Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Dumb New Rule for a Dumb Sport

Apparently the USGA and the R&A have decided to outlaw the use of anchored putting in golf. Steve Stricker—Madison's favorite PGA son and great (conventional) putter—supports the rule change.

I don't really care about the rules of golf, but this is ridiculous. Exhibit A:

"There was no empirical data to suggest a long putter made golf easier."

In other words, every argument in favor of the ban is based on nothing but speculation and gut feelings.

So why ban the anchored long putter? Stricker says:

"Any time you can take your arms and hands out of it, especially your hands, I think when you can anchor it in your chest, (it) is a huge advantage. I'm not a big proponent of long putters."

OK, fine, but you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man. Who cares? If it is such an advantage, why don't you do it, Strick? Why don't 90% of pros do it? Just because they are too macho? Gimme a break. Millions of dollars are on the line. If pros really thought anchored putting was an advantage, they'd do it. And if golfers were really macho they'd be playing a real sport. You know, one with athletics involved.

Here's my theory. A country-club culture pervades golf, and the snobs in charge just think anchored putting looks funny. "Why, Millie, this is the worst thing since cargo shorts!" If these people were in charge of basketball they'd have outlawed the jump shot. ("Any time you elevate yourself, especially your hands, in the process of shooting, it is a huge advantage." Cf. Stricker's statement.)

[Cross-posted from Adam[ Chorlton's] WI Sports Blog]

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