Forced to walk away
from professional golf?
Tim Clark takes a stand
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/30/13
Last week, we told you about the mandatory PGA Tour players' meeting in San Diego, during which discussion of the proposed ban on anchoring would be front-and-center. USGA Executive Director Mike Davis chaired the meeting.
One PGA Tour member whose golf career would be permanently derailed is the South African, Tim Clark. He arrived at the meeting apparently well-armed with various paperwork and a presentation in favor of preserving the use of long putters. According to 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover:
"I didn't realize until that night he wasn't in the field. I thought it was very courageous of him to do what he did. He flew here. He spent his own money to get here and back for something he cares about. My opinion on it doesn't matter. He spoke his mind in a respectful way. He did not lash out. He asked honest questions and stated honest opinions. And I was proud of him. The way he handled himself was brilliant."Another former U.S. Open champion, Geoff Ogilvy, also commented on Clark's presentation:
"He's been researching this the whole offseason. He basically put his position out there, and probably positions that Mike hadn't thought about or didn't acknowledge as importantly as Tim saw them. What Tim did achieve ... whether he had any effect on the USGA position, a big portion of the ambivalent people were on Tim's side when they walked out of the room."Clark suffers from a genetic condition that prevents him from turning his wrists and forearms inward; he has already endured major surgery twice, once each to his wrist and elbow.
Traditionalists argue that anchoring and long putters do not belong in the game. But a counter-argument could be made not only that Pandora's Box has already been opened, but banning the use of long putters would prevent thousands of amateurs from posting legal scores in the USGA's GHIN system. And THAT could drive many people away from the game - especially those men and women who play despite various medical issues.
And as several oobers have already explained, this is a big deal.
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Image via PGA Tour
[ comments ]
Good for Tim Clark and the rest of the pros who spoke up. This change WILL cause some guys to not make a living! This is going to affect the game as we know it today. I could care less if guys putt with a branch!!!
I've never really looked at the putting rankings....but where do the long anchored putters stand say over a 5-10 years...when ranked with their peers...?
This whole Tim Clark story makes me crazy. Putting is the least mechanically and physically demanding stroke in golf. I'm having trouble understanding how he is able to perform all the other strokes, at an elite level, yet the same essential kind of stroke, only a lot shorter, and a lot slower...is somehow too much for Tim Clark to handle? Does it cause him pain, or is he physically unable to perform the stroke? I also wonder why he seems so certain that his career would be over once the ban is enacted. I'm pretty convinced that any player who can win a Player's Championship can learn to use a basic traditional putting stroke and succeed. If only Tim Clark believed in himself as much as I believe in Tim Clark--I'm not even a fan of his.
Beef- I'm going along with you on this. I understand the guy has a physical limitation. But I find it difficult to see him hack a ball out of US Open rough and then say he can't find a putter to make a traditional style stroke. I'm pretty sure the manufacturers could make him a putter of any length that he could use. Besides that, the putter isn't going to be illegal, the anchoring is.
I have a feeling that TC presented a good deal of evidence that shows no significant difference between the performance of different putters: perhaps even poorer performance from anchored putters.
Here's the problem: I think the USGA is concerned about the way it looks - that it's ugly, no?
I am reminded of the way equipment has evolved for archery. Bows and bowmen alike are transformed to veritable cyborgs in order to mitigate what ought to be a person's ability to aim and execute the mechanics of archery. If I show up with my bow, arrows, and really nothing else, I'm using the traditional aiming abilities in my eyes, brain, fingers, and experience. Golf needs to be at that level, not a game where guys use lasers, range converters, computers, and prosthetic-type aids to excel. I prefer a game where skill, not technology wins!!!
Disability is a larger overarching issue at the ADA level: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_with_Disabilitie
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