The new putting fad?
By mustang6560 on 10/22/12
When If the USGA and R&A do indeed ban long putters and anchoring, the two ruling bodies will be forced to ban it for everyone — both professional and amateur golfers alike — or create two sets of rules — one for professionals and one for amateurs.

Since the USGA and R&A are against bifurcation, long putters and anchoring will most likely be banned across the board for all golfers starting in 2016. While a few professional golfers may not cope well with a traditional putter, the vast majority will transition away from their long putter without too much trouble.

But what about the amateur golfer who currently uses a long putter and anchors it to his or her sternum or abdomen? How will s/he handle the traditional putter moving forward? Well John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal thinks sidesaddle may be the next putting fad.
The best argument for sidesaddle putting these days is Randy Haag. Last weekend Haag, 53, won the club championship at the Olympic Club here for a record eighth time—all putting sidesaddle. That's no mean feat, since Olympic, which hosted last summer's U.S. Open, is thought to have as many low- and plus-handicap members as any club in the country, with the possible exception of Champions in Houston and, on a percentage basis, Whisper Rock in Scottsdale, Ariz. Haag was also low amateur at two of the last three British Senior Opens and is a six-time Northern California Player of the Year.
It was reported that USGA executive director Mike Davis essentially said that the reason anchoring will be banned is because it doesn't look good, which goes against the spirit of the game. If that's true, then you would have to expect both ruling bodies to not only ban anchoring but also put a limit on the length of the putter, which will in turn make sidesaddle putting obsolete. The ruling bodies want to put the issue of belly and broomstick putters to bed once and for all.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best way to improve your putting stroke is to practice. You can't expect to regularly make three-foot putts unless you practice making three-foot putts regularly.

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Image via John Paul Newport

[ comments ]
...the Murseless says:
"the reason anchoring will be banned is because it doesn't look good" - that's not just highly subjective but quite funny. Half of those who use belly putters don't look any different from many 'standard' putters. You could make that argument about broomsticks, but hardly about belly putters. If looking good was a prerequisite for golf, my face wouldn't be allowed near the course!
bkuehn1952 says:
The consensus seems to be that straddling the line of the putt, like Sam Snead did, was banned several decades ago because it didn't look like golf to Bobby Jones and other leaders of the golf world. So I would not presume to say that "anchoring" or the use of long putters won't be banned mainly because of an unspoken objection to the appearance of one or both. There are many clubs out there that retain dress codes. If people think the length of one's skirt or the type of collar on your shirt is important, it won't surprise me if the powers in Far Hills don't essentially ban "anchoring" or long putters because they don't look like golf.
joe jones says:
As I have said many times Bobby Jones exact words were that croquet style putting looked unseemly.That is the excuse the USGA used to ban the stroke. As a side saddle putter for almost 42 years, I have seen conventional putters both on the tour and weekend golfers that have put themselves in down right ugly positions in an effort to improve their putting. Dave Pelz and others have called side saddle putting the most logical and effective way to putt. I am not preaching to the masses and have never tried to convince anyone that they should try the method but to have a bunch of anal retentive clowns try to use the terms unseemly, untraditional or funny looking to ban the stroke ticks me off. If anchoring is the reason I will point to great putters like Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Billy Casper who all rested their left forearm on their left thigh to stabilize the stroke. If that isn't anchoring what is? I would like to be in the room when some jerk tells them that they putted illegal all those years.
Backquak says:
Tommy 2 gloves definitely "doesn't look good" so he should be banned from golf.

Sorry Tommy. Sorry Jim. You guys don't swing pretty so you can't play.
mmontisano says:
IF the sole reason is because it's ugly, then they need to ban the TaylorMade Spider and the Nike Drone. i think those are uglier than the broomsticks.
Richatvillage says:
Check out Lateral Line Putting promoted by John Ambrose of central Ohio.
legitimatebeef says:
Ya okay. No one knows golf like the Wall Street Journal.
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