PGA of America says tougher rules could hurt game

Updated 13 December 2012
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PGA of America says tougher rules could hurt game

NEW YORK: Limiting how far the ball travels and the type of putters players can use could do more harm than good for golf, the PGA of America said on Tuesday.
The PGA of America, who is opposed to a proposed ban on players anchoring long putters to their body, feels making golf easier would grow the game and is ready to resist a possible move to reign in the distance golf balls travel.
“If you do anything that’s going to cause the rank and file amateur player to not hit the ball as far, there’s no way you’re going to enhance their enjoyment of the game,” PGA President Ted Bishop told reporters on Tuesday.
Golf’s rulesmakers have not formally proposed dialing back how far a golf ball can go, but it has been something the United States Golf Association (USGA) has long pondered.
Bishop, whose eye is trained on increasing the popularity of the game, said he worried about the average player if such a rule were to be passed.
According to Bishop, the USGA has said controlling the distance of golf balls is something that may be worth exploring to help improve golf course maintenance costs and potentially lessen the amount of land required to build golf courses.
“I’m not so sure that’s the greater issue we have to deal with,” Bishop told Reuters. “This game is a hard game and anything we do to make the golf course play longer, play more difficult, is certainly going to deter from the enjoyment of the game for the average player.”
A review process on the proposed anchoring rule by the USGA and the Royal and Ancient is set to continue through next February and if approved would be enforced from Jan. 1, 2016.
The PGA reacted quickly, issuing a statement calling on the rules bodies “to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people’s enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game.”
A survey of PGA members showed 63 percent were against a ban of anchoring, a putting style used by three of the past five major champions — Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els.
“I’ve already had players in my club that are using long putters ... saying ‘are you going to make it a local rule that’s going to allow me to putt this way?’” said Bishop, for 20 years the general manager and director of golf at The Legends Golf Club, in Franklin, Indiana.
“It puts us in a tough position as club professionals trying to administer events at our club level.”
Some have suggested two sets of rules, one governing professionals and another applied to more ordinary players, referred to as bifurcation.
Pete Bevacqua, the new chief executive the PGA of America, did not think split rules were a good way to go.
“Everyone wants to see where the rules go,” Bevacqua told Reuters. “(But) I tend to agree with the USGA, I don’t think bifurcation is the answer. It would be crazy if we all played by different sets of rules.
“I think it’s great that you see what the elite players are doing and get to judge their performance or the performance of their friends against them. That’s part of the charm of golf.”


Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss

Updated 22 June 2018
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Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss

  • Saudi Arabia's 1996 Asian Cup-winning coach Nelo Vingada backs Pizzi to lead side into next year's Asian Cup.
  • Green Falcons face Egypt on Monday with both looking to land their first point in Russia.

MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s 1996 Asian Cup-winning boss Nelo Vingada has called on the country’s football authorities to keep faith with head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi despite a disappointing showing in Russia.
The Green Falcons still have to face Egypt in the final match of Group A, but have already been eliminated following a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Russia in the opening game on June 14 in Moscow and a 1-0 loss to Uruguay five days later in Rostov.
 “I was expecting a little more from Saudi Arabia to be honest,” Vingada told Arab News.
“In the first game they were disappointing but a first game of the World Cup is always hard and especially when it is the first game and everyone is watching. Plenty of teams at the World Cup did not play well in the first game.
“But playing Russia in Russia and to lose is what you would normally expect from Saudi Arabia and while it was far from positive, people should not get carried away.
“The game with Uruguay was much improved in terms of organization and defense and it showed more of the character of the Saudi Arabia team.”
In the past, coaches have been axed following disappointing World Cup campaigns but with the 2019 Asian Cup just seven months away, the Portuguese tactician would prefer to see some stability rather than yet another new man in the dugout.
 “The Asian Cup is in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will be one of the contenders,” Vingada said. “It is better to stay with the same coach. He has a vision of how he wants the team to play and he now knows the players and the players know him.”
Constant changing has not helped Saudi Arabia in the past and Pizzi himself has been in the job just seven months.
“The problem is not the coach. He should not be changed, that has happened before but results did not improve, but the mentality has to change.”
Despite that Vingada, who has coached 
Egyptian club giants Zamalek and the country’s Under-23 team, believes that the Pharaohs, also eliminated, will prevail when the two regional rivals meet on Monday in Volgograd.
 “This is an important game for pride, the players and the countries. It is still the World Cup. Egypt have a little more quality I think and have Mohamed Salah too.” 
The Liverpool striker has been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in late May and missed the opening game 1-0 loss to Uruguay. He played in the second game, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Russia, scoring from the spot late in the match to earn a consolation.
“Any coach would take Salah because he can win you games but overall Egypt have been a little disappointing and a little unlucky.”
The bad luck came when conceding a last-minute goal to Uruguay and a fluke own goal to get Russia off the mark. “Uruguay are a tough team and it is no shame to lose 3-1 to a Russia team at home who are playing to qualify for the next round. It showed that European and South American teams still have a little more quality.”
 “Egypt just made some mistakes at the wrong time but this is football and without mistakes there are no goals.”
Ahead of the clash against Egypt Pizzi confirmed his intention to stay as Saudi Arabia boss, looking to build on the seven months he has had to imprint his ideas on the team ahead of the Asian Cup.