But, as we well know, some of the rules of
golf are ridiculous. A ball moves at address... so what! Put it back and continue. How is the golfer benefitting exactly! Same as brushing sand off the line of a putt. What actual advantage is the player getting? Testing the speed of the green, my arse!
I didn't make any comment and they won the hole.
And that leads to an interesting dilemma: would you call the penalty and claim the hole, risking a frosty atmosphere for the rest of the round, or would you let it go and maybe let the fact that you didn't at least make a comment niggle you for a few holes.
There's another factor involved, too.
I played with a friend yesterday and we were discussing the Solheim Cup controversy - he said he had called a penalty on an opponent once and, as a result, had found that his own game deteriorated badly for several holes. It's a guilt thing, I guess, but one I'm sure many of you can relate to.
Irish Golfer Digital+ & The Solheim CupI wouldn't know because I've never had the balls to call someone on it. Not even in the semi-final of the Metropolitan Cup a few years ago, against Beaverstown, when my opponent was in the trees hacking down branches before playing his shot. (Incidentally, Paul Dunne was playing for us that day. Not one opponent in the whole event took him past the 14th hole.) I lost the match when the scores were tied at 4-4 and we missed out on the final.
So, not only do you risk antagonising your opponent you risk upsetting yourself.
And that's why I admire Suzann Pettersen so much. She called a penalty against Lee which she was perfectly entitled to do... especially as it could have materially affected the outcome of the hole. I've written an article for Irish Golfer Digital+, on page 10, about my thoughts on the Solheim Cup incident. It's an edited version. The article in its entirety is below. The weekly online mag includes an interview with GMac (by Bernie McGuire) and his thoughts on the incident.