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Anchored Putters Rules Change (Effective January 1, 2016) - Page 4

post #55 of 1852

If I owned a belly putter that I paid $200+ for and anchoring got banned, the LAST thing I would do is stop using it.

I mean, unless there's something I'm missing, can't it just be re-shafted, or can you not re-shaft putters and change the lie?

post #56 of 1852
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

If I owned a belly putter that I paid $200+ for and anchoring got banned, the LAST thing I would do is stop using it.

I mean, unless there's something I'm missing, can't it just be re-shafted, or can you not re-shaft putters and change the lie?

 

Very good chance you'll be able to anchor until '16, might even be '20 for the rest of us.  Most guys that have bought a belly/long will probably buy another putter by then anyway, regardless of the rule.  If anyone is interested in buying a belly putter, don't feel like you're wasting money, just buy it a2_wink.gif

post #57 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

 

Very good chance you'll be able to anchor until '16, might even be '20 for the rest of us.  Most guys that have bought a belly/long will probably buy another putter by then anyway, regardless of the rule.  If anyone is interested in buying a belly putter, don't feel like you're wasting money, just buy it a2_wink.gif

 

Yeah, I guess I should have clarified what a cheapskate I was.

Can they, in fact, be re-shafted?  With any luck, there will be so many used "unapproved" ones on the market I'll be able to buy my third putter (in over 30 years) and get a great deal on it.

post #58 of 1852
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

 

Yeah, I guess I should have clarified what a cheapskate I was.

Can they, in fact, be re-shafted?  With any luck, there will be so many used "unapproved" ones on the market I'll be able to buy my third putter (in over 30 years) and get a great deal on it.

 

I'm sure they could be re-shafted, the problem is that belly/long putter heads weigh more than standard putter heads.  Or you do what Davis Love/Angel Cabrera does, use a belly style that's a couple inches short of contacting your body.

 

 

1000

post #59 of 1852

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

He'll have a good chance of winning. The fact remains that no substantive justification has yet been produced for the move to ban anchored putting -- i.e. that it demonstrably constitutes an unfair advantage. The objections are either aesthetic ("It looks bad! Boo.") or philosophical ("Not how a stroke is made! Hrrumph.")   

 

Completely disagree he'll have a good chance of winning.

 

Rulesmaking bodies get to make rules. Tim is free to play under those rules or not. Whether it's an advantage or not is irrelevant (and it's not "unfair" so long as everyone can do it, Stretch, c'mon: nobody's making that argument).

 

The justification: the USGA doesn't want to allow it to continue. It's not a "stroke" in their opinion. That's all the justification they need.

 

I also happen to agree with them, but you knew that.

post #60 of 1852

Look, the legal angle is a sideshow and neither you nor I nor anyone here (as far as I can tell) have any particular expertise in that area. But while we're pulling torts out of our asses, I'll just suggest that Tim and the others might try and claim restraint of trade, for which there is a "reasonableness" standard. 

 

On the substantive argument, that anchored putting is "not how a stroke is made", my view is that putting and everything else in golf are not the same game. This has been recognized and repeatedly stated by many of the greatest players ever and is already accommodated by the design of every single putter in use today -- which are made to roll the ball along the ground, rather than projecting it through the air. Given these considerations, I see no particular logic in doggedly insisting that the putting stroke and full stroke must necessarily take precisely the same form. Yes, clearly, some framework must be established -- and that is the job of the rulemaking bodies. I'm not for pool-cue putting or astride-the-line putting, as examples, because both take the game out of the angled plane. But such rulings also need to be made reasonably quickly, before a practice does become firmly established as "part of the game." The rules of golf sometimes seem harsh but the underlying principle in 50/50 cases remains that of equitable treatment. And it is simply not fair for the USGA/R&A to turn about now on something that has been a part of competitive golf for 75 years.   

 

PS: I do not use a long putter and, yes, I do think they look dorky.

post #61 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

On the substantive argument, that anchored putting is "not how a stroke is made", my view is that putting and everything else in golf are not the same game. This has been recognized and repeatedly stated by many of the greatest players ever and is already accommodated by the design of every single putter in use today -- which are made to roll the ball along the ground, rather than projecting it through the air. Given these considerations, I see no particular logic in doggedly insisting that the putting stroke and full stroke must necessarily take precisely the same form. Yes, clearly, some framework must be established -- and that is the job of the rulemaking bodies. I'm not for pool-cue putting or astride-the-line putting, as examples, because both take the game out of the angled plane. But such rulings also need to be made reasonably quickly, before a practice does become firmly established as "part of the game." The rules of golf sometimes seem harsh but the underlying principle in 50/50 cases remains that of equitable treatment. And it is simply not fair for the USGA/R&A to turn about now on something that has been a part of competitive golf for 75 years.

 

  1. Again I feel "how long something has been legal" (particularly given that it's not been particularly widespread for that length of time) is a weak argument for keeping a rule, particularly a rule that people think is bad. For example, should we have kept the rule that punished players when the wind moved their ball on the putting green because we'd had it for so long, or should we change it to make a better rule? Obviously they (correctly IMO) went with option b.
  2. I highlighted the bold part because clearly the USGA feel that they're doing just that - establishing the framework, or refining it in this case. They're not blowing it up and starting over.
  3. You draw the line at pool-cue putting and astride-the-line putting, but stop short of anchored putting. I - and others, of course - draw the line just past anchoring, obviously.
  4. I disagree that rulings "need to be made quickly." Again, sports in general and golf specifically have had rules for awhile. Heck, players used to be able to stymie others, hit the pin without penalty from on the putting green, and all sorts of other rules. We've recently changed the definition of "addressing" the ball (that's a pretty fundamental thing to change after so long) and changed other rules.
  5. Furthermore, BELLY putters aren't 75 years old. When a loophole (a bit biased to use that word but oh well) is found and players begin to exploit it (again, not the best word but it's early still) that's when the clock starts ticking, especially if they start to have success with it. That's only been the past few years, really. Long putters have been around but not belly putters nor have they been used "super successfully."

 

I disagree with you that the rule would not be "equitable" (note that "equitable" is different than "fair," which I think you agree with as well).

post #62 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

Look, the legal angle is a sideshow and neither you nor I nor anyone here (as far as I can tell) have any particular expertise in that area. But while we're pulling torts out of our asses, I'll just suggest that Tim and the others might try and claim restraint of trade, for which there is a "reasonableness" standard. 

 

On the substantive argument, that anchored putting is "not how a stroke is made", my view is that putting and everything else in golf are not the same game. This has been recognized and repeatedly stated by many of the greatest players ever and is already accommodated by the design of every single putter in use today -- which are made to roll the ball along the ground, rather than projecting it through the air. Given these considerations, I see no particular logic in doggedly insisting that the putting stroke and full stroke must necessarily take precisely the same form. Yes, clearly, some framework must be established -- and that is the job of the rulemaking bodies. I'm not for pool-cue putting or astride-the-line putting, as examples, because both take the game out of the angled plane. But such rulings also need to be made reasonably quickly, before a practice does become firmly established as "part of the game." The rules of golf sometimes seem harsh but the underlying principle in 50/50 cases remains that of equitable treatment. And it is simply not fair for the USGA/R&A to turn about now on something that has been a part of competitive golf for 75 years.   

 

PS: I do not use a long putter and, yes, I do think they look dorky.

 

Certainly the putting stroke is different from the driver stroke.  But so too is the chipping stroke, or the flop stroke, or the punch.  However, they all traditionally have one thing in common - the club is held in the hands and swung freely, not anchored to the body in some fashion.  The organization which maintains the rules for a game should be allowed to make determinations on what they feel is right for the game based on such traditional usage without interference from the courts.      It wasn't until recently that the anchored stroke was prevalent enough to cause concern or alarm.  Now the flag has gone up and the RB's have taken notice.  

 

I'm sorry, but if Tim Clark can hit a driver 280 yards, then he can find a way to putt with a standard putting stroke.  I"m thinking that he just sucks with a standard stroke so he found a way around that deficiency.  Somehow, I doubt that Clark is going to starve if he has to curtail his schedule, or even retire to a club job.  Hundreds of pro golfers have faced that choice before him, so I don't see anything that makes his case special aside from the simple fact that he chose to base his career on something which may soon be as extinct as the do-do bird.  What about the guy who made his living running a livery stable when the automobile became the popular mode of transportation?  He either opened a gas station or he lost his livelihood.  The automobile was supposed to be a fad, but it turned out very different.  The rule change was just a rumor.... but maybe not.  I'm thinking that the guys with the long putters need to learn how to pump gas.  a2_wink.gif

post #63 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

  1. Again I feel "how long something has been legal" (particularly given that it's not been particularly widespread for that length of time) is a weak argument for keeping a rule, particularly a rule that people think is bad. For example, should we have kept the rule that punished players when the wind moved their ball on the putting green because we'd had it for so long, or should we change it to make a better rule? Obviously they (correctly IMO) went with option b.
  2. I highlighted the bold part because clearly the USGA feel that they're doing just that - establishing the framework, or refining it in this case. They're not blowing it up and starting over.
  3. You draw the line at pool-cue putting and astride-the-line putting, but stop short of anchored putting. I - and others, of course - draw the line just past anchoring, obviously.
  4. I disagree that rulings "need to be made quickly." Again, sports in general and golf specifically have had rules for awhile. Heck, players used to be able to stymie others, hit the pin without penalty from on the putting green, and all sorts of other rules. We've recently changed the definition of "addressing" the ball (that's a pretty fundamental thing to change after so long) and changed other rules.
  5. Furthermore, BELLY putters aren't 75 years old. When a loophole (a bit biased to use that word but oh well) is found and players begin to exploit it (again, not the best word but it's early still) that's when the clock starts ticking, especially if they start to have success with it. That's only been the past few years, really. Long putters have been around but not belly putters nor have they been used "super successfully."

 

I disagree with you that the rule would not be "equitable" (note that "equitable" is different than "fair," which I think you agree with as well).

 

1. You think it's bad. You think the change is "better". There's no reasonable comparison with the entirely common sense change in the address rule, which I've never seen anyone argue against.

 

2. It's not "refining" -- by any definition -- to completely outlaw a widespread and long-established mode of play.

 

3. Fair enough. We all draw the line somewhere.

 

4. None of the examples you cite singled out a particular subset of players -- professional and amateur -- and caused them direct detriment. Unless there was once a cadre of "stymie specialists" of which I am unaware.

 

5. You can't have it both ways. If you're going to assert that it is physical anchoring that is the fundamental problem, then you don't get to argue there are gradations of harm to the ethos of the game ranging from broomstick to belly to whatever. And people have been anchoring putters in competition, one way or another and quite legally, since the 1930s. 

post #64 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

1. You think it's bad. You think the change is "better". There's no reasonable comparison with the entirely common sense change in the address rule, which I've never seen anyone argue against.

 

2. It's not "refining" -- by any definition -- to completely outlaw a widespread and long-established mode of play.

 

3. Fair enough. We all draw the line somewhere.

 

4. None of the examples you cite singled out a particular subset of players -- professional and amateur -- and caused them direct detriment. Unless there was once a cadre of "stymie specialists" of which I am unaware.

 

5. You can't have it both ways. If you're going to assert that it is physical anchoring that is the fundamental problem, then you don't get to argue there are gradations of harm to the ethos of the game ranging from broomstick to belly to whatever. And people have been anchoring putters in competition, one way or another and quite legally, since the 1930s. 

 

1. There are plenty of other examples of rules being changed after they've been in the game - any game, not just golf - for awhile.

 

2. Sorry, but I disagree. It's refining what a legal "stroke" is.

 

3. Okay.

 

4. This doesn't either. Everyone can currently choose to play this equipment or not. The groove rule affected some players who had bigger grooves in all of their irons and didn't affect others as much (and it affected those who hit the rough more often than those who played from the fairway). Changes to the rules regarding kickoffs affect kickers and kick returners while leaving QBs out of the equation. Such is life and the way rules work.

 

5. Sure you can. It's attracted enough attention only recently - because it's both more common AND people are having more success - that a decision was/will be made. That's not creating a gradation. That's saying "enough is enough, we're drawing a line." They're not drawing a gradation, nor am I.

post #65 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

1. There are plenty of other examples of rules being changed after they've been in the game - any game, not just golf - for awhile.

 

2. Sorry, but I disagree. It's refining what a legal "stroke" is.

 

3. Okay.

 

4. This doesn't either. Everyone can currently choose to play this equipment or not. The groove rule affected some players who had bigger grooves in all of their irons and didn't affect others as much (and it affected those who hit the rough more often than those who played from the fairway). Changes to the rules regarding kickoffs affect kickers and kick returners while leaving QBs out of the equation. Such is life and the way rules work.

 

5. Sure you can. It's attracted enough attention only recently - because it's both more common AND people are having more success - that a decision was/will be made. That's not creating a gradation. That's saying "enough is enough, we're drawing a line." They're not drawing a gradation, nor am I.

 

1. Please cite just one other one in any other sport that would potentially eliminate a top 1% player from competing going forward.

 

2. If you've allowed something (which we both agree to be fundamental to the game) to be done in a certain way for more than half a century, and then you suddenly rule that it can no longer be done that way -- how are you not "blowing it up and starting over"?

 

3. Holy Shitsnacks! Agreement.

 

4. Sorry Erik, we need to build a bypass through what used to be your instructional facility. Eminent domain blah blah etc. Pity about your livelihood, but such is life and the way rules work.  

 

5. Of course you are.Two posts back you said it wasn't a problem until people actually started winning with bellies. And yet of, course, the onus somehow isn't also on you to demonstrate that they wouldn't have been able to do that with a 35" putter.

 

You want a ban, show harm to the rest of the field. That's really the absolute least that you, and the rest of the advocates for action, can do. And we've yet to hear a peep on that front.

post #66 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

 

1. Please cite just one other one in any other sport that would potentially eliminate a top 1% player from competing going forward.

 

2. If you've allowed something (which we both agree to be fundamental to the game) to be done in a certain way for more than half a century, and then you suddenly rule that it can no longer be done that way -- how are you not "blowing it up and starting over"?

 

3. Holy Shitsnacks! Agreement.

 

4. Sorry Erik, we need to build a bypass through what used to be your instructional facility. Eminent domain blah blah etc. Pity about your livelihood, but such is life and the way rules work.  

 

5. Of course you are.Two posts back you said it wasn't a problem until people actually started winning with bellies. And yet of, course, the onus somehow isn't also on you to demonstrate that they wouldn't have been able to do that with a 35" putter.

 

You want a ban, show harm to the rest of the field. That's really the absolute least that you, and the rest of the advocates for action, can do. And we've yet to hear a peep on that front.

For the record, I am very much enjoying the back and forth between two people who are both intelligent and and both have pretty solid points to make all around.  Basically, a good example as to why this is probably sucha tough decision.

 

I like the challenge of your first question, Stretch, and am racking my brain for a really good analogy.  I can't think of one yet that would actually eliminate a top player from actually competing. The pass interference/5-yard chuck rule changes they made a few years back in the NFL fundamentally changed the entire league from a more running based game to a more passing based game, however, good cornerbacks still have a job, so that one doesn't really work.  They did the same in basketball ... to promote more offense they tightened the rules and hand checking for defenders.  Again, that is not going to put good defenders out of a job though.  What those rule changes would do, though, is make things harder for players who may have relied more on holding and other things that they were previously allowed to "get away with."

 

The most perfect analogy - if they were to ever make the change - would be for the American League to eliminate the DH rule.  You could argue that they would be taking away the livelihood of guys like David Ortiz.  Erik, on the other hand, could make an equally correct argument that it's not unfair because Ortiz can just learn to play first base.

post #67 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

 

1. Please cite just one other one in any other sport that would potentially eliminate a top 1% player from competing going forward.

 

2. If you've allowed something (which we both agree to be fundamental to the game) to be done in a certain way for more than half a century, and then you suddenly rule that it can no longer be done that way -- how are you not "blowing it up and starting over"?

 

3. Holy Shitsnacks! Agreement.

 

4. Sorry Erik, we need to build a bypass through what used to be your instructional facility. Eminent domain blah blah etc. Pity about your livelihood, but such is life and the way rules work.  

 

5. Of course you are.Two posts back you said it wasn't a problem until people actually started winning with bellies. And yet of, course, the onus somehow isn't also on you to demonstrate that they wouldn't have been able to do that with a 35" putter.

 

You want a ban, show harm to the rest of the field. That's really the absolute least that you, and the rest of the advocates for action, can do. And we've yet to hear a peep on that front.

 

I'm having a deja vu experience here.

 

Stretch, did you read the thread (yeah, it's WAY long) on how Tiger wants to ban the long putter?

All of these arguments have already been discussed, I think.  Might be a nice read if you're really interested.

 

What it comes down to, as far as I can see, is that anchored putting is a non-standard technique.  When non-standard techniques or equipment threaten the traditions of the game, the USGA and R&A historically have made rulings to ban them.  They allow equipment to slowly evolve, but they do limit the pace.  When the question came up in past decades, there was such a small number of these non-standard putters that it was no threat to traditional putting in their opinion.  The story is different now.  There are some people learning golf who are being taught only the anchored method.  They may never learn the traditional putting stroke.  This is the last thing either the USGA or the R&A wanted to see, and that's why they're doing something about it.

 

Yes, they have every right to make this subjective determination about what threatens tradition and what doesn't, and they have no need to produce any "evidence" in doing so.  One of the reasons we have a governing body is to maintain the traditions.  Yes, we all know golf will gradually evolve just as most games do.  But when that evolution takes leaps that make many golfers uncomfortable because it doesn't seem like "real golf", it's time to step in and do something about it.

post #68 of 1852

As for the subject of a lawsuit from Tim Clark.  The USGA currently has exceptions for people with physical disabilities.  The PGA has forced some players to take legal action in the past, and I imagine that wouldn't change.  Whether it's riding in carts or using a non-standard putter stroke, I see no difference.

 

Should the PGA allow a player to use a non-standard stroke if that's the only way they can play, provided it doesn't give them an advantage?

 

I say yes.  However, in Tim Clark's case, his injury and elbow surgery clearly has no effect on his ability to grip any other club in the bag from what I can see.  I doubt that he's able to prove that he can't rotate his elbows enough to grip a putter when he can grip a wedge just fine.

 

If some other golfer came along, however, who actually had a disability (remember Cal Peete's arm?) that didn't allow the currently defined stroke, I'm betting the PGA would allow them.  But it may take a lawsuit and not just somebody claiming that they can hold a wedge but not a putter without anchoring it.

post #69 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

1. Please cite just one other one in any other sport that would potentially eliminate a top 1% player from competing going forward.

 

2. If you've allowed something (which we both agree to be fundamental to the game) to be done in a certain way for more than half a century, and then you suddenly rule that it can no longer be done that way -- how are you not "blowing it up and starting over"?

 

3. Holy Shitsnacks! Agreement.

 

4. Sorry Erik, we need to build a bypass through what used to be your instructional facility. Eminent domain blah blah etc. Pity about your livelihood, but such is life and the way rules work.  

 

5. Of course you are.Two posts back you said it wasn't a problem until people actually started winning with bellies. And yet of, course, the onus somehow isn't also on you to demonstrate that they wouldn't have been able to do that with a 35" putter.

 

You want a ban, show harm to the rest of the field. That's really the absolute least that you, and the rest of the advocates for action, can do. And we've yet to hear a peep on that front.

 

  1. Top 1% on the PGA Tour or top whatever anywhere? Spitballs were banned after being accepted for a long time. Eliminated several pitchers from the major leagues. So there's one. Steroids were banned in baseball, too - that alone eliminated 50 to 100 MLB players. a3_biggrin.gif And I could ask you to prove that, say, Tim Clark will be "eliminated from competing going forward." He's got four years or whatever to learn to putt without anchoring. I've seen him putt - becoming equally as good won't be that difficult. a2_wink.gif And even if 20 players were to lose their PGA Tour status because the rules changed, I'm fine with that.
  2. I completely disagree. It's a revision - they're not re-defining the stroke to say that you have to clench the golf club between your teeth or something. Give me a break.
  3. We agree that we all draw the line somewhere, yes. I draw it after (or before, I guess, depending on the direction you're going) anchoring it to your body.
  4. Eminent domain is a law and it's used from time to time. The government compensates you (often not for as much as you feel you should get), but overall, that's a terrible analogy. Heck, the fact that it's an actual law (set of laws) speaks to that. Rulesmaking bodies should not be concerned about who can or can't make a living playing under those rules. They should be concerned with making the best rules for the game, period.
  5. I disagree. Saying the rule has been around for 75 years has two problems: a) you have to prove somehow that just because the rule has been around for a long time it shouldn't be changed for the betterment of the sport (IMO length of time a rule has existed is NOT a good reason to keep or abolish it), and b) it completely ignores the fact that for 70 of those 75 years they were a curiosity that had no real big success, and only recently have they become a topic of debate, etc.

 

Why should I have to show harm? That's a straw man. I would ban anchoring for the same reasons I've always wanted to ban them: because it's not what a "stroke" is in golf, it takes the hands and nerves out of the stroke more than it should. Yes, that's an opinion, but it's one shared by - seemingly - the USGA and likely the R&A. All of the rules are basically opinions on how the game should be played. I don't need to "show harm," and fortunately, neither does the USGA.

 

Edit: As for another rule which just came to me which eliminates players in the top 1% (the pro league), hockey's rules changes have eliminated several players from the NHL, from the old clutch-and-grab era to the new rules on headshots and fighting eliminating certain kinds of players from the game.

 

Also, what dave67az said in post #67 is good. I just wish he would be more careful about saying "PGA" when he means either PGA Tour or USGA. :)

post #70 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

Whether it's riding in carts or using a non-standard putter stroke, I see no difference.

 

I believe there is actually a very substantial difference.  I'm going completely off memory here, but I do believe the rule of law that came out of the Casey Martin case was that walking the course was NOT deemed to be integral to the sport of golf.  Therefore, the ruling was not affecting any rule that was integral to the sport.  In the judge's mind, they weren't changing the rules integral to the sport.

 

I disagree, but that's moot.  The point here is that no judge would be likely to rule that putting isn't integral to the sport.  Putting is obviously a majorly integral aspect of the sport, and if the court doesn't see fit to adjust rules by the governing body in matters that ARE integral to the sport, then the Casey Martin case wouldn't likely serve as precedent.

 

That's just my opinion, and I am no legal expert (although I did go to law school).

post #71 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post

1. Please cite just one other one in any other sport that would potentially eliminate a top 1% player from competing going forward.

2. If you've allowed something (which we both agree to be fundamental to the game) to be done in a certain way for more than half a century, and then you suddenly rule that it can no longer be done that way -- how are you not "blowing it up and starting over"?

3. Holy Shitsnacks! Agreement.

4. Sorry Erik, we need to build a bypass through what used to be your instructional facility. Eminent domain blah blah etc. Pity about your livelihood, but such is life and the way rules work.  

5. Of course you are.Two posts back you said it wasn't a problem until people actually started winning with bellies. And yet of, course, the onus somehow isn't also on you to demonstrate that they wouldn't have been able to do that with a 35" putter.

You want a ban, show harm to the rest of the field. That's really the absolute least that you, and the rest of the advocates for action, can do. And we've yet to hear a peep on that front.



The NHL crackdown on obstruction from a few years back ended the careers of several high profile players. The Instigator rule also lead to some early retirements.

Were these guys top 1%? Probably not but many of them could name their team and price come free agency. A lot of big name players couldn't find jobs post lockout.

EDIT- Eric's edit beat me to it.
post #72 of 1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I can't think of one yet that would actually eliminate a top player from actually competing. The pass interference/5-yard chuck rule changes they made a few years back in the NFL fundamentally changed the entire league from a more running based game to a more passing based game, however, good cornerbacks still have a job, so that one doesn't really work.  They did the same in basketball ... to promote more offense they tightened the rules and hand checking for defenders.  Again, that is not going to put good defenders out of a job though.  What those rule changes would do, though, is make things harder for players who may have relied more on holding and other things that they were previously allowed to "get away with."

The most perfect analogy - if they were to ever make the change - would be for the American League to eliminate the DH rule.  You could argue that they would be taking away the livelihood of guys like David Ortiz.  Erik, on the other hand, could make an equally correct argument that it's not unfair because Ortiz can just learn to play first base.

 

Good points all around, although I have a nuanced disagreement with your assertion that "good defenders" aren't affected by the rules you cited.  Particularly in the NFL's case (my area of expertise in football is at cornerback where I played for 7 years and have coached the position at various levels for the last 8 or so), there are different types of defenders, techniques AND schemes that all play into that rule.  

 

The "Illegal Contact" rule benefited players that were smaller, quicker, had more fluid hips and better footwork, and punished players who were bigger, stronger and more physical.  One could argue that it shortened the careers of some of those latter types of corners who couldn't adapt to the change.  It also affected schemes and playcalling, as some defenses (cover 2, for example) were more dependent on a physical corner presence on the outside vs other defensive schemes.  

 

At least with Golf it is for the betterment of the game as they would be promoting a higher skill level (IMO) truer to the original intent of the sport.  In the NFL's case, they were just trying to increase scoring to make the game more exciting and marketable, even though it actually hurts the sport (horrible illegal contact penalties called every week, defenders are at a marked disadvantage, and it decreases the ability to slow WRs down as they advance upfield, thereby increasing the collision speed of hits across the middle and down the field which has added to the inherent danger of the game).  Anyway, of course this hasn't eliminated the big, physical corner from the game as they are as prevalent as ever.  But they definitely had an adjustment period.  The same would apply to a golfer who anchors a belly putter currently: if they can't adapt, their career will be shortened.  

 

Adapt.

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