PGA State Of The Game Round-Up, 2013

Jason Sobel reports on the PGA of America's "State of the Game" panel discussion and it sounds like the topics were relevant. That is, if bifurcation is your thing.

Tim Finchem continues to make some intriguing comments suggesting he and the PGA Tour see no problem with situational rules for the pro game and amateur play.

"As I said the other day in San Diego, generally it's nice to think that the Rules of Golf can be the same for everybody," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "You like to think that the participants in the sport can appreciate when they look at the elite players, because they are playing by the same rules; they have an affinity to the elite players. But I don't think that gets eroded from time to time if you were to bifurcate in certain situations.

"College football is the same. Even though you only have to have one foot in, it's still the same game."

Taylor Made CEO Mark King reiterated his belief that we already have bifurcation, so why not expand it in the name of growing the game, but as several prominent voices are quoted as saying in this week's Golf World, there is no data suggesting technology has grown the game.

"It's not coming; it's here," TaylorMade CEO Mark King reiterated. "We already live in bifurcation. We already do. Nobody plays by the exact Rules of Golf on Friday afternoon with their buddies. So I think it's about time that we realize what we have, we have elite players that need a set of rules and we need to create an environment where people want to come in and enjoy this great game, whether it's one foot in the end zone or two feet, we need to create that environment for people."

Dottie Pepper wins the prize for bringing up the topic that gets most people thinking about certain equipment restrictions for professionals.

" I think one of the saddest things I've seen in the time that I've been at this level," said newly appointed PGA of America board member Dottie Pepper, "is that we are seeing places like Merion become really in the rearview mirror of championship golf and places where the game has been born and where American golf and golf worldwide have such great tradition and such great history really become that history."