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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 130
IFIT was a kid at a school disco, the PGA Tour would be that geeky teen in the corner with braces. You know, one step forward, two steps back. Every time we dare think to ourselves the powers who run this great game are finally getting it, they lay down another stinker that reinforces the old perception that golf is a game for boring old men, run by boring old men. These guys just love to ban things. Shorts? Ban them. Long putters? Ban them. Handing freebies out to adoring fans? Definitely ban that. The latest embargo dished out by the PGA Tour affects one of the more popular events of the year outside the majors — the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Why is this tournament so popular with fans and players alike? It's the one with the famed 'party hole' 16th. It's one hole out of the thousands played around the world where professionals have to take on the challenge of a tricky par-3 with shouting fans cheering and jeering them along the way. It's the one where players and spectators interact as golf stars gift hundreds of goodies into the hands of awe-struck fandom. But according to the PGA Tour, that kind of interaction is now a big 'no-no'. Officially, players have been prohibited from throwing anything into the crowd at this week's event "for fan safety reasons". Seriously, at times the PGA Tour could be considered the sporting equivalent of North Korea, a moving feast of changeable rules that when broken are dealt with both harshly and swiftly, and almost entirely in secrecy. The motto of the Tour seems to be, 'when in doubt, ban it'. But in the modern era of sporting entertainment that arrogant approach cannot stand up in the long run. Speaking of long runs, the Tour also banned the much-loved and highly entertaining caddie races at the same event in 2013. For a sport desperately lacking the fun element so many others celebrate and encourage, this latest ban only highlights how ours often chooses to remain in the Dark Ages. Of course, the PGA Tour is likely acting on the advice of exceedingly cautious lawyers (and the Yanks hardly help themselves out by being the world's most litigious society). But surely we can find a way to keep the enjoyment in the game without banning interesting and fun ideas. Common sense needs to prevail here before golf loses a whole generation (and the ones to follow) simply because the old guys refuse to get with the times. Without the party hole, there is no Phoenix Open. We've had a taste of it and clearly liked what we tasted. PGA Tour, please put the fun back on the menu. Golfers with a personality have been starved for far too long. OTG FLIP IT & RIP IT. TM Introducing our first-ever front-to-back FLIPZONETM adjustable weight technology. Flip the weight forward for a penetrating ball flight that generates more roll. Or, flip it back for a towering flight path and carry those hazards that used to get in your head. Its two settings deliver the perfect distance and trajectory for your swing. GAME CHANGED Find which setting is right for your game at cobragolf.com.au/fly-z the VIEW GET OFF THE BAN WAGON "The Tour's desire to ban anything slightly different strengthens the perception this is a backward sport run by boring, old men." with Damian Shutie OTG Editor-in-chief
OTG Express 129
OTG Express 131