DUBLIN, Ohio – Keegan Bradley didn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting between members of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council and the USGA and R&A, and it’s probably best.
The rule makers spent about an hour this week at the Memorial explaining why they have proposed a new Model Local Rule (MLR) for golf balls that could, by some estimates, lead to drives for top professionals that are 20 to 25 yards shorter.
For Bradley, whose game was intimately impacted the last time the USGA and R&A made an equipment change that outlawed anchored putting, it felt all too familiar.
“I have a really strange relationship with the USGA from the belly putter. I just feel like the USGA admits to making mistakes and then they punish the players for it,” Bradley said. “I don’t feel like it’s our fault that they think that the ball went too far or that they should have banned the belly putter.
“They retroactively, decades later, try to adjust and then they just throw it on us. We do this as a living. This is how we make our living. I don’t think that’s necessarily fair that we pay for their mistakes.”
The anchoring ban, which occurred in 2013, impacted many players at the game’s highest level, including Bradley and Adam Scott, who did attend Tuesday’s meeting with the USGA and R&A.
“The scale that this [the potential golf ball rollback] affects is way bigger than the anchoring debate. That was directly affecting me and maybe a dozen other guys,” Scott said. “I don’t question the governing bodies intent at all. I do believe they want good for the game, and they’re trying to do their best. But I just don’t know that I’ve seen good process out of them for years to make good decisions. There was very little evidence, other than their opinion that anchoring was any advantage.”
Bradley, like most Tour players, had an equally strong opinion on the proposed golf ball rollback.
“I think the USGA makes a lot of mistakes and I don’t feel as though us, the players, should have to pay for it. I don’t think that’s right,” he said.