October 6, 2014
The use of video evidence to aid in investigating possible rules issues, particularly on professional tours, has always been a polarizing topic, and recent events have raised the discussion again to a fever pitch.
One of the main tasks of a tournament Committee is to determine “questions of fact” regarding the rules and possible violations, and their sole motivation is to apply these rulings correctly, and fairly, for the benefit of the entire field. Unless a Rules Official or other Committee member is directly involved with a player at the time regarding a ruling, the gathering of all available evidence through player/spectator testimony or available video, is the only way for a Committee to resolve “unseen” events and move forward.
As we all know, professional golf at the highest levels has been televised, scrutinized and analyzed worldwide for many years. And as a result, this video evidence has been further utilized by the major tours and ruling bodies to enhance their decision-making processes regarding these questions of fact. It’s the classic definition of the double-edged sword. The more that viewers demand higher definition TV images, with multiple camera angles, and snail-paced-super-duper-slow-mo replays, the greater the available pile of evidence is…
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