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Tiger Wants to Ban the Long Putter


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Originally Posted by iacas

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

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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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?



Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

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.



Sorry, it was just the first thing to came to mind.  Probably should stick to sports (grooves, forward pass, 3 point shot, whatever), but no matter, you get the idea.  And I didn't say it was your only argument, I just commented on the fact that it IS one of your arguments.  And in a debate, adding the "oh yeah, and its how we've been doing it too" to your primary argument doesn't enhance it, it hinders it.

Your primary opinion is strong enough that it can stand on its own.

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Originally Posted by mtsalmela80

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.


I apologize. I thought it was obvious that those aren't reasons to ban the belly putter because, well, they're not - they may be a reason why the USGA would take another look at it, because they all speak to the generally heightened awareness, but they're not reasons to ban the belly putter or anchoring themselves. That's different.


Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

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.

Let me try to follow along.

1) You've never made a post saying that because a rule exists, it shouldn't be changed.

2) One of your reasons for not wanting to see this rule changed is because there are existing rules that allow it.

Uhm, okay.

And as I said, you could potentially outlaw "anchoring" without affecting any of the rules you mentioned about split grips and other things that allow for longer putters.

Enjoy the debate guys. In the end, the USGA will do what they want, regardless of existing rules and, quite likely, completely without regard to what Tiger wants.

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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.



The fact that people are even suggesting that's a valid argument is embarrassingly sad.

Brandon

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Originally Posted by iacas

Let me try to follow along.

1) You've never made a post saying that because a rule exists, it shouldn't be changed.

2) One of your reasons for not wanting to see this rule changed is because there are existing rules that allow it.

HEY!!!!!

You're not playing fair.

Logic left this thread about 17 pages ago.

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Well slavery is one of those things that changed for the better.

There are many many things that have changed for the worse throughout time.

But, I think if I was in charge of the USGA, my final ruling would be this:

The belly putter stays, everyone can use it, except Tiger.

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.



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Originally Posted by Shorty

HEY!!!!!

You're not playing fair.

Logic left this thread about 17 pages ago.


Sorry. I'll refrain from posting in this further, or will refrain from replying to a certain few people, anyway.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Let me try to follow along.

1) You've never made a post saying that because a rule exists, it shouldn't be changed.

2) One of your reasons for not wanting to see this rule changed is because there are existing rules that allow it.

Uhm, okay.

And as I said, you could potentially outlaw "anchoring" without affecting any of the rules you mentioned about split grips and other things that allow for longer putters.

Enjoy the debate guys. In the end, the USGA will do what they want, regardless of existing rules and, quite likely, completely without regard to what Tiger wants.


Correct, you finally got it. 1) This pertains to all rules, which are reviewable on their own.  2) Yes, this is true, it lends weight to not changing it.  ie - it is something to consider, quite heavily (imo), to not banning it.  The two are different, they are not mutually exclusive.


Originally Posted by Shorty

HEY!!!!!

You're not playing fair.

Logic left this thread about 17 pages ago.

Still missing in that last post, too.

Originally Posted by iacas

Sorry. I'll refrain from posting in this further, or will refrain from replying to a certain few people, anyway.

Please, yes... please!



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You're somethin' else Geek and points seem to whiz right over your head like a flying turtle. Not only is the stupidity of your own posts not obvious to you when you post but when Shorty and ICAS point it out you still manage to miss the point.

Thanks for the laughs I needed them today.

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Originally Posted by Phil McGleno

You're somethin' else Geek and points seem to whiz right over your head like a flying turtle. Not only is the stupidity of your own posts not obvious to you when you post but when Shorty and ICAS point it out you still manage to miss the point.

Thanks for the laughs I needed them today.



I didn't read his recent comments, but other people continually repeating "because that's not how it's meant to be played" adds what exactly to this discussion. Not saying you were one of those guys, because until this post I can't recall reading any of your posts.

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Originally Posted by Phil McGleno

You're somethin' else Geek and points seem to whiz right over your head like a flying turtle. Not only is the stupidity of your own posts not obvious to you when you post but when Shorty and ICAS point it out you still manage to miss the point.

Thanks for the laughs I needed them today.


Glad I could make your day. Trust me, I get plenty of laughs from Iacas, Shorty, and others on this and other threads!

Please don't judge that which you don't understand.  Shorty and Iacas didn't point anything out, they missed the point entirely.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Let me try to follow along.

1) You've never made a post saying that because a rule exists, it shouldn't be changed.

2) One of your reasons for not wanting to see this rule changed is because there are existing rules that allow it.


I'm not sure what he said or didn't say, but I think you're wrong to give as little weight to existing rules as you do.

Here (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1079906/index.htm) is an interesting article that outlines some of the history of putting rules changes. It's apparent that Snead wasn't the only croquet-style putter, and it's suggested that it was gaining popularity among amateurs.

The article doesn't directly say anything about how long this practice had been prevalent before the rule change was instituted, but it suggests that the previous examples of reactionary rules changes were rather quick. That seems obviously reasonable, for the same reason that the USGA won't typically issue hypothetical rulings.

In this case, though, high level golfers have certainly been using this equipment and these techniques for a long time and for some reason the powers that be chose not to intervene. For decades, this common stroke has been accepted as within the rules and, implicitly, within the spirit of the rules. The USGA and R&A; have seen fit to ban "outrageous" techniques at several times in the past, so for some reason this one was different.

Now, of course rules can be changed, but as I probably said a week or two ago, there really ought to be an identifiable reason to make a change like this. The basic argument I see presented, that the anchored stroke is inconsistent with the intent of the rules (or, if you prefer, the spirit of the game; same thing), really is weakened by the decades of permitting this. The technique either was or wasn't consistent with "traditional" putting (and form of clubs, etc) when it first came to the attention of the USGA. It's now been in use for more than my entire adult life, and I recall seeing long putters at least as early as I recall ever seeing golf on TV, so I find it really sketchy to claim it's any LESS traditional after decades of use.

So, in my opinion, the fact that it's allowed by the rules is quite significant. Not because of a circular argument, but because the time to decide that this technique doesn't conform to the original intent is way past. The bar for changing a well-established rule should be set higher than a highly controversial aesthetic opinion.

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Having a rule does not, in and of itself, preclude it from being changed, regardless of how long the rule has been in effect.

The question is how will a change in the rules improve the game, and whether a change in the rule changes the nature or spirit of the game.

Rules, as I see them, are in place to structure gameplay so that every competitor has equal footing on which to display his/her skill.

Of course there are other reasons that ruling bodies add or amend rules.

Imparting fines on players for unsportsmanlike conduct in the face of increased media scrutiny comes to mind as a rule that has been added to almost all professional sports (spirit).

The groove rule was changed because it reduced the amount of skill required, to impart spin on the ball out of deep rough (skill).

Clubfaces and balls are regulated to reduce the trampoline effect which would require course designers to continually lengthen and toughen courses to a point where only professionals could ever hope to play them (nature).

The arguments against the long putter/ belly putter seem to be two-pronged.

Skill, that a long/belly putter gives the player some sort of advantage.

Nature, that the anchored swing runs counter to the idea of what a golf swing was intended to be.

As far as skill goes, without more data showing that a player is guaranteed some kind of competitive advantage by using the belly putter I can't see how one can argue against it. They have been in play long enough that it should be possible to measure if this were true, (look at the champions tour.)  The fact that a few guys on the PGA Tour have had some success recently is not definitive proof.  It may be just coincidence.

The argument that an anchored swing is not a 'real' golf swing is quite simply a debate between traditionalists and, for lack of a better term, progressives.  There are no existing rules precluding this style of stroke.  So, we are not talking about changing a rule or amending a rule, but adding a rule.  Whenever you add a rule to a sport to preserve the nature of the game, you had better think it through carefully, because it can have many consequences down the road that are not obvious at the time the rule is put into effect.  One person mentioned the situation where your ball is stuck under a bush and because of space restrictions the only way to make a forward swing is to anchor your wedge to your belly in order to get the ball back in play.  Of course, you could limit the rule to putting.  But, again, situations may arise that require the rule to be further revised that we simply cannot foresee.  It's a bit of a slippery slope.

I, for one, don't use a belly putter.  But, I can foresee that as a I get older and perhaps run into back issues, using one may give me relief and make the game more enjoyable. Yeah sure you could limit the rule to the PGA Tour only.  But will that include the European, Asian, Australian, LPGA, Junior and Senior tours around the world?

I guess a lot more thought and debate needs to be put into the issue, but I suspect the longer the debate continues the less likely it will be that the USPGA will be able to realistically institute a rule banning it.

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I agree Zeg, it's obviously a tough decision for them.  The biggest problem I'd think is the impact it would have on non-pro's.  The USGA is at a crossroads.  They have stated in the past that they don't want to manage two separate sets of rules.  They are also pushing to make expand the base by making golf easier for amateurs but banning the belly/long putter would have the opposite effect as it would alienate those who can't use a conventional putter from playing tournament golf or rounds for handicap.

I'm torn because I believe it should be banned for the pro's, but I really don't want to see a separate set of rules.  I guess they could do something temporarily like they did with the groove change and make them legal for x number of years and in that time try to come up with a better long term solution.  If they decide there's an immediate need to regulate the golf balls used in pro tournaments they could decide to it's best to have separate rules for pro's and amateurs which then enables them to restrict the golf balls and putters without affecting us.

Originally Posted by zeg

I'm not sure what he said or didn't say, but I think you're wrong to give as little weight to existing rules as you do.

Here (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1079906/index.htm) is an interesting article that outlines some of the history of putting rules changes. It's apparent that Snead wasn't the only croquet-style putter, and it's suggested that it was gaining popularity among amateurs.

The article doesn't directly say anything about how long this practice had been prevalent before the rule change was instituted, but it suggests that the previous examples of reactionary rules changes were rather quick. That seems obviously reasonable, for the same reason that the USGA won't typically issue hypothetical rulings.

In this case, though, high level golfers have certainly been using this equipment and these techniques for a long time and for some reason the powers that be chose not to intervene. For decades, this common stroke has been accepted as within the rules and, implicitly, within the spirit of the rules. The USGA and R&A; have seen fit to ban "outrageous" techniques at several times in the past, so for some reason this one was different.

Now, of course rules can be changed, but as I probably said a week or two ago, there really ought to be an identifiable reason to make a change like this. The basic argument I see presented, that the anchored stroke is inconsistent with the intent of the rules (or, if you prefer, the spirit of the game; same thing), really is weakened by the decades of permitting this. The technique either was or wasn't consistent with "traditional" putting (and form of clubs, etc) when it first came to the attention of the USGA. It's now been in use for more than my entire adult life, and I recall seeing long putters at least as early as I recall ever seeing golf on TV, so I find it really sketchy to claim it's any LESS traditional after decades of use.

So, in my opinion, the fact that it's allowed by the rules is quite significant. Not because of a circular argument, but because the time to decide that this technique doesn't conform to the original intent is way past. The bar for changing a well-established rule should be set higher than a highly controversial aesthetic opinion.



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The problem with separate rules of course (as newtogolf has already explained) is that, for an kid aspiring to become a professional golfer, he would at some point have to change his equipment and/or swing to make the transition from amateur to pro.  It's hard enough learning this game without having to re-learn it.  Imagine the chaos that would ensue at the American College level!

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Originally Posted by iacas

Again, the top five finishers anywhere shouldn't be a basis FOR or AGAINST the rule, IMO. I think reasonable parties on both sides are willing to stipulate to that.

If the top five didn't include players who carried 15 clubs in the bag would you be okay with that? No, you wouldn't, and that's kind of the same thing here (except obviously that 15 clubs is illegal already).

which negates your argument. the belly putter isnt illegal like having 15 clubs.

And how does the top five finishers not affect? last years romp of winners using belly putters is the only reason this whole conversation of making it illegal is even brought up.. golf media chimed on about players using belly putters... and like i said the belly putter has been around for 10+ years so why now is it of concern?

and obviously tiger did not care of anybody using a belly putter in even 1 of his many majors let alone the other tournaments. in my opinion this is a weak move on his part. lets face it he's getting older and maybe worried about his majors record possibility.

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I wouldn't care either way. To me, being an avid bowler, this would be like the PBA banning the 2-handed release that Jason Belmonte utilizes. Though the "spirit" of the game is derived from a single handed release, using 3 conventionally drilled holes for the 2 middle fingers and thumb. It's an advantage for Belmonte with his revs, however for us to try is risking a broken wrist or negative results.

I'd rather see Tiger put more energy into his Sunday mental game and make his come back. However, good for him for answering a question directly and honestly.

I like my 34" and I'll never change to a belly/long putter.

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