With 2013’s four majors in the books, we hand out our own awards.
Read the original post: 2013 Major Championships: The Best And Worst
By Tony Jimenez GULLANE, Scotland (Reuters) – Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Martin Laird of Scotland were handed one-stroke penalties for rules infractions during the third round of the British Open at Muirfield on Saturday. Open organizers the Royal & Ancient said in a news conference that world number 44 Matsuyama was punished for slow play at the par-five 17th hole. Laird, who is ranked 49th, was penalized for touching the ball with his hand at the same hole. “He hit a second shot in the rough and … …
See the original post: Matsuyama and Laird handed one-shot penalties (Reuters)
By Tony Jimenez GULLANE, Scotland, July 19 (Reuters) – British Open organisers are not expecting the rock-hard greens at sun-drenched Muirfield to be as fiery in the second round as they were over the opening 18 holes. Several players complained the putting surfaces were too speedy on Thursday and, coupled with the difficult pin positions set up by the Royal & Ancient (R&A), it made it almost impossible to get the ball close to the hole. “Last night the greens were hand watered. The sprinkler system was not used,” the R&A said in a statement during Friday’s second round. …
Read more here: Golf-Greens won’t be as fiery, Open organisers say (Reuters)
The USGA and R&A announced Tuesday morning the adoption of Rule 14-1b – the ban on anchored strokes – effective Jan 1, 2016. So as of that date, anchoring a belly putter or long putter will be against the Rules of Golf.
The decision to affirm the proposed rule – after its original unveiling last year, and following a 90-day comment period – comes despite loud opposition from both the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, and from some rank-and-file golfers. Almost all of that opposition was inside the United States, however; in territories governed by the R&A (essentially the rest of the world), opposition to the proposed anchoring ban was virtually absent.
It will be very interesting to watch the reactions of the PGA Tour and PGA of America now, and particularly to hear the reactions of professional golfers who anchor longer putters. Some of those, such as Adam Scott, have already said they’ll continue using their long putters but with a small adjustment – moving the butt end of the putter off their bodies (in other words, removing the anchor point). Others, like Ernie Els, say they’ll go back to a conventional putter. But others, such as Keegan Bradley, Carl Petterss0n and Tim Clark, have been far more vocal in opposition to the ban, even suggesting the possibility of legal action. (Nearly three months ago I wrote a commentary titled “Why the PGA Tour will ultimately go along with anchoring ban.”)
As for recreational golfers: Just keep in mind that the Rule 14-1b does not ban belly putters and long putters, only anchoring those putters. If you need a broomstick putter because of back problems, you can go right on using one – just move your top hand off your chest (eliminate the anchor point). If you anchor a belly putter to fight the yips, try bracing a belly putter against your forearm instead (the Matt Kuchar stroke, which remains legal under 14-1b).
In other words: Don’t panic. There are options, and there’ll be more coming as equipment manufacturers and golf instructors react to the rule and explore alternative means and methods. Plus, you have 2 1/2 years to continue anchoring, while experimenting with different styles of putters or putting.
When Rule 14-1b goes into effect in the 2016 Rules, it will read thusly:
14-1b Anchoring the Club
In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point.”
Note 1: The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.
Note 2: An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.
Both the USGA and R&A have sections on their websites detailing the decision to implement Rule 14-1b, and great photos and videos explaining what types of putting strokes are (and are not) affected by the new rule. See the USGA anchoring section or the R&A anchoring section.
Read more here: It’s Official: Anchoring Ban Coming to Rules of Golf
Golf programme a welcome helping hand for struggling pros
Welcome to life on the breadline of professional golf. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has never been greater and, for those leading a fairly hand- to-mouth existence, the support package provided by Team Scottish Hydro is as welcome as …
Golf: Budget reveals struggles of aspiring pros Scotsman