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Golf Australia Express : June 2013-US OPEN
wins. It’s designed to see who has the skill, brains and poise to win a tournament with the lowest possible score or win the most holes if playing match play. Skill and poise are important here. For well over a hundred years, tournament golf has weeded out players who lost their nerve in any facet of the sport. If they could no longer keep up with the elite standard then the game, without prejudice, sent them packing back to the shadows— as should happen in any sport. On the flip side, handicap golf caters for amateurs so they can still enjoy competition at any time, while keeping the integrity of golf intact. And here’s where an anchored putter can help. If you hand a 30-handicapper a belly putter, with some practice, the 42 putts a round could come down to 32. Because of this, their handicap, too, drops. Now playing off a 20 handicap, the player hasn’t gained 10 shots on the field—their handicap has been adjusted to reflect the improvement. Nett advantage on the field? Zilch. But what you’ve got instead is a happier player enjoying his or her golf a lot more. And they'll keep playing. It’s a completely different ball game to a professional using an anchored putter. The rulemakers have missed an opportunity here to isolate two very different forms of the game. And I have no doubt it’ll cost us participation in the sport. There needed to be a distinction between handicap and scratch events in the ruling—their failure to have made the distinction has failed the game in my mind. Now, how long before we see the legal Matt Kucher style putter in every pro shop? It’s never ending... OTG WHATAHUGE blunder golf’s ruling bodies have made. Just weeks after learning “anchored putting styles” would be outlawed at the start of 2016, we find out the new rule will be strictly enforced at amateur club level events, too. It’s an appalling decision and one I cannot fathom. Now before you call me a hypocrite for defending the use of long putters having previously canned their use (repeatedly), you need to understand the distinction between professional and amateur golf. Yes, I abhor the use of long putters in professional events of any kind. Banning anchoring at that level was the correct call. But where I think the USGA and R&A have missed an opportunity— and the point—is that anchored putting in handicap events actually keeps people playing the game. Using a belly or broomstick does not hinder the integrity of a handicap competition at all. How could it? Professional golf and high-end amateur comps are played ‘off the stick’—that is, best score LOOKS LIKE THE USGA AND R&A MISSED A REAL OPPORTUNITY WITH THEIR NEW ANCHORING RULE , WRITES MARK ALLEN. ANCHOR BAN A BLUNDER TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS DPS BA with Mark Allen MARCO'S MUSE RULEMAKERS HAVE MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY HERE TO ISOLATE TWO VERY DIFFERENT FORMS OF THE GAME.
July 2013 - THE OPEN