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PGA Prez Bishop: "The anchoring topic has been so polarizing that it has brought bifurcation to the forefront."

PGA of America president Ted Bishop is also a blogger and in his most recent post, writes:

I have to be honest. Before November 29, I couldn’t even spell bifurcation. It was nowhere on my radar, but the anchoring topic has been so polarizing that it has brought bifurcation to the forefront. Never in my wildest imagination, and probably the USGA’s, did we ever see a day when the likes of Finchem, Fay and Tarde would be speaking bifurcation.

And if you were wondering whether the PGA of America has changed its stance on the anchoring ban...

The USGA and R&A certainly have a tough job in administering the rules. This is not a popularity contest.  Hopefully, the comment period has been meaningful and the ruling bodies are listening.

If the proposed ban on anchoring is dropped, bifurcation probably goes away and that’s the best thing for golf. 

Jaime Diaz devoted his final say column in Golf World this week to the buzz over bifurcation at the PGA Show, prompted in part by Tim Finchem's comments

What looms larger -- particularly with the U.S. Open about to be played at Merion -- is whether bifurcation can be an effective way to deal with what some believe to be a problem of increased distance. The USGA is firm in saying that if the golf ball or drivers were ever rolled back, it would be across the board for all golfers.

However, asking the recreational golfer to give up distance is a tough sell. Furthermore, a large portion of such golfers are -- with every mulligan, improper drop and raked four-footer -- de facto bifurcators. If there was a ball rollback, such customizers would have no qualms about playing old balls that would be illegal -- or continuing to use long putters after the anchoring ban takes effect.

Recreational golf is what recreational golfers want it to be. As Dawson tacitly acknowledged, bifurcation is not some crazy concept, but one that smart people can consider as a possible solution to a game that is increasingly cornered. That's why the term has endured in the shadows all these years, and why it's finally on the table.

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Reader Comments (7)

"If the proposed ban on anchoring is dropped, bifurcation probably goes away and that’s the best thing for golf."

Definitely one of the more stupid comments I have yet heard on the subjects of anchoring and bifurcation.

It's true what they say, people do get promoted to the level of their own incompetence!
Two sets of Rules isn't going to happen so I wish people would stop talking about it. The PGA Tour and all other major organizations will follow the Rules the USGA and R&A set forth. Most golfers who play at a club regularly and occasionally compete in club events or "men's games" (or women's) will be pressured into playing by the Rules or using confirming equipment. I think the old "non-conforming drivers" are a good example - players playing in club games wouldn't use them because others viewed them as cheating.

The golfer who plays a few times a year doesn't know or care what the Rules are. They just play for fun (like when I go bowling - I don't care if I step on the line or do something not allowed.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFLGolfer
Howard Johnson is right! No, I mean FLgolfer is right.

I've tried to stay out of this because as we all know, the devil has a bifurcated tail.

In reality, I oppose official bifurring, because I did not want to admit to fellow Shackelfordians that I still haven't learned all the old rules and do not think myself capable of learning another set.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLudell Hogwaller

you are EXACTLY correct my friend. All this bifuridiot talk is all for not...The driver deal you mentioned is what will happen with using the putting aid.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
As far as I am concerned bifurcation is already here. Tour pros get all kinds of relief and rulings that are not applied in the game of the average goller. A different ball and different rules for anchoring would make no difference.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartin
Martin, not sure what you are referring to with "all kinds of relief and rulings that are not applied..."? We play the same rules and get the same reliefs they do? They have TIO's (Temporary Immoveable Obstructions) that we normally don't, but is really the only difference.

I guess they have less lost balls then we do because of spectators and cameras.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFLGolfer
It doesn't sound like the USGA is doing much of a job of getting along with key stakeholders....
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

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