One half of golf’s ruling body, the R & A based at St. Andrews, has thrown out calls by new Masters champion, Adam Scott for a ‘grand-father’ clause to be put in place should a ban be approved in the achoring of the belly or long-handled putter.
Scott had called for a ‘grand-father’ clause at the recent Tampa Bay Championship and just weeks before his stunning Augusta National triumph.
However Peter Dawson, as CEO of the R & A, said there will be no room for such a clause if the ban should be endorsed by the R & A and USGA.
“This is about method of stroke not about whether you use a long putter or not,” said Dawson.
“This is about anchoring and you can’t grand-father a method of stroke as it’s too fundamental.”
The ‘comment’ period ended at the end of February but with the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, as organisers of the Ryder Cup, disagreeing with any anchoring ban while some players have suggested possible legal action.
And while Dawson indicated a decision should be forthcoming in coming weeks he also indicated threats of legal action will not affect any aspect of the R & A’s and USGA’s rule-making process.
“Threats of legal action don’t affect rule making and rule-making is done on what the rules people consider is in the best interests of the game,” he said.
“The PGA of America know my views about this and I’m disappointed at the way that campaign was conducted. It put rule-making onto the negotiating table.
“People have taken position that they will now have to back off from or maintain. The negotiating table is no place for rule-making to take place. Obviously the feelings are strong. We shall have to see where it goes.
“I thought Billy Payne’s (Chairman, Augusta National) comments were very wise. He said he hoped the game of golf would maintain one set of rules. That’s our position, too. We have to get this thing resolved quickly because we want to make a decision.”
And Dawson has also spoken of his disappointment at those, including Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy and England’s Ian Poulter, over changes to the famed Old Course.
Phase one of changes to the Old Course – second, seventh, 11th and 17th holes have been carried out and with the second and final stage to commence shortly early in October and after this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Ogilvy was very critical in a Sunday Scottish newspaper while Poulter likened the changes to painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa.
“The Old Course has developed many times in its life and the changes this time have been very sympathetic to the history and standard of the golf course,” said Dawson.
“I do wish those complaining would look at the changes before leaping into criticism.”