February 18, 2011
This is why you always, always read the rules.
Playing in the Avantha Masters in India, Thongchai Jaidee put his tee shot right off one of the giant light poles that line the course. He asked for a free drop and didn't get it. Infuriated, he began whanging balls off the light pole. Yes, really.
He belted two balls off the utility panel, both of which rebounded right back past his head, apparently trying to make some kind of point about how unfair the rule was. Finally, he got up onto the green, but an on-course commentator informed him that players who hit the light posts get to tee off again ... no penalty.
Jaidee went back to the tee to hit, and put that shot wide right. He ended the hole with a bogey 5. But it's better than a DQ, which would have likely been the penalty had he failed to take that tee shot again.
It's the latest in a long line of rules violations coming because players don't know the local regulations. The burden is on the player and his caddy, of course, and while this one didn't cost anyone a major championship like Dustin Johnson's PGA Championship blunder last year, it's nonetheless an example of the virtues of just paying attention.
[Visor tip: Aussie Golfer]