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For the Good of Whose Game?

news USGA

For the Good of Whose Game?

The golf world is abuzz with the aftermath of the Anchor Ban 2016. With this great debate, comes those that are actually most affected by this - the PROS. The USGA's tagline is, "For the Good of the Game". We can't help but wonder, for the good of whose game?

Here's an article from BleacherReport.com, written by Michael Fitzpatrick on May 28, 2013 

A group of nine golfers, including Tim Clark, Masters champion Adam Scott and Carl Pettersson, have joined together to begin exploring legal options against the USGA, R&A and potentially the PGA Tour, depending upon whether the tour decides to go along with the USGA and R&A or bifurcate for the first time in modern history.

“We do have legal counsel,” Tim Clark said, according to Golfweek. “We’re going to explore our options. We’re not going to just roll over and accept this.”

Clark and the others will be represented by Boston-based attorney Harry Manion, who specializes in complex civil and white collar criminal litigation throughout the United States. Manion currently represents several professional athletes, owners of professional sports teams and numerous CEOs and board chairmen.

This group of nine, with the help of Manion, will likely fight this anchored putting ban tooth and nail in the coming years.

It’s also possible, if enough members of the PGA Tour are adamantly against banning anchored putting strokes, that the PGA Tour could bifurcate and continue to allow anchored putting strokes at Tour events.

However, no matter how hard the group of nine and the PGA Tour resist the implementation of rule 14-1b over the coming weeks, months and years, this battle is essentially over.

Outside of the players, bifurcation could also unleash a PR nightmare for the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour would be the only major professional golf tour to allow anchored putting strokes, which would beg the question: Does the PGA Tour contain players who can only perform at a high level through the use of anchored putters, while the rest of the golf world has gone on and implemented rule 14-1b? 

Is the PGA Tour more concerned with protecting a few of their younger stars than doing what is in the best interest of the game by continuing to play under one set of rules?

Should the PGA Tour decide to bifurcate, the backlash could be considerable against not only the players but also the tour itself.

In the grand scheme of things, players' legal action and the PGA Tour deciding whether to bifurcate will have very little impact on the end result.

The R&A and USGA have officially changed the Rules of Golf or really just further defined what a “stroke” is within the Rules of Golf, and this rule in here to stay.

Should the PGA Tour decide to bifurcate, you may see a very small percentage of players throw away the majors and decide to use an anchored putting stroke anyway, and you may see this go on for five or even 10 years.

But between 75 percent of the majors banning anchored putting strokes, virtually every professional golf organization around the world also banning putting anchored putting strokes and anchored putting strokes completely banned from the amateur game, in the next 10 to 15 years, anchored putting will be a thing of the past, whether the PGA Tour decides to bifurcate or not.

It is easy to understand why players such as Clark, Pettersson and Scott are so concerned with rule 14-1b, as it could potentially impact their ability to perform on the PGA Tour and earn the type of living they have become accustomed to over the years.

Not to sound overly harsh, but that’s life.

This is by no means the first, nor will it be the last, time that golf’s main governing bodies—the USGA and the R&A—have modified the Rules of Golf based on what they feel is in the best interest of the game.

Read entire BleacherReport.com article online here.



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