Wednesday, November 28, 2012

USGA Bans Anchoring Clubs, Belly Putters

A trend that has slowly crept into golf over the past decade will no longer be allowed for the 2016 season.  Belly putting, or anchoring your club against your body to create a smoother pendulum motion, is leaving the game.

The United States Golf Association's rules change on a four-year cycle, hence the long wait.  That will mean players like U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, British Open champ Ernie Els and PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley will have to make the transition back to a, well, "regular" putting style.

"One of the most fundamental things about the game of golf is we believe the player should hold the club away from his body and swing it freely," said Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA. "We think this is integral to the traditions of the game. Golf is a game of skill and challenge, and we think that is an important part of it."

Using a belly putter during match play will result in the immediate loss of that hole, and putting in that style during stroke play will be an automatic two stroke penalty if it occurs.

I mean, I think it should be up to the golfer how they would like to put.  Phil Mickelson does that crazy "claw grip" putt and no one says boo.  When these over-sized drivers made their way into the game, no one said it was an unfair advantage.  It takes a lot of time to be able to make that transition and change your swing, especially your putting, and I think its more unfair to have those players make the switch than it is to let them keep their "advantage."

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