PGA Tour boss admits issues with rules introduction

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan hosted the now annual PGA Tour ‘State of the Tour’ address and pulled no punches in admitting there has been a breakdown in the working relationship amongst all those bodies involved in the workings of the new rules introduced on January 1st this year.

The changes to the Rules of Golf had been enacted with the goal of not only making the game a little easier rules-wise but also to help speed-up play.

Jay Monahan Jay Monahan (Credit: PGA Tour)

Unfortunately, with so many interests involved in formulating the new rules including the R&A, USGA, PGA Tour and the European Tour, controversy over the new rules has dogged the professional game since China’s Haotong Li was slapped with a two-shot penalty on the final day of the Dubai Desert Classic.

“There has been a lot of discussion about the rules, and I would like to use this moment to kind of step back and talk about what’s happened over the last six years,” explained Monahan.

“We the PGA Tour, along with every other golf organisation, had really been really encouraging a review of the rules and really encouraging a modernisation, a simplification. And the USGA and the R&A responded, and they responded with great zeal.”

“We identified a number of rules that we felt got us there, got the game there. And that was the approach that we were taking.”

“When you go through a period where you haven’t had a lot of change, and then you roll out 50…there are going to be some things that work really well and some things that might create debate.”

“Lost in some of the discussion is all the things that are working really well, and the list is long, and I think it’s right that we’re two and a half months in and there’s some rules, some existing rules that are causing debate and discussion.”

“So, I spent two hours this morning with members of the R&A, the USGA, the LPGA, the European Tour, the PGA of America, Augusta National.”

“We’re doing what we should be doing as leaders of this industry, which is talking about…where we are in the current state of rules…I think what’s happened here the last few weeks has just exposed a weakness in our working relationship, which happens when you got a lot of different organisations.”

“So, we’re going to tighten that up, and we’re going to move forward in a way that is going to be good for the game and certainly is going to get us to the right place over time with these new rules, and I think we’re in a really good place right now.”