Pro Responds After Committing Same Golf ‘Felony’ Two Years Running

Dylan Frittelli defends himself after practising in a space reserved for the late Arnold Palmer

Frittelli Getty
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A PGA Tour member has been called out as a repeat offender of what Dan Rapaport, Writer at Golf Digest, describes as “a golf felony.” Rapaport took to Twitter to share an image originally posted by renowned caddie, Mark 'Fooch' Fulcher. Fooch is perhaps best known for being the caddie of Justin Rose, but now loops for Billy Horschel. The image showed an unknown (at the time) PGA Tour member practising in the space reserved for Arnold Palmer. Accompanied was the line: "Seems like Mr Palmer’s spot is no longer sacred." The space marks the spot where Palmer would sit in his later years and watch those competing and is said to be reserved to pay homage to the King. 

Rapaport begged for the 'felony' not to be repeated this year but confirmed with a separate image that it was. This time, the identity of the PGA Tour member was revealed as Dylan Frittelli.

Frittelli, who won the John Deere Classic in 2019, replied: “I’m sure Arnie would’ve let me hit some balls from his spot while he ate lunch or went to play 9 holes.” Golf fans were quick to criticise Fratelli, with one stating: “Might as well stomp on Arnie’s grave. Prediction: Fratelli misses the cut due to the Palmer curse.” Fratelli responded: “Let’s see if you’re right.”

Not everyone was in agreement however. One golf fan said: "If you don’t want someone hitting there, rope it off! If not, it’s fair game. Unwritten rules aren’t rules." Others weren't quite as forgiving, with another fan stating: "Do you think if the Lakers designated a seat on the bench for Kobe players would sit in it?"

Seemingly unperturbed by the events, Frittelli stated: "Have the courage to tag me next year Daniel!" It would seem he will continue in that space next year.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of the most iconic and sentimental stops on the PGA Tour. The tournament has always served as a celebration to the man that is regarded as the most charismatic the golf world has ever seen. Nicknamed ‘The King’ or the ‘People’s Champion’, Palmer was seen as a trailblazer and the first superstar of golf’s television age. His impact and presence in the game is still felt today, particularly at Bay Hill.

The event was founded in 1979 as a successor to the Florida Open and has taken place at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida since its inception. The club was owned by Arnold Palmer between 1974 and his passing in 2016 and remains under the ownership of his daughter and son-in-law today.

See who is in the field this week and just what the players are competing for. 

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.