Tour's player representatives face big decision in '13
The PGA Tour announced Jan. 18 the players who will constitute the Players Advisory Council and the Policy Board for 2013.
These players – the 16-man PAC, which advises the four-man Policy Board – likely will decide whether the proposed ban on the anchored stroke, commonly used with long putters, will be adopted by the Tour. The U.S. Golf Association and R&A, golf's governing bodies, recommended late last year that the stroke be banned when the Rules of Golf are published again, in 2016.
Three of the past five major champions – Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship), Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (Open Championship) – used a belly putter.
The PGA Tour does not have a history of going it alone on the rules, so for the Tour to go against the USGA would be a big departure from its past.
When Mike Davis, the USGA's managing director, made his initial anchoring presentation to the PGA Tour Policy Board in October, many in the room remained unconvinced.
Davis will face the Tour's rank-and-file Tuesday in San Diego at a mandatory players' meeting before the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, to explain the USGA's position on anchoring.
If the PGA Tour were to decide not to proceed with the ban, the USGA would be severely minimized in the eyes of many within the industry.
So the process of convincing the players, the PAC and Policy Board starts Tuesday and likely will end sometime this year with a vote by the board.
Curiously, of the 16 players on the PAC, only two players come to mind who have ever anchored: Webb Simpson and Brendan Steele. On the Policy Board, it's only Harrison Frazar.
It seems ironic that the fate of anchoring on the PGA Tour comes down to a majority of players who have never anchored, but such is the odd nature of the question.
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2013 Player Advisory Council
Aaron Baddeley* (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Jason Bohn (Acworth, Ga.)
Andres Gonzales* (Olympia, Wash.)
Jeff Gove (San Marcos, Calif.)
Charley Hoffman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Doug LaBelle II* (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Scott Langley* (Jupiter, Fla.)
Davis Love III (Sea Island, Ga.)
Joe Ogilvie (Austin, Texas)
Geoff Ogilvy (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Ryan Palmer* (Colleyville, Texas)
Webb Simpson (Charlotte, N.C.)
Brendan Steele* (Irvine, Calif.)
Kevin Streelman (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Bo Van Pelt (Tulsa, Okla.)
Mark Wilson (Elmhurst, Ill.)
*Indicates first-time PAC member
Harrison Frazar (Dallas)
Jim Furyk (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)
Paul Goydos (Dove Canyon, Calif.)
Steve Stricker (Madison, Wis.)
Harrison Frazar served as chairman of the PAC in 2012 and joins past PAC chairmen Paul Goydos, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker as a player director on the 2013 PGA Tour Policy Board.