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Tiger Wants to Ban the Long Putter


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Originally Posted by bplewis24

That is something I fundamentally disagree with to the point that there is no need for further discussion if we can't even agree that these two arguments are not even in the same stratosphere.  Claiming that anchoring fundamentally alters the stroke to the level that something should be done about it is up for debate and argument.  Suggesting that something isn't illegal and thus shouldn't be illegal is circular reasoning at best.

Brandon


I guess we can finally move on then.   In your mind 'anchoring fundamentally alters the stroke...", but not in the minds of those that have defined the rules of golf for the past many years.  Plus a large (some might say majority) of golfers.  I'm not saying that the argument 'something isn't illegal, thus shouldn't be illegal' is my only argument.  I just think it bears alot of weight in this argument.  It's not like the USGA missed something last year and someone just decided to start putting with a long putter.  They took great lengths to define the stroke in it's simplest form and added quite a few provisions on the various length of clubs (specifically leaving out putters) and split grips for those longer putters.  The only reason I even remotely agree with the banning of 'standing astride your line' or 'croquet' style putting is that the ban was put into effect very soon after one of those that governed the rules at the time saw this method being used.  The fact that the rules have been altered to allow for this type of stroke (anchoring and belly putting) holds more weight that it is a fundamental way that a stroke can be made, so much so, that they put language in the rules to specifically allow the type of putter that is used to make the stroke.

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My irony meter just exploded.  LOL

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,

Is there another Tiger Woods that we don't know about?

Your logic is flawed in that just because something was legal previously doesn't justify it remaining legal today.  There are more and more pro's using long / belly putters that anchor to their body, the current PGA Tour average is at 25% per tournament and climbing.  The USGA is aware of this trend and evaluating if they want to act now before the numbers get even higher.

When I first started using cell phones in the 90's they weren't illegal to hold while driving, but as more and more people used them the government decided it was necessary to pass laws that require hands free cell phone use while driving.  Texting was around for a long time before they made it illegal to text and drive.  Three years ago the grooves on my 2009 Vokey wedges were legal for tournament play, as of last year they weren't.

Sometimes it's not necessary to legislate something if it's not widespread enough to cause a problem.  Belly / long putters are becoming more commonplace, no longer reserved for just those with back problems or the yips and guys are winning tournaments with them so it makes sense that the USGA review their use.

Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

I guess we can finally move on then.   In your mind 'anchoring fundamentally alters the stroke...", but not in the minds of those that have defined the rules of golf for the past many years.  Plus a large (some might say majority) of golfers.  I'm not saying that the argument 'something isn't illegal, thus shouldn't be illegal' is my only argument.  I just think it bears alot of weight in this argument.  It's not like the USGA missed something last year and someone just decided to start putting with a long putter.  They took great lengths to define the stroke in it's simplest form and added quite a few provisions on the various length of clubs (specifically leaving out putters) and split grips for those longer putters.  The only reason I even remotely agree with the banning of 'standing astride your line' or 'croquet' style putting is that the ban was put into effect very soon after one of those that governed the rules at the time saw this method being used.  The fact that the rules have been altered to allow for this type of stroke (anchoring and belly putting) holds more weight that it is a fundamental way that a stroke can be made, so much so, that they put language in the rules to specifically allow the type of putter that is used to make the stroke.



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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Your logic is flawed in that just because something was legal previously doesn't justify it remaining legal today.  There are more and more pro's using long / belly putters that anchor to their body, the current PGA Tour average is at 25% per tournament and climbing.  The USGA is aware of this trend and evaluating if they want to act now before the numbers get even higher.

When I first started using cell phones in the 90's they weren't illegal to hold while driving, but as more and more people used them the government decided it was necessary to pass laws that require hands free cell phone use while driving.  Texting was around for a long time before they made it illegal to text and drive.  Three years ago the grooves on my 2009 Vokey wedges were legal for tournament play, as of last year they weren't.

Sometimes it's not necessary to legislate something if it's not widespread enough to cause a problem.  Belly / long putters are becoming more commonplace, no longer reserved for just those with back problems or the yips and guys are winning tournaments with them so it makes sense that the USGA review their use.

You're just making my previous point, to call my logic 'flawed' is your opinion.  You may think my opinion is flawed, but sorry, it's not.  It's very logical and has the same amount (if not more) weight as 'it's not how the game was meant to be played' or 'it detracts from the skill of the sport' or 'it's a game of nerves'.  And once again, that's NOT my only reason for leaving them in, I just think it adds weight to my opinion.  My main opinion is that it doesn't take away from the game and still allows for the necessary skill that is needed to play this game.

Heck, one could even argue that the game itself is 2 or 3 games, one involves hitting the ball a fairly long way (the full swing), another is short shots (chipping) and the third is putting.  To me it only makes sense that the tools used in each of them have evolved in different directions to better accomplish the goals of each area of skill.

As Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA said himself. .. "

"This isn't the first time this has come up," Davis said. "We've looked at long putters numerous times, and we will continue to look at them. We readily admit long putters do help some players, but we write rules for all golfers. We aren't seeing any data that says these things have changed the game or are harming the game.

"We don't see it as a game changer."

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I could be friends with an ugly putter if I make putts with it. I guess this begs the question, do some golfers have Trophy Putters? You know, based on looks only even though they don't score often? (Yes, I already know the answer!)

Judging by your profile pic, it looks like you have already made an ugly friend! ;-) Just playing...if it looks good to your eye and works, use that sh#$! And you are right about people using trophy putters! Scotty Cameron makes some great putters, but most amateur cameron owners just buy one to say they have one...and can't putt wit it to save their life. I finally talked my buddy into selling his Newport...he was definitely one of those guys. Buy a putter that you can putt with... not to impress your golfing buddies. That includes both style and brand. They make different style putters for different putting strokes...not just to look cool. Although there are a few companies that can create a good arguement against that last statement.

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Then using your argument, couldn't one debate that croquet style putting or using your club handle like a pool cue to putt could also have been an evolution of the game and shouldn't have been banned?

Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

You're just making my previous point, to call my logic 'flawed' is your opinion.  You may think my opinion is flawed, but sorry, it's not.  It's very logical and has the same amount (if not more) weight as 'it's not how the game was meant to be played' or 'it detracts from the skill of the sport' or 'it's a game of nerves'.  And once again, that's NOT my only reason for leaving them in, I just think it adds weight to my opinion.  My main opinion is that it doesn't take away from the game and still allows for the necessary skill that is needed to play this game.

Heck, one could even argue that the game itself is 2 or 3 games, one involves hitting the ball a fairly long way (the full swing), another is short shots (chipping) and the third is putting.  To me it only makes sense that the tools used in each of them have evolved in different directions to better accomplish the goals of each area of skill.

As Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA said himself... "



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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Then using your argument, couldn't one debate that croquet style putting or using your club handle like a pool cue to putt could also have been an evolution of the game and shouldn't have been banned?


The croquet style maybe.   Although I believe what was regulated there was the actually the position of address (not allowing one to straddle the ball/line of putt)..

The pool cue no.    The rules define what a proper stroke is and jabbing the ball with the handle of your club does not meet that definition..

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

Then using your argument, couldn't one debate that croquet style putting or using your club handle like a pool cue to putt could also have been an evolution of the game and shouldn't have been banned?


Yes, of course, one could debate that.  I would agree with allowing croquet style putting and banning the pool cue type of a putt.  In my opinion, croquet style is still a swing of the club, however, the pool cue stroke is NOT swinging the club and doesn't work (imho).  As I said in an earlier post, the only reason I don't have that much of a problem with the croquet style of putting is that (from what I've read) it was banned soon after it was put into use.

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Well at least your consistent.  I think whatever they decide it should remain legal for non-pro's.  I don't see a point in making golf harder for those that made the switch, plus it's good for the vendors who have/will be selling a ton of long / belly putters.

Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

Yes, of course, one could debate that.  I would agree with allowing croquet style putting and banning the pool cue type of a putt.  In my opinion, croquet style is still a swing of the club, however, the pool cue stroke is NOT swinging the club and doesn't work (imho).  As I said in an earlier post, the only reason I don't have that much of a problem with the croquet style of putting is that (from what I've read) it was banned soon after it was put into use.



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Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

As I said in an earlier post, the only reason I don't have that much of a problem with the croquet style of putting is that (from what I've read) it was banned soon after it was put into use.


For all we know, a bunch of amateurs were putting croquet style for years, decades even, but when it became high profile because Sam Snead putted that way, well, then it was banned.

Seems like it could parallel the belly putter thing. A bunch of players used it for years, but when it reached a high enough profile (someone winning a major with one, Tiger speaking out, more than 20% of PGA Tour players using them, whatever), banning it was discussed more.

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Originally Posted by iacas

For all we know, a bunch of amateurs were putting croquet style for years, decades even, but when it became high profile because Sam Snead putted that way, well, then it was banned.

Seems like it could parallel the belly putter thing. A bunch of players used it for years, but when it reached a high enough profile (someone winning a major with one, Tiger speaking out, more than 20% of PGA Tour players using them, whatever), banning it was discussed more.

That's not even close to a parallel of the belly putter thing. Assuming amateurs were putting croquet style for years (big if) and then after Sam Snead tried it, it was banned.  Which means it was banned soon after the golf governing rules bodies found out about it.  This one has been in use for years, won several golf tournaments and even addressed to allow the use of such equipment in the rules.  The executive director of the USGA even said it's not a game-changer.  I think your argument is a big stretch!

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Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

That's not even close to a parallel of the belly putter thing. Assuming amateurs were putting croquet style for years (big if) and then after Sam Snead tried it, it was banned.  Which means it was banned soon after the golf governing rules bodies found out about it.  This one has been in use for years, won several golf tournaments and even addressed to allow the use of such equipment in the rules.  The executive director of the USGA even said it's not a game-changer.  I think your argument is a big stretch!

Eh, that's how you see it.

The USGA has changed. The new people in charge of things may not agree with the way things were done in the past, and "it's been legal for xx years" is not a valid argument for keeping them legal.

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I see it as quite a valid argument. Precedence has been set, precedence is a strong argument.

I would argue that a much weaker reason for changing the law is because ONE pga pro has put forth the opinion that he doesn't like it.

Originally Posted by iacas

Eh, that's how you see it.

The USGA has changed. The new people in charge of things may not agree with the way things were done in the past, and "it's been legal for xx years" is not a valid argument for keeping them legal.



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Originally I was against anchoring the club, or changing the grip rules to make long/belly putters impractical. Many of the arguments I have read are making me change my mind. I may choose not to use them, but I don't think they are unfair. One of my friends I play with all the time couldn't play without it. He forgot his putter once (it didn't fit in the trunk so he placed it on the ground) and had to use a short putter he borrowed. He putted so badly that I felt it was unfair for me to take his money at the end of the round. I still don't like long/belly putters, but I don't think they will take over the game to the point were I would feel I needed one so I would not be at a disadvantage.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Eh, that's how you see it.

The USGA has changed. The new people in charge of things may not agree with the way things were done in the past, and "it's been legal for xx years" is not a valid argument for keeping them legal.


Actually, it's not a question of 'how I see it', it's pretty much a question of fact.  The two situations are not even closely the same, except that they involve putting.  If the USGA had met and reviewed anchoring/belly putting when they first became aware of it and then decided it wasn't good for golf, that would be the same situation.  Instead, they put specific rules into effect to allow for longer putters and even the split grip to be used on those putters.  Anyone with half a brain would know, given the nature of sports, someone would eventually win amateur/professional tournaments and even majors with this type of putter.

Originally Posted by mtsalmela80

I see it as quite a valid argument. Precedence has been set, precedence is a strong argument.

I would argue that a much weaker reason for changing the law is because ONE pga pro has put forth the opinion that he doesn't like it.


Finally, someone with a clear head.  The fact that something has been allowed, after much scrutiny at the time, and then still allowed and even had special language written into the rules to allow the style of putter used in this case, is a very strong and valid argument to continue to allow this style of putting.  The fact that you (iacas) disagree, doesn't make it 'invalid'.

And no, Tiger isn't the only PGA pro that doesn't like this style of putting, but he's high profile and that is why the media has jumped on this story.

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Sorry guys, iacas has the right on this one.  "Because thats how we've always done it" is just about the weakest argument there is in any setting.  Otherwise we'd still have, among other things, slavery.

As far as the topic goes, I don't really have a problem with it.  It would be unfair if some weren't allowed to use it while other were, which is obviously not the case.

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Originally Posted by mtsalmela80

I see it as quite a valid argument. Precedence has been set, precedence is a strong argument.

Rules are changed in sports all the time regardless of precedence. It doesn't seem to matter as much as you seem to think it does. We had bigger grooves for a long time, and EVERY PGA Tour player used them, and EVERY golfer at EVERY level used 'em, and that rule was changed. Precedence doesn't matter much. Plenty of Rules have been changed in golf alone.

Originally Posted by mtsalmela80

I would argue that a much weaker reason for changing the law is because ONE pga pro has put forth the opinion that he doesn't like it.

Uhm, who is using "Tiger says so" as a reason?

Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

Actually, it's not a question of 'how I see it', it's pretty much a question of fact. The two situations are not even closely the same, except that they involve putting.  If the USGA had met and reviewed anchoring/belly putting when they first became aware of it and then decided it wasn't good for golf, that would be the same situation.  Instead, they put specific rules into effect to allow for longer putters and even the split grip to be used on those putters. Anyone with half a brain would know, given the nature of sports, someone would eventually win amateur/professional tournaments and even majors with this type of putter.


You can call it a "question of fact" but it's still just your opinion (as it is mine).

A different group of people put the putter rules into place. Put into place the rules regarding grooves. Things change, and the USGA changes its position on things, clearly. They may not on this - but they might, too. Besides, they could potentially ban anchoring without changing any of the rules regarding split putter grips (etc.) that were put into place.

Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

Finally, someone with a clear head. The fact that something has been allowed, after much scrutiny at the time, and then still allowed and even had special language written into the rules to allow the style of putter used in this case, is a very strong and valid argument to continue to allow this style of putting.  The fact that you (iacas) disagree, doesn't make it 'invalid'.

And no, Tiger isn't the only PGA pro that doesn't like this style of putting, but he's high profile and that is why the media has jumped on this story.


Yet the fact that you agree makes it valid?

I can provide several instances where rules have changed despite existing previously. Where's the stymie these days? What happens now if a ball is blown by the wind after the player has addressed the ball? Those rules existed for a pretty long time too, did they not? Heck, almost all the rules existed in different forms before they were changed.

Again, who cares about Tiger? I know it's the thread title but many people have opposed long putters or more specifically anchoring the putter to your body for years and years - long before Tiger revealed he'd mentioned it to the R&A.;

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Sorry guys, iacas has the right on this one.  "Because thats how we've always done it" is just about the weakest argument there is in any setting.  Otherwise we'd still have, among other things, slavery.

As far as the topic goes, I don't really have a problem with it.  It would be unfair if some weren't allowed to use it while other were, which is obviously not the case.


Wow... way to reach on that one (ie - slavery).  No one has said that "because that's how we've always done it" is the only argument.  As I've said before, it adds alot of weight to the argument.  My primary opinion is that it is a legal stroke and is a perfectly fine way to make a stroke and (imo) stands true to the history and beauty of golf.


Originally Posted by iacas

Rules are changed in sports all the time regardless of precedence. It doesn't seem to matter as much as you seem to think it does. We had bigger grooves for a long time, and EVERY PGA Tour player used them, and EVERY golfer at EVERY level used 'em, and that rule was changed. Precedence doesn't matter much. Plenty of Rules have been changed in golf alone.

Uhm, who is using "Tiger says so" as a reason?

You can call it a "question of fact" but it's still just your opinion (as it is mine).

A different group of people put the putter rules into place. Put into place the rules regarding grooves. Things change, and the USGA changes its position on things, clearly. They may not on this - but they might, too. Besides, they could potentially ban anchoring without changing any of the rules regarding split putter grips (etc.) that were put into place.

Yet the fact that you agree makes it valid?

I can provide several instances where rules have changed despite existing previously. Where's the stymie these days? What happens now if a ball is blown by the wind after the player has addressed the ball? Those rules existed for a pretty long time too, did they not? Heck, almost all the rules existed in different forms before they were changed.

Again, who cares about Tiger? I know it's the thread title but many people have opposed long putters or more specifically anchoring the putter to your body for years and years - long before Tiger revealed he'd mentioned it to the R&A.;

No, whether or not I agree with it doesn't make it valid.  By itself, it is a valid argument.  If I was on a debate team (which I never was), and was told to argue for allowing long/belly putters to continue to be used, I would certainly add this to my list of arguments.  Just as if I was chosen to debate the other side, I would probably pick the argument that a number of golfers don't think it fits with how a club should be swung.  I wouldn't agree with it, but if I was trying to win the debate contest, I might use that as one of my talking points.

That's my whole point (in several of my posts), you and several others try to make your arguments stand out as fact when in fact that are all matters of opinion.  One of my arguments that the belly/long putter and anchoring has history on it's side is, without a doubt, a valid argument.  Just as your argument that you think it's not how golf is supposed to be played is a valid argument.  The argument itself is valid, it's just not something I agree with.

Originally Posted by iacas

You can call it a "question of fact" but it's still just your opinion (as it is mine).

No, it pretty much is fact (ie - comparing the very late discussion of banning belly/anchoring to the quick ban of croquet style putting).  There is no question, the two situations are vastly different.  If you can't see that, there's no hope.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas

Rules are changed in sports all the time regardless of precedence. It doesn't seem to matter as much as you seem to think it does. We had bigger grooves for a long time, and EVERY PGA Tour player used them, and EVERY golfer at EVERY level used 'em, and that rule was changed. Precedence doesn't matter much.

...

I can provide several instances where rules have changed despite existing previously. Where's the stymie these days? What happens now if a ball is blown by the wind after the player has addressed the ball? Those rules existed for a pretty long time too, did they not? Heck, almost all the rules existed in different forms before they were changed.

Again, who cares about Tiger? I know it's the thread title but many people have opposed long putters or more specifically anchoring the putter to your body for years and years - long before Tiger revealed he'd mentioned it to the R&A.;

Good for you, please do continue to provide an many instances as you want regarding rules changes.  It doesn't matter.  Once again, don't attempt to put words in my mouth.  I don't recall ever making a post that said someone could never change the rules, of course they can.  I just disagree with this rule change and have stated clearly, several times, my reasons. One of which is that it has been allowed and rules were put in place specifically for it.

It's like talking to a wall sometimes, certain people only hear (read) what they want to hear.

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