Pro reveals fineable offenses on PGA Tour, from slow play to divot negligence

Jon Rahm of Spain makes a divot as he plays his second shot on the third hole fairway during the final round of THE NORTHERN TRUST,

Tidy up those divots, gents!

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PGA Tour player Michael Kim has gained a reputation as one of professional golf’s best social-media follows.

The 30-year-old has one win on his resume (the 2018 John Deere Classic), but has gained a loyal and growing online audience thanks to his frequent and often illuminating commentary about life on the PGA Tour. On Friday, Kim took on the topic of fines, offering little-known details about how and why the PGA Tour fines its players.

According to Kim, fine-able offenses include:

slow play (i.e., being in a group that is “put on the clock”). After 10 violations, Kim said players are fined $50,000, and $5,000 per infraction thereafter

—foul language on live TV

—smashing sponsored tee markers

—not raking bunkers well or replacing divots

—mistreating volunteers

—relieving oneself somewhere other than a designated restroom.

The money collected from the fines, Kim said, is donated to charity.

Kim’s post understandably received plenty of engagement, and Kim responded to several comments with clarifications.

According to Kim, a group is timed when they fall more than one hole behind the group in front. Notification of a slow-play infraction is delivered via e-mail, while other infraction notifications are delivered to a player’s locker or via phone call. Kim also said that players in a slow group will receive a fine even if they were not the reason for the infraction.

When a commentator suggested that slow-play culprits should be made public, Kim replied: “I’d love that but the public vitriol would be off the charts if you did it just once. Even if you improved and you weren’t slow anymore, you’d forever have that label.”

The PGA Tour, which has long been tight-lipped about its disciplinary fines, did not respond to an e-mail from GOLF.com seeking confirmation of Kim’s intel.

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.

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