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ACKERMAN: PGA’s Important Stance On Putter Rule

Tom Ackerman
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(Photo by John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

(Photo by John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

TOWN & COUNTRY, Mo. (KMOX) – I want to take a moment to draw your attention to an important sports interview on our airwaves last night.

Bellerive Country Club is currently hosting the 74th Senior PGA Championship, which makes it the current center of major championship golf.  So when a ruling comes down from golf’s governing bodies — the USGA and R&A — it’s instantly going to be a discussion point here.  And it goes well beyond the clubhouse.

You see, the PGA of America holds itself responsible for the growth of golf in the United States.  So, naturally, anything that will hinder that growth is going to get the attention of the organization’s president, Ted Bishop.

Tuesday’s announcement by the USGA that it is making anchored putting illegal beginning in 2016 — anchoring a long or medium putter to the body, essentially creating leverage during the stroke — has an effect on not just professionals, but millions of people who consume the game.

And while Bishop respects the USGA’s decision and appreciates the governing body’s willingness to listen to the PGA of America before the ruling, he is not shy about expressing his disappointment.

Bishop, granting an interview to KMOX’s Dan Reardon, explains in the following interview.

Here’s his biggest point: “The game of golf and the business of golf is tough enough the way it is without any animosity between the governing bodies.  That being said, I think that’s part of the frustration the PGA of America has felt during this whole ordeal.

“We get up every day and face tremendous challenges at our facilities in trying to grow the game and enhance the enjoyment of the game.  We didn’t really need any deflections or distractions.  Because if we lose one player, one round of golf, it’s significant for what we’re trying to do.  I think that was a lot of our heartburn.”

Hear Dan Reardon’s interview with PGA of America president Ted Bishop here.

Tom Ackerman is Sports Director at KMOX in St. Louis.

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