Trial by television, judgment by the couch crusaders? Whatever you call it, golf’s powers-that-be are putting a stop to it.

TV phone-ins may be fine if you are trying to get your vote across in Strictly Come Dancing but the R&A and the USGA, the two governing bodies of the global game, and their partners on the various worldwide tours have taken steps to eliminate that particular influence.

As of January 1 2018, golf viewers will no longer be able to call-in rules infringements after a new set of protocols for reviewing video footage was agreed across the game.

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Having gauged the opinions of those at the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, the European Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, it has been decided, in official, press release speak, to “assign one or more officials to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve rules issues as they arise” and to “discontinue any steps to facilitate or consider viewer call-ins as part of the rules decision process.”

In addition to this, the game’s rulers have approved the adoption of a local rule to eliminate the additional two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard if a player is unaware of the underlying penalty that caused the score to be incorrect.

This allows tournament committees to eliminate the scorecard penalty a year early, as it is scheduled to be chiselled into the updated Rules of Golf in 2019.

Video evidence will still be a part of the game but, like rugby, golf is essentially bringing in the television match official (TMO) as opposed to being directed by some self-appointed custodian sitting on an armchair and replaying incidents hardly visible to the naked eye in high-definition, slow-motion.

It is a move that most professionals will welcome with open arms. “Anoraks with too much time on their hands,” was how Graeme McDowell once described the growing army of vigilante viewers while Tiger Woods stated earlier this season that “viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes”.

That comment came in the wake of the well-documented Lexi Thompson rules rumpus during the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the year.

To recap – or should that be rewind the footage? – Thompson was given a four-shot penalty when she went to the 13th tee of her final round while leading by three.

She was penalised two shots for replacing her marker in the wrong spot during Saturday’s third round and another two for signing for a wrong score. The viewer who flagged up the erroneous marking of the ball didn’t get in touch with officials until the Sunday.

Thompson eventually lost in a play-off while the outpouring of fury at the increasing impact of viewers, and the disgust that her penalty was delivered a day after the incident, was considerable.

“This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019,” said David Rickman, the R&A’s guru on all things rules related.