ORLANDO, Fla. -- In Arnold Palmer's most recent installment of "State of the Game," a regular column penned for GolfChannel.com that posted on the site Sunday, he draws on 80-plus years in the game to reflect on the critical rules issues now facing golf's governing bodies and the incredible charitable work being done on behalf of the game all around the world.
The column begins with Palmer's reflection on all the good done by those who play and have a passion for the game, and concludes with a wish: "Like most older players, I want to pass along to my grandkids a game that's stronger and healthier than the one I inherited. That means a game with the interwoven threads of philanthropy and integrity intact."
This is Palmer's second column for GolfChannel.com, which provides a platform for "The King" and Golf Channel's co-founder to share his views about a game that he has played professionally for more than 57 years. The "State of the Game" column represents a trailblazing voice that has influenced the game of golf since Palmer's first professional year in 1954 and one that has made him the most beloved player to ever swing a club.
PALMER ON GOLF AND CHARITY:
Palmer's current column begins by sharing a sometimes overlooked benefit of golf -- its penchant for giving.
"I marvel at golf. I've been immersed in the game now for almost 80 years, yet every day it surprises me or affects me in some new way. But the way in which the game most often surprises me -- moves me, really -- is its endless capacity for good."
"…golf's philanthropic web is wider, deeper, stronger, more committed and more resilient that any I have seen this side of the Red Cross."
He writes that charity is one of the things that unites golf organizations and everyone that plays the game, from the PGA TOUR to the local muni; from touring pros to amateurs:
"What amazes me about golf, however, is that the PGA Tour family is just the tip of golf's charitable spear. Look at the work done every day by golfers in your town, city and state. Charity scrambles, golf-a-thons, cause-related leagues, charity auctions and invitationals abound."
PALMER ON CURRENT RULES ISSUES:
Palmer's column also shares concerns about current rules debates that have reverberated around the world. The anchored-putter issue has dominated conversation from amateur to professional, alike, and more and more people are learning what the word "bifurcation" might mean to the future of golf:
"…the stage is set for something more ominous. I think we're facing a serious challenge to the Rules that govern the global game. My concern is that the fabric that unites us, the tie that binds you to me and me to Tiger and Tiger to you -- one set of Rules -- will be irreparably torn."
"In my seven-plus decades in this increasingly global game, we've had very few actual disagreements. We're facing another one right now."
"I have enormous respect for the USGA and the R&A. Both have been an important part of my life as both a competitor and a man for well over half a century. Regardless of how you or I or the Tour feel about it, the USGA is charged (along with the R&A) with the responsibility of writing the Rules by which we play. They are the final judges. I think -- I know --that they take that responsibility seriously."
"I hope that behind the scenes the USGA, the R&A, the PGA Tour and the PGA of America -- four of the central golf organizations of my life, all of which do remarkable work growing and promoting the game -- can come to some understanding and we continue to have one set of rules for everyone."
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