Arnold Palmer states case for putter rules
TribLIVE Sports Videos
ORLANDO, Fla. — Arnold Palmer strongly stated his case Wednesday that golf doesn't need a “contraption” like the anchored putting stroke and the sport's success requires everyone to play by the same rules.
In a wide-ranging press conference prior to his tournament at Bay Hill, Palmer said he supported the proposed rule that would outlaw attaching the club against the body, which is the method used for long putters and belly putters.
“To attach it to your body in any way is taking a little bit away from the game,” Palmer said. “I'm not going to argue with anybody about it. I've stated my position, and that is we do not need a contraption to play the game of golf.
“I would hope that we'd play under one set of rules, and those rules would include a ban on the long putter hooked to the body.”
The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club proposed a new rule to ban such a stroke. The PGA Tour and PGA of America have said they oppose the ban, with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem saying there is no data to prove there is a competitive advantage to using the anchored stroke.
Finchem has said he could see a place for different rules in tournament golf and recreational play, though he has suggested the anchored stroke might not be one of them. PGA of America president Ted Bishop has been more forceful, saying in a recent blog that “bifurcation seems destined” if the rule takes effect in 2016.
The USGA and R&A are expected to announce soon whether to approve the new rule.
The possibility of two sets of rules seemed to agitate Palmer, who helped golf become popular with the masses a half-century ago when he won the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and the British Open.
“I don't think that golf has a place for two sets of rules,” Palmer said. “I think one of the reasons that the game has progressed in the way that it has over the years is the fact that the amateurs and the pros all play the same game and they play under the same set of rules. I feel like that is very, very important. It may be the key to the future success of the game of golf, just the fact that there will be one set of rules and we'll all play by them.”
Palmer was less serious when it came to Rory McIlroy, who decided not to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Bay Hill has the strongest field of the year so far among regular PGA Tour events, though it is missing the No. 1 player. Palmer had jokingly said he would break McIlroy's arm if he didn't play, then clarified Wednesday it was only a passing comment.
“I sort of threw a casual fun at him,” Palmer said. “It was meant to be funny.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Court attire can have impact, public defenders say
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
- Grandmother of boy dropped at Uniontown Hospital says he’s in ICU
- Starkey: Bring back the Brawl!
- Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents