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Tiger Wants to Ban the Long Putter

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Originally Posted by iacas

Who keeps saying this? Again, virtually all of the long-standing arguments from people who oppose them have more to do with how golf should be played - not by anchoring - and have nothing to do with "unfair" or "easier" or "advantage."

[...]

Wedge grooves were around for a long time and they were changed. I don't think it's important to the debate. The NFL changes long-standing rules for the betterment of the game all the time. Why should golf not change the rules for the betterment of the game simply because they've been around for awhile?


For the former, I just read about the last half of this thread and it was in there at least a couple times.

Sure, rules can be changed, but I think a simple "that ain't right" argument becomes less convincing after a few decades of allowing it. For the grooves, it took a lot of study and quantitative evidence that rough was no longer penal before they changed the rules. (I don't follow NFL rule changes much, so I don't really have a comment on that process.)

Originally Posted by bplewis24

Do you still have to swing the hybrid?


Yes, and you certainly still swing the belly putter. It's a somewhat different swing, and some people seem to take issue with the anchoring, but it's not like the putt just makes itself.

So sure, rules changes are always fair game, but I guess I don't see how there's a problem here that needs to be fixed.

What I would consider more reasonable at this point is if someone were to show that belly putters are somehow negating the traditional challenges presented by the green. In the absence of that, it strikes me as a harmless equipment preference. If it enables some golfers to keep playing when their physical condition makes a "standard" putter uncomfortable, that seems to me to be a pretty valuable thing to give up.

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Originally Posted by zeg

I still don't see the problem, and the arguments about them being "unfair" or making putting too easy for bad putters are not getting any more convincing even after dozens of repetitions. It's an equipment choice. I play a hybrid because a long iron is harder for me to use; is that unfair to the good iron strikers?

Also, the fact that these long putters have been around for a long time is important to the debate. It's a little late to decide that these just weren't the way people were intended to putt. They're not a common choice, but unlike the croquet-style ban, the putter has been an accepted option for a long time. Given that they don't hurt anything, I don't buy into the hate. Just like any other piece of equipment, choose the option that best suits your game.





Originally Posted by bplewis24

Do you still have to swing the hybrid?



Exactly. Yes, for many a hybrid is easier to hit, but you're still making basically the same swing. The line is being crossed with an anchored putter - some people do not consider that a 'stroke' or at least too much of a deviation from a traditional stroke. I agree.

So technology is ruled out. Watch Bobby Jones swing a hickory shaft then watch a modern pro swing an RX11. It's a golf swing. Integrity of the game remains intact. I think the integrity is compromised when you can anchor a club against the body. Now it's letting something 'pendulum swing' against a stationary object that simply requires momentum & a bit of guidance to pull off successfully. That's too much of a compromise.

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This thread is actually pushing me in favor of belly putters.

The issue is not with the technology, but with the technique.  However, lots of "techniques" are non-traditional and supported by the rules.  I can hit away from a tree using a left-handed stroke with a flipped over 8-iron.  I can putt a ball tucked against the collar by blading a sand wedge.

If the problem really were with technology, well it seems that there are far more "helping" technologies which are employed by us all.  Inverted cones; super-thin titanium face inserts which spring when they make impact with the ball; low-kick composite shafts; variable density eurethane golf balls; etc.

I also agree that there can be no "unfair advantage" with a belly putter, any more than there can be an "unfair advantage" with any other type of equipment.  Every player selects their equipment based on tradeoffs:  distance v. control; workability v. forgiveness; spin v. straightness; high v. low.  You pick what works for you and go with it.

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[LIST=1] [*] [*] [*] [/LIST] [quote name="iacas" url="/t/55561/tiger-wants-to-ban-the-long-putter/108#post_679722"]


I was responding in a way that seemed similarly silly to the post I'd quoted! :)

[/quote] Oh come on...everyone knows you were being serious and when you were called on it, you claim sarcasm to cover it up! You remember calling me out in a similar way, iacas? ;-)

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Anchoring your putter grip to the left forearm works well for many putters. So if the USGA and R&A; outlaw anchoring to actually touching the body the players will be able anchor that way.  A stat I heard the other day is PGA players are not putting any better in 2011 then in 1991.  So it has not changed performance. Also, about bobby jones changing to steel shafts, he was against the steel shafts until he received a contract to promote them.  I think the long putters will have an official ruling by the end of the year. I think it is a 20 % chance they will rule against. That is when the lawyers come into play and not sure the USGA wants that.

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Originally Posted by sammie

Anchoring your putter grip to the left forearm works well for many putters. So if the USGA and R&A; outlaw anchoring to actually touching the body the players will be able anchor that way.  A stat I heard the other day is PGA players are not putting any better in 2011 then in 1991.  So it has not changed performance. Also, about bobby jones changing to steel shafts, he was against the steel shafts until he received a contract to promote them.  I think the long putters will have an official ruling by the end of the year. I think it is a 20 % chance they will rule against. That is when the lawyers come into play and not sure the USGA wants that.



And that's fine by me. As I stated in an earlier post, my proposed rule would be the putter cannot touch any part of the body above the elbows. So anchor it against your wrist if you want - like Bernhard Langer did in the 1991 Ryder Cup -

Go to 6:55.

Because, that's still a stroke without using the body as an anchor point . See the difference?

Re putting stats being no better now that then - it doesn't matter on the macro level. It matters on the individual level. You see it time and again - and Langer is a perfect example - where a guy switches to the long putter & anchors it, then voila...they start winning. It wasn't hard work that got them to the winner's circle, it was a club change & a fundamental alteration of the stroke that got them there.

I respect the hell out of Tom Watson, and one of the main reasons is, he never resorted to the long putter/anchoring. He practiced, practiced, practiced to get that yip out of his stroke. He didn't go to a gimmick.

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should be banned from PGA tour... just like the groove change. these guys are pros.. should not be allowed in any form of tournament play. for rec players i think they should be able to play/swing and use whatever they want to enjoy the game of golf. as long as it does not wreck the course or slow play of course. totally side with tiger on this topic.NO ANCORING! i dont believe its cheating but something needs to be done. for the PGA players. and i could care less that they say some of the players grew up with it. screw it! should of started playing with a normal mallet like everyone else..

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Originally Posted by jhwmusic

Oh come on...everyone knows you were being serious and when you were called on it, you claim sarcasm to cover it up!


I'm not sure what you're talking about. I was being both serious (he has won 100% of the majors he's played in... cuz he won his first and it was the last one played) and silly (it's a goofy "point," someone being 1 for 1 in majors). It's not sarcasm and I didn't claim such. Beachcomber seemed to get it. Appropriately, he chuckled.

Getting back to the actual topic:

I personally don't have an issue with holding the putter against your wrist, though I think if you're going to ban "anchoring" altogether why not just say that no part of the putter can held in contact with any part of the body above the wrists. Some variation of "held in contact with" will protect people who grip down on their putters to hit the ball out from under a tree and who have the butt end of the putter hit their forearm on the follow-through or something, as well as people tapping in one-handed with the butt end of the club resting against or bumping into their forearm.

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i have both a 35" and 50" long putter. my long putter comes to the middle of my sternum and i use my left thumb at the top of the grip and it's barely touching my chest (NO part of the club is touching anything other than my hand). here are arguments i've seen:

'spirit of the game' - i'm calling bs. golf has been so outside the realm of spirit of the game since the metal driver. get real, its not a fair, nor quantitative argument. otherwise, all clubs, all balls, etc would be changed to the original. enjoy your hickory sticks, knickers, and one-off always different in terms of performance golf balls

'improper motion' - really? b/c if i'm in the fringe and have a hybrid and use that to make a putting like motion to get the ball rolling instead of my putter, am i using it improperly ie making an improper stroke? last time i checked you're making the same motion with a long putter, as a belly or short putter it's just the angle by which the putter shaft is in relation to 90*.  ie give a short person a 35" putter and a 6'6" guy a 35" putter and guarantee the taller guy uses it more like a pendulem. just sayin.

'unfair advantage to long putters' - last time i checked, it's the indian not the arrow. you either make it or you don't. if i started putting with my driver and had less than 30 putts around are they gonna come after me for that too? also, the numbers don't show as noted in the golf digest issue (dont' have the link but remember reading the article since i own a long putter) that the numbers were basically the same and of no real advantage to EITHER a shorter or a belly/long version.

and lastly...the topic of 'anchoring'. define it and STICK by it. too many variations to how ppl define it and obtw, always a way around it. most of the golfing population is comprised of hackers looking to have a good time and better themselves...but they also want to shoot good scores. always loopholes for every rule. and last time i looked, ppl referred to the rules of golf and said, 'the best part about the rules of golf is the ability to use them to your advantage'


long/belly putters have been around for too long at this point to make a move to ban them. as for tiger? get over it bro, we all know that if there was a way for you, the king of image and intimidation through appearance and performance...to gain a level over your opponent, you'd do it. oh, you don't use one but think all those guys have an advantage over you? aw poor baby. grow up and work on your putting game as much as your women you'd be raisin a few more trophies.

/rant-angry tiger fan over

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Originally Posted by iacas

Yeah, I'm sure Keegan Bradley's eyes are shot. And Jason Day, and Adam Scott, etc.



And Tiger's putting so well now that he's had Lasik...

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Originally Posted by Titleist695mb

should be banned from PGA tour... just like the groove change. these guys are pros.. should not be allowed in any form of tournament play. for rec players i think they should be able to play/swing and use whatever they want to enjoy the game of golf. as long as it does not wreck the course or slow play of course. totally side with tiger on this topic.NO ANCORING! i dont believe its cheating but something needs to be done. for the PGA players. and i could care less that they say some of the players grew up with it. screw it! should of started playing with a normal mallet like everyone else..



the first bold...can you give substance as to WHY they should be banned? or why something needs to be done?

the second bold...'should of started playing with a normal mallet like everyone else' hmm...last time i checked one of the stock putters back in the day was a ping anser or something of the like and that's not a mallet, but a blade...and what about all those who started with blades, since you play a mallet...should the tell you 'screw you, start over!' ...walkin a fine line my friend.

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Originally Posted by Gioguy21

'spirit of the game' - i'm calling bs. golf has been so outside the realm of spirit of the game since the metal driver. get real, its not a fair, nor quantitative argument. otherwise, all clubs, all balls, etc would be changed to the original. enjoy your hickory sticks, knickers, and one-off always different in terms of performance golf balls

Straw man. There's a significant difference between advances in technology (which have always occurred) and changes to the way the game is played. Would you be opposed to players lying on the green and putting pool-cue style?

Originally Posted by Gioguy21

'unfair advantage to long putters'

Why do people keep saying this? By definition so long as it's within the rules it's not "unfair" and I haven't seen anyone claiming it's a true "advantage."

Originally Posted by Gioguy21

and lastly...the topic of 'anchoring'. define it and STICK by it. too many variations to how ppl define it and obtw, always a way around it. most of the golfing population is comprised of hackers looking to have a good time and better themselves...but they also want to shoot good scores. always loopholes for every rule. and last time i looked, ppl referred to the rules of golf and said, 'the best part about the rules of golf is the ability to use them to your advantage'

The USGA and R&A; may be doing that very thing as we speak. We'll see.

And most amateurs going out and hacking it around the course don't give a crap about the Rules anyway. They drop, they roll their ball, etc. So who cares?


I disagree that there are "loopholes for every rule." Rather, for every rule there are thousands of people who choose to ignore it. But, if history is an indicator, golf equipment manufacturers tend to follow the Rules, so the hackers will have a hard time breaking equipment rules should they be changed.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Straw man. There's a significant difference between advances in technology (which have always occurred) and changes to the way the game is played. Would you be opposed to players lying on the green and putting pool-cue style?

Why do people keep saying this? By definition so long as it's within the rules it's not "unfair" and I haven't seen anyone claiming it's a true "advantage."

The USGA and R&A; may be doing that very thing as we speak. We'll see.

And most amateurs going out and hacking it around the course don't give a crap about the Rules anyway. They drop, they roll their ball, etc. So who cares?

I disagree that there are "loopholes for every rule." Rather, for every rule there are thousands of people who choose to ignore it. But, if history is an indicator, golf equipment manufacturers tend to follow the Rules, so the hackers will have a hard time breaking equipment rules should they be changed.



first bold: laying on the green and shooting pool style would be considered an improper stroke would it not as they aren't standing? also this rule is covered by the rule that was changed regarding the player may not stand aside or behind the ball while making a stroke...correct? (see sam snead croquet style putting)

second bold: EVERYWHERE ppl have been saying that putting with a belly and long putter is easier to putt with and hole putts more often than a regular length/style putter...however no anayltics or numbers would show a definitive advantage to using one over the other...

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Originally Posted by Gioguy21

first bold: laying on the green and shooting pool style would be considered an improper stroke would it not as they aren't standing? also this rule is covered by the rule that was changed regarding the player may not stand aside or behind the ball while making a stroke...correct? (see sam snead croquet style putting)

Where in the Rules does it say you must be standing to play a shot? I can kneel and hit a golf shot 100% legally. I can lie down and play a legal golf shot, too.

And you've made my point for me. They've already made illegal one "method" of playing the game, and it even involved standing and swinging the club without anchoring. Croquet style putting violated the "WAY" golf should be played, just as anchoring violates, in the minds of many, the way golf should be played or the way a golf stroke should be made.


Originally Posted by Gioguy21

second bold: EVERYWHERE ppl have been saying that putting with a belly and long putter is easier to putt with and hole putts more often than a regular length/style putter...however no anayltics or numbers would show a definitive advantage to using one over the other...


Where? I haven't seen much of that. I do see people who keep saying "it's not an unfair advantage," though. Guess what? I completely agree! It's not an unfair advantage. It's not even a fair advantage. And I still support their banishment.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Where in the Rules does it say you must be standing to play a shot? I can kneel and hit a golf shot 100% legally. I can lie down and play a legal golf shot, too.

And you've made my point for me. They've already made illegal one "method" of playing the game, and it even involved standing and swinging the club without anchoring. Croquet style putting violated the "WAY" golf should be played, just as anchoring violates, in the minds of many, the way golf should be played or the way a golf stroke should be made.

Where? I haven't seen much of that. I do see people who keep saying "it's not an unfair advantage," though. Guess what? I completely agree! It's not an unfair advantage. It's not even a fair advantage. And I still support their banishment.


minds of many...my point is WHY!? you're making a putting stroke standing behind the golf ball and using in essence the same motion you would be using had you been using a short putter. we've already seen how ppl say it's ok to hvae the putter resting on your forearm...so, how does me holding a club that's longer make that much of a difference? i'm not for or against belly/long putters i'm just simply saying that 'spirit of the game' s*it is crap and it's only pertinent when people have their knickers in a twist. if ppl went apes*it about yellow golf balls would they make a motion to get rid of those too since they're not white and in the 'minds of many' they're not in the spirit of the game?

if you use the 'spirit of the game' argument, where does it end?



my point "why?!" is this:  IF THE PUTTER, REGARDLESS OF ANCHORED OR NOT IS GIVING YOU A DISTINCT, QUANTITATIVE ADVANTAGE, HOW CAN YOU OUTLAW OR MAKE ANY BAN ON IT WHATSOEVER?


i should've been clearer in my original post. i'm neither for nor against a long or belly putter. if the only reason why ppl think it should be changed is that it's in the 'spirit of the game' to change and not have substantial, clear and data-backed evidence that it's of advantage...well, i'm sure the lawyers could start sharpening pencils or buying pens to get ready for this one.

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It's an opinion. The club isn't so much "swung." As an opinion, they don't need "evidence" to back it up like they did for the grooves rule.

They simply have to agree that, as the Ruling Bodies of the game, that anchoring violates the "spirit" to use your words. You ask "where does it end?" and I would suggest that, logically, it ends with this because it's not as if there are sweeping changes coming or that this isn't basically the only "spirit of the game" discussion in the past half century or so. It's not like people are waiting in the wings and if anchoring is abolished, they're going to start suggesting that this whole idea of using a tee should be done away with in the "spirit" of the game, too.

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Originally Posted by jamo

Why don't they just get contacts?



Because you can't use artificial equipment to improve your game.

Contacts are worse than a belly putter.

Anyway the belly putters have been in use a very long time.

http://twitter.com/#!/Keegan_Bradley/status/169577420263919616/photo/1

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Originally Posted by camper6

Because you can't use artificial equipment to improve your game.


Contacts are perfectly legal under the Rules of Golf.

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Note: This thread is 2423 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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