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Biggest Golf Controversies in 2019 (So Far!)

There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes and an annual abundance of golfing controversy.

This past week the issue of slow play has once again come under the microscope after Bryson DeChameau's appearance at The Northen Trust. As we take in the fallout from those scenes, here at Hole19 HQ, we're discussing some other high-profile wrangles that have appeared in the game in 2019.

While it's far from an exhaustive list, here's what we've come up with...

OK, first up... slow play (DeChambeau et al.)

Unless you had been living under a rock this past week, you'd likely be aware that the biggest story in golf at present is the ongoing issue of slow play after DeChambeau's 'deliberate' style was highly criticised at The Northern Trust.

It's far from the first time the world number eight has been lambasted for holding up the field, and he's hardly the only offender. Another high-profile dawdler is J.B. Holmes who himself has been called out on several occasions for what many see as an inconsiderate approach to the game.

Catch many of the pros discussing their disdain for slow play and how it's ruining golf...

It seems the case that something needs to happen to deter this style. Now it's over to the players and the Tours to see how they can help speed up the game.

Matt Kuchar's rep takes a hit

It's often been said that bad things come in threes, or is that only for good things? Either way, Matt Kuchar has suffered a trio of golfing controversies and is having a PR year to forget.

Heading into 2019 it would be fair to say that 'Kuch' was up there with the most likeable golfers on either of the leading Tours. It was a surprise to many of us when he refused to pay his local caddie more than $5,000 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

After the social media storm that followed, the payment was increased to $50,000 and further amounts were given to Mayakoba charities. Kuchar's other controversies included what seemed like a nonsensical request for relief from a fairway divot, and failing to concede a putt to Sergio Garcia at the WGC-Dell Match Play.

The shouts of 'Kuuuccchhhh' have become notably less booming since.

2019 rule change teething problems


Many of the changes brought in to help modernise golf have hit the spot, but there's a few that may have required a little more thought.

Early in 2019, there were several incidences of golfers punished for their caddies being stood behind them as they took their stroke. The problem is, quite a few of these were subjective calls and often unfair or just plain wrong.

Also, the knee-high drop has come in for some criticism. Rickie Fowler, in particular, has poked a little fun at it by dropping the ball from between his legs while squatting. Quite a silly move, but then it's quite a silly rule.

Matt Wallace's caddie meltdown

Englishman Matt Wallace drew a passionate social media response from golf fans after seemingly berating caddie Dave McNeilly at the BMW International in Munich back in June.


After initially patching things up Wallace is now on the lookout for a new bagman having parted ways with McNeill after the WGC St Jude Invitational. Irrespective of this outburst, it's unlikely he'll be short of suitors.

Meltdown no.2: Sergio's disqualification


Sergio Garcia is well known as an emotional player but that emotion crossed over into unacceptable behaviour at the Saudi International back in February.

The Spaniard became the first player since the inception of the European Tour to be disqualified for "serious misconduct" during a tournament after, in his words, "damaging a couple of greens".

He wasn't overly friendly to the bunker either after a poor escape from the sand...

Have we missed any other high-profile controversies from this year so far? Let us know below...

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