|Clinging to past?|
But do any of us play golf in the way it was intended to be played on the links of Scotland over five centuries ago?
Long ago golfers traded in primitive golf clubs featuring wooden heads and hickory and metal shafts for drivers and irons composed of lightweight, space-age materials. The changes do not stop with the composition of the clubs. Today’s golfers also use an entirely new and unique club: the hybrid. I certainly am not advocating for a return to old-fashioned clubs, but it certainly is interesting to imagine Old Tom Morris' reaction to being presented a Rocketballz driver.
The other question to consider is whether the governing bodies of golf need to cling so tightly to the past.
All Big Four sports leagues in North America—National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Basketball Association (NBA)—have altered their games and sports. For example, the introduction of, at first, the shot clock and much later the three-point arc greatly increased the offensive excitement of basketball, and has made the NBA one of the most popular sports in the world.
Proponents of the anchored putting stroke claim it allows for more people to play and, more importantly, enjoy the game of golf. If that is true, why not allow the hackers and double-bogey golfers of the world to anchor if outlawing the technique will push them away from the game?
I believe the founders of golf could forgive the R&A and USGA for going against the founders' original intentions if it is for the betterment of the game.
Matthew Wurzburger is a University of Virginia student who covers sports for The Cavalier Daily.