Originally Posted by bplewis24
What I found most interesting about that is two things:
1) How many prominent players on the PGA Tour were against the USGA and voiced a very strong annoyance to their decision.
2) How it at least appears that the R&A, and Europe in general (meaning their Tour & members) seem to take a much more firm stance on matters of preservation of the game, and really don't care about offending their members/constituents. Read some of the words they use like "crackpot" and "absurd" when describing the use of the alternative putting methods vs the USGA talking about how reluctant they were to ban croquet style putters/putting.
I really wonder what this is attributed to? Does Europe feel a greater sense of ownership of the original intent and nobility of the game since it originated over there? Do the OEM manufacturers have more influence in the American market which leads to some type of political balancing that the USGA tries to account for when making decisions?
But there really is no data, is there? What data exists that speaks directly and relevantly to the issue?
I don't know if this is the answer to your question, but I can tell you this. After living in England for 5 years (1993-1998) I noticed a huge difference in the "British mentality" compared to us "Yanks" when it comes to preservation of history.
In the States, in almost every city, most of us have noticed that we have little problem tearing down old, historic buildings and converting land to parking garages, office buildings, or shopping malls. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part we don't have as strong of an attachment to history and tradition as the Brits do. Part of it, I believe, is the fact that OUR traditions, and OUR history dates back only a few hundred years. English history (and European history, for that matter) dates back thousands of years. I did a lot of traveling around the U.K. while I was there and it wasn't unusual to find a cathedral, castle, or other structures 500 years old and more sitting next to commercially zoned areas. They respect their history too much to tear down many of these sites. In the U.S., I've seen a different approach. I've seen historic buildings actually dismantled and moved to a "more convenient" location in order to use the land for something more commercially beneficial.
I honestly think this is the main reason they're more willing to accept rules that attempt to restore or at least hold onto history and tradition. I also think it's one of the reasons the monarchy still exists. The Royals are figureheads, but I can't see England ever getting rid of them because they're a link to a past of which many Brits are very proud.