Frank Nobilo, the guest of honour at the R&A’s recent Level 3 Tournament Administrators and Referees School, was perfectly cast as someone who could lighten the mood.
In an interview prior to his first contribution to the four-day conference, this winner of 15 tournaments around the world revealed that TV commentators like himself fail to do anyone any favours with their varied analyses of the rules. “We’ve done the game a huge disservice,” came his cheerful admission.
“From a TV perspective, we need to get it right but, though most of us know quite a bit, we seldom know the lot.” He suspects that whenever there is a major rules incident, they would do better to keep quiet until the referee has come to his decision.
For an example, he went back to the Tiger Woods incident at the 2013 Masters. To recap, that was the one where Tiger was penalised two shots when he could have been disqualified for taking a wrong drop. “On TV,” said Nobilo, “our first mistake was of making it all about the personality.”
When commentators do get involved in talking about a ruling, it hardly helps that each of them will be wanting to be the one who gets it right. “You’re part of a team,” said Nobilo, “but you’re not always working as a team. We can only spoil the experience for viewers – and we do that regularly.”
Nobilo, the New Zealand-born great grandson of an Italian pirate, says that he was….. READ FULL ARTICLE