Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 25, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

It's the fastest hour in golf! LOTS of opinions on the PGA Tour's stance on the proposed anchoring ban. Is there anything better than a good fight?! BRING IT!!

Zach (Pittsburgh)

What's your sense as to the level of support from the rank and file on tour (beyond the player's committee) for Finchem's power play on anchoring?

Michael Collins
  (3:02 PM)

Easiest way for me to put it is this way... NO ONE who was against the ban has been convinced that the ban is the right thing to do. But there are a bunch of guys that were in favor of the ban originally but now are not. I think that's saying something.

Chris (Chicago)

Should Hunter Mahan ever be left off of a Presidents or Ryder Cup team again? Watching this weekends made me think the US does NOT lose if he had played...

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

If you're a captain of either event, Hunter doesn't make the team on points and you don't pick him, you're fired on the spot.

pj (midlo)

sorry to learn about lack of caddy groupies on tour. if your man has an afternoon tee time on early rounds, do caddies go out and observe play during the mornings on holes where the pin placements may not be the easiest to read the green or am I overthinking this

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

It honestly depends on the weather conditions. If it looks like they're going to be the same all day then yes. I normally did it on weekends if we had a late tee time... so not too often! haha

Dan (CA)

Is it or is it not an advantage to anchor a putter?

Michael Collins
  (3:08 PM)

It is not. They say it's not an equipment issue but I say that's a lie. Traditionalists hate the way it looks and they're trying to use fancy wording to get around it but have left too many gaps in their arguments.

John Werner (Pittsburgh)

First let me say I'm a weird person who loves to WATCH golf but has no interest in playing. I love Michael Collins and the insight he provides. You know these guys all so well. What is going on with Kyle Stanley- in 2011 and 2012 he looked like one of best young talents in the game? Is he just in a slump? Thanks.

Michael Collins
  (3:10 PM)

First let me say thank you John, I really appreciate it.Second Kyle Stanley also went from Titleist to Nike this year and he is struggling with the equipment and ball changes he's made. So until he figures them out he's gonna be "slumping".

Chris (Chicago)

Had a hard time watching golfers wearing winter caps and it not be the Open Championship - any behind the scenes talk about moving the event? The players had to be miserable besides Kuchar!

Michael Collins
  (3:12 PM)

They are committed to playing there next year but hopefully will be moving. World Golf Championship... shouldn't at least half of the events be played somewhere other than the US?

stuart (oklahoma)

How ridiculous is the pga for not wanting to ban the belly putter? I know, I know, the usga

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

Or how smart. They don't want to make their own set of rules so if they can convince both the USGA and R&A to rescind the ban, then they won't have to go out on their own.

Robb (Colorado)

Why do guys like Tiger, Rory, etc., play in the match play event? They really have very little to gain it seems and more to lose. I know they go into it thinking they can win, but more often than not they are getting bumped early.

Michael Collins
  (3:16 PM)

Main reason is you only have to beat one guy at a time. If you're the best in the world (in your own head) then the thought of beating one guy on any certain day is kinda easy.

Austin (Pittsburgh)

In your opinion, what is the most valuable skill to have in match play?

Michael Collins
  (3:16 PM)

Great short game, then patience.

Stees (DC)

What is tigers biggest weakness in his game at this point? I would argue that he has corrected the distance control issues from a year ago, and he also seems sharper with his pitching in short game. I think today, his putting is his weakest link, and until he fixes that, he will not return to dominance. Thoughs?

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

Putting isn't as big an issue as the driver on the weekends. If he can find more fairways then he'll have more reasonable and makable birdie chances.

Chuck (Durango, CO)

I can see the Titleist ad now: "What the winners played back when they used to win." Clips of McIlroy and Stanley holding trophies, wearing Titleist gear.

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

That's messed up but it made me bust a gut laughin'!

Austin (Pittsburgh)

You need to come to the Pittsburgh area so I can play 18 with the funniest man in golf. I might be able to arrange a bribe, I do own an ice cream shop......

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

I'M LISTENING.... ;)

DaleH (San Antonii)

WGC Match Play, Poulter said playing the consolation match is weird, I agree, your thoughts.

Michael Collins
  (3:20 PM)

They only have a consolation match because of tv. It's not necessary and neither guy wants to play in it. Combine the 2nd and 3rd place money and split it just like you do for all the other guys who get eliminated early.

DaleH (San Antonio)

Anchor ban proposal has turned into a mess, will R&A and USGA back off

Michael Collins
  (3:23 PM)

Part of me wants them to and another part of me wants to see a fight. I want the tour to show it's stones and say, "We're not following you on this". I think the initial chaos would be good for the game. More choices for people. "Wanna play Euro style? How about Tour golf?"

John (SF)

Who do you like this week? Is this a week where a player like Freddy Jacobsen takes the field by storm?

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

My expert picks should be out tomorrow on espn.comSHAMELESS website plug!

Tom (LA)

This whole anchoring issue seems to me to be another example of golf taking itself too seriously because golf is a serious sport. Actually, I think that the powers that be forget golf is supposed to be entertainment. You know what's entertaining? Watching players make putts. You know what's not entertaining? Watching players stand around, throw grass in the air, take 7 practice swings, and have their caddies line them up. (Well, unless it's MC one-linering them up, of course.)

Michael Collins
  (3:27 PM)

That's why even the guys who originally were staunchly against the ban have softened their stance. Golf can't afford to lose ONE more person.

stuart (oklahoma)

I would rather caddy on the euro tour...looks like those guys have more fun...u.s. guys way too uptight...what is your opinion?

Michael Collins
  (3:30 PM)

Much less money but caddies and players hang out much more together. I wouldn't say PGA Tour caddies are more uptight but when there is this much money on the line and no job security, the partying is too much of a risk.

Tom (Cleveland, Ohio)

Do you ever envision the R&A backing off the anchoring issue?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

I do, and I think the longer it goes after the "comment period" without a decision the better. Gives them time to come up with wording that doesn't make them look like they backed down from their stance.

DaleH (San Antonio)

Equipment changes to Nike never seem to smoothly. Do you think Nick Price was correct in his comments about Rory taking a big risk in changing, seems like it

Michael Collins
  (3:33 PM)

I said the same thing. Was validated by Nick and others in the industry I saw at a tournament after my comments that agreed.

Patrick (Philly, PA)

If the Tour doesn't ban certain putters, but the USGA and R&A do, does that essentially eliminate those golfers who use them from any realistic chance of contention at the US and British Opens? What kind of precedent does that set, where you're basically saying to these guys you can't win half of the majors?

Michael Collins
  (3:36 PM)

But that's the risk isn't it? Imagine guys leaving the European Tour because of the ban (they follow the R&A). The PGA Tour says, "COME ON over here fellas! We'd LOVE to have you." What if the Masters and the PGA Championship say you can use anchoring? It puts everyones cards on the table. I love it!!

Shoshana (Boston)

What the USGA/R&A are trying to do is define what is a golf stroke. And they're attempting to say anchoring isn't allowed as part of a stroke. If the PGA Tour gets its way then anchoring is legal,

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

AAAAH, but are we talking about a GOLF stroke or a PUTTING stroke cause you don't anchor on any other swing. That's gets into a debate of the proper way to hold the club which is why the "Kuchar" style putting stroke was an exception but shouldn't have been. It's where the argument fell apart.

Aaron (Wisco)

Fact or Fiction-An anchoring ban would keep some amatures from playing golf?

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

fact

Aaron (Wisco)

Why are so many players (Stricker for example) changing their tune on the anchor debate? Some type of pressure from Finchem and the PGA Tour?

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

because they know banning this will not help grow the game. Put it in money terms. Say a course loses 20 rounds a week from people that stop playing. Doesn't seem that bad until I tell you that you have to make up the difference from your pocket. Isn't golf too expensive as it is now?

Caleb (Palm Harbor, Fl.)

Who would you take right now? Tiger or Rory

Michael Collins
  (3:42 PM)

Tiger. And Happy Birthday. ;)

Guest (Palm Beach)

Did the players soften thier stance on the ban, or did they want to present an unifying front? Your truthful take!

Michael Collins
  (3:44 PM)

Truth... I honestly believe they softened. Tim Clark made an extremely eloquent speech at the players meeting that started softening guys. After that guys who made "jokes" about cheating realized that if they said that now it was taken seriously so their true feelings had to be shared.

Shoshana (Boston)

As to whether or not anchoring is an advantage: getting valid statistical data on this would be EXTREMELY difficult, but it's hard to imagine Ernie and Adam switching if they didn't think it was better for them. It's not about the good putters, it's about the bad putters on a bad day.

Guest (Palm Beach)

Your comment on Kyle Stanley is inaccurate - After winning last year,he did not have a top 10 for the rest of the year, in addition he missed several cuts - using Titleist. For you to say that there is no advantage to using the anchor putter is disingenious - see Els and Scott putting stats prior to use -key is they have done better in their game, but have not got to top level in putting.

Michael Collins
  (3:46 PM)

That'd be like me saying, look at a guys stats before he started using a mallet style putter. It's all in your head when it comes to putting. Did the putter help Scott win the Open? NO, but he sure did lose because of his anchored putter.

Shoshana (Boston)

BS almost no amateur is quitting because of anchoring. If they cared about amateur golf fun, they'd get rid of stroke and distance penalties. And if golf being hard is what drove people away, we'd have seen a boom in the last decade when it's become easier than ever (big headed drivers, hybrids etc) rather than a drop-off

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

So hitting it farther makes golf easier for amateurs? That's the BS and you know it. Amateurs just think then that they'll move to the back tees cause they hit it as far as a pro. We haven't seen a boom because the economy tanked and it's still expensive to play. So what the game needs is more rules. You cannot be serious.

Lee M. (Panama City Florida)

I feel their is a competive advantage using an anchoring stroke. The advantage I see is on putts 10 feet and in, and in tournament play. When nerves are tested, I feel an anchoring stroke can diminish those nerves dramatically. This makes a huge differance when it comes to competitive play. What are your thoughts there?

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

If that was true there would have been MANY more than THREE majors won using the putters in the last 30 years. You know why guys all hit the big drivers? Because they can. Wood drivers are not outlawed, but why are guys not still using them?

Guest (Palm Beach)

BS MC -if putting was only in the head then all we have to do is fix the head and we would all be great putters eh! pUtting is about nerves, pressure, ability ,skill and desire

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

Only ONE of those things you just mentioned is physical. Maybe two. Nerves, pressure, and desire are ALL things that are in our head. You decide how big the moment is. How is that NOT mental?

Tom (Cleveland, Ohio)

Pros can and do 3 jack with an anchored putter.

Bob (Seattle)

Belly putting may help on the short putts, which are the most annoying to miss. But they add more 6+ feet second putts when you misjudged the speed. It's probably a wash in the end.

John (Denver)

Two biggest impairments to growing golf are cost and pace of play. I've seen it here when courses offer deeply discounted nine hole rates they always seem to get filled up pretty quick

Aaron (Wisco)

Dang MC, youre getting hit harder than that crash at Daytona

Michael Collins
  (3:55 PM)

I love it!

Shoshana (Boston)

Just because Amateurs move back, doesn't mean it wouldn't be easier if they stayed at the same tee. The fact that golf is expensive is what drives people away, not anchored putting. And I'd be in favor of doing away with or changing lots of rules (again stroke & distance). But that doesn't mean you can never add one either. In every survey done Ams have been in favor of ban (ESP at the pro level)

Lee M. (Panama City Florida)

You now have players on tour that have grown up using this type of stroke. It used to be just people who had the yips or bad putting strokes. There have been three majors won with the anchoring stroke, 3 of the last 5 majors that is. Now that good putters are growing up and using that type of stroke, I think we'll see many more in the near future.

Justin (Oregon)

They should have two sets of rules. Entertainment and Comp. Mostly people on the weekends aren't playing by all the rules anyways. To say banning anchoring gets less people to play is a joke, whats to stop them from using those clubs?

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

EXACTLY!!

Ed (Long Island)

PGA not adopting the rule if it goes through is a Pandora's Box. Once the precedent would be set, you then can cherry pick any rule. What if NIKE or some other big advertising golf manufacturer goes to the PGA Tour and says we want players to be allowed to use and even larger driver head, and if you don't agree to it, we pull our advertising.

Greg (Bentonville)

If anchoring is an advantage, then everybody would be using a long putter. With millions of dollars on the line every week, you think players would stick with a conventional putter just out of principle? Absolutely not. The only advantage is if the player has success and feels there is an advantage. What's next? Ban the claw grip? Ban left-hand low?

Michael Collins
  (3:58 PM)

That's why so many pros even after saying they think it's cheating say, "I've tried it. I can't do it."

Shoshana (Boston)

There's no distinction in the rule between a golf swing and a putting stroke, a putting stroke is a golf swing - just a small one. Who is to say that eventually they don't come up with a way for you to anchor other clubs?

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

and what happens when a pro is up against a tree and his only shot is a punch out with the 6 iron against his belly?

Guest (Palm Beach)

MC - you know that winning majors is not only about putting right!So saying only 3 majors won using an anchor do not tell the whole story. Does the commish serves the Tour or just some members?

Michael Collins
  (4:01 PM)

Have you ever heard anyone say, "I had a horrible week of putting but still won this major"? Didn't think so. The commish serves the tour and it's members.

Justin (Ohio)

The last thing i'm worried about in my golf game is my putting, trying to get the ball in the air, thats my real problem.

Michael Collins
  (4:01 PM)

Me too!

Michael Collins
  (4:03 PM)

DANG IT!!! I told you this would go too fast!!Ok y'all. Same time same channel Friday with more to talk about.Have a great week everyone, thanks for all the input.Yours,MCTwitter - @ESPNCaddieEmail - ESPNCaddie@gmail.com