Title: Politics played major role in Tour adopting ban
Description: WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – When the USGA and R&A first proposed an anchoring ban and asked other influencers within the game for an assessment during a lengthy comment period, the PGA Tour was amongst the most vocal, opposing the notion with passionate dissension. On Monday, that very same PGA Tour announced that it plans to adopt the anchoring ban, which has gone from nominated proposal to Rule 14-1b, starting Jan. 1, 2016, in effect agreeing to a rule that it had previously opposed. If this 180-degree reversal sounds like the ultimate contradiction, it should. After all, we’re just months removed from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem publicly denouncing the idea in multiple forums. Now he’s prepared to embrace it. So what happened? Why did the PGA Tour flip the script on this plotline? How did its policy board so quickly change its collective mind on this issue? Well, the truth is, it didn’t. But to understand why and how, we need to look back to the 1960 presidential election. That year’s emotionally charged campaign race pitted John F. Kennedy, a charismatic senator from Massachusetts, against incumbent vice president Richard M. Nixon in an election that garnered increased interest thanks in part to the first-ever televised debates. Among those captivated by the proceedings was a 13-year-old boy in Virginia named Timothy Finchem, who would later credit that presidential race with first getting him intrigued by politics. His hobby soon became his passion, the political process consuming his formative years. Finchem would study political science at the University of Richmond, then get into the political arena even more during law school. He later ran a senate campaign in Virginia, which led to a job as deputy advisor to the office of economic affairs for the Jimmy Carter administration, coordinating economic initiatives within the White House. Eventually, Finchem would leave politics to start practicing law. Even after becoming PGA Tour commissioner in 1994, though, he always relied on that political background to help navigate his way through potentially chaotic situations.