The AP – Golf’s governing bodies, worried that players will turn to long putters as an advantage instead of a last resort, proposed a new rule Wednesday that would ban the putting stroke used by three of the last five major champions. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the U.S. Golf Association said the rule would not outlaw belly putter or broom-handle putters, only the way they are currently used. The proposed rule would make it illegal for golfers to anchor the club while making a stroke and not take effect until 2016. “More players are using it, and instructors are saying this is a more efficient way to putt because you don’t have to control the whole stroke,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “The game has been around for 600 years. Fundamentally, we don’t think this is the right way to go.” Orville Moody won the 1989 U.S. Senior Open using a long putter that he held against his chest, allowing for a pendulum motion. Paul Azinger won the 2000 Sony Open with a putter that he pressed into his belly. Long putters began getting serious attention last year when Keegan Bradley became the first player to win a major with a belly putter at the PGA Championship. This year, Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open and Ernie Els won the British Open using belly putters. “Our objective is to preserve the skill and challenge,” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said. “This rule is not performance related. This is about defining the game defining what is a stroke.”
I’ve been saying this for who knows how long. Belly putters are for the cheaters. The players who are so awful that they’re out looking for any advantage that they can get. You know how many times I’ve 3 and 4 putted? More times than I’d like to remember. But that’s part of the game. The quivering arms. The shaky hands. The stress is what makes the game. If your just leaning your putter against your body and using one arm to pull back on the putter shaft and let it go like a pendulum then you’re cutting corners. And the greats don’t cut corners. Not Arnie. Not Jack. Not Tiger. That’d be like if The Sports Reporter was paying someone to write all his posts, but posting them with his name. I’m taking out the hardest part of the game. But getting all the congratulatories. We don’t do that over here at Water Cooler Talk.