Cut Line: PGA Tour, Which Makes the Right Decision for Introducing the Driver Shaft Length Rule?

by | Oct 15, 2021 | Golf Clubs

In this week’s edition, we’re celebrating a new college event, defending a Ryder Cup captain, and challenging a new club length rule.

Made cut

A full cup. The first Jackson T. Stephens Cup will give some of the best college golfers in the country the chance to play some of the best golf courses in the country, including next week’s host, The Alotian Club in Roland, Arkansas (followed by the venerable Seminole Golf Club next year). But for Warren Stephens, son of the late Augusta National Chairman Jack Stephens, it’s a personal tribute.

The 54-hole event kicks off Monday and will feature some of the best teams in the nation, including the Florida state’s fourth-placed men’s team and the South Carolina women’s team. The field will also include players from some of the country’s military colleges and historically black colleges and universities.

“My father graduated from the Naval Academy. These young men and women do not have normal college experience, they are literally preparing to defend our country, ”said Warren Stephens. “Having HBCU players in the field, I can’t think of anything that would make my father prouder. Exposing these athletes to a world-class college golf event is what we want to achieve.”

This area is usually reserved for the comings and goings of the PGA Tour, but Jack Stephens reminded his son how the entire game is connected.

“I hope he’d be happy about it. He talked to me about amateur golf and said that without a good amateur game you can’t have a good professional game, which is absolutely true, ”said Warren Stephens.

Streb catches fire in the first round of the CJ Cup

Quick start. Robert Streb was only the second player in the ShotLink era to start a Tour round by going under six holes in the CJ Cup 7 on Thursday, and he delivered his best lap of his career (61) on his way to the lead in the first round. But it was the 34-year-old’s famous inconspicuous reaction to this record start that was so typical of the brand.

“It went really well. Obviously a couple of close ones hit and the putts went in. I’ve never had a start like this before, so it was kind of fun, ”he said dryly.

To put “kind of fun” in context, he made 49 foot putts through his first six holes, including two outside 10 feet (a 12 foot at # 3 for eagles and a 17 foot at the fourth), hit five of five fairways and all six greens in regulation. So, yeah, “kind of funny”.

Cut out – not finished (MDF)

End the blame game. The whisper was inevitable. His choice was wrong. His pairings were flawed. He wasn’t prepared.

It’s the predestined life of a lost Ryder Cup captain, and Padraig Harrington probably doesn’t spend much time scrolling social media after his team lost in Whistling Straits last month, but as usually happens, that fits Criticism does not add to the reality.

“If you look back, America just punched so many more putts than we did and got off the ground early,” said Rory McIlroy. “I certainly couldn’t sit here and criticize everything Padraig did. It was up to the players to play better golf and hole putt, and we didn’t. “

When it comes to the Ryder Cup, there is always more to it than that, but as McIlroy rightly pointed out, there is a lot of blame on the Europeans.

Players are responding to the USGA’s change in club length rule

Players are responding to the USGA's change in club length rule

Missed cut

A long discussion. The distance debate has been building for years, and the news this week that USGA / R&A has capped club length (46 inches) came as no surprise (well, no surprise to anyone other than Phil Mickelson). But it was a quick reminder that a storm was brewing.

The tour quickly moved on to adopting the local rule from Jan 1st, where things could get complicated. From the USGA / R & A’s point of view, it’s about making the game sustainable. But for the tour, their model, business, entertainment, and fans don’t flock to tournaments to see a putting competition.

Bryson DeChambeau made headlines this year and many of those stories have been driven by how far he hits the golf ball and how it threatens to redefine the game.

The tour is on board for the time being, largely because, as they said in their press release, “a very small number of players have either used or are currently using clubs in excess of 46”. [inches]“But when / when the new rules begin to affect the product, this collaboration must be put to the test.

Tweet of the week:

It was no surprise that Mickelson withdrew the new club length rule given his penchant for experimenting with equipment, but a quick fact check and his tweet unravel.

“I don’t think it’ll make that much of a difference, but I’ve been to all of these meetings when we’ve been discussing it for a while and I think the majority of the players are okay with that,” said McIlroy, a member of the players’ council last season and policy board this season.