Anchoring putters to be banned under rule proposed by USGA and R&A

Adam Scott
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Players such as Adam Scott who use long putters would have to re-evaluate their putting strokes under the new anchoring rule proposed by the USGA and the R&A.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Brace yourself -- just not your putter.

In a proposal that would affect major champions as well as amateurs at their local clubs, the guardians of the 600-year-old sport want to write a new rule that would outlaw a putting stroke they fear is taking too much skill out of the game.

PGA STATEMENT

"The PGA has long supported the USGA in its role of establishing the Rules of Golf governing play and equipment. We have representation on the Rules of Golf Committee and we have tremendous respect for the USGA in regard to their critical role in writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf. As our mission is to grow the game, on behalf of our 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals, we are asking them to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people's enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game." -- PGA of America President Ted Bishop

The U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club said Wednesday they are not banning the belly putter or the longer "broom-handle" putters -- only regulating the way they are used. The proposed rule would prohibit golfers at all levels from anchoring a club against their bodies while making a stroke.

The rule would not take effect until 2016.

"We believe a player should hold the club away from his body and swing it freely," USGA Executive Director Mike Davis said. "Golf is a game of skill and challenge, and we think that's an important part of it."

Three of the last five major champions, starting with Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, used a belly putter.

What concerned the governing bodies, however, was an increasing number of players who were turning to the long putters because they saw it as an advantage, not as a last resort to cure their putting woes.

"Anchored strokes have very rapidly become the preferred option for a growing number of players, and this has caused us to review these strokes and their impact on the game," R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson said. "Our conclusion is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional strokes, which with all their frailties are integral to the longstanding character of our sport."

Players could still use a broom-handle or belly putter -- as long as it not pressed against their body to create the effect of a hinge.

The R&A and USGA now offer a three-month period for open comment on the proposal before they approve it. But this already is shaping up to be a divisive issue, from industry leaders worried about the growth of golf to players who have been using these putters for years.

"Any competitive player likes to have an extra advantage," Matt Kuchar said. "I think you're going find anyone using the short putter is glad, and anyone using the belly putter or long putter is not happy."

Kuchar used a mid-length putter that rested against his left arm when he won The Players Championship. That style is OK.

Fred Couples, the 53-year-old former Masters champion, uses a belly putter, though it rests against his stomach -- it is not anchored -- and the end of the club moves freely. He was not sure if that would be allowed, and he wasn't sure golf needed such a rule anyway. Couples' argument is that if the anchored stroke was that much of an advantage, everyone would be using it.

None of the top 20 players on the PGA Tour's most reliable putting statistic used an anchored putting stroke.

"In my opinion, they haven't screwed up golf yet, and I don't think this will screw it up," Couples said. "But I feel bad for Keegan Bradley, because I'll tell you what: If they banned it tomorrow and we played a tournament, I think I'll be a better player than Keegan. And I don't think that's fair."

Bradley and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, who both use a belly putter, had said they would go along with the new rule, though they weren't happy about it. Simpson already has been working with a conventional putter. Bradley used a regular putter until he got to college.

"That doesn't take away from the last five years of hours of practice I've put in" on the belly putter, he said. "I'm going to really in the next couple of years figure out a way that's best for me to putt."

Carl Pettersson of Sweden and Tim Clark of South Africa have used broom-handle putters all their careers, and they have talked about a possible legal recourse. Neither could be reached for comment. Pettersson was in South Africa for the Nedbank Golf Challenge and did not return a phone call.

Davis said there was no concern about a lawsuit.

"We need to do what we think is right," Davis said. "And shame on us if we are scared of litigation for doing the right thing."

Even some of those who support a ban on the anchored stroke -- a group that includes Tiger Woods -- wonder what took the governing bodies so long. Such putting strokes date as far back as the 1930s, and they first gained some measure of notoriety when Orville Moody won the 1989 U.S. Senior Open with a long putter held against his chest. Paul Azinger won the 2000 Sony Open with a putter he pressed into his belly.

But the longer putters got serious attention when majors were won last year -- by Bradley at the PGA Championship, followed by Simpson at the U.S. Open. Then, Ernie Els won the British Open this year.

Adding to the attention was Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old from China who used a belly putter this month when he won the Asia-Pacific Amateur, which earned him a spot in the Masters. He will be the youngest player ever at Augusta National. Guan started using the belly putter about six months before his big win.

Even so, Dawson and Davis said the catalyst for a new rule was not who was winning tournaments, but the number of players switching to that style of putting.

Their research showed no more than 4 percent of players on the PGA Tour used the clubs for several years. It went to 6 percent in 2006, and then to 11 percent in 2011 and to 15 percent this year, with some events having as much as 25 percent of the players using the long clubs.

There was no empirical data to suggest a long putter made golf easier, and they made it clear that the proposed rule was not about performance.

"This is about defining the game and defining what is a stroke in golf," Dawson said.

Why now?

Davis said it was one thing for a few players who use a long putter because they struggled on the greens or had health issues. What changed was the spike in number of players using the putters, as well as instructors believing it was a better way to putt.

"It was this recent increase, it was this recent advocacy of players, instructors, to move toward the anchored stroke that really got us to the point where we said, `We need to act in the best interests of the game moving forward,'" Davis said. "This is all about the future of the game. It's about us defining the game, defining a stroke, clarifying a very controversial and divisive situation."

The penalty for anchoring the club would be loss of hole in match play and a two-stroke penalty in stroke play.

The PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA Tour said it would evaluate the proposed rule with its players. The PGA Tour has a mandatory players' meeting in San Diego at the end of January, which former U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost tweeted would be a lively session. Knost uses a belly putter.

The PGA of America said it was concerned that such a ban would drive people from the game.

"As our mission is to grow the game ... we are asking them to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people's enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game," PGA President Ted Bishop said.

Woods walked quickly by reporters after his pro-am round at the World Challenge, saying only, "I think it's a good one," when asked about the new rule. On Tuesday, he said using an anchored stroke takes away from nerves in the hands.

"I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling nerves," Woods said Tuesday. "And having it as a fixed point, as I was saying all year, is something that's not in the traditions of the game. We swing all other 13 clubs. I think the putter should be the same."

Jack Nicklaus recalls that croquet-style putting was banned decades ago and golf moved on. Even though far more golfers use long putters, he expects the same outcome.

"They'll all learn to adjust," Nicklaus told the Golf Channel. "Like anything else, they'll get used to it and get over it. ... We've had changes with balls, wood heads, grooves, all kinds of changes. Players have adjusted to those and they'll adjust to this."

 


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Comments

karlpeters

It doesn't matter if the shaft is 'attached to the body' either at the navel or chest or hanging loose in the hands ...the golfer must still know how to 1)read the green surface, 2) know the length of the putt, 3) determine the speed of the putt, 4) keep their eyes lined up properly and 5) keep their nerves steady ... let them use whatever type of putter they choose to use ...the shaft length of the putter is only 1/5 of the success factors of getting the ball into the hole consistently. Eliminating the long putter or belly putter will only drive more people away from the game ...which is not what the game of golf needs at this point in time. To get all these factor right it requires practice! Hours of practice to get it right. The older you get the harder it is on your back. Using a long putter keeps us old guys in the game, because with a long putter we can still put in the time on the practice green to keep us competitive. How selfish of the USGA to be thinking about taking the game away from the older generation that have been supporting golf all these years!

backroadrowdy

Its wonderful make the change I ll alway play.

Joe.christie

Richard is so correct. People have been leaving the game well before the recession, almost a decade before it. I keep a handicap (usually between 4-8) and play in a men's league (about 220 members) that has 9-11 events a year. They are not going to follow the rule for an obvious reason, people will quite playing. I'm in my early 40's and don't use a belly putter, but about a third of the members are older than me and many of them do. I buy my own clubs, so in tourneys I take the penalty if I'm on a rock or root, but that's the only time I care. Otherwise I just move the ball. I've got news for the USGA, you are making yourself irrelavent to recreational golfers, and this rule will just hassen the process. Players will either pick and choose the rules they care for (hitting out of a divot in the fairway, like this rule won't make it), or they will start buying fishing poles and bowling balls. If the USGA implement this rule I'm sure they are going to have even more people who don't care about them, and they'll see an increas in fishermen. People 50+ drive this game financially (buying equipment and greens fees) and are the one most likely to use anchored putters, so you do the math. Golf already makes you feel disappointment more than joy, then add that it makes you feel like a cheater as well. Good luck with selling that.

gkahrau

I think this is nuts. When there was square grooves, everyone used them. It was a clear advantage. If it is such an advantage, then why aren't all pros using them? It is like irons and hybrids, some hit better with one or the other. This is just sour grapes by the pros who cannot put with the long putter. You know they all have tried it. 60 years and now they want to change it. Also this will create some other arguments. I have seen a number of players using a short putter and their forearms are anchored to their bodies. Heavier players, their forearms touch their bodies. Can you picture the disputes.

littleal751

I think that the long putter should be legal to use. The last three winners won with long putters, NOW I ASK HOW MANY SHORT PUTTERS WONS DURING THE YEAR. I ALSO ASK SO NOW ARE WE GOING TO BAN - TITANIUM 460 CLUB HEADS - OR GRAPHITE SHAFTS - ALL OF WHICH HAVE AN ADVANTAGE OVER THE PAST. BIGGER SWEET SPOTS - BAN --- SO WHAT WILL BE NEXT ---

mike_230

Tom and Denny, I'm sorry but I must disagree with you regarding the definition of a stroke and ask you one question...when you anchor the long or belly putter, after you pull it back, what would happen to the club if you let go of it with your bottom hand? Answer, it would swing by itself and if contacting a ball, hit it pretty straight. That is not a stroke, it is a hinged system of motion. If you let go of your bottom hand when the club is not anchored, it wouldn't swing on its own but would have to be controlled by the other hand.

kdd1001

Guess the advantage factor figures on the size of your belly. In any case, good for PGA tour players and yes, they will adjust to the traditional way the game is played but stupid rule for amateurs who continue to struggle to break 100. Rules need to be simplified for amateurs in any case. PGA Tour golf and amateur golf are two different games.

kdd1001

Guess the advantage factor figures on the size of your belly. In any case, good for PGA tour players and yes, they will adjust to the traditional way the game is played but stupid rule for amateurs who continue to struggle to break 100. Rules need to be simplified for amateurs in any case. PGA Tour golf and amateur golf are two different games.

kdd1001

Guess the advantage factor figures on the size of your belly. In any case, good for PGA tour players and yes, they will adjust to the traditional way the game is played but stupid rule for amateurs who continue to struggle to break 100. Rules need to be simplified for amateurs in any case. PGA Tour golf and amateur golf are two different games.

kdd1001

Guess the advantage factor figures on the size of your belly. In any case, good for PGA tour players and yes, they will adjust to the traditional way the game is played but stupid rule for amateurs who continue to struggle to break 100. Rules need to be simplified for amateurs in any case. PGA Tour golf and amateur golf are two different games.

kdd1001

Guess the advantage factor figures on the size of your belly. In any case, good for PGA tour players and yes, they will adjust to the traditional way the game is played but stupid rule for amateurs who continue to struggle to break 100. Rules need to be simplified for amateurs in any case. PGA Tour golf and amateur golf are two different games.

hwparrish

I think it's a great idea to still allow the use of the long putter but amend the rules to restrict anchoring to your body. I think it is very fair to allow one to use a pendulum but not use their body as a fulcrum.

tjoyceadvisor

C’mon man! Why after so many years does the USGA and the R&A feel the need to make this change? They are now making it a disadvantage for those of us who have used the long putter for so many years to struggle through learning process of a different putter. While they are at it, maybe they should make some other changes in the game for those traditionalist. Just to name a few; Let’s get rid of the caddie, so now fatigue can be part of the game. Maybe we should go back to the small headed wood driver with the steel shaft or hickory shaft. Also, let’s not forget the lawnmower and the improvements it has made to putting and the greens consistency and speeds. Why didn’t they attack this putting improvement or change. Some people putt better on greens that roll at speeds of an 8 than a 12. This list can go on and on based on the technological changes in just the last 30 years. I think the USGA and the R&A should preserve the game but C’mon man, this has be OK for 80 years.

tjoyceadvisor

C’mon man! Why after so many years does the USGA and the R&A feel the need to make this change? They are now making it a disadvantage for those of us who have used the long putter for so many years to struggle through learning process of a different putter. While they are at it, maybe they should make some other changes in the game for those traditionalist. Just to name a few; Let’s get rid of the caddie, so now fatigue can be part of the game. Maybe we should go back to the small headed wood driver with the steel shaft or hickory shaft. Also, let’s not forget the lawnmower and the improvements it has made to putting and the greens consistency and speeds. Why didn’t they attack this putting improvement or change. Some people putt better on greens that roll at speeds of an 8 than a 12. This list can go on and on based on the technological changes in just the last 30 years. I think the USGA and the R&A should preserve the game but C’mon man, this has be OK for 80 years.

dmmattas

Banning anchored putters is a mistake for the game. You still have to make a good stroke. I think the only reason they are considering this is because people using them are winning tournaments. Of course they will, more people are using the, therefore the odds are some will win. If it is so easy and so much better then all of the pros should use it. What will they do next, ban hybrids, they also make it easier to hit the ball. I am 62 years old and don't use a long putter or a belly putter, however I believe they will hurt the game for younger players by doing this.

mike_230

As a PGA member this letter representing our membership and association is beyond embarrassing. First, to take a negative position and claim it to be representative of the membership based on an email survey that only 16% of the membership participated in is a stretch to say the least.
Second, to say they disagree with this ruling based on the fact that it might hinder some golfers enjoyment of the game is completely ludicrous and downright adolescent. Mike Davis must have been shaking his head at that reasoning and luckily, he paid no mind to it. If rules decisions were based on Mr. Bishop's reasoning why not allow everyone to tee it up in the fairway, smooth the bunkers, allow mulligans, and give a gimme to every three footer. This response to a very hard decision by the USGA is very uncharacteristic of our association's traditions and character and completely juvenile by nature.
Thirdly, if we, as an association, are going to disagree with the USGA and R&A about a decision they contemplated for months, the reasons for that disagreement have to be based on the intricacies of the ruling, not because of some irrelevant ideology. The statement doesn't spend one word addressing the basis of the decision, to define and preserve the nature of a stroke. What is the PGA of America's position on what should constitute a stroke, or does it not matter so long as the game gets easier and more people play? It is more and more recognizable that the PGA cares less and less about the "game of golf" and more and more only about the "business of golf."

txpfc

For pete's sake! Dave Pelz has said for YEARS that he tests everyone, pros, amateurs, recreational golfers, pretty much anyone he can with belly, long, crosshand and conventional putting and he says ALL, with almost no exceptions, putt short putts substantially better with an anchored putter! He has recommend for years that most golfers at all levels would benefit from carring 2 putters, conventional for long putts and anchored for short! Pressure doesn't get you on a 20 footer, it does on 4, 3, or 2 footers! Yes sometimes people with an anchored putter miss from 2 feet, but they'd miss more with a conventional putter. Bob Toski said over a decade ago that one day someone would use an anchored putter from childhood and would arrive on the Tour and make everything, without this rule it would happen. I feel for those who have invested so much time using the anchored style. I do believe that eventually anchored style would close the gap between all skill levels. And none who love this game are going to leave because they can't hug their putters! Again unless you're a pro or playing in some "high" level competition, what the heck, use whatever style you wish, kick it in the hole! Did you take in "gimmes" in you last round? Did you hit a mulligan? Move your ball off rock, without penalty? Then anchor your putter, you've already cheated!

txpfc

For pete's sake! Dave Pelz has said for YEARS that he tests everyone, pros, amateurs, recreational golfers, pretty much anyone he can with belly, long, crosshand and conventional putting and he says ALL, with almost no exceptions, putt short putts substantially better with an anchored putter! He has recommend for years that most golfers at all levels would benefit from carring 2 putters, conventional for long putts and anchored for short! Pressure doesn't get you on a 20 footer, it does on 4, 3, or 2 footers! Yes sometimes people with an anchored putter miss from 2 feet, but they'd miss more with a conventional putter. Bob Toski said over a decade ago that one day someone would use an anchored putter from childhood and would arrive on the Tour and make everything, without this rule it would happen. I feel for those who have invested so much time using the anchored style. I do believe that eventually anchored style would close the gap between all skill levels. And none who love this game are going to leave because they can't hug their putters! Again unless you're a pro or playing in some "high" level competition, what the heck, use whatever style you wish, kick it in the hole! Did you take in "gimmes" in you last round? Did you hit a mulligan? Move your ball off rock, without penalty? Then anchor your putter, you've already cheated!

randy.hacker

While they're at it, take away hybrid clubs too. For the pros. For recreational golfers just leave it as is. We'll never be on the Tour and for the most part need a little "help" from time to time. I would love to see what the current pros would do with a set of Wilson Staff irons with the old Tour Blade, a set of persimmon woods and a 100 compression Titleist with a balata cover. Break Jack or Arnold's records with the same clubs they used and I'll call you the greatest golfer in history. And, just to be blunt.....Pros.....quit whinin'. Use your skills to make the tools do the work.....don't design the tools to do your work for you. Keep the game pure the way it was intended from the beginning. And yes, that's my real last name and...when it comes to golf at this point in my life...it fits.

randy.hacker

While they're at it, take away hybrid clubs too. For the pros. For recreational golfers just leave it as is. We'll never be on the Tour and for the most part need a little "help" from time to time. I would love to see what the current pros would do with a set of Wilson Staff irons with the old Tour Blade, a set of persimmon woods and a 100 compression Titleist with a balata cover. Break Jack or Arnold's records with the same clubs they used and I'll call you the greatest golfer in history. And, just to be blunt.....Pros.....quit whinin'. Use your skills to make the tools do the work.....don't design the tools to do your work for you. Keep the game pure the way it was intended from the beginning. And yes, that's my real last name and...when it comes to golf at this point in my life...it fits.

randy.hacker

While they're at it, take away hybrid clubs too. For the pros. For recreational golfers just leave it as is. We'll never be on the Tour and for the most part need a little "help" from time to time. I would love to see what the current pros would do with a set of Wilson Staff irons with the old Tour Blade, a set of persimmon woods and a 100 compression Titleist with a balata cover. Break Jack or Arnold's records with the same clubs they used and I'll call you the greatest golfer in history. And, just to be blunt.....Pros.....quit whinin'. Use your skills to make the tools do the work.....don't design the tools to do your work for you. Keep the game pure the way it was intended from the beginning. And yes, that's my real last name and...when it comes to golf at this point in my life...it fits.

jgallagher_1

To Joe Smith: "You can't be serious." Short putts are easier with anchoring under stressful circumstances? Did you watch the British Open and Adam Scott (pictured at the top of this article) literally collapsing after missing a "short putt under stressful circumstances?"

For God's sake, why does this rule have to apply at the USGA & R&A level? Why can't it (anchoring) be restricted solely by professional organizations and amateur organizations as they see fit?

I live in Arizona where, if we played all courses under strict rules of golf the round would take seven hours with the need to go back to the tee when a ball is lost in the desert terrain on a tee shot (or provisional tee shot). Instead, local rules are used to play the desert as a lateral hazard whether marked with red or not.

If this goes through as planned, I hope that every local course in my area prominently posts a "local rule" sign on their property and on their websites and scorecards that says anchoring is welcome at their course without penalty under their own local rule.

Bob, Richard and Mel, you also make valid points. Ultimately, the USGA and R&A are just full of themselves.

mdmaag7

People are leaving the game mostly because we are in a recession and golf is an expensive sport and becoming more expensive every year. Not because of people using long putters vs. short putters.

mdmaag7

It's about time! A swing is a swing and it should be with every club in the bag.

thurman.norville

I use a longer putter because I have a bad back. I also have a total shoulder replacement. I love the game. My club head speed is really slow...50..Now with all the physical limitations I still enjoy the game, I love to watch the pros and I really enjoy sharing a round with friends. I don't anchor the putter. I let the longer putter swing freely. If I develop Parkinson's I might need to anchor the club to help prevent the tremors from totally disrupting hitting the ball. So, I agree with gentleman who indicated some might leave the sport because of this rule. When people leave the sport, then the revenues will begin to decline because of disinterest. Then a purse will not be as large. Some athletes will go to other sports. The game is not going to be destroyed by an anchored putter. So, go to one ball with one compression factor, go back to wooden drivers, no magnets, no beta blockers, no steroids, no beer, one ticket price for all pro events, no distance gadgets, no sun glasses...the list goes on and on...Play, golf fun...take a mulligan...a do over...some are always going to kick the ball out the rough....just have fun...life is too short...100 years from now....all new people...

melthaler

I have used long putter for over 20 years. I no longer enter it to my body and putt with a conventional grip I use it only to help me not break down my wrists during putting. Is this going to be considered an illegal action? I recently played golf with a very short heavyset man who use the conventional putter but because of his girth the putter was jammed into his stomach by necessity is this an illegal putting stroke and will he be forced to lose weight?

melthaler

I have used long putter for over 20 years. I no longer enter it to my body and putt with a conventional grip I use it only to help me not break down my wrists during putting. Is this going to be considered an illegal action? I recently played golf with a very short heavyset man who use the conventional putter but because of his girth the putter was jammed into his stomach by necessity is this an illegal putting stroke and will he be forced to lose weight?

melthaler

I have used long putter for over 20 years. I no longer enter it to my body and putt with a conventional grip I use it only to help me not break down my wrists during putting. Is this going to be considered an illegal action? I recently played golf with a very short heavyset man who use the conventional putter but because of his girth the putter was jammed into his stomach by necessity is this an illegal putting stroke and will he be forced to lose weight?

txpfc

Get over it! Everyone knows anchoring makes it easier to make short putts, especially under stressful circumstances. The only reason "everyone" isn't using anchored putters today is that 1) they haven't been used by many top pros and only for a relatively short time. 2) there's has and is to a certain extent a stigma attached (users have the yips). Anchored putters shouldn't be legal. Actually I'd put a restriction on the length of putters, there's a restriction on the length of all other clubs. Recreational golfer can and do what they want. They take mulligans, they move their ball off rocky areas, they pick up sticks from behind there ball even if the ball moves. I play in a men's golf association that let you rake and place your ball in a trap! If this is "cheating", which it is, why would it bother anyone to anchor their putter? Recreational golfer play scrambles, shambles, preferred lies and other concocted games that are not "USGA or R&A recognized, why can't these recreational golfer and golf events just have a local rule allowing the anchored putter? All the angst I here sounds like whining. Yes if I used an anchored putter and I was "good" with it I'd be as upset as Keegan, but I'd get to the putting green and get to work on something new! Have you never made a swing change? Have you never bought a new club and had to learn to use it? Get over it, it IS better for the game in the long run. Oh yeah, I might even consult a PGA Pro for help with an alternative method or even a new weapon!

bigdashfan

Golfers fall into 3 categories: Pro, Am, and Rec. This is where everyone (media and governing bodies are missing the boat). I am a recreational golfer. I dont play in events for money (Pro) and I dont play in events governed by a sactioning body where a trophy and title with no money is handed out (Am). I play recrerationally about 25-30 times a year.

People are leaving the game in droves due to cost and pace of play, but the droves that are leaving are the recreational golfers, not Pros or Ams. I dont use an anchored stoke, but a lot do for the enjoyment of the game. Do you get what I just wrote "game", not "competition" or "job". With this ruling, a Rec golfer is not going to want to be labeled by his foursome as a cheater, so there is a high degree of likelihood of him leaving the game because its no longer enjoyable. How many people will no longer play charity scrambles? The tentacles to this, I could go on and on, but this is one instance where protecting the integrity of the 'game' went off the tracks and is going to contribute to losses on a lot of levels.

rschroeder

Sam Snead used croquet style putting, and a year later it was banned. He modified his putting stance to conform with the rules and started side putting. They now have banned anchoring, but not the long putters. Players will find a way adapt their putting style and still be using the long putter, possibly similar to Matt Kuchar's style.

What really needs banning are todays drivers and balls. In the 70's and 80's a 280 yard drive was great. Now that drive would be near the bottom for a pro. Sure players are bigger, stronger, and faster. But drives from 280 to 350 yards and more?? Then we had 6800 yard courses, while today they are 7500 yards. When is too far going to be controlled?? Too many great courses are now obsolete due to the increased ball distance. The USGA and R&A need to look to protect golf courses.

Rules for amateurs do not have to conform to the rules for professionals. Let the amateurs have the modern equipment, they are not close to breaking par.