On Tuesday the USGA and R&A announced 87 changes — three new Decisions, 59 revised Decisions, one re-numbered Decision and 24 Decisions withdrawn – to the Rules of Golf that will be effective January 1, 2014, but there were four significant ones, with the most notable involving the use of high-definition or slow-motion video and other visual evidence in enforcing the game’s rules.
Golf’s governing bodies may have been prompted to make this new decision as a result of several controversies during the 2013 season, particularly the Oscillate-gate incident with Tiger Woods receiving a two-shot penalty for his ball moving at the BMW Championship.
There’s a world-class golf course in the middle of New York City — on the south point of the Bronx tucked under the Whitestone Bridge. The effort to build what is now called Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point nearly has the makings to be an episode out of the The Sopranos, but I didn’t have enough words or room to get into the long, dramatic history.
Instead, I wrote about the partnership of Mayor Bloomberg, Donald Trump and Jack Nicklaus that pushed to complete the 30-plus-year undertaking to bring a golf course to Ferry Point Park and previewed the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the course that’s happening this morning. In fact, I’m going to be late, so I better run, but you can read in print on the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section (if you live in the tri-state area), or of course, there’s always the online version…
Jack Nicklaus has unveiled his own line of golf balls that are color-coordinated depending on which tees you play, which is intriguing for several reasons. Here are the details via the press release:
In May, the USGA and R&A made a joint announcement that they had decided to proceed with their decision to adopt Rule 14-1b — banning the anchored putting stroke — effective as of January 1, 2016.
While the PGA Tour and Commissioner Tim Finchem have voiced their opposition to the rule and a group of players who use the stroke have lawyered up, the Tour Policy Board convened the week of the Memorial Tournament and all signs seemed to indicate they’d follow the decree of golf’s governing bodies. After all, how confusing would it be to have two sets of rules and it’d be the PGA Tour saying they were above the game of golf, etc.
On Monday, the Tour announced the Tour Policy Board met this morning and voted to conform with the USGA and R&A’s rule. Here’s the press release:
Don’t worry, the USGA wasn’t going to go all soft on the ladies two days in a row at the U.S. Women’s Open. Along with breezy conditions on Friday at Sebonack, the pin placements were much less accessible than Thursday’s setup.
Second-round play was suspended due to fog, but here’s the Top Five from the second round:
Wow, what a week! The U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club looked like it might turn into a farce at the start of the week, with the record-high rainfall and potential wash-out on Thursday, but in the end, everything worked out and the USGA and course walked away as the biggest winners. In fact, I might go as far to say that it was the best one I’ve seen in the past five years — four of which I covered and one that I spectated.
Finally. Someone said it.
Former Masters champ Zach Johnson made the most of his post-round media obligations yesterday evening by taking the USGA to task for transforming Merion from a nuanced test of golf into a predictably gruelling, one-note US Open layout.