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July 3, 2013

Rule change presents a huge challenge for golf pros

(Continued)

For PGA golf pros there is a human side to all of this. Our golfing customers are our friends. We depend on these avid or core golfers for our livelihood. Certainly, it is our job to be the teachers of the game. We are counselors and even psychiatrists at times when it comes to our golfers. These golfers are our extended families. In fact, many golf pros see these players more than they see their families during the busy months of our seasons.

Recently, I received this email from Eden Foster, the PGA professional at Maidstone Club on Long Island.

“I spent a long time thinking about the way this ruling will affect my membership. I am going to have a hard time telling an 80-year-old member that wants to play in a One Day Member Guest that he can’t use an anchored putting style for the event. He just won’t play and that is not what we want. I personally do not think the USGA did its homework on the yips to see how many people are actually fighting this disease.

“I have been teaching golf for over 25 years. During my time I estimate that about 25 percent of the members and guests playing in our member guest tournaments have the yips. The owner of the club I work at in Naples during the winter months has a tendency to get the yips and they will only get worse. He will at some point want to anchor and there is no way that he will adopt Rule 14-1b at the club. My golf chairman at Maidstone uses an anchored putter because of the yips and I doubt we will adopt the rule at Maidstone.

“A few months ago I was sent an email from Golf Magazine (I am currently a top 100 instructor) about options to replace the anchored putting method. I was copied on all of the responses. Most of them had to do with getting a better fitted putter, set up, stroke technique, etc. If a person has the yips none of this matters. Bottom line is you have to anchor if you have the yips. Using a long putter without anchoring DOES NOT WORK and I don’t see any player on tour or anywhere else using a long putter and not anchoring.

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