Golf news now…what's your opinion?

Golf is in the midst of some controversy these days and I want to know your opinion on the following 2 topics after I give you mine.

Did you know that the International Olympic Committee just voted Golf to become an Olympic sport starting in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro?

In my opinion, as much as I love golf, this is a ridiculous development for the Olympics. In order to make room for golf, it is eliminating wrestling as an Olympic sport! Wrestling has been an Olympic sport since the 19th century and man has been wrestling in competition since…well, since probably sporting competition began!

Let’s face it, it is a privilege to play golf and only a small handful of athletes in rich countries have the opportunity to develop the talent. I work with wrestlers on their mental game in my office and I can tell you that wrestling is a tough sport to train and become good at. I feel for the wrestlers.

By the way, in doing a little research, I found that golf was in the 1900 and 1904 Olympics. In 1900, 4 countries participated and in 1904, 2 countries sent teams.

I’d like to know if you agree or disagree with me below and why.

Banning anchored putting?

Ban anchored putting?

Ban anchored putting?

I’m generally in favor of allowing anchored putting to continue as it has but the other side has some good points. Let’s go over them:

“There is no compelling data” to prove anchoring helps, said the R&A’s chief executive Peter Dawson. “This is about defining what a golf stroke is.”

If there is no evidence of an advantage, then what’s the big deal? And even if there is, anybody can use one so it’s fair for all.

On the other side of the coin is Mike Davis, USGA executive director who said: “Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball, The player’s challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club.

I think the tie-breaker for me is that many average golfers, especially older ones, enjoy the game just a little bit more when they can use a putter that helps them beat the shakes or the yips and that’s the promise of the anchored style.

What do you think?
Greens and fairways,

Craig

Joe Landi - February 13, 2013

No anchored putters. They look
stupid. I would quit playing
before I used one.

    Craig Sigl - February 13, 2013

    I haven’t used an anchored putter for years but I used to as that picture in the post shows. I always kind of liked it when others would look at me funny. Problem with anchored putters is I actually lost distance control from long lags but close up, I made more 3-4 footers. Thanks for comment,
    Craig

Nic - February 13, 2013

Hello Craig,
I agree Golf and for the same reason Tennis should not be a part of the olympics. The majors is what counts in both those sports and the gold medal comes a distant second in my opinion. Taking a traditional olympic sport out like wrestling, where a gold medal is the pinnacle of their sport to make way for well paid professionals makes no sense to me.
As for anchoring the putter, I am not a huge fan of it and think it bastardizes the game at a professional level. I’m in favour of having separate rules for professionals and amateurs where the guiding principles for the pro rules would be all about skill and the amateurs participation. For example amateurs could use broomsticks whilst pro’s couldn’t, Driver and ball technology would be wound back for pro’s and able to go forward to a certain point for amateurs.

    Craig Sigl - February 13, 2013

    I hadn’t thought about separate rules for amateurs, thanks Nic.
    craig

Damian Willcox - February 13, 2013

Golf should have been entered in the Olympics as an amateur sport just like golden gloves boxing. It would keep amateurs in the game until they representent their country in the Olympics. However the powers that be consider that the people like in tennis want to see the best or none at all. I think it is an opportunity lost for amateur golf.

    Craig Sigl - February 13, 2013

    I think I could go with that Damian but not allowing the same guys who compete on the Tours that we see every weekend and get to compete internationally often.

etan - February 13, 2013

Wrestling should be at Olympic its a big mistake to remove wrestling!

Golf shouldn’t be in Olympic , can those pro like Tiger Woods, Rory, Michelson

participate? they are professional making good money from it!

Who should participate in Olympic Golf? what’s the criteria in participation?

Only amateur golfers can take part than its ok, but wrestling should remain, it’s

in Olympic since Roman’s time!

WWE didn’t sent their wrestlers to Olympic!

    Craig Sigl - February 13, 2013

    Excellent points etan, thanks!

Danut Munteanu - February 13, 2013

1. I do not care about wrestling, or other fighting sports. I can accept all of these were in Olympia, ok. But this is not an issue they have to let golf away. Between EVERYTHING and GOLF, I am choosing GOLF , definitely…
2. About banning, I am agree. Anchor putter is a fix one and this COULD give an advantage. Didn’t they won so many competitions until now…maybe because golf is not only putting. If they are not very happy with yips and everything else, no problem. They can play on simulator ! What will be next ? Will somebody decide that women can play in underwear, because sometimes is so hot outside ? Normally, this couldn’t give any advantage for them, but is this in the spirit of the game ?

    Craig Sigl - February 13, 2013

    Thanks for you comments Danut!

Phil - February 13, 2013

Putting is not like other golf strokes anyway. It is entirely different. So why not let people be innovative with how they may putt the ball. If putting has to be done like a ‘normal’ golf stroke, then why is such a variety of putter head designs allowed. If a putting stroke has to be standard, then putter design should be standardised also, like the design of all other clubs is.
I’m an old fart who wears glasses. When I look to the side, parallax errors through the glass lenses mean that the hole is not where I see it. I should be allowed to make compensations for such problems. Anchoring can help. It has nothing to do with yips.

As for the Olympics, why not? If beach volleyball is OK, perhaps we should have ladies golf teams playing bikini golf. The men can play speed golf in speedos. That would be a spectator sport with TV appeal. I’d prefer to watch the ladies, but there’d be something for everyone and it wouldn’t take all day to get a result.

    Craig Sigl - February 13, 2013

    Hahaha, I laughed out loud Phil, thanks…Bikini golf and men in speedos! Nice…

    Craig

Phil - February 13, 2013

Rather than different rules for amateurs, why not just make the hole larger? Let the world experts show their skill by putting into a small cup. Let amateur golfers use everything the same as touring pros but with a larger cup. Give an inch. Let’s say 150mm or 6 inches. To use the same course for elite level play, just use the small cups. No need for separate equipment or another rule book.

    Craig Sigl - February 13, 2013

    I’ll go for that!
    Craig

      REG MASON - February 14, 2013

      1. Leave wrestling where it is;
      2. Anchoring of putters should be eliminated, unless at the same time they are sucking dummies!;
      3. Golfing should be included but ONLY FOR AMATURES.

      I FOUND IT REDICULOUS THAT “PROFESSIONAL” TENNIS PLAYERS WERE ALLOWED TO PLAY.

        Gene Caton - February 14, 2013

        I’m not for Golf in the Olympics and I’m against anchor putting, because it steadies the nerves and that is a very import part of putting, especially where one putt can mean the the difference of thousands of dollars.

        I have another concern that has all of a sudden disappeared from the new and that is what kind of a penalty did Vijay Singh recieve for taking a banned substance, and don’t tell me he didn’t know what he was doing?

          Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

          Good questions about Singh…so far, it’s still up in the air. I found this:

          According to the Tour’s policy, a player’s first violation can result in a suspension of up to one year, although Finchem “may depart from the sanction guidance … as he deems appropriate in a particular case.” In 2009, Doug Barron was banned for a year after testing positive for testosterone, which had been prescribed for the journeyman by a doctor.

          So far, nothing’s been done to Singh…

        Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

        Hey Reg, I think I have to agree with you about letting only amateurs play since golf is already an international sport.

          Gene Caton - February 14, 2013

          Thanks, I don’t think Finchem will do anything do to the fact that Vijay will be eligible for the Champions tour in Feburary of this year and it won’t matter then as they don’t complete drug testing for the Seniors. If Finchem doesn’t do anything That is differently changing my mind about the PGA’s intergity.

          Craig Sigl - February 15, 2013

          It’s always about the money first and integrity second…huh?

    Christopher - February 14, 2013

    The great thing about golf is the handicap system. No need for a change in hole size. The problem is usually mental in that many of us cannot accept that we will never get below say 20 HCP. (Most will be 28). In the UK in winter there are sometimes winter greens which are rolled fairway with a 6″ hole. Yes it is easier but by the same token the holes are shorter and often the scoring is the same as summer because the course has been altered. No, use the handicap system and enjoy!

    Regarding the Olympics ask Tiger – “a Green Jacket or and Olympic Medal”. Bottom dollar is a “Green Jacket”. The Olympics is now supposedly self funding (Ask London rate payers about that!) and money is the driver hence the inclusion of money spinners for TV etc. That is why the traditional sport of wrestling is being taken out. It is about entertainment and money – a circus.

      Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

      Excellent insight Christopher, thanks!
      Craig

stevie lonie - February 14, 2013

The only problem with letting amateurs use the long putter is what if they are good enough to turn pro . Then what happens ? Stats show they are not getting an advantage .As in tournaments won with broom handle to conventional putter. Keep the rules as they are . Change the balls

    Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

    Hey Stevie, you think we should have limited flight balls for the tour?

      stevie lonie - February 15, 2013

      The pro’s are hitting beetween 300-350 yards it is making the game a pitch & putt

Jorge Casamayor - February 14, 2013

1 – Wrestling, or any other sport, should not be removed from the Olimpics to make place for golf. It’s one of the sports that is based and depends only on man, no tools, weapons or technology are part of it. Oh, by the way, isn’t this fact going against wrestling? Golf can be in Olympics , but pros should not be part of the games. Pros, in any sport, are against the spirit of the games.

2 – Regarding putter anchoring, I don’t see why it should be forbidden. I don’t like it, and I think I’ll never use it, but why not? As long as everybody can use it, it’s fair enough.

    Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

    Jorge, I agree with you about wrestling…it’s one of the most pure of sports. Thanks for comment.
    Craig

Barry DeLapp - February 14, 2013

There is already two sets of rules for pros and amateurs. They use metal spikes and we don’t. They get better equipment than we can buy. Their greens are perfect, ours are not. They can’t use lasers, we can except in USGA events. So allowing amateurs to anchor, but not pros is not offensive to me. If a kid wants to be a pro, he won’t use a belly or broomstick. This way we solve the PGA/R&A problem without driving players from the game. I play a lot of senior tournaments and probably 20-25% anchor the putter. Older golfers can’t hit the ball as far as kids and don’t have steady nerves like kids, so we may need different rules just like we use different tees.

    Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

    Barry, I’m with you. Good points about how we play a different game already.
    Craig

Richard Overduyn - February 14, 2013

Anchored putters are fine with me. Any technology that can help the game, (and I’m not even sure if anchored putters do), should be allowed. Just think how stupid we would be if we stopped with the Motorola “Brick” cell phone. Silly, right?

Dropping wrestling as a sport from the Olympics, in my opinion, is another political stupid decision. And to add golf? We see enough golf and the millions of dollars won by the “few”. We do not need more golf. We need wrestling, the true Olympic sport!

    Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

    Thanks for your comments Richard!
    Craig

Dan Flugel - February 14, 2013

More people are familiar,I think,with golf than wrestling,and would enjoy it more.

Nothing should touch the putter except your 2 hands.

    Craig Sigl - February 16, 2013

    Thanks for you comment Dan!
    Craig

Simon - February 14, 2013

Hi Craig,
First off, golf was admitted to the Olympics two years before it was decided that wrestling would be removed from the sports roster – it replaced baseball, in fact! And wrestling was not at risk (or so they thought) until the Pentathlon federation (which had apparently been the sport that was at risk) lobbied strongly to save their own skins.
If golf is going to be at the Olympics, it should include all players – maybe a pro and and an amateur in each national team? – after all, look at most athletics participants, basketballers, soccer players (who admittedly are restricted to Under-23s, with two over-age players permitted in the squad), show jumpers, beach volleyballers, tennis players and many others who are professional athletes. We want to see the cream of the crop … that’s what the big two-week circus is all about!
On the subject of anchored putters, it’s time for bifurcation: different rules for pros and amateurs. Every effort should be made to ensure that the “old guys” with the yips still play some golf and don’t decide to join the lawn bowls fraternity because of a less than sensible ruling on anchoring – and if you go back in history, the first record of anchoring a putter can be found about 70-80 years ago. It’s only been in recent years that the long-handled putter has become popular, but forms of it have been around for decades.
Someone said what about if an amateur wanted to turn pro? There’s always a simple solution: at Q-school even if a player retains his amateur status, to play in the event he must use a standard, non-anchored putter.
Both issues – the Olympics, and the putting stroke – should be looked at with only one aim: to increase the popularity of golf among non-golfers and grow the number of participants … which worldwide has been pretty stagnant for the better part of two decades.
Simon

    Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

    Hey Simon, thanks for clearing up the confusion. Very well thought out answers.
    craig

Charles Robertson - February 14, 2013

I agree with you about golf in the olympics. I disagree with you about anchoring the putter.I’m 78 years old and have bad tremors in the right hand and arm. I canot control the regular putter but by anchoring the putter with my left hand I can have a relatively smooth put. Take away the long putter and I’m through with golf.

mike - February 14, 2013

As to the regulation on the belly putters. I do not care what they do with the pros but i think that they should leave us hackers alone. I think that they are missing the boat. Instead of making the game easier for us to play. It only makes sense that the better you play the more fun you have so why make us use the same equipment the pros use i say give us belly putters, wider and deeper grooves, balls that go straighter, and farther, that can stop on a dime and then just leave us alone and then maybe the game will start to grow again.
i am a bogey golfer.i do not play in tournaments i just go out to have fun so pga and uspga just leave me the hell alone
frustrated in golf
Mike

    Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

    Well stated Mike!

Rob - February 14, 2013

The Olympics do not require golf – Sky can provide this in abundance. As for gold medals a green jacket holds more weight in my humble opinion but I can see this maybe a platform to launch the career of an amateur into the realms of a pro. There is an argument for both sides it’s down to an individual’s opinion.
Anchored putters, if they contravene rules then simple answer ban. If not this equipment should continue to be available.
I would like to throw this point in the mix. Golf balls: Should a single make golf ball be nominated for pro tournaments?

    Craig Sigl - February 14, 2013

    I love the idea of a single-make golf ball for tournaments. Totally fair. Takes out some strategy though…sheesh, where do we draw the line…tradition? Or popularity? Thanks for your comments. Very interesting…

    Craig

      Rob - February 14, 2013

      Equipment used in sport does vary but stays within the rules and guidelines as stated by the governing body. The main component i.e. the ball stays the same for all competitors so eradicating any competitive edge. Thoughts please?

        Craig Sigl - February 15, 2013

        This one’s a tough one because if they all have the same ball, shouldn’t they all use clubs from the same manufacturer?

          Rob - February 19, 2013

          Not the same club manufacturer. Reasoning being in tennis/badminton/snooker/football etc. equipment may differ, from racket to boots but the main component i.e. the ball is the same for all competitors.

          Craig Sigl - February 21, 2013

          Good point Rob.
          Craig

lowell - February 15, 2013

wow golf in the olympics? please tell me its not going to be like the NBA-lympics?! since i got hooked on golf (8yrs ago) no other sport is worth MY time. golf in the olympics ….. ‘you cant be serious!’. at least make it all amateurs and a Q school replacement. re belly putters it is an aide period. sucks about the wrestlers but the mma will give them a paycheck. woody sandy winny peace.

    Craig Sigl - February 15, 2013

    Thanks for comments Lowell. Not sure if golf in Olympics will be pro or amateur but I’d bet whatever gets the most money and TV exposure will be the deciding factor…hint

    MMA and wrestling? Hmmm…wonder how that could work…

    Craig

Dave Smith - February 16, 2013

Wrestling was part of the original Olympics and belongs there. Golf, like basketball, does not belong there and ESPECIALLY if they allow professionals to participate.

    Craig Sigl - February 16, 2013

    Thanks Dave, I agree.
    Craig

Mike - February 22, 2013

1. It is about time that they once again allowed golf as an Olympic competion.
2. The anchoring ban should have been done 30 years ago when they were first being used. I think that 30 years later, trying to stop belly or chest putting is like closing the barn door after the horse has run off. What is next a bigger ball, a smaller hole. It seems as though there are several has been old timers, like Arnie, Player, and others who have sour grapes over the advances in technology and they have the ear of the USGA and the Royal and Ancient. They say they want to grow the game of golf and then they turn around and want to make it impossible to score. Maybe they should have gone back to hickory shafts during there era. They would have had a fit if the governing bodies did that to them. Leave technology alone especially when it has been around for 30 years. We are living in an era of technology and we should be able to take full advantage of it. Some day I may need to use a belly putter or chest putter when I am too old to bend over. I’m 61 and still use a 34 inch putter. Fortunately I don’t need it.
Golf is hard enough most never break 100 mostly because they can’t practice at all weather mental practice or physical practice. If golfers can learn the fundamentals as taught by Ben Doyle or Gregg McHatton and can grasp the concept of 2 mph hips, then truely the golf swing is all mental. Learning to get out of your own way is the biggest problem in golf. Allowing the force of gravity to do the work for you is the key to great ball striking. http://golfresearch.com

    Craig Sigl - February 22, 2013

    Thanks Mike, great points…
    Craig

ben - February 26, 2013

wresling was a sport I did when I was a youngster, and should be in the olimpics. I play golf now and I am 58 this year and enjoy it very much. Golf carries so many sponsors and money and have so many main events every week and their exposure is huge. I would rather follow the tour results every week than watch a olimpic event of golf. To my thinking they only want it back because of the huge money that go with this sport, and now dropping wrestling which you seldom see on tv and who needs more exposure and are also a noble sport
Ben

    Craig Sigl - February 26, 2013

    Thanks for your comments Ben. I agree about wrestling. I work with wrestlers for their mental game.
    Greens and fairways,

    Craig

Alain - March 13, 2013

Any Olympic sports should be kept for amateurs. The problem is, what is an amateur? Were the russians, who were paird to play sports in the 70’s and 80’s, real amateurs?

The olympics are a big business and they want tv contract. So what are people gonna watch? Roman wrestling or Nadal and Federer playing tennis? Or basketball allstars beating a small country? Like the song said… “Money changes everything!!!”

As for anchor putting, we just have to remember that golf is a game, and a game has to be fun to play. So if it’s more fun for some to use those putters, so what. It won’t affect my putting stroke.

Life is to short to take everything that seriously.

Alain

    Craig Sigl - March 13, 2013

    Hi Alain,

    I totally love your final comment about taking everything too seriously. I so agree!!! Great reminder, thanks.

    G & F

    Craig

Ron Owens - March 5, 2015

No golf in the olympics and no anchoring of the putter. Wrestling is an olympic sport and should be. Golf is not and should not be. If you can’t putt by swinging your arms back and through the ball, find something else to do.

    Craig Sigl - March 6, 2015

    Very good Ron. I totally agree with you. Thanks for comment.
    Greens and Fairways,

    Craig

Comments are closed