Golf Does The Right Thing By Banning The Anchoring Of The Putter – Bruce’s Thought Of The day
The game of golf is my great passion in life. I love the history of the game and respect the game to its core. In that regard I am glad the USGA and their European counterparts banned the technique of anchoring the long or belly putter to the body. Clearly it gave better stability to the golfer. I am also happy that the long or belly putter has not been banned.
First on what has not been banned: the long putter. The long putter serves a purpose for those who suffer from back injury and bending down or over makes the game impossible to play. All they have done is extend the putter length, not changed anything radical to allow a player to compete such as a cart for Casey Martin. The long putter stays and it should but using your body to anchor or stabilize the swing or stroke is out.
Here is how Mark Davis, executive director of the USGA explained the decision "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. We think it 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. The players challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge."
You can really tell how the belly putter gives advantage and skirts the spirit of what Davis said when young, healthy players such as Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson use the belly putter. Neither of them has back issues so the intent is clear, as it is for new convert Ernie Els who to my knowledge doesn't have a history of back problems and no reason to use the putter save for the stability of anchoring the putter.
Now for me the bad part of golf tradition and I guess you have to take the like with the dislike. The official decision won't come in until early in 2013, allowing comment on this proposal, and then after it is banned it will take four more years for that ban to go into place.
Golf can move at a glacial pace. if the change will be made and it will be made why wait for four additional years? That makes NO SENSE. Golf's traditions state that an amendment to the rules takes four years to implement. Absurd but again sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.