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Kite: USGA, R&G neglectful with long putters, drivers

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11:18 AM ET 07.29 | Tom Kite uses a long putter but would be happy to roll things back if he ran the game. Kite would be even more pleased if big drivers and long-distance balls went into the dustbin, too. "The belly putters and long putters are legal and both are wonderful ways to putt," he says. "But I don't think they are good for golf. When it comes to equipment, the USGA and the R&A have been very neglectful. It all goes back to the Ping case in the early 1980s. When the authorities tried to make a rule about the shape and width of grooves on irons they found themselves being sued. And, because they didn't have the money to risk losing, they ended up having to settle. Which was a disaster. They backed down and haven't stood up to anything else since."

The Scotsman

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July 29, 2012  01:49 PM ET

Kites' argument is one that can be made about technological advances in many sports; oversize tennis rackets for example.

July 29, 2012  03:20 PM ET

There's something wrong when pros can play driver, wedge on a 500 yd par 5. If they are not going to change the clubs/balls or make longer courses then most par 5's should be changed to 4's. Plus every tournament should let the rough grow deep like in the Open.

July 29, 2012  07:47 PM ET

Technology will always be a part of this sport ...it makes too much $ense...not to....

July 29, 2012  07:48 PM ET

Tom Kite is not alone. Jack Nicklaus has been outspoken on reigning in the technological advances in clubs and the golf ball. Maybe we should have a tournament where the top 50 players have to play with clubs from Nicklaus's era for 2 days, and then play with their equipment for 2 days. The difference would be interesting to see.

July 29, 2012  08:02 PM ET

These guys are good.

Let them play with equipment from the 70s and we would see if they are actually any good...

July 29, 2012  08:37 PM ET

The question becomes, how far back to you go? Clubs with hickory shafts? Leather golf balls stuffed with feathers? I agree that technology has helped more marginal players succeed, but where do you draw the line?

July 29, 2012  08:46 PM ET

As for where to make the delineation point, one could probably say the Ping case. Go back to 1984 rules, give or take.

There have been, by the way, fundamental changes to other sports. The 4 major American sports have all seen changes. Soccer just recently redefined Offside - a critical part of the game.

The same goes for tennis. I bear no ill will toward John Isner et al. But serving 130 mph aces is NOT the entirety of tennis. The respective organizations should bring skill back into their games.

July 29, 2012  09:43 PM ET

Changing par 5s to 4s won't chnage anything!! the winning scores will be the same just that instead 8 under for example it will be even par or so.. that is not the issue. Issue is chnaging the spirit of the game.. Long putters are the only clubfs anchored on the players body!!! that is taking skill and nerves out of play in critical instances.. it's like allowing a baseball pitcher to trow with a device attached to his/her body!!

Technology play an important factor and w ecan not deny progress. It help me a lot to enjoy my weekend golfing time away from my problems.. but one thing is technology and a much different issues is chnaging the fundamentals of the game..

July 30, 2012  12:04 AM ET

when the pro players are winjning tournements a 16 and 17 under par something needs to be done. they whine about the course set up or how fast and slopey the greens are. Go fishing i say.
Something needs done but what i dont know.

July 30, 2012  06:26 AM ET

Professional baseball uses wooden bats instead of metal bats so there is precedent to having different rules for the pros than for the amateurs. Tennis could limit racket size. Golf could limit shaft lengths and head sizes. This would not stop manufacturers from selling equpiment to the non-pro which is really the bulk of their sales and profits anyways.

July 30, 2012  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Kites' argument is one that can be made about technological advances in many sports; oversize tennis rackets for example.

It is sad that one has to watch Womens tennis if you want to see any actual rallys. The mens game is so eroded with booming serve scoring on ace or failed return most of the time.

July 30, 2012  01:16 PM ET

Winners of the previous 16 majors
2008 PGA: Padraig Harrington (out)
2009 Masters: Angel Cabrera
2009 US Open: Lucas Glover (out)
2009 Open: Stewart Cink
2009 PGA: Yang Yong-eun
2010 Masters: Phil Mickelson (out)
2010 US Open: Graeme McDowell (out)
2010 Open: Louis Oosthuizen (out)
2010 PGA: Martin Kaymer
2011 Masters: Charl Schwartzel (out)
2011 US Open: Rory McIlroy (out)
2011 Open: Darren Clarke
2011 PGA: Keegan Bradley
2012 Masters: Bubba Watson (out)
2012 US Open: Webb Simpson (out)
2012 Open: Ernie Els (out)

Moved from the previous thread:
Harry Crack: Graeme McDowell (br.)/Luke Donald (cont.) @ 280
LoveItHateIt: Lucas Glover (br.)/Dustin Johnson (cont.) @ 282
Slapshot: Rory McIlroy (br.)/Eldrick Woods (cont.) @ 281
Canuck, eh: Bubba Watson (br.)/Zach Johnson (cont.) @ 279
Rex Racer: Webb Simpson (br.)/Jason Dufner (cont.) @ 283
PghSBX6: Phil Mickelson (br.)/Rickie Fowler (cont.) @ 272
Jakester: Louis Oosthuizen (br.)/Matt Kuchar (cont.) @ 277
GoHabs: Ernie Els (br.)/Lee Westwood (cont.) @ 284
MF GO: Charl Schwartzel (br.)/K.J. Choi (cont.) @ 276
Stranger: Padraig Harrington (br.)/Hunter Mahan (cont.) @ 278

July 30, 2012  06:41 PM ET

I'm sure everyone appreciates your work keeping this straight Stranger. Thanks again.

July 30, 2012  07:44 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

I'm sure everyone appreciates your work keeping this straight Stranger. Thanks again.

Thanks Slappy. Kinda makes me miss the days when we had one golf story every month or so.

July 30, 2012  09:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Thanks Slappy. Kinda makes me miss the days when we had one golf story every month or so.

Ditto on Shotman's comments Stranger. Well done sir!

July 31, 2012  09:06 AM ET

Isn't Golf an Olympic event ? I have not heard or seen anything ? It certainly would have to be classed as a summer sport played world wide??

Comment #17 has been removed
July 31, 2012  09:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Isn't Golf an Olympic event ? I have not heard or seen anything ? It certainly would have to be classed as a summer sport played world wide??

Sure is Harry...they won't be playing it until 2016 though.

July 31, 2012  12:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Sure is Harry...they won't be playing it until 2016 though.

Excellent - Thanks ! That's gonna be a heck of an FN Pool or what ;-)

 
July 31, 2012  05:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Excellent - Thanks ! That's gonna be a heck of an FN Pool or what ;-)

That's going to be very interesting.

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