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Friday
Feb012013

Garrigus On USGA: "Amateurs making rules for the professional game."

Michael Collins talked to Robert Garrigus about the anchoring ban and last weeks players meeting.

The PGA Tour player who has used every length putter imaginable says he asked USGA Executive Director Mike Davis about the make up of the current Executive Committee and how many have played tournament golf.

The video...and the text:

"Zero," Garrigus said Davis told him.

The 35-year-old winner of the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic didn't stop there.

"They are amateurs who are making rules for a professional game," Garrigus said.

"It's unfortunate that they are trying to ban it because the guys that are using the putter are good dudes. They're not cheating. It's within the rules right now. And it's never an advantage."
In his career, Garrigus has used a long putter anchored against his body.

"It's just unfortunate they've got to try to say that it's overwhelming the game. And I think that's ridiculous."

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Reader Comments (58)

Amateurs aren't making rules for a professional game. Amateurs are making rules for a game that can be played professionally.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger
Look, if anyone is anti USGA ROG, evryone who has been arounf this bourd know it is me. But ask the rules committee at the NFL, MLB and on how many have played, and I think te zero may be universal.

Sorry for the many typos, but just got off the road, and, well, too bad, yall can figure out what the words are: we're Shackelodians!- or ask KLG, he knows.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Spot on Roger. Professionals have only one interest, that is to make as much money for themselves playing the game.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Dig- so, we agree?

My point is, Garrigus's whole thought process is so far off base, it's astonishing. I mean, I should say it would be astonishing if he weren't a pro golfer. Really, it's on base thinking from a tour pro that should be astonishing. My bad. I mean out here in the world of books and reason, it's astonishing. The USGA should consider how much money 156 guys get to play for each week when making the rules?
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger
How many professionals play golf vs How many amatuers play golf around the world? These professionals can't see beyond their own little world.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark
"Making a putt for a million dollars"

That says it all.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
You know, I almost feel sorry for Tim Finchem. Nah, not really. Anyway, who is this Robert Garrigus and why is it "unfortunate that nerves play a big part in the game"?

And what Roger and Digs say.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Just appalling!Who the hell does he think he is?How many truly great players agree with him-less than 1!
Play by the rules of the game that has made you a multi millionaire or don't play at all!!
And if its no easier than a short putter then use a short putter!
02.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
I like what I am hearing from Garrigus and from Clark. This USGA anchoring ban is a travesty and you have to be a complete idiot to think otherwise. They are tampering with a putting style that has been around since at least 1930 and deemed acceptable by every governing body since that time (until now). There is ZERO proof that it is an advantage, and from my experience I would classify it is as a disadvantage. But that does not mean it should be banned. The differences in styles are what make this game great.
02.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterh2o-boy
The one area where US Tour players through their committee influence the Rules today is the directive that Tour Referees may not apply stroke penalties for pace of play - great, thanks guys. . . . No self interest there.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNigel
"Tim Clark can't even grip the club the right way" - except for the other 13 clubs in the bag, with which he is strangely proficient despite being "severly physically handicapped". The more PGA Tour players open their mouths, the more pathetic they appear. The highlight of the week, however, still belongs to Tom Pernice: "Vijay must be excused for using a banned substance, because he's not intelligent and therefore doesn't read the rule sheets".
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
A fine example. isn't he? I happen to know this gentleman lost an apparel deal because of his "all about me" attitude. Never voiced one word of gratitude for a single thread that touched his body. Until it was too late.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
Do you complainers really think that USGA would have proposed this rule absent the PROFESSIONAL WINS in recent majors? If not, then why the hell are you bitching about professional complaints? If the USGA was thinking about the overall sanctity of the game, why the hell did they wait 30 years until PROS won with anchored putters before rushing to decide - FOR THE GOOD OF THE GAME - to eliminate anchoring?

These "AMATEUR ADVOCATES" are a bunch of hypocrites IMO. They didn't give a *&^% about "the amateurs" or "the good of the game" until a few pros finally won with anchored putting strokes.

If they want to grow - rather than restrict - the game, their current (belated) rush to judgement is totally off-base IMO.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThink-About-It
Isn't Garrigus the guy who admitted he would duck into the port-potty during a tournament to smoke pot? :o)
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
How many golf balls, sets of clubs, clothes, shoes equipment of all kinds has this PROFESSIONAL jerk paid for since going on the tour? Give me a break.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert M. Young
Listen to you all gushing... I love Roger blah blah blah he can't even keep it in play on the course why should he be allowed to keep it in play on a blog? Is that what Garrigus is saying?

Good for Garrigus for speaking his mind publicly and opening up about the whole thing. Its not his fault he looks like a spoiled brat. Sounds like a decent guy who's just trying to protect his house and his buddies too. Everyone is so tight lipped about what Clark said but not Garrigush! He moseyed right up to Kim Jong Davis and told him where to put his long putter!
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
If you look at who is on the USGA rules committee, a number of them are/were Augusta tournament officials, PGA Tour and LPGA Tour rules officials. So there is a fair amount of influence from 3 other bodies of golf. Then factor in the R&A who is a joint parter with the USGA on rules...so you have people from 5 different organizations in the mix (maybe more if the european tour officials are part of the R&A rules committee).

Also, the anchoring issue was discussed by the USGA/R&A many times in the past 20 years, but a ban was dismissed as only a handful of players used them and it was seen as a crutch and not a preferred way to putt.

For all we know the R&A is the one driving this decision, and they may have zero interest in what PGA tour players have to say about it.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
"But ask the rules committee at the NFL, MLB and on how many have played, and I think te zero may be universal."-

Dig, you will find a fair number of ex-pro's comprise the NFL Competition Rules Committee.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NFL_competition_committee
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commentermainuh
Isn't the IRB essentially an amateur organization as well? I know when they would tinker with rules for lineouts and scrums, it was effective for international tests, the top pro leagues, and all the way down to our provincial union 3rd division games.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
Steve, I'd love to see that list of the USGA rules committee as I'm not so sure I agree that it includes tournament officials from the professional tours and Augusta Natl. At least by looking at the executive committee list it looks like a group of blue blood private club members who seem to consider it their civic duty to step foot on a public golf course once a year for the Public Links event.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commentere9golf
Holy smokes, a PGAT pro who speaks his mind and actually appears to enjoy talking to the press. Don't know the guy, but I respect his game and how he got on track and is playing the big tour for a living.

Anchoring Issue aside, Mr Garrigus makes a valid point about differences between Ams and Pros and how they approach the game. IMO it's another argument for bi-furcation of some sort and the sooner the better. Should pros write 100% of the rules? Of course not. But they should have a little bit of say in the conditions of competition since the average Amateur never plays on a course that's been retro-fitted to be used as a temporary outdoor stadium for one week of the year. SO they MUST have a say since the ruling bodies seem to be writing the rules in reaction to the pro game in the first place. Letting them have a seat at the tabe is the sensible thing to do.

And...I'm saying it here once and only once. I'm now OK with the long/broomstick anchoring style, no reason to ban it at all and instead am 110% against the seppuku-style belly anchors. Reason is simple. From 100+ yards, even a total non-golfer can watch a broomstick user and immediately know he's anchoring due to the radical different style and posture. The non golfer might even say: "It looks like that person can't bend over to putt like the other 3 guys on that weird sort of short grass circle with a pole thingy stuck in it....poor guy, maybe I should give him my chiropractor brother's number....oh look, they all missed their shots anyways...silly game"

When same non-golfer sees a belly-anchorer at the same distance they can't tell if the club is anchored or not. They would say "Hey there's 4 guys all bent over a stick trying to put a ball into a gopher hole...oh well lets go to lunch"

The BP posture is basically the same as a 'regular' style...except for and extra bit of club at the end that's jabbed into the abdomen to overcome the shakes. That extra implement at the end of the club Keegan, Webb, and others use is technically a teaching aid of some sort. Like a better cam-shaft or pistons in a a supposed "stock car" race.

So that's my $0.02 on this. It leaves a lifeline for anchorers who need an alternative for medicinal/genetic/nervous reasons and can be implemented over a season or two. (eg: The local PGAT Bifurcated rule can say: The club CAN be anchored, but the anchoring hand must be above the shoulder line....or something like that.)
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Guy who has argued 13 supreme court cases and clerked forSandra Day vs. guy who "attended" scottsdale community college

I know who i'll trust to make rules for my Saturday game.

the guys who use it are "good dudes"-priceless
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commentered
Bob, my guess is none of the "amateur" rules makers smoke weed or use dear antler whizz either, so perhaps they know at least something about doing the right thing when it's called for. Virtually every putting style, including borrowing clubs from an infant, of which is not the standard two handed grip, was born out of desperation. Can you imagine some of the crazy stuff we would see out there if for not a universal set of rules and guidelines? Sorry Bob, the game is so much bigger than just the PGA tour.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterP-Dog
"good dudes"-priceless

Hey...at least he can complete a sentence...sort of :o)
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
i just became a huge garrigus fan

thx for that robert
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUmp
How is it the preparation that lets someone land on the PGA Tour seems to produce so many outright stupid people? The self-obsession with a microcosmic little society surely comes on the job, but how do so few escape it?

Garrigus is as dumb as Pernice was the other day on Morning Drivel. Any more words of wisdom from the pros, Geoff? This is getting to be quite an education in red-state "thinking."
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
''Dig- so, we agree?'' Yes, absolutely.

Thanks for the post Mainuh. I was tired after a long road trip when I posted last night, and wondered if I had my facts straight; actually anticipated someone ‘’correcting’’ my statement/question.

But Mainuh, the statement from Wiki, which I scanned last night says,

‘’ The National Football League Competition Committee is a group of eight members chosen from the ranks of the NFL teams' head coaches and managers to oversee competition and suggest rule changes.’’

Coaches and managers DON’T PLAY. I am not a football guy, but of the 8 listed as I reread it just now, only Ozzie is a name I vaguely recollect, who in retrospect, was a player. So I guess I am wrong.

That being said, I am still in lockstep with Roger and us ‘’idiots’’ (This USGA anchoring ban is a travesty and you have to be a complete idiot to think otherwise.'' says~ h2o-boy)

Water bou goes on to say ''They are tampering with a putting style that has been around since at least 1930 and deemed acceptable.'' We all can agree with that, and I have been preaching for 8 years or so that the USGA did not ban the long putter because it did not want to embarass a POTUS by saying he was using an illegal club, not to mention a POTUS with a family history tied to the USGA. I understand that, and I think they probably did what shuld have been done given the international knowledge of golf, and the need to not throw the leader of the free world undr the cart. HOWEVER, when the time was right, not that long after, they should have done what they are now doing.

Ban the POS, or the anchoring, which is NOT A STROKE. If a leaf touched on the backswing can result in a 2 stroke penalty, then playing with a non golf motion is just effing wrong. The USGA needs to stand firm and just do this.

Garrigus has admitted to pot smoking (which I do not have a problem with) and so if VJ gets suspended for NOT TESTING, but ''JUST SAYIN'''- then Garrigus needs to be suspended with his precious PGA rules he so admantly supports, eff the USGA.

So take that red cheeks.

You have the right to say what is on your mind, and to stick your foot way down in your mouth.

Idiot.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Fisher / Murphy / Wisenhunt / Newsome - ex nfl
4 members of nine who played
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commentermainuh
Thanks Mainuh--as I said, I was wrong.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Memory jogger... the last time we heard anything sustantive from this guy it was about how much reefer they smoked in AAA ball.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
Guess I'm in the minority here and I admit Garrigus' comment about the "good guys" is ridiculous, but he does have some valid points. I've always felt like professionals(players--not PGA Club Professionals) know what is best for their particlular game. Tour officials are a perfect example. These guys know how to handle the egos week to week and almost all of them either played on the Tour at some point in their career or played competitive professional golf. Very little controversy when they are involved week to week. Then take a look at when a different organization runs a pro event, such as the PGA of America at the PGA Championship or the USGA at the US Open. Many more incidents and rules infractions because they are not dealing with that level of player when they officiate(remember the PGA a few years ago at Whistling Straits). The Tour already does many things their own way and it sounds like they may do it again with the long putter. Don't understand why when a Tour pro speaks up for the belly putter everyone starts to personally attack the guy such as Petterson and Keegan and now Garrigus. Reminds me of the political world.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
If I have to choose "Mike Davis" or "Glen Nager" versus "Robert Garrigus" as my one and only King of Golf Rules, I am certain it won't be Garrigus.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
Let's take this from Garrigus's side for a second. Even if he has a legitimate point, his complaint is directed at the wrong entity. What he should be petitioning for is for Finchem to step up and say that the PGA Tour is going to make it's own rules for professional US golf, rather than follow in lock step with what the USGA says. That would put it in line with organizations like the NBA and the NHL, who have rules separate from those of FIBA and IIHF. Now, I don't think that Finchem should do that, but if Garrigus should be whining, it shouldn't be about Mike Davis and company.

As an aside, I'm surprised nobody has commented on Michael Collins from this video. Look at his face and reactions....he's like, "Right on, Robert! F### the police!" Isn't he supposed to be an unbiased interviewer?

And to Amen Coroner, since GS will take this post down if I say anything nasty, I'll just let you know, you better start asking that wife of yours for some money, 'cause I'm coming for your wallet this year.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger
Roger, one thing you should not mistake Michael Collins for is a journalist. He's a comedian by trade and how he ended up working for ESPN is beside me but other than being a commentator on XM's PGA Tour network I don't think he has any experience as a "journalist". Google some of his interviews with Tiger if you really want to see an "amateur" at work.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Harv,

I know, but he's been doing this for a while. Maybe he's just used to radio. He needs to learn to fake it when the cameras are on.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger
Roger, one thing you should not mistake Michael Collins for is a journalist. He's a comedian by trade and how he ended up working for ESPN is beside me but other than being a commentator on XM's PGA Tour network I don't think he has any experience as a "journalist". Google some of his interviews with Tiger if you really want to see an "amateur" at work.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Dig - never, ever wanted my post to come off as a "gotcha". If it came out that way...mea culpa.

rob
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commentermainuh
Ol Harv,

Other than the crane being misidentified by Trey Holland as a Temporary Immovable Obstruction rather than a Movable Obstruction at the '94 U.S. Open and an LPGA official at the '09 Kraft Nabisco having a player play from a wrong place on the 18th hole, I can't recall any other bad rulings being given by a Tournament Official. I would be curious of others of which you are familiar.

The Dustin Johnson issue was ultimately his fault for not reading the Notice to Competitors or the postings in the locker room.

I know that some of the PGA Tour officials are previous Tour players (White and Pruitt) but many others were just very good amateur golfers. As far as their ability to deal with big egos, I believe it has less to do their handicap and more about personality, familiarity and style.
Personally I don't think that knowledge and application of the Rules has anything to do with the level of the playing ability of the player or the playing credentials of the official.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
Mainuh--No it didn't--I really was zapped, and was not surprised when I was corrected. No harm no foul- I can see by this that it is a mistake for the USGA to not have a Pro on the committee BUT- sadly I see ''self serving'' as a large problem.

Anyway, welcome anytime, and if i need correcting (oter than typos, consider them a challenge) then by all menans, correct me. I cna see I am losing it, so I will say Aloha.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
OP, Really. Did you happen to see any of the US Opens in the past? Does Shinnecock bring back memories when a certain green was unplayable? Or Pebble Beach? Those courses were set up by AMATEURS, not Tour Officials. Wouldn't have happened on the PGA Tour. They don't manipulate the golf courses like the USGA.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv

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