors MUST BE filmed to make it equitable to everyone? Give me a break, PGA should just ingore the wanna-bes.
—Guest waltsinga

TV Viewer Not a Rules Official

I don't agree with a TV viewer being able to call in to report any perceived infractions. There are rules official there, whose job it is watch for infractions.
—Guest Gengolfer

Judge Not

With all the interest regarding Harrington's supposed mistake, I would suggest that the TV viewers name be released. Then all of his golfing pals can give him their opinion directly. This may stop the Monday quarterbacks from spouting off. Just a thought.
  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Golf
  4. Playing By the Rules
  5. TV Viewers and Golf Rules Violations

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.