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tucsonsean

Is it time for a real-world alternative to the USGA?

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  1. 1. Is it time for an alternative to the USGA?

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    • No
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I'm not sure how to start this thread, and I may regret starting it at all for the subsequent verbal beating I may take. First of all, let me say that I have been a loyal dues-paying member of the USGA since 1984. I'm also a Walking Member since the program started, and one of my most cherished golf memories is attending the Merion Open last year (a birthday present from my wife). This year she bought me a 'new' used set of Ping I10 irons I've wanted since they were introduced. I'm not a scratch player (11.4 index), but it was annoying that my dream clubs didn't meet the C of C criteria. It reminded me of the brouhaha in the nineties over a. 005 difference in groove spacing, the subsequent to-do in 2010 over Eye2 wedges, and the latest laughable hair splitting leading to the ban on long putters as of 2016 (I know--the ban is on anchoring, but really? ).Side note: since I started getting closer to 70 than 60, the broomstick was my handicap's last defense. All the while, they hire technical experts to advise then, then ignore their advice (just ask Frank Thomas). I don't want to disband the USGA, but I think my membership might end after all these years, and I'd be open to joining an Amateur organization that bases its decisions as much on the majority of its members as on its best. Maybe if they USGA let its dues paying members vote on some of these issues.... Rant over.
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the votes will say :

"no rough"

"2 yard large bogeys"

"mulligan on every tee"

I dont really beleive in democratie. people vote for what pleases them not for what may suit.

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As an amateur, approaching 70, who's not likely to be competing in any USGA sanctioned events, why do you care what the USGA deems to be conforming? Use what you like. I won't mind, and I doubt too many other people will either. Sorry, I don't necessarily agree with everything they do, but do I think that they genuinely try to act in the best interest of the sport in the decisions they make. That's their job, not to bend to the prevailing whim of some ever-changing, for the most part Ill-informed, membership. @bubble is right. All you have to do is look at some the many "what rules do you hate" threads to see how that would end.... BTW, great birthday present. That's a wife that's worth hanging on to! :beer:
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I'm not sure how to start this thread, and I may regret starting it at all for the subsequent verbal beating I may take. First of all, let me say that I have been a loyal dues-paying member of the USGA since 1984. I'm also a Walking Member since the program started, and one of my most cherished golf memories is attending the Merion Open last year (a birthday present from my wife). This year she bought me a 'new' used set of Ping I10 irons I've wanted since they were introduced. I'm not a scratch player (11.4 index), but it was annoying that my dream clubs didn't meet the C of C criteria. It reminded me of the brouhaha in the nineties over a. 005 difference in groove spacing, the subsequent to-do in 2010 over Eye2 wedges, and the latest laughable hair splitting leading to the ban on long putters as of 2016 (I know--the ban is on anchoring, but really? ).Side note: since I started getting closer to 70 than 60, the broomstick was my handicap's last defense. All the while, they hire technical experts to advise then, then ignore their advice (just ask Frank Thomas). I don't want to disband the USGA, but I think my membership might end after all these years, and I'd be open to joining an Amateur organization that bases its decisions as much on the majority of its members as on its best. Maybe if they USGA let its dues paying members vote on some of these issues.... Rant over.

I agree with you and all you can do, as I did, is stop paying dues.

I know my $35/year did not make or break them - but if enough that disagreed did, maybe they would get some kind of message.

Truthfully, I like the fact they they keep spending money trying to get me back. That is my my weak revenge.

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The USGA is a creature of our nation's private clubs.  Only the clubs are allowed to vote and thus the Board is a reflection of the "good old boy" network of exclusive private clubs.  It might be a good thing if a rival organization, that had a goal of representing public access golfers, came into existance.  Competition is a good thing.

Do I expect to see a successful rival to the USGA?  Nope.

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Thanks for posting @tucsonsean .  Discussion is always good in my opinion.  I agree with @David in FL on this.  The USGA is looking after competitive golf.  We, as members, should be voicing our concerns to them if we have issues.  But I think they really do have the best interest of the sport in mind.

If you still want to play your long putter anchored, go ahead.  don't worry about what others think.

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I don't want to disband the USGA, but I think my membership might end after all these years, and I'd be open to joining an Amateur organization that bases its decisions as much on the majority of its members as on its best. Maybe if they USGA let its dues paying members vote on some of these issues.... Rant over.

Overall, my view is the USGA has preserved the game. The equipment issues have me rolling my eyes at times too, but, for example, consider just the work of the USGA Green Section. Literally saving golf courses and moving practices forward is a critical component to maintaining the game and its enjoyment for all. And while the rules can seem a little pedantic, the USGA I believe maintains perspective. The equipment stuff, even when they do make a ruling, usually it comes with a long lead-in period and usually only applies to top-tier events (e.g. the rulings on grooves). Also, it is not like dues are ridiculously high. Personally I don't think some minor equipment advantages get overblown by the USGA. What I would rather see happen is focus more on the ball as a means of controlling equipment. I'd like to see the distance standard pulled back slightly. Part of the benefit of that is that a slightly shorter ball hurts most from the back tees (top tier events) whereas casual golfers can have their tees moved forward (or simply play tees that are more forward). I think this one change would alleviate other equipment or technique (e.g. anchoring) concerns.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsonsean View Post

I'm not sure how to start this thread, and I may regret starting it at all for the subsequent verbal beating I may take. First of all, let me say that I have been a loyal dues-paying member of the USGA since 1984. I'm also a Walking Member since the program started, and one of my most cherished golf memories is attending the Merion Open last year (a birthday present from my wife). This year she bought me a 'new' used set of Ping I10 irons I've wanted since they were introduced. I'm not a scratch player (11.4 index), but it was annoying that my dream clubs didn't meet the C of C criteria. It reminded me of the brouhaha in the nineties over a. 005 difference in groove spacing, the subsequent to-do in 2010 over Eye2 wedges, and the latest laughable hair splitting leading to the ban on long putters as of 2016 (I know--the ban is on anchoring, but really? ).Side note: since I started getting closer to 70 than 60, the broomstick was my handicap's last defense. All the while, they hire technical experts to advise then, then ignore their advice (just ask Frank Thomas). I don't want to disband the USGA, but I think my membership might end after all these years, and I'd be open to joining an Amateur organization that bases its decisions as much on the majority of its members as on its best. Maybe if they USGA let its dues paying members vote on some of these issues.... Rant over.

Frank Thomas was wrong about a bunch of things, too. For example, when the Big Bertha was introduced, he told us that driver head size was quickly going to become a matter of diminishing returns, and yet then the USGA had to limit head sizes to about double the size of the Big Bertha because they kept getting bigger and bigger. Had he acted then, and imposed a 350cc limit or something, we wouldn't have huge-headed drivers today.

BTW, if nobody's pointed it out, you have until at least 2024 to keep playing your "non-conforming" irons.

Quote http://thesandtrap.com/b/bag_drop/here_v_go_again_the_truth_about_the_groove_rule_change:
Some dates: All other USGA events (the ones in which pros cannot compete) will adopt the rule in 2014, and the rule will go into effect for all golfers no sooner than 2024. Manufacturers must stop manufacturing nonconforming grooves by the end of 2009, but are still allowed one year to assemble, distribute, and sell the non-conforming clubs through 2010.

And even that's only if you care what the USGA says are the Rules of Golf.

The point above about all the good the USGA does that isn't even related to the rules should not be over-looked. They do a LOT to promote and grow golf. Very little of their job description is rules enforcement.

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I hear the complaints about the USGA all the time and don't understand the push back.  The USGA is about competitive golf, if you are playing a round with friends you can use any rules and clubs you like as long as you're not posting your score for handicap.  You want to carry 20 clubs, incorporate foot wedges, an anchored putting stroke, 10' gimme putts and mulligans, go for it as long as everyone you're golfing with agrees.  You can even buy non-conforming clubs like the 515cc Juggernaut driver if you want to add some distance to your drives.

For those of us that do want to play competitive golf, there needs to be a real set of rules and a governing body that oversees the rules.  The USGA and R&A; aren't perfect, but they have done a good job in my opinion.  I'd actually like to see the R&A; and USGA take an additional step and standardize the handicap calculation so it applies world wide.

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I don't know about replacing the USGA.....but certainly the USGA should re-evaluate it's consideration of their impact on amateur/recreational golfers.  You know....the ones who pay dues, attend tournaments, and watch golf on TV that then encourages sponsors to pay larger sponsor fees.  Recreational/Amateur golfers are still part of "the game."

The USGA should also be able to eat some "humble pie" and acknowledge its failures (such as the groove rule).  The groove rule in particular has achieved 0% of its intended purpose of restraining professional golfers and has disproportional impact on recreational golfers.  Even if you're not a big spinner of the golf ball, it's still a nuisance to deal with if you compete in sanctioned events and will eventually affect recording rounds for handicapping.  It will be a surprise to some SandTrappers that not everyone will be on their 10th set of new irons by 2024.  It should be revoked as unnecessary and ineffective.

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I don't know about replacing the USGA.....but certainly the USGA should re-evaluate it's consideration of their impact on amateur/recreational golfers.  You know....the ones who pay dues, attend tournaments, and watch golf on TV that then encourages sponsors to pay larger sponsor fees.  Recreational/Amateur golfers are still part of "the game." The USGA should also be able to eat some "humble pie" and acknowledge its failures (such as the groove rule).  The groove rule in particular has achieved 0% of its intended purpose of restraining professional golfers and has disproportional impact on recreational golfers.  Even if you're not a big spinner of the golf ball, it's still a nuisance to deal with if you compete in sanctioned events and will eventually affect recording rounds for handicapping.  It will be a surprise to some SandTrappers that not everyone will be on their 10th set of new irons by 2024.  It should be revoked as unnecessary and ineffective.

I'm curious, how has the groove rule affected you? You're obviously not competing in any event where you would be required to play with clubs conforming to the new rules. What am I missing?

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I don't know about replacing the USGA.....but certainly the USGA should re-evaluate it's consideration of their impact on amateur/recreational golfers.  You know....the ones who pay dues, attend tournaments, and watch golf on TV that then encourages sponsors to pay larger sponsor fees.  Recreational/Amateur golfers are still part of "the game."

The USGA should also be able to eat some "humble pie" and acknowledge its failures (such as the groove rule).  The groove rule in particular has achieved 0% of its intended purpose of restraining professional golfers and has disproportional impact on recreational golfers.  Even if you're not a big spinner of the golf ball, it's still a nuisance to deal with if you compete in sanctioned events and will eventually affect recording rounds for handicapping.  It will be a surprise to some SandTrappers that not everyone will be on their 10th set of new irons by 2024.  It should be revoked as unnecessary and ineffective.

I don't know about you, but the groove rule didn't have much impact on me or most of the people I golf with.  Irons aren't affected by the rule change for 10 more years and anyone that competes and plays regularly will likely wear out a set of irons in 10 years.

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You know....the ones who pay dues

Okay.

attend tournaments

What's that have to do with the USGA (and their bottom line)?

and watch golf on TV that then encourages sponsors to pay larger sponsor fees.

Ditto the above. Sponsors aren't paying the USGA, and tournament watchers aren't either. Only during the U.S. Opens is the USGA making money. And those are going to continue to exist for awhile…

The USGA should also be able to eat some "humble pie" and acknowledge its failures (such as the groove rule).  The groove rule in particular has achieved 0% of its intended purpose of restraining professional golfers and has disproportional impact on recreational golfers.  Even if you're not a big spinner of the golf ball, it's still a nuisance to deal with if you compete in sanctioned events and will eventually affect recording rounds for handicapping.  It will be a surprise to some SandTrappers that not everyone will be on their 10th set of new irons by 2024.  It should be revoked as unnecessary and ineffective.

Why would they be on their tenth set? You only have to be on your second set: and even that one can be 12 years old.

Grooves primarily affect wedges. If you're playing older-than-12-year-old wedges, you're doing a HELLUVA lot more to harm your ability to spin the ball than you will buy using conforming grooves.


This isn't entirely directed at you, @Topper , but it seems like many people who "dislike" the USGA are indignant just for the sake of being indignant or something. The rules they oppose don't even seem to affect them at all, most of the time.

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The USGA seems to be all worried about bifurcation of the rules - splitting them into one set for pros/elite amateurs and a second set for everyday people.

So, someone needs to explain to me the difference between bifurcation and conditions of competition, which put added restrictions in play on certain tournaments. An example: under the "One Ball Condition", you have to use the same brand and model of golf ball throughout the round. This means you can't play a Titleist ProV1 for the first 12 holes, and switch to a Velocity distance ball for the 625-yd. par 5.

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The USGA seems to be all worried about bifurcation of the rules - splitting them into one set for pros/elite amateurs and a second set for everyday people.

So, someone needs to explain to me the difference between bifurcation and conditions of competition, which put added restrictions in play on certain tournaments. An example: under the "One Ball Condition", you have to use the same brand and model of golf ball throughout the round. This means you can't play a Titleist ProV1 for the first 12 holes, and switch to a Velocity distance ball for the 625-yd. par 5.

The rules aren't bifurcated because, at any committee's discretion, they can enact the local rules. They're options available to all (just as a player has options when he hits into a lateral water hazard), not "different rules."

Where I live, local district golf association events enact the One Ball Condition, btw. So do local PGA section events.

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Quote:
The USGA is about competitive golf, if you are playing a round with friends you can use any rules and clubs you like as long as you're not posting your score for handicap.  You want to carry 20 clubs, incorporate foot wedges, an anchored putting stroke, 10' gimme putts and mulligans, go for it as long as everyone you're golfing with agrees.

No offence intended, but I can't agree with that. As an ex-pat Englishman living in the U.S. I grew up playing under the R&A; rules. I still like the statement they have at their website:

For most of us, the game of golf is self-regulating. There is seldom a referee present so we are reliant upon our own honest adherence to the Rules in order to enjoy the game.

http://www.randa.org/en/Playing-Golf/Spirit-of-the-Game.aspxhttp://www.randa.org/en/Playing-Golf/Spirit-of-the-Game.aspx

Nowadays I play under the USGA rules, and try my best to meet those, too (although I appreciate that the USGA and R&A; rules are, to all intents and purposes, identical). I am in no way an expert in the rules of golf - if I don't know something I ask my playing partners - hopefully somebody knows, or a reasonably accurate consensus can be reached. I don't agree with informal variations of the rules, just because we are playing a friendly match rather than playing in a tournament. The 15th club in the bag would be like having 8 tiles in Scrabble. Scrabble is easier with more than 7 tiles, but as it's easier to make words, the sense of achievement is diminished.

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I agree with recreational golf rules. How do very successful sports like Basketball, football, and Baseball manage to have different rules than the "Pro's", and yet they have grown their sport ... Heck just look at the softball complexs around the US ... Imagine the first person that suggested a bigger ball, shorter base path, and to pitch underhand! But like as already been pointed out, just look at the other thread and we know how this ends ... And likewise as others have said, since I do not play competitive golf I will play my modified rules and enjoy the day ... Getting my popcorn, and heading back to the trailer park to watch this one unfold ...
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I agree with recreational golf rules. How do very successful sports like Basketball, football, and Baseball manage to have different rules than the "Pro's", and yet they have grown their sport ... Heck just look at the softball complexs around the US ... Imagine the first person that suggested a bigger ball, shorter base path, and to pitch underhand!

But like as already been pointed out, just look at the other thread and we know how this ends ... And likewise as others have said, since I do not play competitive golf I will play my modified rules and enjoy the day ...

Getting my popcorn, and heading back to the trailer park to watch this one unfold ...

I am confused by your post.  Other than one foot in bounds, shorter quarters and OT rules, how is football really different at the other levels.  Or basketball? Or baseball?

Play by whatever rules you want in golf.  No one cares.  But don't change the official rules of golf because you don't want to abide by them.  That is what the USGA and the R&A; are about.

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