FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- I have been on the "ban the ban" bandwagon, as you all know from day one. I have included the links to my first few blogs if you care to read again.
• Common Sense: A Simple Solution to the Anchored Putter Debate that is Fair to All
• Long Putter / Anchored Putter Debate...My View by Jim Grundberg - Owner
SeeMore Putter Company
While many golfers sat silent in the early days of the USGA's planned period to listen to input, there has been a wave of opinions lately which seem destined to help the USGA and R&A make the right decision on this one. The right outcome now is clearly for the USGA and R&A to simply drop the proposal to limit the use of anchored putting, and move on.
While I appreciate the opinions of those behind the original proposal, as there may have been a time that this decision would have been seen as a really good one and could have been easily implemented (40 years ago), there was never the burning issue at this time where those in favor of a ban (non anchored traditionalists) could justify the unfair ramifications a ban would bring to those that it would impact the most. Golfers having won fair and square using anchored strokes at all levels are at risk of having their achievements questioned. The only way to make sure this never happens is to drop the ban. Golfers using the anchored stroke have spent thousands of hours of practice making themselves the best they can be. Those hours can never be replaced. The only way to arrive at a fair resolution is to drop the proposed ban. And golfers that have used anchored putters at all levels have never been proven to be able to rise above their non anchoring peers at any level in terms of statistically proven performance. So dropping the ban puts nobody in any field at an unfair advantage or disadvantage.
By dropping the proposed ban now, the USGA and R&A have so much to gain. They tried to do what they thought was the right thing, which is to be admired. But they also left open a 100-day period for input from various organizations and the golfing public, which again is to be admired. They could have slammed the door shut, but they said they were open to new ideas, different ideas, and outside perspectives. They have now heard from nearly every important organization in golf, including the PGA of America, the PGA Tour (not officially yet), the National Golf Course Owners association, and thousands of very prominent golfers that this ban is not necessary, not fair, not in the best interests of the game.
By listening to these various interest groups, and doing the right thing by dropping the ban, everyone wins. Those most threatened by the ban win. Those who don't anchor but love the game win, because we avoid a terrible situation of possible legal action and reputation bashing. Golf wins because it can move forward and pursue its goals of becoming more inclusive, not less inclusive. The PGA Tour wins because some great members and champions are able to start focusing on their golf games and not worry about being bullied and threatened (Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Bernhard Langer come to mind). And the USGA and R&A win, because changing one's mind based on input and information that one may not have actually considered is the ultimate in leadership. Three cheers for the USGA when they finally do the right thing.
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Jim Grundberg / Ted Gallina