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« Five Families Clash: PGA Of America Has "Concerns with any legislation that might infringe on the enjoyment of the game." | Main | Video: USGA and R&A Anchoring Ban Teleconference »
Wednesday
Nov282012

"The last time something this popular was banned it was called prohibition and that didn't go over so well."

In the early reaction to a change we knew was coming, I'm surprised at how negative much of it is from folks whose views I trust. This suggests to me that politically, banning anchoring before doing something about distance may be backfiring. Or maybe they calculated this reaction as a way to pave the case for a rollback, something they layed the groundwork for in today's press conference.

Here is Brandel Chamblee's first of multiple passionate pleas for bifurcation in the post anchoring ban announcement. Also includes a pretty tough statement from Davis Love not supporting the announcement, read by Tim Rosaforte.

Similar theme from Gary Van Sickle of golf.com, only expressed Van Cynically:

The USGA and the R&A must be joking.With all the pressing issues in golf, they've decided to ban anchored putting? That's like the Emperor Nero issuing jaywalking tickets to residents fleeing Rome as it burns.

And...

We have 460-cc drivers made of high tech alloys, graphite shafts, balls that go forever, and more technology in every clubhead than golfers could have dreamed of even 20 years ago. All these things have had a much greater impact on golf than long putters. In an era when 350-yard drives are no longer Happy Gilmore pipe dreams, why is all the scrutiny on one type of putting stroke?

We have 460-cc drivers made of high tech alloys, graphite shafts, balls that go forever, and more technology in every clubhead than golfers could have dreamed of even 20 years ago. All these things have had a much greater impact on golf than long putters. In an era when 350-yard drives are no longer Happy Gilmore pipe dreams, why is all the scrutiny on one type of putting stroke?

Read more: http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/banning-anchored-putting-stroke-usga-proves-it-focused-wrong-thing#ixzz2DXObqGOu
We have 460-cc drivers made of high tech alloys, graphite shafts, balls that go forever, and more technology in every clubhead than golfers could have dreamed of even 20 years ago. All these things have had a much greater impact on golf than long putters. In an era when 350-yard drives are no longer Happy Gilmore pipe dreams, why is all the scrutiny on one type of putting stroke?

Read more: http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/banning-anchored-putting-stroke-usga-proves-it-focused-wrong-thing#ixzz2DXObqGOu

Alistair Tait says this "debacle" does the game no favors:

To make a U-turn a generation later makes the R&A and USGA look amateurish and incompetent. If anything is to be learned from this debacle, it is that the governing bodies need to get their acts together quicker in the future. A lot quicker!

The Rules of Golf should not be dictated by commercial concerns, but eliminating long putters just as they're gaining in popularity with recreational players is just plain wrong.



Read more: http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/banning-anchored-putting-stroke-usga-proves-it-focused-wrong-thing#ixzz2DXNu097I

The USGA and the R&A must be joking.

With all the pressing issues in golf, they've decided to ban anchored putting? That's like the Emperor Nero issuing jaywalking tickets to residents fleeing Rome as it burns.

Golf is losing participants in droves for three main reasons: it's too difficult, too expensive and too slow. The game is in a recession, or worse, and the USGA is worried about a style of putting that may make golf easier, has been around for more than a quarter century and is used by a small minority of players?

The Rules of Golf should not be dictated by commercial concerns, but eliminating long putters just as they're gaining in popularity with recreational players is just plain wrong.



Read more: http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/banning-anchored-putting-stroke-usga-proves-it-focused-wrong-thing#ixzz2DXNu097I

The USGA and the R&A must be joking.

With all the pressing issues in golf, they've decided to ban anchored putting? That's like the Emperor Nero issuing jaywalking tickets to residents fleeing Rome as it burns.

Golf is losing participants in droves for three main reasons: it's too difficult, too expensive and too slow. The game is in a recession, or worse, and the USGA is worried about a style of putting that may make golf easier, has been around for more than a quarter century and is used by a small minority of players?



Read more: http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/banning-anchored-putting-stroke-usga-proves-it-focused-wrong-thing#ixzz2DXNVJmdz

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Reader Comments (20)

If these guys are so angry that there have been bigger problems in golf -- most particularly golf equipment technology -- then why haven't they done more to publicize those issues and pressure golf's ruling bodies to deal with them?

One thing I'd agree with is that the USGA and the R&A have done themselves no favors by being so opaque on all of these issues. We should have been having a much more open debate for a long time, and not just limited to GeoffShackelford.com, GCA and BombsquadGolf.com. The USGA should have been engaged, publicly and openly. They have actually done more talking about anchoring putters, than about golf ball rollbacks. I'm not sure why, but they are entirely different and unrelated issues. At least, if that were the position of the USGA, I'd feel compelled to agree.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
these guys berate the governing bodies so much for their failure to deal with equipment issues and support players who threaten legal action then have the brass neck to complain that they don't take on the manufacturers over the ball etc.!Some double standards here surely?!
I'm off to St Andrews on Friday to see the Old Course for myself-I will report back!
11.28.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Chamblee is against the anchored putter: he has stated such many times- now as to 2 sets of rules everyone who has read my posts for very long knows I am for 2 sets of rules, but to do it in regards to the anchoring is to allow all the new players to start with the anchored swing-and that is a poor idea.

Brandall, Iā€™m all for 2 sets of rules, but not for allowing the anchoring for the amateur within the rules split. You are shooting yourself in the foot, dude!

Chamblee seems to be wanting to provide himself a soapbox to preach from, but sadly his message needs bifurcation..
11.28.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Awesome! Sue once something happens that you don't agree with or doesn't goes your way! It's America we wouldn't have it any other way...
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Can't wait to hear the report, chico. And if you happen to find Melvyn out there curled up in Strath, please bring him in out of the weather.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
In somewhat related news, the USGA is also contemplating the banning of cargo shorts in light of the Jordan fiasco.

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/blogs/local-knowledge/2012/11/michael-jordan-causes-stir-at-private-club-by-wearing-cargo.html
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWog
If this goes through the USGA/R&A has another list of things to ban:
1. Smoking on the golf course
2. Spitting on the golf course (or in the hole)
3. Loud mouth pants
4. Pros making music videos
5. 10-minute preshot routines
6. Crediting your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
7 John Daly
And then they will address the golf ball.
@Wog

"A Jordan rep confirmed that Jordan opted against changing his outfit, but was unaware that Jordan is out at La Gorce for good. "I guess it's their loss -- as MJ is a great golfer, and a great guest," the rep told the Post."

just confirms the arrogance of Michael Jordan, a true American icon
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Viz, Are you suggesting people should sue before something happens that you don't agree with?
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
Where's the "like" button for D. maculata?
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
Just saying if people don't like something they always sue.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Viz, how many such very litigious people do you actually know?
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Honestly, I don't see very many long putters when I play. I think they are more popular with Pro's that Joe Hacker.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Ford
There is nothing stopping a player from using "old" equipment that isn't destroying the game.

How about this idea, give tour players the option of using smaller drivers, steel shafts, and balata balls...but as an incentive increase prize money to those that volunteer. So if you finish 10th with "new" equipment...you get a smaller check than if you finish 10th with "old" equipment. It would be interesting to see how many players vounteer to go back to the old equipment.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
@ Brad Ford

Exactly - I loved how quickly Chamblee extrapolated the numbers to arrive at 30% of the golfing population is getting screwed (he estimated some 20 million people). I was waiting for him to claim that they were all victims who are afflicted with the yips.

In my experience at local publics, the non-traditional putter ratio is closer to 3%-5% (I think I saw one in my league).

Ultimately, I think you see the ratio higher now on pro tours because their livelihood is so closely tied to putting performance, more than anything else. On the local hack scene, I think most of our enjoyment comes from the rest of the game.

The casual golfer that they seem to be so worried about losing probably could care less about which putter he uses. Competitive golfers are attracted to the game and aren't going to leave it solely because of this rule change.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterScrambler
Here's my contrarian argument against anchoring. If a much higher percentage of pros use them than amateurs do, it suggests that it's a significant advantage. The pros are players whose livelihood depends on it, AND many of them have invested thousands of hours more than regular hacks at grooving their traditional putter strokes -- yet they still found it advantageous to change.

A large percentage of pros may not want to switch to anchoring because they don't want to tinker with what got them to the Tour, but that won't prevent the next generation from using anchoring from the start.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
@Chuck..... People actually still post at BombSquad Golf? Wow who knew? Thought all the phoney/faux +6 index wannabe players that used to there now post at GolfWrx LOL!
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Golf as a sport is losing popularity and along comes a rule change that will make it much more difficult for those amateurs struggling with the yips to have fun playing this game (If you haven't had the yips you won't understand this) and will certainly drive some of these amateurs to give up the game. This rule change should only apply to those making a living playing this game professionally.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen
I thought for sure the ubitiquous Charlie Rymer was going to cry again. I remember his emotional display at the TW apology press conference. He is upset now because two of his friends are going to quit playing golf because of the anchoring ban.

People don't quit playing golf, because of a golf rule. They quit because it takes five and a half hours to play; because it costs $60 a round and because they are going to their kid's soccer games. Two of these issues could be solved by the PGA professional at the golf course.

We complained that the USGA and the R&A should have addressed the long putter issue years ago. Today we're saying to them, "It's about time." WELL, it really IS about "time". The golf pros at our local clubs should stand up to the real issue of declining rounds and say "Pick up the pace."
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOPgolfer
@OPgolfer

+1000%

This is what i've been screaming. Charlie Rymer and anyone who thinks golf is going to start losing thousands of golfers because they can't stick a putter in their gut are dilusional. We are losing golfers exactly for the reasons stated by OPgolfer....cost and pace of play. Rymer needs to find something else to cry about.
11.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

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