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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)

I like Garrigus and his willingness to speak with the press. Refreshing to hear a player come out with more than just the same old same old. I just disagree with his position. An anchored putter does not result in a stroke. If anywhere, it is at the pro level that a stroke should be protected. Bifurcate and let the amateur enjoy, but keep the integrity of the game pure during its most competitive and demanding tests.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered Commentermeefer
Ol Harv,

Yes, really. However it looks like you're talking about apples and I'm talking about oranges. I'm talking about Rules and their application and you're talking about golf courses and their set-up.

When it comes to Shinnecock and Pebble, no one can control the wind at a seaside course. And if you remember, the weather was brutal at the '04 and the '92 US Opens. But what about Beth Page and Torrey Pines? Would you say fair but challenging?

As far as bad USGA course set-up, I will give you number 16 at Olympic on the final day last year. There was also a bad hole location, again I'm thinking it was Olympic in '98. (Payne Stewart putted his ball up a steep incline and it ended up back at his feet.)

Let me ask you about the courses that the Pros have complained about that the USGA did not set up; Dove Mountain, Kapalua, Carnoustie and any Pete Dye course ( including Sawgrass) that they play.
02.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
Aye, thank you for making my point for me OP. Carnoustie, set up by AMATEURS and a green keeper. I'm confused by the other courses you list? Are you saying that Sawgrass is not a championship course, and besides, have never heard of an issue with the set-up. The others might be poor courses, but that has nothing to do with course set-up. Think about it again and I'm sure you'll admit at the least Garrigus makes a valid argument.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
ol Harv....the PGA tour set-ups are vanilla and they go to the same courses over and over every year. Going to a new course every year is a whole lot different than using the same course (for each event) over and over. I spent 4 years working a tour event and the tour gave us a very generic list of set-up criteria and then came in about 2 week prior just to do some last minute changes. 90% of the ser-up for a regular tour event is done by the club...not the tour.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
This is the two ways I play and tremendously enjoy golf: (1) Non-seriously played and (2) seriously played:

(1) Non-seriously played: One mulligan per nine or more if you like; really I as many as I like ... but I never slow down the pace of play as I hate slow play, but not slow players.) Actually the more mulli's I take, the better I play -- a good thing. If I'm behind a tree, don't like my lie, or something like that, I'll improve my lie, etc. Nothing too egregious, just anything I allow myself to do--which is anything, really. I give myself all reasonable length putts and those of my playing partners. Reasonable length in this case being whatever I say it is. I applaud good shots, encourage others, never give golf tips to others without them asking, replace/sand my divots, walk the course, etc. Yep, I go out to have fun when i play like this. And it is fun; that's why I play this way. I try to practice as much as possible when I play.

(2) Seriously played: When I play golf with others who are sticklers for rules, etc. -- meaning, they play for money, aren't very good and try to gain an edge however they can -- I play straight up. No breaking of any rules, etc. I'm a good enough player to hit in the 70s on most courses I play on (remember, I practice a lot) so I win some, lose some but always have fun. Why? Because golf is great fun if not taken so seriously. To me, it's not life; it's but a game to be played for fun. I play this way 4-5 times per year and it's fun to play this way but I couldn't do it every time I play. Too boring. Too detailed. Too "ugh".

But if you play with me, I'll play whichever way makes you feel more comfortable and contributes to you having a good round/pleasant time on the course. I usually play with the same groups of guys and they don't care how any one else plays. We just enjoy each others' company. I love golf. I don't watch too much pro golf on TV and don't care one way or another about illegal this or legal that per golf clubs or balls.

I think I respect the game (whatever that means, I guess). I play quickly. I rake bunkers. I don't hit into others. I never take my golf game personally (if I play well that day, I play well that day and am thankful for it ... If not, then that's okay as well; I'll get 'em next time. I buy my clubs and balls etc. from the pro shop on the muni's, resorts, and/or country clubs I play at. I play with my family as well and am thankful they enjoy the game as well. I just don't let others tell me how to enjoy my time spent playing golf. I don't care a whit what the USGA and R&A say about this that or the other. The game would still be around if the USGA and R&A were to altogether vanish tomorrow. I'd still go out and play and have fun.

So let all others speak to this and that. I'm going to go play golf now. I may play 9 or 18 or I may just go sit around the clubhouse and drink sweet tea and watch others come in from the course. We'll see, I suppose. Wish me luck. I've enjoyed golf for 70+ years and hope to die on the course (after hitting a hole in one, of course ... never had one btw - ha!). Let the golf meddlers do as they wish, just go out and play and have fun with it.

Cheers!
Ol Harv,

Carnoustie, oops.

When it comes to Garrigus, I do not think I'll change my mind.

One more point I thought about after reading Steve's post. The goals of theTour and the USGA regarding course set-up are completely different. The Tour wants a birdie fest. The USGA wants par.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPgolfer
Steve, 100% of the course set-up is done by the Tour staff, just like 100% of the course set-up at a USGA event is done by their staff. And as far as being more difficult because of not playing the event at the same course that just doesn't make sense. The point is the pro's on the field staff let the players be the stars and stay in the background, the amateurs that set-up the courses for the USGA events and Open Championship like to be the stars and like to get recognized for their hand in the "setup". I seem to remember Mr. Davis making appearance after appearance last year on GC or in the NBC booth explaining how he was going to change a par 5 into a par 4 and then on one day make it a drivable par 4 etc. That's the difference. Tour staff doesn't want to be the story. Remember the US Open last year Steve when yet again the USGA had to manipulate a hole and move a tee up 100 yards? Remember the controversy at the PGA Championship when half the players didn't read a notice hung in the locker room explaining the bunker situation at Whistling Straights? You just don't hear about stuff like that week to week.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
no old harv. it wouldnt have happened on the pga tour. because the pga tour sets courses up easy. the humana challenge presented by pizza hut isnt played the second week of june.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commentered
Hey Bobby D! how are things in Scottsdale!
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commentered
Ed, they don't set it up easy. It's the golf course they play those events on. Unlike the USGA which no matter what course the event is played on still manipulates the golf course........this is getting old.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Yes they do set it up easy harv, and this is was old when you started it . roughs are shorter, greens are slower, tees are moved up. look at Torrey, where the rough is nowhere near the height it was in 2008, the greens are slower and softer, and several back tees aren't used.

Majors are different/tougher for a reason.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd
Dallas Golfer in your 70's---

I saw a fellow die on the golf course- hit a tee shot down the middle on 18 ( a tough driving hole) and up and died. Star Flight came, but he was gone. They put him in a body bag and left him on the tee, waiting for the coroner (?) to come and ''pronounce''.

Golf continued, with everyone teeing off a front tee on 18.

He was playing in a senior weekly event, and the tournament just kept playing- I guess they expect to lose one every now and then :)

I often think about it, that body bag laying on the tee box was something you don't forget. Other than dying at home with your family, that tee shot thing was not a bad way to go.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Ed, you obviously don't really know what you are talking about. It's wet right now at Torrey, that is not the Tour Officials fault. As for the tees, where are you getting that info from? They move tees up based on the projected weather forecast, not to make the hole easier, which by the way again proves my point because the USGA is less apt to do this and where they sometimes run into trouble in the US Open(Pebbble Beach, Shinnecock, etc.....)
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
got that info from the telecast. one of the holes was a par three, so roll prob wasnt much of a factor in that decision.

seen PGA Tour officials use a member tee and cause pros to hit 3 wood, 7 iron--thats not a reaction to weather, thats easy.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commentered
Three wood seven iron is at minimum a 440 yard par 4. That is the modern ball and a golf course that can't keep up with the distance gains, again, not the fault of the field staff.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
If Robert Garrigus assembled golf shots the way he assembles coherent thoughts, he'd be scoring in the 140's at his local muny. Later on, he'd probably complain that, since the grocery store manager never bagged groceries, the guy has no right to make rules for Garrigus and his buddies.
Broadly speaking I'm on your side Harv but Bethpage did get away from the Tour officials on Saturday in the playoffs last year. On the flipside, at the 2009 US Open the USGA used a forward tee box on the par 3 eight that we've never seen in play in our daily games.
02.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
you miss the member tee part of that comment? if the tour wanted to make em hit driver, they could.
02.5.2013 | Unregistered Commentered

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