‘Fore’ to be replaced by new ‘safer’ system

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 1, 2012 06:06

The golfers’ call of ‘fore’ is to be replaced by a new system to comply with health and safety regulations, The R&A and USGA jointly announced today. However, the new standard has already been criticised by industry insiders, many of whom are dismayed at the loss of the traditional call-out system and find its replacement too complex.

The scheme, ‘ForeTee’, claims the governing bodies, has had to be introduced due to a number of recent legal cases in both Europe and the USA, in which lawyers for golfers injured by wayward shots successfully sued fellow golfers on the basis that the call of ‘fore’ did not give sufficient information regarding the likelihood of people being hit.

In one case in Germany an uninsured golf club was shut down because it could not afford the fine after a golfer, who would have been safe if he stood still, ran into the path of the ball when he heard the call and suffered a broken nose. The judge in the case stated that if the call of ‘fore’ had included information about the location of the ball then the club would not have lost the case.

How the new system works

ForeTee consists of four steps:

  1. Before making a shot, the distance in yards between the golfer striking the ball [G1] and every person [G2] within the maximum distance of the chosen club’s radius (ranging from 400 yards for a driver down to 200 yards for a sand wedge) is to be estimated [F1].
  2. If the ball reaches a height of 12 feet or more [H1] and its landing spot is anticipated to be within 20 per cent of F1, then G1 must leave a delay of one second per 50 yards distance from G1 to G2 before calling out.
  3. During this gap, F1 is to be converted into decametres (F1 multiplied by 10.9), to produce F2.
  4. At the end of the delay, ‘ForeTee’ followed by F2 must be called at full voice in the direction of G2.

If the ball travels at below the height of H1 then step 3 does not need to be followed.

Over 10 million 120-page handbooks featuring conversion tables and diagrams, with Ian Poulter and Zach Johnson on the cover apparently shouting ‘ForeTee’ at each other, are to be supplied to golf clubs all over the world this week.

The R&A has stated that there is no legal requirement for ForeTee to be used, but warned that this may change if enough golfers adopt the new system.

Terry Jenkins, a member of Basilwood Golf Club, said he would never do that. “I’ve been using ‘fore’ since I first started playing golf at the age of seven, and now I’m 77,” he said. “I will continue to use it until I can no longer lift a club – or until I learn how to hit the ball straight!

“This ForeTee nonsense is too complicated. We had a fourball trialling it last week and by the time they had done the conversions and estimations they had no idea where the ball was.”

The system was tried for the first time at a PGA event, at the Shell Houston Open yesterday, and Phil Mickelson said, after initial trepidation, he warmed to ForeTee.

“I sliced my tee shot on the 12th and, although I was a little daunted by the new system, I remained calm and the delay period gave me more than enough time to consult the booklet,” he said.

“All the G3 and F1 data was in there, so I simply shouted ‘ForeTee 37’, and the spectators most at risk, who also had the booklet on them, were able to protect themselves. It’s the delay period you’re given between hitting the ball and it potentially hitting someone that makes it ingenious and so much safer; I dont know how we’ve coped until now.”

The R&A hopes that ForeTee will be adopted by every professional golfer in time for the Open Championship this July, but that may not be the case. Last night Luke Donald tweeted: ‘ForeTee is FallTee. Go back 2 drawing board and start again. #TooComplicated’.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 1, 2012 06:06
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10 Comments

  1. (@cfgolferdude) (@cfgolferdude) April 3, 07:02

    » ‘Fore’ to be replaced by new ‘safer’ system http://t.co/vvcchXKR #whataloadoftripe

    Reply to this comment
  2. Alistair Dunsmuir Author April 2, 09:07

    As some people had guessed, and as the people of the USA now can know, this was an April Fools Joke.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Oliver Syrett (@oliversyrett) April 1, 20:37

    @THEaustin007 Have a look at this chap. http://t.co/PXf2ZSle #aprilfool

    Reply to this comment
  4. Kendawg (@WoundedGolfer) April 1, 16:18

    @TheSnyderCup @jfleming1980 @golfercraig check this out, rules gone mad http://t.co/7o7RPRaX

    Reply to this comment
  5. Al Pirrie (@AP1307) April 1, 12:36

    “@AlDunsmuir: You are now no longer allowed to shout ‘fore’ if you hit a wayward golf shot http://t.co/3tutAXAV”

    > what a joke!!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Jennifer Shaff (@jenn_smiles527) April 1, 10:12

    Will u be shouting ‘ForeTee’ followed by number instead of ‘fore’? http://t.co/nIXPn9o6 #wtf

    Reply to this comment
  7. Rauru Walker (@LuxGolfToursNZ) April 1, 08:11

    This has got to be an April fools surely! http://t.co/TJGJzlbS Calling “ForeTee” and calculating distances is madness!!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Paul Miller (@yorksonlinegolf) April 1, 07:33

    Health&Safety at it again-new ‘FORE’ shouting procedure-hopefully a hot pasty is not needed prior to tee off > http://t.co/jTsOdePn

    Reply to this comment
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