The Region Cup Golf Tournaments in the Central Savannah River Area are a great way for the area amateur golfer to participate in competitive environment. I recently participated in the Camillia Classic at Belle Meade Country Club and I thought thetournament was well run with one exception.
The tournaments are governed by U.S. Golf Association Rules of Golf. The rules make the game fair and equitable for all of the golfers. When another golfer witnesses a rule violation, it is his responsibility to inform the rules committee of the violation. Golfers refer to this as protecting the field.
During the Camellia Classic, I witnessed a rule violation and felt it was my responsibility to inform the Rules Committee Chairman Butch Whiddon of the violation. One of the competitors in the tournament and a member of Belle Meade decided to play additional holes after he had completed his first-day round.
Mr. Whiddon stated he could not prevent the members of Belle Meade who were in the tournament from playing additional holes after they had completed their first round. I referred Mr. Whiddon to the Rules of Golf Section 7-1 which states that when two or more rounds are to be played over consecutive days,playing between those rounds on the competition course is prohibited. The penalty for breach of the rule is disqualification.
Mr. Whiddon made a decision to waive the rule and not disqualify the competitor/member. The Rules of Golf also state in Section 33-1 that the rules committee has no power to waive a Rule of Golf.
Protecting the field is extremely important in the game of golf. Mr. Whiddon's actions gave a competitor a clean advantage over the other competitors. The integrity of golf is diminished when the Rules of Golf are blatantly ignored. I am very disappointed that all the rules did not apply to all competitors in the Camellia Classic.
Steven D. Chapman, Evans