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Tiger Wants to Ban the Long Putter

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At his press conference today, Tiger revealed that he has been talking with Peter Dawson of the R&A; for "a number of years" about banning the long putter. Tiger wants to restrict the length of the putter to no longer than the shortest other club in the bag. I agree with him -- not only does anchoring the putter against the body go against the spirit of the game IMO, but having a super long putter gives a player an unfair advantage when measuring club lengths for a drop. But I can just hear the howls about how the USGA/R&A; are kowtowing to Tiger, if they do come up with some kind of ban. For historical perspective, a few decades ago some pros, notably Sam Snead, were experimenting with croquet putting, where you straddle the line and face the hole, swinging the putter between your legs. It didn't take them very long to ban that What do you think? Ban it? Allow it for amateurs, but not for pros? Or leave it alone?

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I am for banning it, but at the same time, it's a little too late for R&A;/USGA to do that. I would think the furthest they would go to banning it would be to limit the ban to the PGA tour.

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I'm a little torn on this issue, and I don't use a long putter.

I see the advantages of the long putter, but if it was truly so much better then I think all those pga guys would be using one.  Putting is still difficult no matter the putter.  OTOH, I agree that there is an (for lack of better term) unfair advantage and I see it as going against the "spirit" of the game.

Not saying that we go back to Hickory shafts....to me the real issue is: what constitutes a legal golf stroke?

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It doesn't really make a big difference, IMO. Sure you can control your stroke a bit better, but most pros miss putts from reads as opposed to a mishit. Lots of players have used long putters of late, but their success is temporary. They find ways to miss putts with the belly putter just like they still shank drives with the 460cc driver. When players with belly putters completely dominate the sport to the exclusion of others, let me know. So far a few no names using them have had a good year, which Tiger sees as bad. He likes rules that make the game harder and hurt the shakier players, like the groove rule. Phil Mickelson is an example of a good player who switched back since he still yipped putts with the long stick. It's a band aid fix at best.

Besides, Tiger has never had a problem using equipment to gain an advantage before; he uses the latest stuff custom made for him and still doesn't dominate like he used to. It's not the other players cheating, it's your mental game going to the crapper. He wouldn't get an advantage from switching to one, but he wants to ensure no one else can. Otherwise he would have already switched.

They can ban it if they want, but it's a dick move that doesn't need to be made since it will take care of itself. Tiger should shut his damn mouth and the authorities shouldn't listen to him at all. There's no need for the highest profile player to whine about the rules. That would be like Tom Brady asking the NFL to allow intentional grounding and let offensive linemen hold pass rushers.

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I think they should ban any kind of 'anchoring' of the club against the body. Doesn't matter to me if someone wants to use a 60 inch putter or a 25 inch one. Just don't have it touching the body. Hands & arms only can touch the club. Just like with the rest of the clubs.

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I go back and forth on this.  I can't even remember which way I argued in the last thread about this.  Generally I lean towards thinking that unless long putters start totally dominating in the putting rankings, it doesn't matter.  Johnny Miller made an interesting argument which, of course, there's no way of proving or disproving, that long putters can help you be more consistent but that it takes away some of the feel, so you can't be quite as good when you're hot.  Don't really buy it but an interesting argument anyway.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

They can ban it if they want, but it's a dick move that doesn't need to be made since it will take care of itself. Tiger should shut his damn mouth and the authorities shouldn't listen to him at all. There's no need for the highest profile player to whine about the rules. That would be like Tom Brady asking the NFL to allow intentional grounding and let offensive linemen hold pass rushers.



No ... it's one the most respected members of the golf community trying to rectify something that I assume has bothered him for some time now.

If the highest profile player doesn't raise objection, who will?

Having said that, I imagine there are a few players now who have only ever used a long putter professionally. Like RPMPIRE above said, it's a bit late now.

FD: I don't have a long putter and think they're pretty dorky.

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Originally Posted by RPMPIRE

I am for banning it, but at the same time, it's a little too late for R&A;/USGA to do that. I would think the furthest they would go to banning it would be to limit the ban to the PGA tour.


They can't limit the ban to the PGA Tour. The most they could really do would be to treat it like the grooves and differentiate it based on pro/amateur, and even that has a time limit.

Anyway, I don't care much, but if I had a vote I'd ban belly putters because I think they, and long putters, aren't "swung" the way golf clubs were intended to be used.

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They can ban it if they want, but it's a dick move that doesn't need to be made since it will take care of itself. Tiger should shut his damn mouth and the authorities shouldn't listen to him at all. There's no need for the highest profile player to whine about the rules. That would be like Tom Brady asking the NFL to allow intentional grounding and let offensive linemen hold pass rushers.

For the record, Tiger didn't bring it up. He was doing a press conference, and one of the reporters directly asked his opinion about the use of long putters. He gave an honest and thoughtful answer. Isn't that what you guys have been saying you want him to do?

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Maybe if they only allow the driver down to be used as clubs for marking club length drops,any chest putter that's longer than a standard driver cannot be used for a drop.I don't think long putters

should be banned though.Its like everything thing else,some players like them and some don't.I tried putting with one and didn't like it at all.Maybe the guys using the long putters should lobby and try to get a ban on the short putters,see how they like trying to adjust lol.

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Originally Posted by brocks

For the record, Tiger didn't bring it up. He was doing a press conference, and one of the reporters directly asked his opinion about the use of long putters. He gave an honest and thoughtful answer.

Isn't that what you guys have been saying you want him to do?



No, I was referring to the conversations he's had with the head of the R&A.; Maybe it was brought up recently by reporters, but he still has been mouthing off about it for years, among other things.

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[QUOTE name="brocks" url="/t/55561/tiger-wants-to-ban-the-long-putter#post_677826"] For the record, Tiger didn't bring it up. He was doing a press conference, and one of the reporters directly asked his opinion about the use of long putters. He gave an honest and thoughtful answer. Isn't that what you guys have been saying you want him to do?[/QUOTE] No, I was referring to the conversations he's had with the head of the R&A.; Maybe it was brought up recently by reporters, but he still has been mouthing off about it for years, among other things.

Are you saying that you know for a fact that Tiger made unsolicited "whines" to the R&A;, or are you saying he should hang up on them if they call him and ask for his opinion? Why should the R&A; not want to hear from pro golfers, no matter what their name is, about contemplated rules changes? As far as I know, the only professional interaction Tiger has with the R&A; is the British Open and the Ryder Cup, and he's not likely to boycott either of those, so I don't even see how anyone could say he has any influence over them. Same with the USGA and the US Open (in fact, the USGA went out of their way to belittle him at the 2010 US Open). He's just a golfer commenting on a subject that interests him, and unless you have evidence that they ignore input from other golfers, I don't understand your problem with him giving his opinion.

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I don't think Tiger, or any other athlete, should accuse his fellow players of cheating. Especially when the rule he feels they're breaking doesn't exist yet. It's bad for the game for players to be campaigning to change the rules, unless there's a safety issue, which is only applicable to other sports. Tiger doesn't like the way other guys are playing, which wouldn't be a problem if he was still beating them.

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Good for Tiger.  Its time for more respected tour pros to step up and speak out against long putters.  IMO, any club that you anchor to your body should be banned because it takes much of the technique out of putting.

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I don't think Tiger, or any other athlete, should accuse his fellow players of cheating. Especially when the rule he feels they're breaking doesn't exist yet. It's bad for the game for players to be campaigning to change the rules, unless there's a safety issue, which is only applicable to other sports. Tiger doesn't like the way other guys are playing, which wouldn't be a problem if he was still beating them.

You seem to have access to facts of which I am unaware. Could you please cite your credible sources for Tiger accusing players of cheating, or saying he feels they are breaking a rule? As for changing rules only if there is a safety issue, are you saying you disagree with the rule change that got rid of the automatic DQ when officials call a penalty on a player after he's signed his scorecard, because a TV viewer saw something in super slo-mo that the players couldn't see? Or the rule change that got rid of the penalty when the wind moves your ball on the green after you have addressed it? How far back do you want to go? Should we re-institute the stymie? And in your previous post, you said Tiger has been "mouthing off about it for years," so evidently this has nothing to do with whether he is beating them or not. Are you sure you've thought this through?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


They can't limit the ban to the PGA Tour. The most they could really do would be to treat it like the grooves and differentiate it based on pro/amateur, and even that has a time limit.


Sure they can, in fact I bet they have a better chance of just making it professional golf without bothering the ams. The grooves are a different animal as it expanded the market place while banning the long putters would shrink sales. Long putters sales are through the roof and to successfully ban them it would take the cooperation of the manufacturers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TitleistWI View Post

Good for Tiger.  Its time for more respected tour pros to step up and speak out against long putters.  IMO, any club that you anchor to your body should be banned because it takes much of the technique out of putting.

Arnold spoke out a few months ago basically calling out the USGA.

Although I am using a belly putter, I would support a ban if it happened, but I don't see it happening on any level.

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

Sure they can, in fact I bet they have a better chance of just making it professional golf without bothering the ams.

"Professionals" != "PGA Tour." That's all I'm saying. I'm fairly certain the USGA is never going to make a rule that is different for "the PGA Tour" than for everyone else.

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"Tiger Woods last night called on the golfing authorities to ban belly putters. His view is bound to cause reverberations across the sport, particularly as the former world No 1 revealed he has been in talks with the Royal and Ancient "for a number of years ".

Indeed, to judge by Woods' comments, Peter Dawson, the R&A; chief executive, is ready to outlaw the putter, which won Keegan Bradley last year's USPGA Championship and has become so popular on Tour. In its annual meeting with the USGA – the other governing body – the R&A; may well take steps to implement Woods' plan this year.

"I've never been a fan of them," said Woods at Pebble Beach, where he plays this week. " I believe it's the art of controlling the body and club and swinging the pendulum motion. I believe that's how it should be played. "

Added Woods: "I've talked to Peter Dawson for a number of years and we've gone back and forth of how we could word it. My idea is to have it so that the putter would be equal to or less than the shortest club in your bag.

"Peter's looked into it for a number of years, trying to get it to work, and you [would] actually measure everybody's sand wedge and putter before you go out and play."

He dislikes other players' method of putting, and calling it an unfair advantage is to call it cheating. It's just that the rules don't forbid it, yet. He is defining the golf stroke to exclude the belly putter, and by extension, players who use that type of stroke should be considered in breach of the rules.

Adding to my point is that he has tried a belly putter in practice, considered using it, but decided not to because he didn't like it! So do you think if he thought it would really help his game he'd be saying that? He wants it banned because it's a rule that would hurt his competitors and not affect him.

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