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"Their charge is protecting the game of golf, not making sure it's OK for Tour players."

Thoughtful response from Brandt Snedeker appearing on Morning Drive, voicing his support for a ban on anchoring putters.

"Their charge is protecting the game of golf, not making sure it's OK for Tour players," he added. "What's best for the game of golf might hurt a couple guys in the short run, but it might benefit the game in the long run."

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Reader Comments (29)

I love watching Snedeker play, and couldn't agree more with his sentiments.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRick1V
Here we go again: << Their charge is protecting the game of golf, not making sure it's OK for Tour players >>

Huh? Just what is this "protecting" business anyway? Is it protecting the game from Adam Scott improving his putting stats from 148th to 145th? Is it making sure that your jittery Uncle Tetley plays a little more golf because he can now roll in the occasional four-footer?

You're telling me that golf is in trouble not because of a shaky economy or slow play or expensive green fees but because a fraction, a handful of players is using the anchored putter? Please.... you've GOT to do better than that.......
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
''You're telling me that golf is in trouble not because of a shaky economy or slow play or expensive green fees but because a fraction, a handful of players is using the anchored putter? ''

Come on, Ben...You are better than that. You are putting words in Sned's mouth. He NEVER said that all these other things were not problems, he merely stated that by addressing the anchoring situation, the USGA is protecting the game of golf-- and I agree. It does not mean that these other issues are not worthy of address.

Pretty lousy shootin' from the hip for one with a journalism background such as you have.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I wish the others players were cut from your cloth.
They should learn that playing faster might just cause them to play better.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
At what level is the USGA protecting the game with the proposed ban? To the point I believe Ben was alluding to, it certainly wouldn't be the recreational golfer that is protected. Want to ban anchoring on the PGA Tour? Feel free. But banning it for players who want to keep a handicap and play in a club championship or similar event is ridiculous. For a sport that desperately needs to attract new players and maintain its current base, the idea of "banning" something that has long been considered "legal" is absurd, IMO.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterknottypine
Everyone go get a lottery ticket....I'm with ben!!!!!
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Has any player articulated the case against slow play on the PGA Tour better than Brandt did? Outstanding take.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGarry Smits
In the immortal words of the one-time Bartles & James pitchmen, "Thank you for your support."

Diggie, this isn't about me or Snedeker.... it's about the PRIORITIES established by the USGA. Distance is out of control? Let's see... how about a totally ineffectual rule change that affects the GROOVES machined into wedges. Okay.... well, that didn't work so another issue that will 1) speed play 2) make golf affordable 3) attract women and kids 4) open more courses is to -- ban a putting method that Has No Influence On The Game Whatsoever?

How about the blue-coats Actually Enforcing rules already on the books? Once it stated that "a golf club shall have no spring-like effect" but once the metal driver came about that rule has been conveniently ignored. Am I the only one who finds it interesting that these jokers in Far Hills would rather mess with some so trivial, so completely unimportant as a putting style, rather than address issues that Actually Affect The Game?
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
Interestingly enough the tour has gone and back filled their "Strokes Gained Putting" stat through 2004. Who led the tour in 2004 in this most useful of putting metrics? A young Aussie named Adam Scott.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchant
I'd ban the long putter but it's not the most pressing issue confronting the procrastinators at the USGA and R & A. Affordability (time and money) and the ball are much more significant matters. Golf is paying a high price for the lousy way it has treated women for far too long, too.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
After many years as a member, I did not renew my USGA membership this year. I've had it with these overpaid, stuffed-shirt turkeys.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
"For a sport that desperately needs to attract new players and maintain its current base, the idea of "banning" something that has long been considered "legal" is absurd, IMO."

I've yet to meet one golfer who would give up the game (or play less) if they weren't allowed to use a non-conforming putter...and if so, they would probably just use it anyways...just like they drop the ball from OB and "don't count" short tap ins. And I HIGHLY doubt the ability to anchor a putter vs. standard putting is going to make or break someone from deciding to play golf. Putting is probably the LAST thing that new golfers worry about...they typically want to hit the ball (not whiff), hit it farther, and then hit is that order.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
Ben - I'm with you. They don't have the ability to deal with the real problems, so they've found an issue of style, not substance, that affects a minority of their constituency. They then pretend that they are defending truth, justice, and the Bobby Jones way! They do face real problems as mentioned by you and other posters. Cost, time, other equipment that has actually unbalanced the game - all of them obvious issues that affect most of us. On top of that there is a definite trend amongst the members at my club. They are turning away from the canon and looking for versions of the game that offer more fun and less stress and involve a wider range of players. Outside of our championship tournaments, "reasonable rules" are the norm and fewer members are concerned about maintaining handicaps. The mid-cap players that are the bulk of our members are just showing less interest in going by an increasingly out-of-touch book. If the governing bodies keep swimming against the tide, how long before we reach a state of irreconcilable differences? I'm a member of the USGA, but it's been harder to justify each of the past few years.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn H
Protecting the game of golf. Wowee.

Next they'll give a member of the USGA the Nobel Peace Prize for a ban on bellies.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUnderTheChin
For what it's worth, seems we're maybe forgetting that organisations should actually be able to multi-task when it comes to making decisions. I'm for the anchoring ban, and I'm also for fixing the ball mess, speed of play, and all the other issues raised over and over again. It's ridiculous they can't all be addressed and resolved and we just play golf and enjoy it
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIanB
If these guys on tour are supposed to be pros, then they shouldn't need long cheater putters. If you need a broomstick to putt then maybe you are not good enough!
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterhaq
I love Sneds, and while I'm still on the fence in regards to the putter, he hit the nail on the head with slow play. I can't stand to hear Ben Crane constantly keep saying he's working on it. That's total BS. I used to like Crane but because of his lack of even an attempt,(I actually think he's gotten slower now going with the LPGA line up crap) he's not a favorite. At least Kevin Na addressed his situation and seemed to really make an effort to fix it. He was self conscious about it. Crane and some of the other notorious offenders could care less. I applaud Sneds for semi calling them out, which is the only thing that will work ultimately.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I think it is to bad that back in the day, the 1800 's, that no one though of putting this way either belly or long. Than when mr Snead came up with a better way of putting, one guy said he did not like it and it was banned. But he found a work around, so will others that us a belly or long putter. Even thou I will stop helping the usga as a volunteer if they ban the belly, I will to work on a work around what ever rule they come up with. But congrats to the usga, you may ban the belly, but not 5 hour rounds.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark
Is that Damon Hack? Never realised he did Morning Drive - wow!
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStord
@Mark, what do you think the USGA should do to improve pace of play?
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob Clarke
New favorite player.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJRP
Steve, of course they haven't given up the game because the putter hasn't been banned, yet. There hasn't previously been a market for non-conforming equipment in the golf. Ask Callaway. People want to play by the rules. That being said, I think you are belng a little naive to believe it wouldn't impact people and their enjoyment of the game. What about folks who play in men's or women's leagues? Those matches are governed by the rules of golf, so no anchored putter. You couldn't acquire a legit handicap using one. The list could go on. The long putter has been part of the game for years and the world hasn't ended. It would be ridiculous to get rid of it unless the USGA is ready to embrace bifurcation of the rules.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterknottypine
I acknowledge there are more pressing priorities (ball, equipment, etc.) than anchoring but that doesn't mean that the USGA or R&A should tackle only one item at a time. IMO, it's not that the USGA and R&A don't know about the equipment and ball issues, it's just that those are more difficult to solve and the "solutions" to those issues need to be investigated a bit more. But to not touch on the anchoring will lead to future complaints about how the USGA and R&A didn't nip a problem in "the beginning". And yes, I know, anchoring has been allowed for the last 30+ years but I think the sights of juniors are using it from the beginning caught the attention of the USGA & R&A. I suppose what I'm saying here, and I may be wrong, is that they are viewing this anchoring thing as a "low hanging fruit" and the ball and equipment issues are more difficult to digest (i.e. lawsuit risks). Just my 2 cents.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterminhvunguyen
For a while I thought there was something wrong with my TV. It seemed to freeze up regularly.
Then I noticed it only happened when Ben Crane was readying for a shot.
Pity! He seems like a pleasant fellow.

Stephen from the Shaky Isles
11.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterstephen
I cannot argue on poor priorities set by the USGA. They need to trash he entire rule book for a start.
11.16.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Interesting posts, some thoughtful and interesting, some unrealistic, some just silly. First, the comment made in a previous post “People want to play by the rules”. Made me chuckle. I assume he means the USGA book of rules.The truth is, hardly anyone plays by the rules….and thank God. We’d never get done. Probably a more accurate comment would have be “people want to play by reasonable rules that keep players moving while maintaining a pleasant level of competition that applies to everyone in their group or league”. Recreational players (and that IS the industry, not tournament players) rarely play stroke and distance on O.B., often don’t play the official rules for balls hit into lateral hazards etc. Again, let’s thank Providence they don’t.
Whether the USGA and the bluenoses want to admit it or not, bifurcation exists, defacto. If everyone played by the USGA book the game would die tomorrow. A few more quick comments:

1) The USGA is doing more harm than good. The U.S. Open is a joke and if it were not labeled “the national championship” it would fall to the level of the Disney Miracle Network tournament. It is the least favorite among tour players and watching it on TV is akin to a root canal.
2) Nothing gets corrected without the truth. The truth is, women play at a glacial pace. As a ranger and starter I’ve timed women’s groups, men’s groups, mixed groups….and you wouldn’t believe the difference. You might think it’s PC to deny it, but that doesn’t’ help the game. Find a way to speed up women.
3) Instead of fines or stroke penalties for slow play on the Tour. I suggest player’s be warned once and the second violation is a DQ.
11.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNospin
So now we have the anchoring putters issue, the distance of the ball issue, and the ridiculousness of slow play issue.

Can someone remind me what exactly golf is getting right nowadays, because it seems like things are just getting worse for the game, while the people in charge are too afraid to ruffle anyone's feathers and make a change that might actually benefit the game.
11.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
Way to go Brandt.........I can't stand the slow players on tour ........I just love it when they take 2 hours reading a short putt , and then miss it :)
11.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom
No Spin: 1) The USGA is doing more harm than good.

The USGA does a lot more than run the US Open (al though that is their most visible role). I've played in a number of USGA amateur events...they are well run, by very professional people and always first class. The USGA provides millions of dollars eeach year to organizations that grow the game..from the First Tee to local junior golfer groups that need some help. I am involved with a number of junior golf groups that receive USGA funding...without it, they may not survive. Their green section staff are invaluable and provide expert advice to help clubs deal with issues...I know 4 or 5 of them personally and they are some of the best people you will ever meet. The USGA also provides education about rules, handicapping, tournament administration, etc. that is well received by those in attendance...I've been to many of these seminars and they are top noth and the people doing them truly care about the game.

If you want to trash the USGA for how they run the US Open, go ahead, but consider all the rest that they do before saying they do more harm than good. If the USGA went out of business, the game of golf would be much worse off.
11.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

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