FORT WORTH, Texas – PGA of America president Ted Bishop has long been outspoken on his opposition the anchored putting ban that was put into effect Tuesday by the USGA and R&A. In Tom Lehman, he has the support of one prominent former Ryder Cup captain.
“I’m in support of the PGA of America and growing the game, making it more inclusive and fun for everybody,” Lehman said while preparing for this week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational. “This is a real issue, because I just can’t imagine that all the clubs around the United States, when they have their member-guests or their club championship, they’re going to have a local rule and say, ‘We’re not going to play by USGA rules.’ So I think the USGA and R&A are setting themselves up for a situation where people don’t follow their lead, which will diminish their credibility as ruling bodies, and I think there’s a potential problem with that.”
Lehman, who won the 1996 Open Championship, maintained that while he could see the other side of the debate, he believes it could have a negative effect on how it separates those who play and preside over the game.
“I’m not in favor of this ban for a few different reasons,” he continued. “I don’t think it’s necessary. But those who don’t like anchoring, they have good arguments and their opinion is valid, as well. I just don’t know that it’s an issue you want to divide golf over.”