Collin Morikawa's unusual penalty in the Hero

The world of golf, a sport in constant evolution of its rules, still surprises us with anachronistic stories

by Andrea Gussoni
Collin Morikawa's unusual penalty in the Hero
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Ehrmann / Staff

The world of golf, a sport in constant evolution of its rules, still surprises us with anachronistic stories. Like what happened during the third round of the Hero World Challenge, where Collin Morikawa received a two-stroke penalty for violating a local rule.

Guilty? His caddy, who recorded information obtained thanks to legitimate technology, but whose use did not allow that information to be transferred to the yardage book in an attempt to preserve the ability to read the greens in an artisanal way.

Collin Morikawa, results

At Albany GC, telemetry was used to know the slope of the green on hole 4 in a practice round. But the local rule prevented the table with the information from being written down. Although it may seem like a topic of the past, there is still room for unique anecdotes in this sport.

Scottie Scheffler's victory closed the chapter of this tournament in the Bahamas and, without a doubt, left something to talk about. During Saturday's third day, the astute Matt Fitzpatrick noticed something out of place thanks to valuable information provided by his playing partner, Morikawa.

After informing the organization, it was discovered that the caddy, Jakovac, had made a mistake and Morikawa was assessed a two-stroke penalty on Sunday morning. Had Jakovac taken a more relaxed approach or forgotten what he knew, Saturday's bogey would have become a modest triple bogey.

But, thanks to his experience, Fitzpatrick was able to detect the error and prevent a major penalty. We can learn from his cunning and be more alert in the future. The Rules of Golf are a set of standard rules and procedures by which the sport of golf should be played.

They are jointly written and administered by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the governing body of golf throughout the world, outside of the United States and Mexico, which are the responsibility of the United States Golf Association.

An expert commission made up of members of the R&A and USGA oversees and refines the rules every four years. The latest revision is effective January 1, 2016. Changes to the rules of golf generally fall into two main categories: those that improve understanding and those that in certain cases reduce penalties to ensure balance.

The rule book, entitled "Rules of Golf", is published on a regular basis and also includes rules governing amateur status. In Italy it is up to Federgolf to supervise the competitions by enforcing the rules issued by the R & A, checking that these rules are observed by the Clubs, Associations and their members and managing the resulting sporting justice, protecting their interests abroad.

Collin Morikawa