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Biggest Golf Controversies

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This is a tough one Erik.

I think the most controversies through the years have been created by equipment. I don't know if I could come up with 5 but I would have to say the Haskell ball is one, the center shafted Schenectady putter would be another and more recently the illegal driver controversy - illegal C.O.R. or not. Can't think of many controversies that relate to the rules - maybe the stymie. There was the situation with Stadler when he used the towel to create a stance, also the rock being moved for Tiger raised some stink. Jesper's clothes are always controversial. I'll add some more later if I can think of some. Brett

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Does the U.S. Ryder Cup team's early celebration in 1999 count as controversial, or is that not really the area it fits in?

I know a lot of people find that very controversial, at least that's what I've heard.

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A few ideas off the top off my head:

How about Vijay's creative aptitude with a pencil........

The whole Ping square-groove debarcle,the lawsuit,and the R+A and USPGA ultimately bowing down under pressure.

The alleged "swapping" to golf balls of a different compression by Paul Azinger against Seve during the Ryder Cup (ok- seve was the "ultimate" whinging opponent in match play,but either way it was the ultimate place to "cheat" or the ultimate place to try to accuse someone).

And a controversial,controversial one (if you get my drift) - Females playing on the USPGA/European tour.How long before we see a woman in a major ?

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These are all good suggestions. Perhaps I could have defined controversy a bit more clearly, but I kinda like the loose things y'all have come up with, so I'll leave it as is.

These are good. Keep coming up with 'em!

Some more for the list:
  • Roberto de Vicenzo in the '66 Masters (I think it was 1966).
  • Callaway's illegal club, endorsed by Arnold Palmer
  • Monty this year cheating his way in to the U.S. Open, etc.?

Tougher than I thought to come up with some good ones...

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Controversies...

USGA/R&A-related;, you have the square grooves fiasco with Ping (where both sides essentially fought to a draw, and Karsten Mfg. spent so much time and energy on the suit that they took their eye off the ball and started losing their lead in the iron market) and the COR mess (where the USGA/R&A; indicated that they were going to be reasonable, then slapped a .830 limit on all golfers after Callaway and TaylorMade had introduced product that exceeded the limit). That's how the TM woods got the "r" designation: the "r" models were the over .830 drivers for the R&A; countries, where the woods were conforming until the two governing bodies pulled the switch. TM had already launched the drivers in the US without the "r" (the 500 series), then renamed the entire line to have the "r" in front of it.

You also have rules controversies. Arnold Palmer got a controversial (but correct) free drop at the Masters one year that Ken Venturi is still crying about. On a more minor note, you had the crowd helping Tiger move a boulder a couple years back.

Speaking of Tiger, there was the whole episode with Fuzzy Zoeller when Tiger won his first Masters, the comments about fried chicken. That was big.

Also, Greg Norman proposed the idea of a world tour to the PGA Tour and was shot down and belittled. Then, magically, the "world golf championships" were born.

Just a few...

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There was a big stink in 1996 when Englishman Ben Wright made some comment like women don't play as well because their breasts get in the way. He lost his commentator job because of it. I remember that in the media not long after college graduation.

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Yeah, High Anxiety is right. I forgot all about the Casey Martin situation. That was very memorable for me when I was in high school. I tried to keep up with that as much as I could. That's a good one.

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I am not suggesting this as one of the Top Five, but am bringing it up because it shouldn't be so totally forgotten: Ben Spiller and the the integration of the PGA .

(BTW, didja know Spiller learned to play golf when he was in his 20s? Wonder how many tournament champions can say that?)

Also, way outside the Top Five, might be the use of sponsor's exemptions, for Jack Nicklaus' son, for Annika, and for Michelle. Tempests in teacups.

--Barry, a/k/a Ole Tom

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Note: This thread is 5380 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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