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Tiger Wants to Ban the Long Putter

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Originally Posted by BruceMGF

So is the problem the length of the club or the anchoring? I've seen people rest their hands on a thigh using a conventional-length putter.

Changing materials to make things "better"?  No problem with cork-filled baseball bats?  Why not?

The problem in golf is that old golf courses are being made obsolete.  For the pros at least, the response has been to trick them up with ridiculously narrow fairways, greens that won't hold, etc., etc.  Wouldn't it be easier to restrict clubs rather than start building courses with 800-yard par 5s?   (Or maybe the old par-72 courses could be turned into par-62 courses.  It's a thought.)

I just don't see how these long putters are doing anything like that.  You still have to read the green, gauge the distance, and swing straight.  If they make the last a little easier, so what?   If these guys start draining every putt within 25 feet, I might get worried.



First, cut the crap with the corked bats...  this ain't baseball.  I really can't stand the comparison to other sports... Golf is golf.

Second, there is no doubt that the advancements in technology, especially with regards to the golf ball and the driver, have made courses play shorter.  And yes, these advancements are making some of the older course "obsolete" for some of the games best players.  But that's not the argument here.  If you want to talk to me about making restrictions to the ball or something similar to "save" old courses, I'm all ears.  I'm not so sure it's a bad idea anyways.

However, the advancements in technology really have NOTHING to do with this belly putter argument.  My only point was that people had compared the long putter to advancements in technology and that's not what it is.  A multi-piece ball was an advancement, a metal wood was an advancement, a titanium driver was an advancement.  A long putter is not like that.  It is a completely different way of playing the game.

And to use your argument, wouldn't the continued use of long putters continue to make older courses obsolete as putting is "so much easier" with them?  I mean, those older courses already have smallish greens (for the most part) that aren't tricked out, and letting people use long putters on them will only make it easier.



Originally Posted by TourSpoon

I just put in 5 rounds with the belly and I have dropped my putts per round average from 31.72 to 31.0. My gains have been in 3 putt avoidance and from 7-10 feet, while in closer is not too much different (actually better with traditional putter).  The total distance made has gone up from from 70 to 85 feet. While this is a sample representation based on 155 putts and maybe not statistically significant, it does seem that I can putt the same or slightly better than the way I have been putting since @ 1988.  I never considered myself a bad putter, I just figured that if I could take advantage of the belly stroke and it worked, then why not? One putt more is the difference between being a mid 5 cap to a mid 4 cap all other things being equal. I think that this thinking is what is different when it comes to long putters. They are not just for bad putters, they are for people trying to get better at any level. I still think that anchoring is questionable, but I will continue until a ruling is made.



I agree with you here.  I remember back to a thread that iacas had stated about banning long putters a while back, and at that time I wasn't sure on my thoughts on them, and if anything was pretty indifferent.  Since then I've become more opposed to them as I really do think that anchoring the putter alters the game too much.  (Please note that I said alters the game too much; I don't think that it makes it any easier necessarily but I don't think it's how golf was meant to be played).  All that being said, I have no problem with you, Keegan Bradely, Adam Scott or any other player using a long putter.  As it is right now they are legal to use and in the end that's all that matters.  Hell, every time I'm at Golfsmith I screw around with one, and regardless of my thoughts of how I think the game should be played, if I felt that I made more putts with one, I'd use it too.

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I have to say, I have been using a long putter for about 3 months now. My putting from 10' in has improved greatly because of my new long belly putter. But, I bought my putter short and lengthened it just to try it longer. Before my new Talormade Vicino, I putted with a conventional Ping offset putter. I 've never had any problems putting, but like I said , just wanted to try the longer version. I will say this. The belly putter is much better on very slick greens for some reason (for me anyway) . If they ban em I will just cut this sucker off and go back to a 35 1/2" putter like before. One more thing. Some folks act like it is easy to use a belly putter. It takes hours of practice to get  used to putting with one. I imagine that if they ban them, I will have to start from scracth with a standard length . haha . I see both sides of the issue on long putters, and will just wait to see the outcome.

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By all means keep the long putter around. The whining and shame a golfer would have to deal with for using one would offset any benefit.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

By all means keep the long putter around. The whining and shame a golfer would have to deal with for using one would offset any benefit.



Do they really get any, though?  Every time I watched Adam Scott in contention last season I was hoping some of his peers were giving him hell about it, as I can't stand seeing those things.

Brandon

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

Do they really get any, though?  Every time I watched Adam Scott in contention last season I was hoping some of his peers were giving him hell about it, as I can't stand seeing those things.

Brandon



This entire thread is about other pros essentially saying players who use long putters are, in their view, cheating. Tiger and other players wouldn't say anything on the topic to the media if they didn't want Scott and the other players to hear it. They aren't going to call him on it in the middle of a round, or tell him face to face that they don't think it's a proper way to putt; they whine about it when the media brings it up, and pretend like they have any more integrity than those who use them.

In any sport, there's no worse show of disrespect than talking about someone to the media like that. In team sports it often signals big trouble leading up to a trade or the like. In golf, it's much more personal. In this case, they aren't calling out Scott in particular, but I'd be pretty justifiably offended if I won a tournament using a long putter and Tiger said this soon after; it's directed at a few individuals.

Being called out like that, even if it's not just directed at you, can easily cause problems on tour between those players. Maybe the long putter doesn't cause a person shame per se, but it ought to be made fun of in much the same way as a chipper or 11 wood, as a crutch. If you play well with it, you deserve respect, but it's uncool. I say make them all legal as long as they're pink and covered in fur.

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Well, it appears that this thread is taking a turn for the worse. I would like to read real opinons and not offhanded, typical internet remarks. Come on guys focus here!! haha

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

By all means keep the long putter around. The whining and shame a golfer would have to deal with for using one would offset any benefit.



More and more professionals were trying out long putters every Monday and Tuesday on the practice greens after the PGA Championship. Maybe getting inside the top 125 is worth more to the average player than whatever Tiger Woods has to say.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

By all means keep the long putter around. The whining and shame a golfer would have to deal with for using one would offset any benefit.



I am not sure about that. I took a comment from a friend of mine and then made the 10 footer for birdie. Guys on tour are not carrying any shame, especially when they are cashing their checks at the bank.

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Originally Posted by iacas

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.


So, I looked up a bit of history on the croquet style of putting.  A book about Sam Snead says that croquet style putting was only banned because some people (Bobby Jones & PGA Director, Joe Dey) with alot of influence didn't like how it looked and thought that Sam Snead putted better this way, but they didn't like it.  It had already been going on for 5 or so years, but now someone that was better had adopted it and had some limited success with it. The book goes on to state that Sam then adopted the sidesaddle method of putting and continued with this for some years.  The only reason they didn't ban sidesaddle was because they had just changed the rule and didn't want to seem that they were doing it just to punish Sam Snead (which was what they were trying to do, anyway).

This whole 'long putter' debate stinks of the same cr@p. Personally, I don't think that 'the claw' or some of the other goofy ways players grip the club were the way 'it was meant to be played', let's ban those other methods, too.  No, it's just a different way of using a legal club, so while I think it looks goofy, I'm fine with it.

The 'governing bodies' of golf have had several chances over the years to ban the long putter or anchoring or whatever, but they haven't done so.  What, so now Tiger doesn't like it so they should ban it?  Whatever, get over it.  You are still swinging the club.

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btw - this thread and the other 'poll' on the subject should be merged.  Most of the comments don't have anything to do with 'Tiger wanting to ban it' and instead are more general over the whole debate.  Hard to keep up on one very long thread, let alone two of them.

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This entire thread is about other pros essentially saying players who use long putters are, in their view, cheating.

No, but half of this thread is you making that claim. But you still haven't backed it up with anything but your secret knowledge of what Tiger and the other traditionalists are really thinking. Incidentally, at the Northern Trust press conference today, Ernie said he agreed with Tiger. Phil said he had no opinion, but then in the next sentence he said he thought it would be unfair to players who grew up using a long putter if they suddenly banned it. So finally, we find a golfer who actually said "I don't think that's fair," unlike the guys you have been talking about. Are you going to jump on Phil's case for "essentially" saying Tiger and Ernie are cheaters, because they are trying to institute an unfair rule?

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This entire thread is about other pros essentially saying players who use long putters are, in their view, cheating.

No. Cheating would be if there was a rule against belly putter, and people still used them. As long as they're within the rules, people are free to use them. People just think they should be against the rules.

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Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

This whole 'long putter' debate stinks of the same cr@p. Personally, I don't think that 'the claw' or some of the other goofy ways players grip the club were the way 'it was meant to be played', let's ban those other methods, too.  No, it's just a different way of using a legal club, so while I think it looks goofy, I'm fine with it.

The 'governing bodies' of golf have had several chances over the years to ban the long putter or anchoring or whatever, but they haven't done so.  What, so now Tiger doesn't like it so they should ban it?  Whatever, get over it.  You are still swinging the club.


No, Tiger's been talking to them for years, so no, not "now Tiger doesn't like it." The USGA leaked word that they were discussing it, and someone asked Tiger about it at his press conference.

And many of those who feel that it's not the way "it was meant to be played" have no problems drawing the line which separates "was meant to be played" between anchored and non-anchored strokes. I get that you don't like it, but it's at least a semi-logical place for the line to be drawn.

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Originally Posted by iacas

No, Tiger's been talking to them for years, so no, not "now Tiger doesn't like it." The USGA leaked word that they were discussing it, and someone asked Tiger about it at his press conference.

And many of those who feel that it's not the way "it was meant to be played" have no problems drawing the line which separates "was meant to be played" between anchored and non-anchored strokes. I get that you don't like it, but it's at least a semi-logical place for the line to be drawn.

Actually, that's my primary point.  The USGA should not be listening to Tiger for advice about it.  Any rule change should never be driven by any one player. If they wanted to ban it, it should have been banned long ago, long before Tiger got into the discussion.  Because, when it was first introduced, I'm sure someone thought it wasn't traditional or that the way you swing the long putter was not how "it was meant to by played".  They missed their window, it's a part of the game now, whether they like it or not.  And yes, it's still a swing.

Btw - have you ever seen this guy, I guess he would not be allowed to play in any USGA events, since he's 'anchoring' the club and swinging it in a non-traditional manner.


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Btw - have you ever seen this guy, I guess he would not be allowed to play in any USGA events, since he's 'anchoring' the club and swinging it in a non-traditional manner.

Exceptions can be made for the disabled. They let Casey Martin use a cart.

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Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

Actually, that's my primary point.  The USGA should not be listening to Tiger for advice about it.  Any rule change should never be driven by any one player. If they wanted to ban it, it should have been banned long ago, long before Tiger got into the discussion.


While I agree with you that the rules should stand since I don't buy the "anchoring" argument at all, I disagree with this. The USGA absolutely should be listening to Tiger. It should also be listening to as many other golfers as it can get opinions from, particularly those with a great deal of experience. These are the people who will be affected by the rule. It's not like the USGA exists off in a vacuum, deciding what the mythical game of golf should be. Their purpose is to serve and regulate the many people who play golf.

For an issue like this, it's crucial that they get the opinions of many golfers. It's essentially an aesthetic judgement, so restricting the information gathering to a small number of opinionated golfers could result in a poor decision. The rules can't be made in a fully democratic fashion, but they should definitely be well informed by public opinion.

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Yes, they should listem to player's opinions. But, it shouldn't be driven by (what appears to be) a few vocal high profiled player(s). They listened to players opinions years ago, when this first came up. They decided to allow it. If they want to listen to opinions, then take a poll of all USGA golfers or all PGA pros, or even the top 500 pros and see what the real public opinion is.

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Originally Posted by TheGeekGolfer

Yes, they should listem to player's opinions. But, it shouldn't be driven by (what appears to be) a few vocal high profiled player(s). They listened to players opinions years ago, when this first came up. They decided to allow it. If they want to listen to opinions, then take a poll of all USGA golfers or all PGA pros, or even the top 500 pros and see what the real public opinion is.



I agree with this. It's been well established in several threads that 1.) whatever happens on the PGA Tour will be consistent with the rules for all players (the R&A; and USGA tend to work together somewhat) so who cares what the current top players think? and 2.) whatever happens in other sports is largely irrelevant so how and when they approach rules changes is also irrelevant.

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Note: This thread is 2456 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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