They probably should have nipped it in the bud many, many years ago"
By mustang6560 on 11/14/12
Graeme McDowell revealed some interesting information yesterday about the future of long putters. According to the Ulsterman, USGA Executive Director Mike Davis said the ruling body has statistical evidence that shows anchoring gives a player a competitive advantage in pressure situations.
"They're convinced the research has shown that under pressure on a Sunday afternoon the long putter just kind of takes one extraneous movement out of the putting stroke," McDowell said at Kingston Heath.If Graeme is telling the truth (and why wouldn't he be?), then Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Adam Scott, and all of the players who wield long putters should go ahead and start the transition to a traditional length putter. If the ruling bodies can prove (or a least claim) a player gains a statistical advantage by anchoring his putter, then the fight is all but officially over.
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Image via Flickr, Bill Spruce
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I'd love to see those stats!
We need a Solomon like decision from the USGA and R&A on this issue. Perhaps allow, by local rule, the use of long putters/anchoring. This is already done with lasers & GPS units. Enforce the ban only in certain events (i.e. the national championships). That would also allow the PGA & European Tours to either adopt the local rule or impose a ban.
You do not see the professionals using GPS & lasers during tournaments but that certainly hasn't stopped most people from using the devices. This is a de facto bifurcation of the Rules which most people seem to accept. Leave the vast majority of golfers the option of using equipment and/or techniques that may make the game more enjoyable.
Certainly that won't make Keegan Bradley happy but he has enough talent and money to figure out an alternative technique. Or, he can use his powers of persuasion on the PGA Tour Board to get them to accept the local rule allowing long putters and/or anchoring.
I really don't think long putters have an advantage.....how do they compare in:
1). Money List
2). overall putting average.
Good point BK, they talk of bifurcation like its the devil but you are right--there is a definite bifurcation. Look at the grooves issue.
I've said it before, this issue is threatening to tear apart the golf world. Not that I have a problem with that.
Duke of Hazards says:
I'd also like to see the details of their research. Wonder if they'll release it?
1) looking at money list is pointless, there are so many other factors
2) if you look at guys like Adam Scott's putting average before and after he got the long putter I'm almost certain you will find that his putting improved. Same for almost every other player who tried it.
3) this article concentrates on pressure situation's (and I agree completely). I'm sure that Bill Haas' five foot putt to win the fed-ex cup in 2011 would have been more difficult with a short putter. In general play with no pressure there's probably very little difference but under pressure the long putter is much easier to use.
Personally I don't see the correlation. Bill Haas, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Adam Scott are ranked 51, 110, 151, 166 respectively in overall putting average.
@mschad - except they would have been 53rd, 113th, 159th and 180th but for the obvious advantage they gained from anchoring and/or long putters! ;)
joe jones says:
If the reason for banning is anchoring, the players will stop anchoring and find another way to use the long putter and the belly putter. Thats what Snead did when they ruled against croquet putting. Nothing looked more stupid than his squat shot putting method but they had to allow it. By the way. According to the rule book "A legal stroke occurs when the ball is fairly struck with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned". The language prohibits using the putter as a pool cue but it says nothing about anchoring the club against any part of the body which is the main objection traditionalists use against long putters. By the way. Croquet style striking the ball is legal everywhere else on the golf course just not allowed on the green. If you have what appears to be an unplayable lie using a "conventional" golf stroke there is nothing in the rules that stops you from using a croquet stance to get out of trouble. Are they going to use the same logic when they ban anchoring?
yeah they will find another way to use it, and no one will have any problems because they are not anchoring. It's the anchor that makes it so easy under pressure, not the length of the putter.
And when do you ever anchor the club off the green? I don't get the end of your post at all.
"If the ruling bodies can prove (or a least claim) a player gains a statistical advantage by (fill in the blank), then the fight is all but officially over."
Using a better ball, using the latest equipment, getting lessons, practicing, etc.
You get the idea. Everything we do in golf is to gain a statistical advantage over the field.
So, if they said they had data that showed a Nike Method putter gave everyone that uses it a statistical advantage, shouldn't those be band as well. All through the history of golf players have tinkered with their equipment, trying to make it better, to give them a statistical advantage. Maybe we should all turn in all our equipment to the higher ups and have them issue the same exact equipment to everyone. Then we would really see who are the better players.
This is really one crock of smelly s#!+!!
i like and agree with what Graeme is saying but want to add, regardless of length, just don't anchor it to the body.
i know Joe is going to say that Arnold Palmer anchored his putter, but i've looked at a ton of photos of him putting, and i don't see him doing it anywhere. Joe, i don't want you to lose your putter because the side saddle way your using it, it's not anchored. so you're not getting any advantage over the rest of us.
Sam Snead's croquet style putting was banned because they don't want the player to be able to look directly down the line your ball will travel while you're hitting it. it should be from the side. i'm not saying that's the best excuse, that's just the one they gave.
joe jones says:
The actual reason they banned croquet was because Bobby Jones said it looked unseemly. For no other reason.The man that invented croquet was Bob Duden and he claimed in his biography that the real reason was because he was taking so much money off the other pro's on the putting green that they complained to the USGA. I tend to believe what Bob Jones admitted. He just thought it looked ugly. I guess he thought Snead's squat putting was ok.For every picture you show that Palmer and others didn't rest their forearm on their thigh I can show you 5 that show they did. Casper admitted that he used that method to "control' his stroke. My point is. Anchoting is not the reason they want to ban it. It's just the excuse.
Matt McGee says:
The more I hear about this issue, the less important the outcome is to me. Much ado about nothing.
There is no competitive advantage because ANYONE can use a long/belly putter. The point is ridiculous. It's like saying using a tee to hit a driver off of the tee box gives a competitive advantage. Using a urethane ball, 460cc drivers, graphite shafts, all of these things can be used by any golfer, anytime, anywhere. Therefore there can't be a competitive advantage.
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