PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – When PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem brought up bifurcation in a news conference two weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, it was because a majority of the Player Advisory Council showed interest in controlling the professional game.
On Jan. 25, the PGA of America surveyed its membership for their opinions on the possibility of two sets of rules in the game: one for professionals and elite amateurs and one for the rest of us. A slim majority of the club professionals oppose bifurcation, according to the results. Of 3,155 respondents sampled, 53 percent support one set of rules for all golfers. The PGA claims that the sampling has a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points.
The survey results contrast with the association’s survey on the proposed ban on the anchoring stroke. That initiative was conducted in November, before the U.S. Golf Association and R&A made public their recommendation to ban the stroke common associated with long and belly putters. In that survey, nearly two-thirds of the 4,228 PGA professionals who responded opposed a change in the Rules of Golf that would ban anchoring.
The USGA review process on anchoring concludes Feb. 28.