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Chilli Dipper

USGA to Cancel Publinx, add Four-Ball Championships

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I just saw this on Golf Channel. The United States Golf Association is retiring the men's and women's Amateur Public Links Championships in 2014, while establishing men's and women's Four-Ball Championship in the spring of 2015. The USGA's explanation is that with the distinction of private and public access having been blurred significantly, the founding principle of the Publinx, the men's edition of which was founded in 1922, is no longer relevant.

Quote:
"What it all boiled down to was an essential question: If we were starting over today and founded the USGA, starting the championships, would we created these two championships today?" noted John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, rules, competitions & equipment standards. "And the answer is no, because the original mission is no longer needed."
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I wonder if the winners will both get an invite to The Masters.....
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An event that is 91 years in the making, and they are going to cancel it because the lines are blurred between public and private access?  How hard is it to check an entrants background and verify that they are not a member of a private club?  Public clubs are public.  What's the deal here?

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I agree that it's a bit weird to have the Publinx - you have to be a "member" or play a lot at a public club? Why does that matter? It's like weird reverse snobbism.

Replacing it with a four-ball is interesting. I like it.

Good to see the USGA not just staying with history for history's sake. Time marches on.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

An event that is 91 years in the making, and they are going to cancel it because the lines are blurred between public and private access?  How hard is it to check an entrants background and verify that they are not a member of a private club?  Public clubs are public.  What's the deal here?

I'm not sure that's what they meant about the lines being blurred.  My interpretation was that the reason why it came to be in the first place is because people who were members of a private club had an enormous advantage over non-members.  Members of private clubs could play and practice all the time, and if you weren't a member of a club, you simply did not have the same access to play, practice and instruction.

Now you and I can play and practice every day and get world class instruction (see what I did there? ), all without having to be a part of an elite class who are fortunate enough to be members of a Country Club.  Basically, nowaways everybody has the exact same opportunity so there really isn't a need to have a public tournament that excludes CC members anymore.

At least, that's what I think they meant. :)

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My first reaction was what! Get rid of the Publinx?

Having grown up very middle class & on public courses I appreciated the intent of the Publinx. But this is a different era now. That line is indeed blurred, and further, there's less class separation of private v public players now. Back in the day, you could have called the Publinx the 'Unwashed Masses' Championship. But golf's not nearly elitist of a sport now.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

I'm not sure that's what they meant about the lines being blurred.  My interpretation was that the reason why it came to be in the first place is because people who were members of a private club had an enormous advantage over non-members.  Members of private clubs could play and practice all the time, and if you weren't a member of a club, you simply did not have the same access to play, practice and instruction.

Now you and I can play and practice every day and get world class instruction (see what I did there? ), all without having to be a part of an elite class who are fortunate enough to be members of a Country Club.  Basically, nowaways everybody has the exact same opportunity so there really isn't a need to have a public tournament that excludes CC members anymore.

At least, that's what I think they meant. :)

Right... I get that.  But it is a championship that has gone on for 91 years (minus the years of WWII).  So much for tradition?

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Right... I get that.  But it is a championship that has gone on for 91 years (minus the years of WWII).  So much for tradition?

Oh.  Well you said "How hard is it to check an entrants background and verify that they are not a member of a private club?  What's the deal here?"  I thought you were suggesting that "the lines are blurred" meant it was getting harder for them to know who was or wasn't a member of a private club.  As if there are a whole bunch of private club members sneaking into public links events and that is why they stopped it.  Too hard for them to "police."  That's what I thought that you thought they were saying. :)

But tradition for traditions sake?  Barf.

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All I wonder is how this is going to affect amateur invites to the masters
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I am sure there is a discussion somewhere in the forums, but isn't this like the championship for the weekend warriors who happen to be good? I do not get so hung up over private vs public (although I might just join a private club on the island this year).

That being said, I guess my real question is how can a regular Joe get into the Masters or the Open without a tourney such as the one that has been abolished?

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That being said, I guess my real question is how can a regular Joe get into the Masters or the Open without a tourney such as the one that has been abolished?

This isn't really that, at all. A few semi-recent winners: Colt Knost, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan moore, Chez Reavie, DJ Trahan, Trevor Immelman, Tim Clark, and Billy Mayfair. Maybe you're thinking of the Mid-Am? (Also, "regular Joes" can't, and shouldn't, get into the Masters or the Open. You have to be damn good, no matter what way you get it.)

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Originally Posted by tstrike34

I am sure there is a discussion somewhere in the forums, but isn't this like the championship for the weekend warriors who happen to be good? I do not get so hung up over private vs public (although I might just join a private club on the island this year).

That being said, I guess my real question is how can a regular Joe get into the Masters or the Open without a tourney such as the one that has been abolished?

The regular US amateur, and I believe the Mid-am as well (for the old guys over 35).  The point, I believe, is that the not belonging to a private club isn't an obstacle to being able to become great at golf like it once was.

Site note:  I don't like that everybody in the golfing world pronounces it "ama-tour" or "ameter" as opposed to "ama-cher."

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Site note:  I don't like that everybody in the golfing world pronounces it "ama-tour" or "ameter" as opposed to "ama-cher."

Sometimes I've heard guys pronounce it more like "amader."

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

The regular US amateur, and I believe the Mid-am as well (for the old guys over 35).

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to any amateur golfer who is 25 years old by Oct. 5 with a USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4.

It's just 25. Basically, "no college kids."

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Originally Posted by jamo

Sometimes I've heard guys pronounce it more like "amader."

I just call them guys who have a real job.

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Originally Posted by iacas

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to any amateur golfer who is 25 years old by Oct. 5 with a USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 3.4.

It's just 25. Basically, "no college kids."

Whoops, my bad.  25, not 35.  (It's been awhile since I was either of those) :)

I guess this is kind of a by-product of the changed times.  The purpose of the Mid-Am now seems to me the same as the Publinks was when it first came to be.  Another reason why the Publinks doesn't really need to exist.

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So if I understand the USGA: We'll hide behind tradition to change the groove rule which impacts the top 1%; We'll hide behind tradition to ban anchoring because there are guys on TOUR that don't like it; But we won't stand up for tradition in preserving one of the nations oldest championships. And they also won't be getting dues money from me anytime soon. So the "blue collar" golfer is basically done...and these fourball teams, how will they be selected? State golf associations? If so, that's going to be college kids. I might as well hang it up. My national championship is now the Mid Am, until they get rid of that in favor of a shootout event.
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