U.S. Open: TD FAIL

I’m not sure how many golf fans are on here, but as a TD I found the whole debacle yesterday morbidly fascinating.

If those pious USGA blue bloods can screw up a ruling so thoroughly and ineptly, maybe I shouldn’t feel quite as bad the next time I botch a ruling;)

And to all my future competitors. If I have to give you a penalty, zero, or DQ, I vow to enforce it WHEN THE INFRACTION HAPPENS, rather then leave you in suspense until the tournament is over. Ridiculous.


I was all over that and laughing at the idea of having to tell a player that he MIGHT have a penalty . . . but we’ll let him know after his match is over. Unreal . . .

On the playing side of things holy Lowry and Westwood chokefests!

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Can anyone explain why this was a penalty? I saw a replay and heard a small bit of discussion about it. Is it because it was possible (rather than likely) he affected the ball? Were they allowed to review the video evidence?

I think the officials thought it was “likely” because of the timing and proximity, but they didn’t seem to be taking into account how crazy steep and fast those greens were. It wouldn’t take much for a ball to spontaneously wobble 5 degrees.

It was entertaining to see all the top players roasting the officials on social media.

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Golf has a bunch of stupid rules [in addition to lots of really smart ones]. The stupidity in this rule is that even if the ball did move, and even if it was inadvertently caused by the player, it provided no material advantage to the player; in a pinball game, it would be treated as an inconsequential item. As a TD, I’d rule “play on, final answer.” That said, I think it’s dumb for a golfer to take practice swings that close to the ball and tempt fate on greens that fast.

Speaking of dumb rules, DJ got a break on one going the other way earlier in the round when he got relief from the TV tower in his line of sight, letting him get out of the deep rough and onto the adjacent fairway’s fringe. That to me was a “beneficial malfunction” of a ruling; let him get the TV tower out of the way no nearer the hole, but not improve his lie. And then he proceeds to hit the ball straight over the TV tower anyway. The pinball equivalent would be a ball on the inlane/outlane divider leaning out and you give the player the ball on the flipper.

Re the USGA and having a set of rules for competition, yes, we can learn from them, but sometimes they could learn from us.

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Agree! They kept cutting and rolling the greens practically turning them into ice skating rinks, and freak out when a ball moves on its own? Really?

Awesome DJ kept cool and made it a moot point.

I’m totally not a golf guy as either player or spectator, hadn’t seen or heard about this situation until this thread… but it definitely makes me appreciate the “minor positive malfunction” rule that’s pretty standard in competitive pinball rules. I’d hate to think about penalizing a player because, say, a slingshot spontaneously triggered and gave the player an extra 500 points.

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Ask me again about this rule at the end of Pinburgh after I’ve been asked 25-50 times about how many points I should deduct from a player’s score … because the answer will be zero, zero, zero :wink:

Not US Open related, but golf related . . . was watching the Tiger Woods episode of “Chronicles of a Champion Golfer”, and he made a comment that I found on point with the highest levels of competitive pinball.

As he was rebuilding his swing in the early 00’s he mentioned focusing on making his “bad shots” better. He said at the point when you’re battling these guys on tour, EVERYONE can make great shots, that’s why they are there . . . but it’s managing how bad the “bad shots” can impact your round where he felt champions were made.

I see so much of that in competitive pinball as so much success is based on improving that consistency of having your “bad games” still be pretty good if you can help it.

Entertaining watch for any golf fans . . .


Golfers [and others] talk about “grinding” … in pinball, that wouldn’t really apply in HERB qualifying, but it does in match play. For us, grinding would be taking that game where your first 2 [or 4 on EMs] balls stunk and grinding out a point or two rather than finishing last for a zero. Sort of like turning that “could have been a 6 over” round into a 2 over round that gives you a fighting chance if you play well next round.

I’m not talking about “chopping wood” … golf doesn’t have a true counterpart to that. It’s more making the best of that game where you’ve put your self “in jail.”

As for surviving bad shots, we have an edge over the golfers there: if we don’t drain, we can usually try again unless it’s on a timer.

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For me, what Josh mentioned about Woods most resonated with how you approach strategy in pinball at a high level. Of course its very situational, but learning/knowing/practicing strategies on games that have a lesser chance of drain, versus those that have opportunities for high payoffs are not always the same and where you can see better players stand out.

bad strategical choices can affect your round immensely.


As in start Blood Bath first, then try to bring in Prison or Well vs. vice versa since the BB drops are safer? (Plus it’s easier to start the correct new drop feature that way vs. accidentally restarting one you already have during multiball.)