USGA and R&A Ban Anchored Putting

Freak’n Finally…the USGA and R&A banned anchored putting. It’s about time. Should’ve been done 30 years ago. The ban starts January 1, 2016. 2016! Give me a break. What the hell. Just ban it effectively immediately, or at least by end of the year.

Will this move become a trend?

Will the USGA and R&A now have the balls to ban the modern ball?

Santa Rosa, California

A couple different articles I read this morning. Lot’s of opinions and upset people.
More of the “good for the game” comments… :unamused: … s-and-more … ing-stroke

Would be nice if Nager could actually walk his talk here…and I agree with Adam Scott that there are much bigger issues to be dealing with than just the ban of the long putter.

It’s a small step in the right direction.

Seems to be an explosion in the golf press. Today I saw interviews with a couple USGA, PGA, officials with varying opinions.

I have to applaud the USGA for doing this. Have I ever said anything good about the USGA on any internet post?
This is a first for me at least. I am very happy they did this… but like Langer, Senior, Jacobsen and others, I also agree with them that this should have happened a long time ago… or better yet… never been allowed.

But a step toward putting some integrity back into the game however insignificant this is… it’s positive. I am also encouraged to see them attempt to show some “teeth”. It will be interesting to see if the tour and PGA follow or decide to go with their own rules.

However… yes… however!

Why would these EXACT arguments they are using NOT APPLY to the frying pans?

A few comments I heard today.

  1. “One of the attractions people have to the game is it’s difficulty and challenge”.

why would this not apply to the frying pan drivers?

  1. “The long putters were a break from the game’s tradition”.

So are the frying pans.

  1. “We are doing this for the future of the game”.

Why not ban the frying pans?

  1. “We think we are doing the right thing”.

Wouldn’t limiting how far the ball goes off a driver be the right thing to keep the great courses relevant?

  1. “We are confident in our legal position and don’t expect legal issues”.

Suddenly they are confident after the “Ping” debacle in the 80’s? I hope they are right but doubt it. I would guess attorneys are lining up to file cases by the end of the month.

  1. “The rules of golf have constantly been changing”

I can only hope they continue to change back to sensibility.

  1. “It’s good for the game for amateurs to know the pros are playing the same game they are”.

Would this not be relevant to keep the driving distances in a much tighter tolerance?

  1. “The main reason we decided to ban the anchoring was due to the increase in the number of players using it”.

Would this not also be the case with the frying pans also… ten fold?

The frying pans have obsoleted most all classic courses if not all of them at the pro or top amateur level.
The use of long putters have not.

Both have broken with tradition.

Both have taken skill and precision out of the technique used to play. But I would argue that the frying pans have done much more damage in this area because everyone is using them.

If you still saw persimmon on tour and a handful of guys playing with frying pans. .that would be similar to most using short putters and a few using long putters, but this is not the case.

The frying pan has obsoleted persimmon because the courses have changed on tour to accommodate the longer drives with wider fairways and longer holes. This would be similar to everyone switching to long putters and the green complexes being changed to accommodate the gear. I don’t believe the courses should follow the gear changes.

They argue that the frying pans make the game easier to attract players and grow the game… but in the same breath they say the game needs to be challenging and this is what attracts players. So now they ban the long putters… why not ban both? They should ban both.

If they did ban both… then all of their arguments about integrity, preserving the values of the game etc… would be consistent with their actions. They have already admitted making a mistake by not banning this a long time ago… so why not fess up to making a mistake about the frying pans also to be consistent? It would be good for the game by their statements… and I can’t see any harm in preserving the playable integrity of the classic tracks.

Its great news. Whether or not the greedy money fuelled players on the PGA tour follow suit is another thing.

Also I believe the ball is as much to blame as the frying pan.

Could you imagine the rules splitting to allow persimmon players to play off shorter tee’s? Now that would set off some sparks

I really think it is more the frying pan drivers than the ball. I don’t think the modern ball flies all that much farther than a good healthy balata. If it was the ball, then I would be hitting persimmon as long as the frying pans.

For example… last week Zack, Adam Barkow and I played out at Green Valley CC. The third hole is a solid par 5 that I had not hit in two. This round I really nailed a drive with a low draw that ran out and left me 230 into the green. I hit a 1 iron that ran up onto the front third of the green. Adam hit his frying pan 50 yards by me and played a 6 iron in from 180. He wanted to hit Zack’s Hogan Speed slot persimmon and his drive was about 10 yards behind mine. There was no way he was going to be 50 yards by me with persimmon.

The modern drivers are longer. Because longer is usually harder to be accurate at say 46 inches… they are usually heavier also. But with modern technology, they can actually get the driver much lighter at 46 inches and with the giant head… the player needs very little precision to hit it on the face. Throw in some trampoline effect off the face and you have a ball going 15 percent farther.

Capping the driver at 44 inches… and not allowing a clubface to be more than 3 inches wide and 2 inches deep would do it. No trampoline effect stuff either. Other sports have gear tolerances… it’s not just whatever someone can invent. Golf is a game… and games have rules and restrictions. It’s the limitations that make a great game… what makes it interesting. If all the chess pieces moved like the queen, it would be a boring game. The fact the king can only move 1 square at a time makes the game very interesting. Nothing wrong with scaling things back.

I applaud the USGA and R and A for what they have done… but I am disappointed they don’t apply the same logic and arguments they are using about the long putter to the frying pan drivers.

The frying pans are a bigger crutch than anchoring a long putter. Beginners can connect and hit a drive like Greg Norman did with persimmon back in the 1980’s. It trivializes the skill level he had which was really historic at the time. I watched Adam hit towering rocket like drives all day… the kind only Norman and Davis Love could hit with persimmon 25 years ago. With persimmon, Adam would be slightly longer than average at the pro level. He’s a fine young player… but I know there are guys that are hitting it 40 yards by Adam. It gets crazy at some point.

My old touring roommate Vic Wilk told me kids were hitting their drives 90 yards by him on some holes at US Open Qualifying a couple years ago. Vic is not a short hitter. The fact the USGA overlooks this… is mind boggling to me… especially when they are banning the long putter anchoring method. Like a what Langer said… there are much bigger issues at hand.

But at least they did something. It gives me a glimmer of hope. And I can’t rule out the possibility that some of the guys over at USGA and R and A do stop by here at ABS on occasion to see what some of the grass roots fundamentalists are thinking!

I agree about the drivers. Imagine major league baseball with aluminum or composite bats. Guys would be hitting 200 home runs a year. It is all about money. Club companies, corporate sponsers, TV, etc are what rule golf and make the decisions.

If people dont believe that, take note of how many times this week they talk about the fact that the USGA is so brave holding the Open at Merion because they will lose money on the event by selling less tickets than they could at another venue, etc… It is a joke. The golf business is in trouble in a lot of ways… and they are so out of touch that it is crazy to me sometimes.

My personal opinion on it is that John Daly is what brought us here. He was the first guy who was televised truly overpowering golf courses and TV took note that fans loved it and ate it up… So ultimately they are just giving joe six pack what he wants - bomb and gouge.