Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tiger Woods leads rally that changed belly putter rules

Tiger Woods had been leading the charge for golf to outlaw "anchored putting" from the sport and was hoping that end of the so-called "belly-putters" would come on Wednesday.

"Using a fixed point is not in the traditions of the game," he added.

Woods got his wish — somewhat.

The proposed rule would make it illegal for golfers to anchor the club while making a stroke and will not take effect until Jan. 1 2016 — giving belly putters a chance to get reacquainted with using the old school way of getting the ball into the cup. 

It sounds like Woods got a mulligan on his call to arms.


Woods' complaint is the bane of many other golfers.  The belly putter, in which a player presses the butt end of the grip into the stomach area, has created quite a controversy in recent tournaments.  

Three of the winners —  Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els — of the past five major championships have used it, and elite amateurs are picking up the specialized putters in greater numbers as well.

Proponents say the belly putters help stabilize the club during the stroke, while opponents say it gives an unfair advantage.

"I don't know if there's any statistical data on it, but I'm sure there is somewhere about whether or not anchoring the putter does help on a certain range of putts," said Woods.  "Especially the guys who have gotten the twitches a little bit."

It appears that despite the new rules, the two sides are still not on the same course.

"The game has been around for 600 years," said USGA executive Mike Davis.  "Fundamentally, we don't think this is the right way to go." 

1 comment:

  1. I gess the best way to show the USGA how we feel is if you feel they are wrong do not renew your membership with them. If they go ahead and pass the rule I for one will not renew and I don't use a belley or long putter, just because T.Watson, Arnold, Jack and Tiger say they don't like it ops lets change the rule. I'm sure they will be back in court over this. They will not use my membership money to play their lawyers.