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"The 12th Condition of Competition could be golf’s great compromise."

PGA of America President Ted Bishop expands on the "12th Condition of Competition" idea he talked about on last week's State of the Game podcast where the USGA and R&A would adopt this to allow for anchoring say, on the Champions Tour. Or in the Former Yippers Open.

He says the idea came from current USGA President Glen Nager during a buddies bonding trip at Augusta. Warms your heart, I know!

If the USGA would drop the proposed Rule 14-1b and instead, make the ban on anchoring a Condition of Competition in the Rule Book, all entities in golf could handle it the way they want. Rule 33-1 provides, “The Committee must establish conditions under which a competition is to be played.”

Currently, there are eleven (11) Conditions of Competition in the Rules of Golf. These conditions include matters which are not appropriate to deal with in the rules of the game. They include such matters as Specification of Clubs and the Ball; Caddies; Pace of Play and Suspension of Play; Practice, Advice, Anti-Doping, etc. These Conditions of Competition are options available to any entity who is conducting an event.

And why is the idea, a seemingly good one in many respects, dead on arrival?

Is a 12th Condition of Competition a perfect solution? Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Tim Clark, Adam Scott and Carl Petterson will say no. At least, they would get to anchor their long putters in all but maybe three events each year- the U.S. Open, the British Open and maybe The Masters.

That's the killer. If onef ot eh four majors already telegraphs that they wouldn't be on board, it's impossible for the governing bodies go through with this, no?

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Reader Comments (25)

I hope Ted Bishop's got a good lawyer. Methinks he's gonna need it!
In all reality, the rule is about tour pros winning the Opens with anchored putters.
This would allow the dandruff wearers to keep that from happening in "their" tournaments
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHMMM
I don't have any problem whatsoever with Bishop's proposal. Assuming it were put into play, in the long run it think the USGA and R&A would be the ones who look bad for insisting that their tournaments be contested under a different set of rules from the other 2 majors and golf in general.

c&c, why would Bishop need a lawyer?
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
And on the 12th day, he he didn't -he made up commandments as he went- no wait, that's not it either-- ahhh, on the 12th day, he said, aren't there only 7 days?

And it was good.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
If this is a decision for the general good of the game it makes no sense to put it somewhere where everyone can conveniently ignore it
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
"Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Tim Clark, Adam Scott and Carl Petterson will say no."

Only because they can't pronate their arms. Not all of us were born with the ability to pronate.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterhighside
Two majors, Del? You're assuming the Masters will buckle?
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
@ DTF ... because it makes Nager look like he's not singing from the same hymn sheet as the organisation he's supposed to be presiding over!

Besides which, making anchoring a Condition of Competition would effectively bifurcate the game. Isn't that what the governing bodies are trying to avoid?
My head is starting to hurt...again.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Hair of the dog, Bobby.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Ryan: <<If this is a decision for the general good of the game it makes no sense to put it somewhere where everyone can conveniently ignore it >>

It only makes no sense to everyone involved in the game BUT the few who run it. For those few, it allows all to proceed and the money to keep flowing while the great unwashed slide into forgetfulness, which in our time, takes but 15 minutes (or less...).
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
I just read the whole article. I agree with the idea of CoC instead of rule 14-1.

The argument would have read even better if he would have left out the second to last paragraph quoted above.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
I can't imagine Nager actually said that. He's too smart to say something against the organization that he's the head of.

Making it a Conditions of Comp is a bad idea in my opinion.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTy's Ties
Let each organization determine its own rules of competition. I the Tour allows anchored putters, so be it. If USGA says no anchored putters in its competitions, ok. Same with the PGA. What's the big deal? As long as competitors, professional or amateur, know the rules in a reasonable time prior to game time they can decide if they want to enter or not. I don't see any sucessful lawsuits, as long as the rules are non-discriminatory.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
Highside: Only Clark was born without the ability to pronate, and he chips just fine BTW and played good at NC State with a short putter.

C'mon, lets just end this already. Ban the belly, and grandfather "above the shoulders" anchoring...or something. The belly to me is NOT a different putting looks the same as a regular putter-style to non-expert observers. The extra part is a mechanical joint plain and simple. The broomstick is another can of worms.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Golf, like the rest of the world,needs a benevolent dictator.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
What about zoysia?

I can't pronate on zoysia.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterhighside
Ban zoysia, I guess.

But first make sure there is a comment period.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
c&c, if he's telling the truth why would there be a problem? Don't know if you listened to Bishop's interview with Geoff and Rod Morri but Bishop made a good impression and came across as entirely credible. I'm hard pressed to believe he would just make up something like that and run with this what you are suggesting he did?
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
How would this condition of competition bifurcate the game more than say the "one ball rule"?
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHMMM
DTF ... I've no reason to doubt that Bishop had such a coversation with Nager. I'm just surprised that Nager would say anything that could in any way raise the potential for controversy and muddy the waters. Indeed, one has to wonder if a) Nager was speaking on behalf of the USGA and b) if he wasn't, then perhaps he has some serious explaining to do not only to his colleagues at the USGA but to the R&A too.
@HMMM ... because this particular Condition would not be based on any existing rule whereas with eg the one ball rule, it does.
c&c, I suppose Nager was operating under the false premise that what happens at Augusta National stays at Augusta National ;0) Problem is the discussion took place on the plane ride over so the Augusta National rules were not yet in force!

All joking aside, since it was a gathering of the top people at the USGA and the PGA of America, and Nager is President of the USGA, I'm hard pressed to imagine who else other than the USGA that Nager might be speaking for.

Some other interesting things in that article by Bishop...

Who flies from Atlanta to Augusta? Unless that is they have a NetJets share at their disposal ;)

Arnold invokes the Because Thesis as he is unable to explain the dichotomy between his positions on the illegal driver and the anchored putter.

After re-reading the column times a couple Bishop really did put Glen Nager on the spot there...
04.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I'm still waiting for a good explanation of why bifurcation is such a bad idea.
04.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenterringer
Tell you what ringer ... why don't you tell us why bifurcation would be good for the game?

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