To say I am disappointed in the USGA would be an understatement. The Dustin Johnson decision is just the culmination of several abuses of power I feel have originated from the body in recent years. Sometimes, when organizations get so wrapped up in their so-called authority, they can easily lose perspective. I saw this happen often when I worked in the corporate world. A company or facility would become so enthralled with being recognized as experts in the field that they just brushed aside any new ideas as not worthy of recognition. They just felt they knew best, and if you didn’t like it, too bad. When it comes to golf, rules are important, but they should be cut-and-dried. Play the ball as it lies…out of bounds…stoke and distance. It is also recognized that players are responsible for adhering to the rules and calling penalties on themselves. Johnson called the official over as soon as he saw that the ball changed position. That shows that he was being responsible to the game. When asked if he felt it moved as a result of his action, he did not believe it to be the case. His playing partner agreed. The official took his word, and that should have been the end of it. The higher-ups at the USGA wouldn’t let it go. They felt that since Dustin did not know what actually caused the ball to move, it must have been him. Even watching it in slow motion, there was no clear evidence that Johnson caused the ball to move. But like the IRS, guilty, because we say so. Did you ever go to the driving range and place a ball down on a nice area of grass, only to have it move at the top of your backswing? Happens frequently. Sometimes, things happen for no reason other than mere chance. I’m sure that if Johnson thought he had caused the ball to move, he would have said so and accepted the penalty. It should never have gone any further than that. The USGA motto is for the “good of the game.” In my opinion, I don’t see much of that lately with these folks.
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