Monday, August 23

The Rules Geek: Juli Inkster and the Donut DQ

Editor’s note: The Rules Geek is an occasional and potentially annoying feature at ARMCHAIR GOLF.

JULI INKSTER UNKNOWINGLY BREACHED Rule 14-3 at the Safeco Classic over the weekend and was disqualified after completing her round. The Hall of Famer was three strokes off the lead when she used a weighted device known as a “donut” on her 9 iron to warm up on the 10th tee.

A TV viewer who watched Inkster on Golf Channel emailed tournament officials who in turn alerted the LPGA rules folks. After being informed of the DQ, Inktser left the course without speaking to reporters. She later issued this brief statement:

“It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I’m very disappointed.”

If you read 14-3. Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment on pages 48 and 49 in the 2010-2011 The Rules of Golf, you might be scratching your head as to the Inkster rules breach. That’s because the infraction pertains to a USGA decision related to 14-3:
14-3/10 Use of Training or Swing Aid During Round

Q. During a round, may a player make a stroke or a practice swing using a club with a weighted headcover or “donut” on it, or use any other device designed as a training or swing aid?

A. No. The player would be using an artificial device to assist him in his play in breach of Rule 14-3, but see also Decision 4-4a/7 for use of a weighted training club.
Inkster clearly violated the rule. Case closed. Should she have known the rule? You might already know how The Rules Geek feels about that.

That said, The Rules Geek doesn’t like TV tattletales. It’s weird. Stop it, OK? Unless you can stake your life on iron-clad proof of intent.

The Rules Geek sez rules were made to be followed. Got a rules-related tip or story? Send it to The Rules Geek at armchairgolfer@gmail.com.

More Rules Geek:
Phil Mickelson and the Proper Drop
Abnormal Ground Conditions Aid Amateur
Hunter Mahan’s Driver Replacement

(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)

6 comments :

Tee Times said...

"The future Hall of Famer was three strokes off the lead when she used a weighted device known as a “donut” on her 9 iron to warm up on the 10th tee."

why was she disqualified, she was just using it to warm up, is it forbidden?

Mike said...

I think the rule needs to be reviewed for one simple reason:

Everybody keeps pointing out that Juli could have just swung two clubs and gotten the same result without being DQed. Then why is the donut such a big deal?

I understand the rule about training devices and I don't really have a problem with that; you don't want players pulling out a Medicus club or some other "swing-grooving device" during a round. But since there's a "legal" way to duplicate the donut's purpose, the donut shouldn't be counted as a training device.

If a "device" is only a convenient way to do something that is already legal according to the rules (in this case, using extra weight to limber up), then that "device" should not be banned... and it certainly shouldn't result in a DQ.

Burgh Golfer said...

A better penalty for this type of rules breech should have been a two stroke penalty in stroke play or loss of hole in match. To DQ a player for that seems a bit extreme.

Burgh Golfer
http://burghgolfer.blogspot.com/

diane said...

Your "future Hall of Famer" has been in the World Golf Hall of Fame since 2000.

http://www.worldgolfhalloffame.org/hof/member.php?member=1064

The Armchair Golfer said...

Thanks, Diane. I made the correction. I knew that! I don't know why I wrote "future." Perhaps it's early signs of senility.

greenfee said...

“It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I’m very disappointed.”

Pardon?

So why were you doing it then Juli?