Major Winner Critical Of USGA Over 'Mistakes' - 'They Punish The Players'

2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley says that tour pros shouldn't have to pay for the USGA's "mistakes"

Keegan Bradley hits a drive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keegan Bradley says it's not fair that touring professionals have to pay for the USGA's "mistakes" over anchored putters and the proposed golf ball rollback.

Bradley was the first player to win a men's Major while anchoring the putter and he was one of many to take time to adjust to a new method of putting after anchoring was banned in 2016. 

He says he has a "really strange relationship with the USGA" and criticised the organizations' "mistakes". 

"Yeah, I have a really strange relationship with the USGA from the belly putter," he said when asked about the proposed golf ball rollback following a meeting between PGA Tour players and the governing bodies over the proposals prior to this week's Memorial Tournament.

"I just feel like the USGA admits to making mistakes and then they punish the players for it. 

"I don't feel like it's our fault that they think that the ball went too far or that they should have banned the belly putter. They retroactively, decades later, try to adjust and then they just throw it on us. Which is, we do this as a living. This is how we make our living.

Keegan Bradley celebrates winning the 2011 PGA Championship

Bradley was the first man to win a Major with an anchored putter at the 2011 PGA Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I don't think that's necessarily fair that we pay for their mistakes. And I don't -- I think it's fine. I mean, what are you going to do if you roll the ball back on this course? You got to build all new tees. It's 7,800 yards long.

"Yeah, the tee on 17 [at Muirfield Village GC] goes up against the fence. So if you have, you have to have it four or five up. So I just, I think the USGA makes a lot of mistakes and I don't feel as though us, the players, should have to pay for it. I mean, I don't think that that's right."

Bradley also said he felt like he had been playing a US Open for three months due to the difficulty of the courses and setups on the PGA Tour this year so far.

"Goodness gracious. I feel like I've been playing a US Open for three months, really, honestly," he said.

"I was talking to my wife, just talking about the stretch of -- I mean, every week now, just seems like the narrative in the golf world now is they don't like to see low scores. That seems to be the thing.

"We're just showing up every week and there's really deep rough, courses are super long. I mean, they have lengthened holes out here -- every year I come here they have lengthened a few."

The 36-year-old currently ranks 24th in the world. He has won five times on the PGA Tour, most recently in October 2022 at the Zozo Championship in Japan.

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x