October 18, 2012
USGA pitches banning long & belly putters to PGA Tour
Time to hide your long and or belly putters. Alex Miceli, of Golfweek has the inside scoop on the USGA banning “anchored puttering.” He writes in Golfweek “Mike Davis, the U.S. Golf Association’s executive director, appeared before the PGA Tour Policy Board here with a sales pitch: an anticipated ban on the “anchored” stroke.”
Reaction from the PGA Tour Policy Board was mixed:
Davis Love III-
“I would be concerned if I was them because you’ve got a bunch of guys that are going to want to fight it,” Love said. “Not the Tour but the players individually – a bunch of players that aren’t going to like it.”
“If a player who has played with a belly putter decides to switch to a regular putter in 2014 and plays poorly, they will be looked at as a player that has cheated before.”
“It’s good for some people,” said Stewart Cink, who has used a belly putter for seven years. “It’s not good for some people. It’s just like a driver with 10 degrees’ loft is good for some people but not for others. It’s a piece of equipment. I don’t think it’s a big problem.”
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out why the USGA wants to ban “anchored putting,” with Keegan Brady, Ernie Els, and Webb Simpson winning recent majors with long putters and the surging golfing public demand for long and belly putters. According a 2012 Golf Datatech survey “15%" of golfers surveyed were planning on buying a “long/belly putter.”
In a NY Times article by Alan Schupak, he writes of the growing demand of the golfing public for belly and long putters, ”To match the growing demand, the leading shaftmaker True Temper has increased its production of belly and long putter shafts to 120,000 last year from 60,000 in 2010. The company says it expects to produce more than 500,000 shafts this year.
Chris Koske, the global director of Odyssey Golf, said the company sold 8,000 belly putters in 2010 and more than 34,000 units last year. He has high hopes for this season.”
The mission of the USGA is the protect and serve the game of golf. We hope that the USGA considers more than the interest of professional tournament golf when they make their final ruling of “anchored putting” and considers the opinions of the hundred of thousands of golfers who use long/ belly putters to their enjoyment of the game.