3. The USGA brought the hammer down and banned anchoring. Agree or disagree? Either way, for the good of the game, should the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and PGA of America comply, or is bifurcation acceptable?
Van Sickle: No surprise on the putting ban. The czars of golf had already decided what they'd do before the discussion period and weren't going to change their minds. The PGA Tour and PGA of America should do what they think is best for their business because, hey, they are in business. Only the USGA is in this for fun. It's a perfect time for bifurcation, which can be a win-win for everybody ultimately. But I'm not confident it will happen.
Chamblee: No surprise at the USGA's decision to go forward with the anchor ban and I believe at the professional level it was the right thing to do, although long overdue as it should've have never been allowed. I think the USGA and the R&A missed a perfect opportunity to make allowances for the differences between amateurs and professionals. In baseball, the aluminum bat that amateurs are allowed to use has a higher COR or rebound effect than the wooden bat that professionals must use, owing for the differences in skill. In golf, most amateurs can not swing hard enough to get the rebound effect in clubs that the professionals get. Two sets of rules, would allow amateurs to use anchored putters, have a higher COR in their clubs and hotter golf balls and simultaneously allow for the gradual scaling back of the COR in professional clubs and slow down the ball. The application of these two sets of rules would make it possible to draw courses back to lengths that long ago where abandoned. As for the PGA Tour, LPGA and PGA of America, I have never understood why a sport would not make its own rules, and this anchored issued has made more obvious my reservations in that regard.
Morfit: The whole deal is so unfortunate because Mike Davis and company are trying to basically unscramble an omelet after years of lassitude and permissiveness by an ineffectual USGA. Glad they're doing something but Tim Clark missing all those putts at Colonial on Sunday sort of made the argument against the ban.
Bamberger: The ruling bodies did the right thing. Two sets of rules is fine as long as the rules are easier for the ams than the pros.
Gorant: I'm not passionate about it but I think it's the right call and I think the others should follow along. No matter what, it sounds like it will get ugly.
Lynch: I'm totally in favor of it. If your nerves aren't being tested -- and anchoring the club removes the nerve endings from the equation -- then I don't think it's a legitimate swing. That said, this anchoring ban has almost no impact at a grassroots level. The biggest issue in the game is slow play, and the man who has to take a lead in that is Tim Finchem, by penalizing and DQ'ing guilty Tour pros who set that example. But I'm not holding my breath.
Ritter: Still disagree with the ban because there's no data to support that anchoring the club creates an unfair advantage. I'm sure most pros have at least tinkered with a belly putter, but in reality the technique has only helped a small (but admittedly growing) percentage of guys. The ban was the USGA's move to eradicate a putting style they thought looked unseemly, and that would've been fine if they'd done it a decade ago. I do think the PGA Tour and PGA of America will comply with the ban, but we can't completely rule out legal action from a player, or group of pros, as a Hail Mary. This story isn't over yet.
Reiterman: I agree with it. I've always thought it looked silly, and I seriously doubt this will stop people from playing the game. I've always been a fan of playing by the same rules as the pros, so I can't imagine the other golfing bodies not following the USGA.
Godich: I'd fill a lot more comfortable with the decision if the USGA could produce some statistical evidence that players gain an advantage by anchoring. Just one stat! We haven't heard the end of this.
4. Boo Weekley continued his return to form and won at Colonial while looking like he walked out of a Jimmy Buffett song. Who is your all-time favorite quirky character in golf?
Chamblee: Walter Hagen won 11 majors and lived royally and I've never read that his personality was for show. He seemed to be as good a player as he was a character and in the process he elevated the status of the professional golfer in this country. He doesn't seem to get his due either for his golf or good-natured genius.
Reiterman: Boo has to be right up there. He once fought an orangutan. He can make alligator calls. And who can ever forget him at the Ryder Cup galloping down the fairway on his driver, a la Happy Gilmore?
Godich: Mac O'Grady. No explanation needed.
Gorant: Jesper Parnevik. He was crazy and smart.
Van Sickle: The greatest golf characters of all-time are the friends of Dan Jenkins in "The Glory Game," the greatest chapter on golf ever written, as seen in his compilation book, "The Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate". I'm talking Matty, Foot the Free, Willard Peacock and the rest. In the real world, it'd be hard to top ol' Boo. But I think The Slammer, Sam Snead, was the original rube Mozart. I'll go with him.
Ritter: I'll take early '90s John Daly in all his mulleted glory. There will never be another story like that one.
Morfit: That'll help Boo pay for his next trip to hunt Cape buffalo. Favorite character? Mac O'Grady.
Lynch: Does Garcia still count? A casual look back at his implosions suggests he's the gift that keeps on giving.
Bamberger: Brandel Chamblee.