Yesterday on June 19th, 2016 the U.S.G.A. made a ruling that forever changes the game of golf. In essence, the ruling body of golf called Dustin Johnson a liar.
Here is the rule as it currently is written:
" On the other hand, if the Committee determines, based on all of the evidence it has available, that the ball changed its position by an amount that was reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time, the ball is deemed to have moved. As the player did not replace the ball, he incurs a penalty under the applicable Rule and Rule 20-7c for playing from a wrong place."
In the past, the golfer in question, has relied on another player, or an official to help decide the correct course of action. The golfer whose ball it is, has the responsibility to accurately portray the events to his playing partner(s) or a rules official, and then the determination can be made whether a penalty has occurred.
Not any more. It seems the U.S.G.A. has called into question the character and integrity of all professionals in the sport they claim they are the guardians of.
"These principles apply to any review of technological evidence by the Committee, whether before the player makes his next stroke or any time thereafter. These principles also apply in a situation in which the player made no determination whether or not his ball at rest moved (e.g., because he had walked away from his ball after addressing it, was not looking at his ball, or otherwise did not observe any motion of the ball or have any reason to believe that his ball might have moved).
Before determining whether his ball has moved, it is advisable for the player to obtain information from nearby witnesses to the incident and to seek guidance from a referee if one is immediately available. (Revised)"
In this case the rule needs changing, and the player, any witnesses, and the organization officials on the scene should be the determining body, not some committee that is limited by what they see on a screen in an air conditioned building off of the course.
Get this right U.S.G.A.! Change the wording of the rule, and put the trust back where it belongs in golf, back in the hands of the professionals.