So much for golf being this game of honor, integrity, and honesty, eh? Because the rules overlords, who brought you an end to anchored putting among other buzz kills in a game they contend they’re trying to grow, don’t trust you to count all your strokes on those unattended, spur-of-the-moment, pre- or post-work trots around your favorite track.
The USGA announced on Monday six changes to the Rules of Golf, the most notorious one being the ban on the anchored putting stroke. But it also came down on golfers who are too generous with their gimmes and pride themselves on their vanity handicaps, others who pad their scores when no one’s looking so they can continue to win those net tournaments, and those who play it down the middle and enjoy their alone time.
Here’s how those who are bound and determined to police the fun out of the game justified the “Playing alone and necessary peer review” mandate:
“To further support the key System premise of peer review, scores made while playing alone will no longer be acceptable for handicap purposes. This change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score. (Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores).”
In one of the most Woody Allen Bananas’ “all children under 16 years old are now 16 years old” moments of all time, the USGA had this to say about the edict (you may catch up on the others here if you’re of a mind):
“As we examine the game domestically and globally,” Steven Edmondson, the association’s managing director of handicapping & course rating said in a statement, “these revisions support the integrity and reliability that millions of players around the world expect of this [USGA Handicap System].”
Judging by Geoff Shackelford’s informal poll, you’re not buying it. (Nov. 24, 2015)