PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is an attorney who at one time worked for the Carter Administration. So when he was asked today about the Tour’s stance on a possible rule change involving long putters, the Commish gave his best attorney-politico answer. That is, he used a lot of words to say nothing at all.
A bit of background: Speculation continues in equipment circles that the U.S. Golf Association will make some kind of ruling on long putters by the end of this year. Best guess, at least for today, is that the USGA will ban “anchoring” long putters and belly putters.
You’re up Mr. Commissioner.
“When I speak to a position, we as an organization haven’t had an interface yet with the direction that those discussions are taking specifically, so we haven’t had the opportunity as an organization to look at that and determine whether we should have a position, and if so, what it should be,” Finchem said at The Tour Championship. “I think what I’ve articulated from the position I hold is simply that this is important to a lot of people, not just on the PGA Tour, but to golfers. It should be done carefully, reviewed fully, and discussed thoroughly and at least at this point I’m confident that will happen.”
The Tour, it should remembered, has its own equipment committee, meaning it can basically make its own rules when it comes to equipment. It’s unlikely, however, that the Tour will go against the USGA, even if a Tour player (or players) sue the USGA over the ruling.
“We just have to take a process and follow it through,” Finchem said when asked what the Tour’s stance might be in such a scenario. “That includes educating. If this moves forward, educating our players as to what it is, specifically. How it’s going to be implemented, specifically. We have a group of people that work with (the USGA) on the rules and evaluate what it means to us as a sport, as a professional sport.”
Make sense to me. Okay, maybe not.