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Tribune Sports Rant: And you thought golf rules couldn't get dumber

Published May 25, 2013 6:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Don't ground your club. Don't use a belly putter. Don't sign an incorrect scorecard. Don't dawdle. Don't drop your ball too far from where the television audience believes is acceptable.

And certainly don't use an alignment stick whilst putting on the practice green if your round is in session but your threesome is being held up by a slow-playing group.

Wait … what?

Sorry, Jeff Overton, you violated Rule 14-3/10.3 … you are hereby disqualified from the PGA Tour's Crowne Plaza Invitational.

If you're upset you got DQ'd because a fellow player narced on you for using a practice tool in practice play and not in the actual competition, you should be assuaged by PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell's explanation: "We don't like to disqualify players. But that's what the rule says. We don't have a choice."

Can you imagine if other sports adopted similar rules and consequences?

• "Aaron Rodgers, how many yards did you throw for? '275ish?' No, it was 293. You are retroactively disqualified, and the Packers must forfeit their victory for using an ineligible player. Sorry, we hate to do it, but it's in the rulebook."

• " 'Sheena from Sheboygan,' you say? Yes, this is David Stern. You were watching Kobe on TV, and you saw him push off on a second-quarter layup and the refs didn't call it? Give me a minute, let me check … You know, you're right. I'll tell the refs to take away the basket. Thank you for calling. OK, go Bucks."

• "Mr. Bautista … I'm afraid that because the average home run trot time is 22 seconds, and your last one took exactly 23.68 seconds, we will have to reduce your three-run homer to a one-run homer. Please speed up your rate of trotting."

Sports rules are supposed to be in place to ensure consistency of play and to level the field for all competitors.

Do most of the aforementioned golf rules accomplish that?

Some are too ridiculously obscure, arcane and esoteric to bother learning, let alone remembering. And some that are well-known are too stupid anyway to warrant continued existence.

If you really dislike disqualifying players, tear a couple hundred of the more useless pages out of your rulebook. We doubt anyone will complain.