There’s a good analysis piece by ESPN legal eagle Lester Munson on players’ potential legal actions the USGA and R&A if the ruling bodies decide to ban long putters. Reigning U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson and former PGhA Champion Keegan Bradley are among those players who have mentoned possible legal action of the ruling bodies ban belly putters and long putters.
Munson writes: “The vast majority of legal precedents say clearly and unequivocally that governing bodies such as the USGA enjoy unfettered authority to determine the rules of the games they oversee. Judges are reluctant to intervene in the governing of a sport or a business, and they don’t want to be in the position of second-guessing those who define the game.”
That’s where I disagree. The USGA and R&A govern enjoy the “unfettered authority to determine the rules” because the world’s professional tours and equipment companies allow them to do so. To my knowledge, there’s no charter or statute that grans them power. The USGA and R&A are in their positions by tradition as much as anything else.
To see the entire Munson anaysis, click here; http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/page/Long-putters/despite-money-time-prepare-challenge-golfers-lose-long-putter-anchoring-court-battle