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Ban Belly Putters?

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  1. 1. Should long putters (belly, chin, chest, etc.) be banned?

    • Yes
      131
    • No
      170


376 posts / 46804 viewsLast Reply

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I've tried them. We have several at our studio.

Originally Posted by SVTGolfer

I think it's poor sportsmanship to sit there and complain about something you may not have tried, might not understand, or are just plain mad at the fact that another player found a club that works for them and not yourself.

If there hadn't been a huge influx of the longer putters on the PGA Tour and multiple winners with it nobody would even care.

Actually, I've been supporting their banning since I first became aware of them, which is sometime in the mid-90s. The Internet wasn't as wide-spread then but I'm guessing that you can find old posts here that talk about it. In fact, from an article in 2006 (emphasis added):

1985: Matzie Slim Jim Long Putter

The first long putter was the brainchild of then Senior Tour Player Charlie Owens. Made by the Matzie company and dubbed the Slim Jim putter, it was 46" long and featured a small but incredibly heavy brass head. It immediately found a following on the professional tours and went on to spawn countless variations.

After considerable discussion and debate, the R&A; and USGA ruled long putters legal. However, thanks to the effectiveness of long and belly putters and the ungainly (to some) look of the technique, there remain constant rumblings and rumors that putters anchored against the body may one day be banned.

Unfortunately, the putter did not prove a financial windfall for its first manufacturer. Matzie Golf was sold in 2003 and its principle, Ken Matzie, passed away last year at the age of 73.

And why should someone who believes that a belly putter or a long putter is "not the way golf should be played" be forced to try them? You seem to think that everyone who opposes them does so because of some benefit or advantage. In my experience, most who oppose them simply don't care if they offer an advantage or not - and know that the stats tend to show they're not really special at all - they simply oppose them because they feel golf clubs are meant to be held in the hands, not anchored.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

Why would it feel like cheating?

It isn't cheating.

Crap putters with the yips do it.


Because the club is anchored.  I want to play good/poorly based on my own skill level while swinging the club.  I don't want help.

Brandon

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shorty

Why would it feel like cheating?

It isn't cheating.

Crap putters with the yips do it.

Because the club is anchored.  I want to play good/poorly based on my own skill level while swinging the club.  I don't want help.

Brandon



If you want to be the best 13 capper you can be, that's awesome, but some people just want to shoot lower scores and not strain their back while practicing.

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You can take shots at my handicap all you want, but my handicap isn't relevant to the discussion at all, nor does it change my viewpoint.

Brandon

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

You can take shots at my handicap all you want, but my handicap isn't relevant to the discussion at all, nor does it change my viewpoint.

Brandon


You're absolutely correct. Why would someone else's viewpoint, and especially a comment on your index, affect how you choose to play (or not play) the game or change your viewpoint? I shouldn't have implied anything about your skill level.

One of my thoughts on this subject is that what the professionals are required to do (or not do) isn't completely relevant to players like us. It's easy for players like us to take a stand when we're not playing for a living. Whether we're sitting at a 5 or a 15 makes relatively no difference to anyone but ourselves.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I think the USGA needs to ban the long/belly putter for the pro's but keep it legal for amatuers, groove rule without any expiration date.  Pro's in every sport are expected to compete at the highest levels in the sport without the aid of special equipment.


OK - I'll take the opposite view - let the amateurs use them if they must, but by all means outlaw them for the professionals.     A certain amount of adjustment should be expected when one aspires to become a professional.    The exact same thing has always applied to baseball - aluminum bats are allowed at every level up (including college) up to the professional level, where wood must be used without exception.       I think I'm onto something here ...

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Not sure how that's the opposite view of mine since I'm for banning long/belly putters for pro use but keeping them legal for amateurs.  Glad we agree.

Originally Posted by inthehole

OK - I'll take the opposite view - let the amateurs use them if they must, but by all means outlaw them for the professionals.     A certain amount of adjustment should be expected when one aspires to become a professional.    The exact same thing has always applied to baseball - aluminum bats are allowed at every level up (including college) up to the professional level, where wood must be used without exception.       I think I'm onto something here ...



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My initial thought was of course they should be banned, but the more I think it, I say no.  Their whole "advantage" is to keep your stroke more on line and hit the ball where you aim it.  How is that any different than new driver technology that turns what used to be a 30 yard slice/hook into a 10 yard fade/draw?

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Originally Posted by SVTGolfer

Im curious, how many of you anti belly/long putter people have actually tried one???



Why would this be relevant?

I have no problem with the length of the putter.  I just do not think an anchored stroke is swinging the club, so I would ban anchoring.

To those who tried to equate an anchored putter with an adjustable driver:  they are not remotely comparable.  There is no difference between having an adjustable driver and have ten different drivers that you select from at the beginning of the round.  You cannot change during the round either way.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

Quote:

Originally Posted by SVTGolfer

Im curious, how many of you anti belly/long putter people have actually tried one???

Why would this be relevant?

I have no problem with the length of the putter.  I just do not think an anchored stroke is swinging the club, so I would ban anchoring.

To those who tried to equate an anchored putter with an adjustable driver:  they are not remotely comparable.  There is no difference between having an adjustable driver and have ten different drivers that you select from at the beginning of the round.  You cannot change during the round either way.



Does it say in the rules the club must be move in a "swinging" motion? It specifies contact but not how the clubface got there. I'm probably wrong though.

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I suspect that fear of legal action is a big part of the decision by USGA and R&A; at this time. When they have been allowed for so long manufacturers, ADA concerns, disgruntled purchasers have an easier time taking legal action. The ruling bodies have to present more compelling reasons than if they had recently been introduced.

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Originally Posted by inthehole

OK - I'll take the opposite view - let the amateurs use them if they must, but by all means outlaw them for the professionals.     A certain amount of adjustment should be expected when one aspires to become a professional.    The exact same thing has always applied to baseball - aluminum bats are allowed at every level up (including college) up to the professional level, where wood must be used without exception.       I think I'm onto something here ...


The Rules will never be applied this way.  The ruling bodies have always been staunchly opposed to multiple sets of rules for the game, which is why they organized a joint committee for examining the rules.  What other sports do has no bearing on the issue.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Does it say in the rules the club must be move in a "swinging" motion? It specifies contact but not how the clubface got there. I'm probably wrong though.


No, it doesn't and that is why these anchored putters are legal,  But before the USGA outlawed croquet style putting the rules did not say anything that prohibited that either.  That is why a rule change would be needed to ban anchoring a club during a stroke.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Does it say in the rules the club must be move in a "swinging" motion? It specifies contact but not how the clubface got there. I'm probably wrong though.





There are lots of things which weren't in the rules originally, but have been added to maintain the integrity of the game.   If this change comes to pass, it will just be one more such example.

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I vote no. Putting is the most unique part of golf. The argument suggesting it is an unfair advantage is silly. It is only valid if you are not allowed to use one while your opponents can. If everybody is allowed to use them then it is not an unfair advantage. The argument that it takes less skill to use is also really silly unless you are going to outlaw every putter other that the two sided flat bullseye. The argument about anchoring is also silly because the putter is already anchored by the hands. Wow, I can hear it already, you putter touched a part of your body that is not your hands, two stroke penalty.

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No.

I sometimes end up putting so far from the hole 30-40' that I have to take a hefty whack at the ball — can;t imagine doing that with a belly putter; I'd probably get a hernia trying.

Besides, I've made enough of those long putts with or at least some great lag putts with a regular putter, that I don't see a belly putter conferring any advantage there.

Ditto my beloved "Texas Wedge" technique. ... with a belly putter? Fugeddaboudit!

I also imagine the distaste I'd feel using one and carrying the beast around would outweigh any advantage I might perceive in using one.

My back says otherwise, and reminds me of some very back-achy days when the longer stick would have been welcome.

Last reason: I passed up on my chance at picking up a nice one for ten bucks. What an eejut I am!  So ban them!

No, I just keed, I keed.

I voted "No" as they seem to have been a legit part of golf, at least as far as I remember paying attention, since Bernhard Langer started using one. and it's not like they've taken over the game or anything.

I understand the "anchoring" argument, but the body is also subject to its own involuntary movements, and there's an amount of bodily constraint involved that seems like it would take some getting used to.

That said, I'm now so curious I have to try one!  I like putters and it's one of those clubs — aside from driver and wedges — where having a collection is fun, and as Photoballmarker said, there's an element of uniqueness to putting.

A change in putter can be a part of a program of practice that helps you out of a rut. But without practice it all means nothing, anyway.

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Originally Posted by photoballmarker

I vote no. Putting is the most unique part of golf. The argument suggesting it is an unfair advantage is silly. It is only valid if you are not allowed to use one while your opponents can. If everybody is allowed to use them then it is not an unfair advantage. The argument that it takes less skill to use is also really silly unless you are going to outlaw every putter other that the two sided flat bullseye. The argument about anchoring is also silly because the putter is already anchored by the hands. Wow, I can hear it already, you putter touched a part of your body that is not your hands, two stroke penalty.



I agree with the majority of what you said, except for anchoring.  Yes your hands touch and hold on to the clubs but the club isn't anchored there; and yes there is a difference.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

Does it say in the rules the club must be move in a "swinging" motion? It specifies contact but not how the clubface got there. I'm probably wrong though.

No, it doesn't and that is why these anchored putters are legal,  But before the USGA outlawed croquet style putting the rules did not say anything that prohibited that either.  That is why a rule change would be needed to ban anchoring a club during a stroke.



I have no intention of ever using one, but I agree with not ever banning them.

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Note: This thread is 2892 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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