‘It’s crazy!’: Lee Trevino bashes latest golf rules controversy

Lee Trevino is one of the rare golf legends who truly needs no introduction, but it’s fun to list his resume highlights anyway: 92 professional wins, six majors, and perhaps the most entertaining personality to play the pro game.

Trevino just celebrated his 84th birthday, and he continues to engage the masses with top-notch storytelling, tapped from the seemingly infinite well of his engaging life experiences.

On this week’s episode of Subpar, Trevino regaled hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz with numerous anecdotes and takes on the game, but he was particularly animated when discussing golf’s latest hot topics, including Collin Morikawa’s rare penalty at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

A quick refresher: Before teeing off in Sunday’s final round at the Hero, Morikawa was assessed a two-shot penalty for a breach of Model Local Rule G-11, which restricts the use of green-reading materials. And it was Morikawa’s playing partner, Matthew Fitzpatrick, who initially reported the infraction, because Fitzpatrick was seeking clarification of what was allowed.

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The crux of the issue was Morikawa and his caddie hand-writing green-reading information they had previously obtained by using a device while on the practice green. The device is legal, retaining the information in your head is legal, but writing it down to reference it later is not. So when Morikawa’s caddie offered that hand-written information to Morikawa on the 4th green during the third round, the rule was breached.

Trevino, as you might imagine, is not a fan of how things went down.

“Collin got a penalty,” he began. “Now you see how goofy all this stuff is? And see these guys are in this room making rules and stuff. It is crazy! It’s crazy!

“Now, Collin is playing, his caddie is the one that had a card to tell him where the errors were on the green. What the hell difference does it make?” Trevino continued. “The yardages are on the sprinkler, you can use a rangefinder, you can use the book in the fairway, and you can’t use one on the green? That doesn’t make any sense to me. None whatsoever!”

Trevino took issue with the fact that getting the information is okay, but writing it down isn’t.

“You can memorize it, but you can’t write it down?” he said. “Now, that had to be a genius that thought that one up.”

For more insightful gems from Trevino, check out the entire episode below.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.