‘What a joke’: Tour pro slams ‘amateur’ rules officials

Charley Hoffman Waste Management

Tour pro Charley Hoffman launched a scathing attack on the USGA and PGA Tour after the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday.

Although he made the cut, Hoffman’s round was wrecked by a double bogey seven at the par-5 13th, statistically the easiest hole at TPC Scottsdale. 

After hitting his drive into the water, Hoffman twice tried unsuccessfully to take a drop before placing his ball, as per the rules. 

But the ball then rolled back into the water, and he was handed another penalty. 

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Following his round the 45-year-old slammed the USGA and PGA Tour for the rule and what he claimed was a poor drop zone, even citing it as an example of why players’ heads are being turned by a rumoured Saudi-backed Super League. 

“What a joke,” Hoffman wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram, in which he tagged both organisations, as well as a number of media outlets and the official account of the Saudi International. 

“On the 13th hole I hit my drive in the water and took a drop on a side of a hill that [had] no grass. Dropped twice then place on a small tuff of grass. Turned around the ball started rolling into the water. I was under the impression that the USGA had changed that rule. I was wrong. Had to take another penalty for doing nothing wrong at all. Did everything by the book.  

“It's still mind blowing that a group of amateurs rule the professional game of golf. I also blame the PGA Tour rules officials for putting out a terrible penalty area line where this could even happen. No accountability at any level here. No protection for the players at all. 

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“You wonder why guys are wanting to jump ship and go play on another tour. Players need transparency, protection and consistency. We don't have that under the current governing bodies.” 

Hoffman, who is a player director on the PGA Tour’s policy board, ended his rant with a plea to commissioner Jay Monahan. 

“Sorry Jay! We need to do better at all levels of the PGA Tour Including myself who represent the players on the board of the tour,” he said. 

“If we don't we won't have a tour any longer! 

“Hopefully there will be a change soon.” 

Several tour pros responded to Hoffman’s tirade, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, two of those thought to have been courted by the Saudi venture. 

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Commenting on the post, Mickelson said “I feel ya”, while DeChambeau added: “Agree wholeheartedly”. 

However, others were less sympathetic, with both Blayne Barber and Emiliano Grillo suggesting Hoffman could have avoided the situation simply by not hitting his drive into the water in the first place.

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