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Tiger Wants to Ban the Long Putter


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This thread is getting more and more comical to me.  99% of tour players understand exactly what anchoring the putter means and how it benefits the putting stroke.  Only 'we' try to muddy the waters with ridiculous semantics.  How the rules would be rewritten isn't an issue.  The real  issue is whether or not the R&A;/USGA want to ban the putters and who would be affected (ie. allowing players to grandfather in the putters they're already using, etc.).

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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?

I've been using a broom handle putter for the past two years. I went to it because it took my aging nervous hands out of play and allows me to stand over the ball and make a smooth stroke. It has put the fun back into putting for me. I think I make more putts in the 12-foot and under range. It is more difficult to get the weight right on long putts but overall I think it has improved my putting by two strokes a round. Right now I am an 11-handicapper. The strange thing is, when I was using a short putter I was able to carry a 9-handicap. On the other side, I have made some swing changes so all-in-all, this is a game of change and adaptation. I don't really think the long putter is game changer, it just makes putting more comfortable for this ol' guy. If the R&A;/USGA were to make "anchoring" illegal, I could adapt by not anchoring my hand to my chest and would do so to keep the long putter in play. It is a minor adjustment but doable. No big deal...just don't ask me to give up my broomstick...Tiger bedamned!

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Originally Posted by ClayHbg

This thread is getting more and more comical to me.  99% of tour players understand exactly what anchoring the putter means and how it benefits the putting stroke.  Only 'we' try to muddy the waters with ridiculous semantics.  How the rules would be rewritten isn't an issue.  The real  issue is whether or not the R&A;/USGA want to ban the putters and who would be affected (ie. allowing players to grandfather in the putters they're already using, etc.).

Agreed.  Even Ernie Els went on record last year and used the word 'cheat' when describing the players that are using the long putter.  And then stated that he would continue to 'cheat' until they changed the rules allowing it.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Agreed.  Even Ernie Els went on record last year and used the word 'cheat' when describing the players that are using the long putter.  And then stated that he would continue to 'cheat' until they changed the rules allowing it.

Devil's advocate here.  Is it "cheating" if everyone has the opportunity to use that style of putter?  But I get that the belly/long putter is viewed as cheating because it goes against the definition of a golf stroke and can help poor putters become mediocre.

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Originally Posted by ClayHbg

This thread is getting more and more comical to me.  99% of tour players understand exactly what anchoring the putter means and how it benefits the putting stroke.  Only 'we' try to muddy the waters with ridiculous semantics.  How the rules would be rewritten isn't an issue.  The real  issue is whether or not the R&A;/USGA want to ban the putters and who would be affected (ie. allowing players to grandfather in the putters they're already using, etc.).

Originally Posted by mvmac

Devil's advocate here.  Is it "cheating" if everyone has the opportunity to use that style of putter?  But I get that the belly/long putter is viewed as cheating because it goes against the definition of a golf stroke and can help poor putters become mediocre.

Not nearly as much as it would be if something like Clay mentions above happens.  You can call it "cheating" if you want since it's something that helps certain players to putt well that may not be able to do so with a "normal" putter.  But because everybody has the opportunity to use one if they so desire, what you can't call it is "unfair."

However, if they changed the rule but allowed those already using them to continue to do so ... then you would HAVE to call that unfair.

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I don't consider it cheating since the rules don't currently ban them and anyone can choose to use one today.  With the exception of guys like Bradley, most pro's switched to them because they had difficulty putting with a traditional putter and stroke.  I've argued that in their case, long / belly putters do actually provide them with an advantage because without them they might not be capable of playing competitive golf and retain their pro cards.

Originally Posted by mvmac

Devil's advocate here.  Is it "cheating" if everyone has the opportunity to use that style of putter?  But I get that the belly/long putter is viewed as cheating because it goes against the definition of a golf stroke and can help poor putters become mediocre.

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Originally Posted by mvmac

Devil's advocate here.  Is it "cheating" if everyone has the opportunity to use that style of putter?  But I get that the belly/long putter is viewed as cheating because it goes against the definition of a golf stroke and can help poor putters become mediocre.

I used the word cheating for a few reasons...

First and foremost, because Ernie himself did.  I found it humorous last fall when Els was quoted as saying he viewed using the long putter as cheating, and that he would continue to cheat until the rules banned the long putter.  Secondly, I used it as a way to stir the pot here in this thread.

I do believe that anchoring the putter - in any way - sternum, belly, etc. Takes the hands (especially if your hands twitch or shake) out of the stroke.  This is what I believe ClayHbg was saying in his response at the top of the page when he said 99% of tour players know what advantages anchoring has.  And why I agreed with him.

Many players on the tour, Els included have stated that when you are nervous, it is harder to control your hands - or prevent them from trimbling or twitching.  Thus, anchoring the putter helps eliminate the sensation... Thus why it's viewed as 'cheating' by many.

Usage of the word 'cheating' is obviously misused since the long putter is legal.  But again, a way to stir the pot given 99% of us know it creates a unique advantage over the conventional length putter.

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Originally Posted by brocks

Then I guess you do see, after all. Guys using long putters finished first and second.

Well, what's the alternative? To allow anything at all? Laser sights?

If you want to preserve the spirit of the game (and there's no law that says you have to want that), you have to be selective about what changes you allow in the balls and clubs. Many people feel that anchoring the club changes the basic idea of a stroke, while using a metal wood or a solid core ball does not. You may disagree, but I don't see anything hypocritical about it.


You missed the point.. I tried anchor putters.. I actually had a harder time putting with one and would never consider it..  Some actually use a standard putter and anchor it to their wrist.. Is that illegal too?  In my opinion people going around saying it's NOT swinging a club..  Who is or was to define swinging in the first place.. I failed to read that swinging must be done with both arms.. In any case, long putters have been around for decades and it hasn't been in issue till recently..

Now as for the comment of the "spirit" of the game.. If one really wanted to preserve the spirit of the game, they would of never allowed woods to be made of synthetic materials such as titanium.. Same can be said about the change in golf balls.. Both of these changes effected the spirit of the game.. Par 5's became par 4's.. 7,000 yard courses became obsolete.. All these changes were allowed because of the almighty dollar and NOTHING to do with the game itself..  I'm 50 and hitting the ball just as long if not longer then I did 30 years ago.. I didn't become stronger and better, the equipment did.. BTW.. if one really wants to talk about the spirit of the game.. ELIMINATE all helping caddies..  Caddies have much more effect on the pro, then any club issue.. NOT all touring pro has access to an elite caddy to help them, unless you allow cloning Williams or Lacava.. The spirit of the game and rules say NO coaches or devices can used by the pro, but we allow caddies?  Think about it..

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Feherty, probably among others, recently made the point that it is ridiculous to have the amateur bodies of golf (USGA and R#A) make the rules for the pros. No other major sport does it. The major tours should get together and ban anchoring for pros, and let the amateurs do whatever they want, within reason, to make the game more fun and popular with duffers.
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Originally Posted by brocks

Feherty, probably among others, recently made the point that it is ridiculous to have the amateur bodies of golf (USGA and R#A) make the rules for the pros. No other major sport does it. The major tours should get together and ban anchoring for pros, and let the amateurs do whatever they want, within reason, to make the game more fun and popular with duffers.

that was in his interview with fuzzy, they both agreed that anchoring the putter was cheating and fuzzy pointed out that it takes nervous hands out of the equation.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

The objection Dawson has heard the most is that if players can't putt with a conventional club, why should they have a crutch to compete with those who can.  ''That's the general argument one hears,'' Dawson said. ''But we're also seeing now people who can putt perfectly well in the conventional way thinking that an anchored stroke gives them an advantage. I think that's the fundamental change that we've witnessed in the last couple of years.''

This is an argument that I see a lot, but doesn't hold any water with me.  There are a lot of things out there that some people use as "crutches" that may not help others; Caddies lining up their players putts as they are addressing the ball, caddies reading the green, drawing lines on the ball for putting, even using irons that aren't traditional blades could help those guys that have a little trouble hitting the exact center of the club as much as, say, Tiger.

But because the yips and nervous hands in putting are more of a medical/physical issue, I think an even better comparison than all of those is allowing players to wear eyeglasses/contact lenses.  That gives them an unfair advantage seeing the ball over somebody with perfect eyesight, just as taking the hands out of putting gives the nervous/yippy putter an advantage over the confident putter, does it not?

By the way, I'm not arguing for allowing the putters, just arguing against the "cheating" reasoning for banning them.  The only argument for banning them should be that it's not a conventional stroke, or not how the game is supposed to be played, etc, etc.

Personally, I don't really care if they ban them or not.  But, whenever I look at a young person such as Adam Scott using one, they just look goofy (and old).  I think it was Scott McCarron back in the 90's that was the only regular tour guy using one.  All the rest were on the senior tour, and it felt like that's where they belonged.  (Belly putters are a little different aesthetically since the stroke looks the same as a conventional one)

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Golf is not the same game it was 100 years ago.  All things change.  I'm sure old Tom never dreamed of a 460cc driver.  I bet walter hagen never thought of a Titanium driver, or Irons with a titanium face ala Callaway.  I believe these things give an advantage.  If anchoring the club allows the player a better stroke why not allow it?  i don't go for this "spirit of the game" crap either.  If the spirit of the game is what we are after than we need to go back to featheries and hickory clubs played on random fields like the old boys did.  Rules exist to make things fair, so if anyone can use a belly putter if they choose then it is an option open to everyone and therefore should be acceptable.  I do NOT use a belly putter i find them to awkward.  However if it's good for you than fairplay to ya!

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While I am an avid proponent of banning anchoring, it really bothers me when current use of those putters is referred to as cheating.  It demonstrably is not, given the current state of the rules, and since cheating is something that real golfers take very seriously it is misused in this context.  Ernie clearly meant it as a joke.

I took Ernie's comments along the lines of someone who doesn't think the tax code should allow a deduction for mortgage interest but who, since it is available, takes the deduction on his tax return.  (Note:  this is an example and in no way reflects in ether direction what my opinion is of the mortgage interest deduction - so let's not let that sidetrack the thread)

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Originally Posted by turtleback

While I am an avid proponent of banning anchoring, it really bothers me when current use of those putters is referred to as cheating.  It demonstrably is not, given the current state of the rules, and since cheating is something that real golfers take very seriously it is misused in this context.  Ernie clearly meant it as a joke.

Exactly.  As did I.

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You're not "anchoring" it to the ground or some other fixed point. You're "anchoring" it to a moving part of your own body that you have to train to move (or not move) the way you want.
Saying that a an amateur like me can "anchor" anything to his body and expect it not to move is a joke. Just like any other piece of equipment in golf, this thing takes mad skillz to use effectively at a professional level.

+1 for keeping it.

I think Tiger just realizes that he's the most photographed golfer in the world and he's aftraid he'll look goofy using one of those things.

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You're not "anchoring" it to the ground or some other fixed point. You're "anchoring" it to a moving part of your own body that you have to train to move (or not move) the way you want.

I've been training to not move my whole life, and I've gotten pretty good at it. I'm pretty sure I've logged my 10,000 hours on the couch by now.

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I haven't seen anyone relate Jack's recent comments from February this year, but here they are to add to the discussion.

Quote:

Q. There's been a lot of talk, discussion lately about guys using long putters, belly putters, putters that anchor under your chin. What's your thought on those, should they be allowed? Is it okay? The USGA said they might take a look at it going forward.

JACK NICKLAUS : Still got to knock it in the hole. That's the only way I look at it. I thought, you know, when they outlawed between the leg, the Bob Duden putter, 40 years ago or something, how many people are going to put that way? They didn't think it looked golf like. Sam figured it out, he went this way (indicating motion from the side) with it, rather than this way (indicating croquet style motion, between the legs).

I'm not offended by it. I always feel like the game is a game that is a very difficult game to start with. You try to figure out, how do you get the ball in the hole. As long as you're using a legal stroke and a legal club what you're saying, is the club legal. I mean, how many majors have been won with these putters? I guess Keegan uses one. Is he the only one that's ever won a major with that? So I guess it's just been a rampage that's won so many tournaments with it; a flood on the market. (Laughing).

I'm surprised they didn't ban that big putter I used in the Masters in '86. We sold a lot of them. (Laughter) I don't have an issue one way or the other with it. I don't think people have asked me the question. I just don't see the big deal about it.

http://www.pgatour.com/2012/tournaments/r010/02/29/transcript-nicklaus/index.html

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Originally Posted by brocks

I've been training to not move my whole life, and I've gotten pretty good at it. I'm pretty sure I've logged my 10,000 hours on the couch by now.



You sir, are a pimp!

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