Anchoring---As a professional sports commissioner, you can have David Stern, I will take Tim Finchem any day. He might not be as charming as David Stern, but as the man who oversees most of professional golf, he is top notch.
One thing that makes Finchem really standout, he thinks things through, tests the waters, listens and then make the best of critical decisions.
When it comes to the USGA's ban on anchoring, Finchem is in a tough position. For my money, the anchoring ban was about as stupid a decision as I have seen in sports. It is only rivaled by the Big Sky Conference making the winner of the league in volleyball, host the Big Sky volleyball tournament the following year, rather than the present year when they win the league. Now that is as bizarre as it gets, but back to golf. Much different from amateurs, where the ban will just be taking away fun, fun, fun, the banning for pros might just take money out of their pocket, in some cases big time.
Finchem as of today, has floated out the possible idea of maybe having two sets of rules. Another words, the professional tours can set their rules for their own tournaments, they USGA for amateurs, one which might include allowing anchoring. Nothing is in stone, this is only talk at this time, but I say why not. There is a reason why many of the rules of the NBA are different than the rules for college and high school basketball.
At this point it is not quite clear what Finchem wants, but for sure his Tours that he oversees are battling inside the locker rooms about anchoring and he is listening. He never would have even come close to floating the idea of two sets of rules without some great thought. He is too calculated of a person to do so.
This might also be good to have two sets of rules, one for amateurs and one for pros. We then might see who has the power and who might blink if rules are good or bad. It will also be interesting to see how Mike Whan commissioner of the LPGA responds down the road, although he has so many fewer players that use the anchoring technique at present or ones that experimented with anchoring the putter.
As a golf blogger for a major sports media outlet, this I know for sure. Anchoring controversy has not gone away, as matter of fact the argument over it has gotten even more heated, both on the amateur and professional side. Stand By.
Eugene, Oregon---It is always great to be in Eugene, Oregon and not for football. Love the basketball atmosphere, not to mention the great golf. It is also always fun to catch up with my good friend Chris Gaughan, the superintendent at Eugene Country Club and not talk golf, but Duck basketball.
Speaking of Eugene Country Club, what a great place, so peaceful and a wonderful golf course. There is a reason it is ranked in the top 100 pretty consistently by all the major golf publications. My own ranking would put my stamp of approval on that as well. But Eugene CC is not the only good course in the area. Shadow Hills is a wonderful facility as is the Jim Pliska owned Emerald Valley Golf Course in Creswell, Oregon.
And speaking of Creswell, in my usual snooping around, there really is not much new to report on the University of Oregon building their own golf course near Creswell. Most of the approval has been given by Lane County for the Ducks' to proceed forward in building a new course on 796 acres of land 12 miles from the main campus.
Funding for the project is estimated to cost 25 million, I say that figure might be a little optimistic, but the good part, this would be funded entirely by private money. If this comes to fruition, Oregon would be the fifth Pac-12 school to have their own golf course. One thing about Oregon athletics, they move forward, they have utilized big donors wisely and they know what they are doing when it comes to facilities and facility management. I might also add, to go out and get Tom Fazio as the golf course architect of record, does not hurt as well.
There still is much to be done on this, including funding, but I do not question any plans Oregon has when it comes to building and improving their athletic teams, no matter what the sport.
Radio Golf---It is so nice to see two great guys back on the air with their radio golf show, after taking part of the winter off. Jason Swygard and Harold Bluestein deliver a quality product each Saturday morning on Portland's 1080 The Fan, from 8-9 AM. Bluestein has been a long established pro in the Pacific Northwest and as the host, Swygard is as smooth as it gets. You like to see good people succeed, so guys, welcome back.