Bishop Blasts Away At R&A
By Torleif Sorenson on 5/2/13
Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson has made some controversial statements lately — and seems to expect that they be taken as guidelines and instructions that are not to be questioned. So, it should come as no surprise that PGA of America president Ted Bishop apparently smells some legitimate "blood in the water," thanks to some of Dawson's recent comments. In an interview with Golf World magazine, Bishop reveals some details:

"That's not your role."
Bishop and Dawson had what writer Tim Rosaforte called "a testy meeting" at the Masters Tournament last month. During that exchange, Bishop explained to Dawson that they conducted a straw poll among their member-professionals, none of whom reportedly supports the R&A proposed anchoring ban. On that basis, Bishop said their stance reflects "the best interests of the amateur golfer."

Amazingly, Dawson rather rudely pointed his finger at Bishop and told him, "that's not your role." Not only was Dawson's comment arrogant and reeks of a holier-than-thou attitude, but it also flies in the face of these facts:
  • One of the reasons that 20,000 PGA teaching professionals exist is to promote and teach the game to newcomers. Mr. Bishop himself is the national spokesman for the "Get Golf Ready" initiative, and won an armful of awards during his time as a teaching professional in his home state of Indiana.

  • Several Junior PGA learning and competition programs have been in-place for decades including, but not limited to, the Junior Ryder Cup.

  • The PGA of America is also one of the charter sponsors of The First Tee program, which is designed specifically to get children involved in the game and provide appropriate and comfortable places to learn, practice, and play.
Whether or not you agree with the anchoring ban, the PGA of America president isn't taking Dawson's attitude lying down. Not only is he maintaining his position, but Bishop fired right back at Dawson, excoriating the R&A for their organization maintaining a discriminatory "men-only" policy:
"I find that to be very curious and perplexing given the fact that the R&A has not been inclusive as evidenced by their unwillingness to accept women as members to the R&A. This is a much different approach than we have taken in America."
Indeed, not only have women held leadership positions at the USGA (including the presidency), but the PGA of America also has a slowly-but-surely increasing number of women in their roster of certified teaching professionals — including oobgolf.com contributor Erika Larkin, who was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA Teacher of the Year. Also notable is Suzy Whaley, who won the 2002 Connecticut Section PGA Championship and thereafter qualified for the PGA Tour's Greater Hartford Open the next year. Whaley is also an LPGA-certified Teaching & Club Professional.

But Bishop's jabs at the R&A are not just limited to Peter Dawson:
"In the end, I pass off the differences between the PGA of America and the R&A to be a result as the difference between our two cultures. Europeans have a tendency to accept the things that are imposed by their respective governments, while Americans will debate, argue and vote on issues. I think that is the fundamental premise that America was founded on."

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[ comments ]
joe jones says:
Peter Dawson is an arrogant S.O.B that thinks he runs world wide golf interests.The R&A are the same group that originally said that croquet style putting was not illegal and then rejected it because it looked clumsy and ungainly. They went along with the PGA & said that long putters were legal and after 25 years they decided to ban anchoring because it became a illegal stroke overnight.They knew that banning the putter length was not possible so they went after the anchoring was not in the true spirit of the game. They are the same people that in November of last year said they needed more info and wanted a period of time to hear opposite opinion. Now that they have been given a whole bunch of comment against their ruling they want to reject it. Get off your ass and make a decision or don't. Then the opposition can decide whether they want to proceed with legal action or not.Of course they can reverse their position but that would require too much thought and common sense.
5/2/13
 
jpjeffery says:
...Europeans have a tendency to accept the things that are imposed by their respective governments, while Americans will debate, argue and vote on issues..."

Hilarious.
5/2/13
 
Old Pro says:
Ted Bishop just made every park authority, municipality or country club with a golf course wonder whether, if they hire a PGA professional, will they get fallacious comments in place of merit based arguments on difficult issues. Way to go Ted. The PGA already fails most of its members and apprentices. Now, it acts like just another self-interest group.
5/6/13
 
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