Sometimes I think the rules of golf are too rigid. Padraig Harrington had a smallish birdie putt on 15 this morning. It was windy and the greens at Augusta are quick. The ball moved. Penalty.

There are a few problems with this.

1. It held up play – it took about 5 minutes or so to get a ruling.
2. It seems unfair. He didn’t do anything wrong – he was only trying to address the ball and play the game.

The game is hard enough without having to incur penalties for this type of thing. The commentators seemed reluctant to highlight the issue – only claiming it was “bad luck”.

I think there needs to be a common sense rule in this situation. Surely a golfer should only be penalised if he makes a “fair” pass at the ball? Getting into your set-up position is not hitting the ball. The non golfers in the room with me couldn’t believe he got penalised for this. Think it’s time for a rule change, it seems like an outdated and harsh rule to me.

What are your thoughts?