Thoughts on Growing the Game Part 1 (by CEO - Jim Grundberg)
"Not so Radical" Rules Changes to make the game faster, more fun, for 90% of Golfers.
I recently read about my friend Mark King’s support of growing the game through many initiatives through a commitment to the newly formed initiative called Hack Golf. They’ve got all kinds of great ideas, and the main thing is they are asking everyone for input. And thinking outside the box, to way outside the box (ie. 15 inch Cup for situational use).
Golf needs more golfers. Having more fun. Playing faster. Improving faster. And wanting to come back for more. That is the main message. All ideas are on the table for at least the recreational golfer.
I will share a few thoughts I have, in a 2 part blog, first part today. This is just for fun. Food for thought. Nothing more. Just based on my participating in and observing the game now for many years, at all levels. I’m a 10 handicap.
These ideas may still be seen as way outside the box by the very purist, but I am trying to start with ideas for change that in my opinion would not alter the fundamental experience of the game nearly as much as some that have already been proposed, such as the 15 inch cup.
My goals are to start off by modifying some rules which have a hugely negative impact on enjoyment of the game and pace of play for the recreational golfer, but which are generally not even in play for the highest level golfers. These fun ideas are designed to bring about 3 things immediately for the recreational golfer. More enjoyment while playing. Faster pace. Faster game improvement.
Part 1 Proposal: Modify Rules of the Game. For 90% of Golfers.
1. Eliminate the Out of Bounds Rule. All white stakes would be treated same as red. One shot penalty, point of entry. OB turns 90’s into 100’s, 4 hour rounds into 5 hour rounds. But rarely impacts the best players.
2. Play the ball up. I would do this everywhere, in the rough and the fairway. PGA Tour events actually play the ball up when faced with the conditions of most courses. I’d consider adding bunkers as well.
3. Eliminate the lost ball rule. Another rule that never hurts tour players, because every ball is found by someone. Why should recreational golfers have it tougher? Playing partners choose closest estimated spot. One shot penalty.
4. Red, yellow, white (white same as red) stakes, expand drop options. Drop anywhere between where last shot was hit from and where ball went out. Or keep entry point between next shot and hole. Golfer’s option. 1 shot penalty.
5. Implement Automatic 3 putt rule. Nobody needs to 4 putt during a recreational round. Speeds play.
6. Implement Pace of Play Rule. Help golfers achieve required pace of play. With monitoring tools. And incentives to achieve. There are tools out there. This is more course policy, than rules, but very important.
7. Allow anchored putting. Anchored putters have won Each of the Major Championships recently. New stars have been born who use anchored putting strokes. And some club players enjoy this type of putting. No big deal.
I am proposing these rules for daily play. I will submit one more blog focusing on non rules related ideas in terms of course design, set up, and management, equipment design, etc. that would also enhance the game experience.
Competitive tournaments of course can still stick with whatever rules they want, I am only talking about daily play.
Handicaps would probably be entered same as always, and eventually these changed rules and conditions may simply lower the average players handicap by 10-20%, which would not be a bad thing.
Changing the game in this way could happen in 30 days. Nothing complicated. Better golf. More fun. More rewarding. Grow the game. I am not trying to start a revolution among serious golfers. Please understand that. I think these rules could work for most golfers, and accomplish my 3 goals. Just throwing some ideas out there, for future discussions by any group looking to help grow the game in the ways we all talk about.
SeeMore has expanded their popular PTM line in 2014, in addition to making some enhancements to the existing putters. At $195, this line offers an attractive option for those folks interested in more than just the standard SeeMore line, but are unable to shell out what is needed to creep into their premium offerings.
I'll be reviewing the PTM2w, which is similar to the m2 that many are so fond of. This one features the Whistle Shaft, which is actually appealing to me coming from an offset, plumber neck blade.
(SPi-Dennis Rysz) Putting is a fantastic dimension of the game of golf. What other club in a golfers bag can vary so vastly from player to player. We can have blade or mallet styles, lengths varying from 33 to 48 or more inches, varying lofts, weightings and leading edge technology. With all of this emphasis on the physical putter itself, why does there seem to be so little focus on the act of putting itself? After all, putting accounts for roughly 40% of the average golfers strokes during a round yet I rarely see a golfer work on their putting with the exception of hitting a few 10 footers on their way to the first tee.
I have always been fascinated with the scoring game around and on the green surface. Unlike the traditional full golf swing every short game shots stance, lie, distance and shot type are very different and a combination of finesse and feel are required for any type of successful shot. Chances are if you have received any type of golf lessons it was most likely structured around the full swing. Roughly 90% of all golf lessons are based on the full swing which means that only a small fraction of golfers are dedicating a tiny portion of their golf development to the shots inside 50 yards, especially putting.
This lack of emphasis on the shortest part of the short game led me to The SeeMore Putter Institute in the first place. SeeMore is the only company I have found that focuses solely on the putting aspect of the game in both equipment and instruction. The underlying principles of SPI are extremely simple yet their implementation can make a better putter out of anyone. SeeMore’s main focus is to get the player into a proper and repeatable putting stance. This allows the player to make the same putter stroke from putt to putt, hole to hole, round to round. Being in a proper putting stance also allows the golfer to easily and naturally swing the putter head on a slight arc and release the putter head through impact. Once the player is in the proper stance with a proper ball position half of the battle is over. From here any alterations to the many factors of the putting stroke will be much easier to practice and implement into ones game through instruction.
Ted Gallina has been with the SeeMore Putter Company ever since its rebirth under new ownership in 2007. Prior to joining SeeMore, he was the head golf professional at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee, for more than 10 years. He was named by his peers and the PGA of America as the PGA National Merchandiser of the Year for his contributions at the Vanderbilt Legends Club. “I guess you could say that was my 15 minutes of fame!” he says. As the SeeMore’s director of instruction, he heads up the SeeMore Putter Institute (a.k.a. SPi), a national network of putting instructors dedicated to helping golfers raise their game. We caught up with Ted to learn more about SPi, and how it is making a difference for golfers across the United States. Following is our exclusive interview:
What is the SeeMore Putter Institute? The SeeMore Putter Institute (SPi) is where golfers and instructors come together in person and online to share fundamental ideas about how to improve putting performance. Presently over 350 global instructors are utilizing SPi to generate more lessons, more revenue and more game improvement.
SPi is a learning system based on the simple fundamentals of finding the proper grip, alignment, stance, and posture. This allows for a natural, free, and simple putting stroke on each and every putt. It is based on the technology built into the SeeMore putter itself, and on the refined teachings of SeeMore Global Ambassador Pat O’Brien. Pat has worked with Zach Johnson and many other PGA Tour and developing players. He has been teaching the SeeMore system around the world for more than 12 years, ever since he watched his good friend, the late Payne Stewart, benefit from the SeeMore putting system to win 1999 U.S. Open and lead the tour in putting statistics that year.
Becoming SPi certified helps golf teachers formulate a complete teaching plan to help their existing students and recruit new students to become great putters using the SeeMore system that has won two major championships and set numerous putting records on the PGA Tour.
How can golfers around the country connect with SPi? What is the cost and commitment? Golfers can go to our SPi locator on SeeMore.com to find the closest instructor. We also have a SPi Cyber Coach for online instruction if they are unable to find an instructor close to them. All of our SPi instructors enjoy giving a putting lesson. Their putting lesson is based off of the SPi method. Cost varies from each individual SPi instructor.
If someone is interested in taking a putting lesson from a SPi instructor, we suggest they contact the instructor directly. The student receives a quality putting lesson that will give them the “why” behind the putting stroke. They will also be shown how the fundamentals of golf such as posture, stance, alignment, grip are so important in the putting stroke. Length of a putting lesson varies per instructor, but our goal is for the student to walk away knowing how a SeeMore putter reinforces how important feel and the fundamentals of golf work together.
All of our SPi instructors gradually “break you down” and then “build you back up” with a solid foundation. We give you the “why” during the putting stroke.
We have recently been dedicated to helping those who struggle with their short game. This putter is something that can truly help your score. When I first heard I was getting a SeeMore Putter, I was pretty excited. We have all seen how well Zack Johnson has been doing on tour and, of course, he uses a SeeMore Putter. This Center shaft putter has an amazing look and feel. The putter I am reviewing is the Precision Tour Milled Blade, Platinum, 33’’, 70 Degree Standard lie angle. Here is the Golf Review Guy’s golf review on the SeeMore Putter.
SeeMore Putters have a look unlike many others. They are modern with few, clean lines. When I pulled this putter out of the box, I could not wait to show it off. Something about the SeeMore brand makes you want to hit the course. I believe the good looks may be due to the center shaft or the big modern lines. Also, the standard head cover is fancy and clean. Either way the SeeMore Precision Tour Milled Platinum Blade Putter is extremely nice to look at.
This SeeMore putter has a great feel and touch. I am confident in my putting stroke and we all know confidence is key. My speed has drastically gotten better since I have been playing with the SeeMore. There is something about center-shaft putters that allow you to hit the golf ball at just the right speed. This putter is designed to lowering your score and make putting a more enjoyable part of your game. I have played with many putters this last year and this SeeMore is now in my bag. If you have been looking for a new putter with a nice feel, SeeMore may be the right choice for you.