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Belly/broomstick/long putter legal, anchoring not...

 RookieBlue7 ·  
RookieBlue7RookieBlue7 Members  13170WRX Points: 182Posts: 13,170 Titanium Tees
Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 in Putters #1
<div class="IPBDescription">Thoughts?</div>Figured this would spark a nice debate. It seems the belly and long putter hoopla may not yet be over. The following article discusses how the USGA and R&A are in talks about banning anchoring the putter. Thought it was worthy of its own post. If I read correctly, no equipment will be deemed non-conforming, just the practice of anchoring (which IMO is just to protect them from being sued by equipment manufacturers). See article:<br />
<br />
http://mobile.golfweek.com/news/2012/feb/05/usga-r-may-not-spare-belly-putters-after-all/
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  • PinHunterPinHunter Members  779WRX Points: 40Posts: 779 Bunkers
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    I also saw this and am interested at the wrx community reaction.<br />
    Nice find, Rook
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  • hebron1427hebron1427 Older. Slower. Weaker. AtlJeff Members  3720WRX Points: 0Posts: 3,720 BST Banned
    Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 #3
    "Anchoring, as it is commonly called in R&A and USGA circles, refers in general to any putting method in which the putter is secured against the body in a manner considered to be outside the definition of a natural or traditional stroke."<br />
    <br />
    This is the most vague debate ever, because neither the people supporting or opposing it have ever said what it is they're supporting/opposing. Banning something that is "considered to be outside the definition of a natural or traditional stroke" is circular. Why is it banned? Because it's not traditional. But why isn't it traditional? Because it's not natural. Well why isn't it natural? Because it's banned. <br />
    <br />
    I know the purists out there say there is an advantage to this, but I really think if we wait a year or two, the belly debate is going to die down, and people are going to stop using them. Broomstick putters have been around and available for use for decades, yet most people wouldn't touch one. Just because it's now the rage doesn't mean it's going to stick around. Let it run its course and then decide what you're going to do.
    Posted:
  • DNice26DNice26 Members  4284WRX Points: 199Posts: 4,284 Titanium Tees
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    Here is a question: if they end up banning anchoring, would it go into effect immediately or would they phase it out over time.....????
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  • Jamboy72Jamboy72 Members  5977WRX Points: 160Posts: 5,977 Titanium Tees
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    Personally, I really like this concept, although there will be some debate as to what constitutes "anchoring" I'd imagine...Aren't there some (quite a few?) players using this technique...Martin Laird??
    Posted:
  • Wet DogggWet Doggg Members  156WRX Points: 0Posts: 156
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    They are also going to need to specifically define the word "anchoring". It can be interrupted many different ways.
    Posted:
  • CHARGERSCHARGERS Members  793WRX Points: 1Posts: 793 Golden Tee
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    as I've posted in the past, only a matter of time until they ban it(anchoring). Especially with the all the sucess and usage on the pga tour by younger players
    Posted:
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  • MadGolfer76MadGolfer76 MaineMembers  20366WRX Points: 943Posts: 20,366 Titanium Tees
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    The USGA will make a ruling that follows the $$. Just like government, just like business, just like you and me.
    Posted:


  • poizsterpoizster Members  2338WRX Points: 120Handicap: +2Posts: 2,338 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 #9
    A quote that jumped out at me in that article:<br />
    <br />
    [color="#333333"][size="2"]"The R&A do not like the fact that golfers can steady themselves by using a putter as a crutch in windy, rainy or cold weather," the source said. "In essence, they are steadying themselves with the putter. This was never intended under the Rules of Golf. They are using the putter for something other than a traditional stroke."[/size][/color]<br />
    [color="#333333"][size="4"]<br />
    [/size][/color][size="2"][color="#333333"]Perhaps they will draft the language with specific stipulations that says anchoring is only allowed when the wind is under 15 mph.[/color][/size]<br />
    <br />
    [color="#333333"][size="2"]For the record I'm against anchoring but have lost all confidence in the ruling bodies of golf (USGA specifically) after the groove debacle. I just have to cringe when thinking about them drafting rules that will effect a specific method of taking a stroke even if it's only used by a minority of golfers. They have let this slide for decades, and even though I don't agree with anchoring I wish they would just leave it the **** alone. [/size][/color]
    Posted:
  • KYMARKYMAR Members  13257WRX Points: 56Posts: 13,257 Titanium Tees
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    I find it almost impossible to believe that there are people here asking what is meant by "natural stroke" and "anchoring of the club". Does that really need some lawyers definition? It's like the supreme court justice who said, when describing what is pornography, "I know it when I see it"
    Posted:
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  • MaximilianMaximilian Members  1512WRX Points: 316Posts: 1,512 Platinum Tees
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    Good, this would mean I can stop practising with mine already! good.gif In all seriousness though, if they ban them, they can't really expect the pro's already using one to switch to a short putter right away, nor can they make them illegal for amateurs that already laid down the cash for a new putter anytime soon. If it happens, it will probably not be enforced for a few years for tour players and not until like 10-20 years for us amateures. <br />
    <br />
    I don't see the point of banning them though. They've been around for ages and so what if they turn people into better putters eventually? It's not like it doesn't take a lot of practise and skill to be successful with them (believe me I'm trying)! Also the long putters seam to make it easier on the older guys backs. Would be cool (yet sad) if you had to apply for one, just like applying for handicap parking permission!
    Posted:
  • hebron1427hebron1427 Older. Slower. Weaker. AtlJeff Members  3720WRX Points: 0Posts: 3,720 BST Banned
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    KYMAR wrote:
    <br />
    I find it almost impossible to believe that there are people here asking what is meant by "natural stroke" and "anchoring of the club". Does that really need some lawyers definition? It's like the supreme court justice who said, when describing what is pornography, "I know it when I see it"<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    actually, yes. i'm not sure anyone's definition of what's "natural" is going to be the same as someone else's. Without a reasonable chance of interpretation, rules are meaningless. i'm afraid "i know it when i see it" just isn't a way to govern a group of people.
    Posted:
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  • KYMARKYMAR Members  13257WRX Points: 56Posts: 13,257 Titanium Tees
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    hebron1427 wrote:
    <br />
    KYMAR wrote:
    <br />
    I find it almost impossible to believe that there are people here asking what is meant by "natural stroke" and "anchoring of the club". Does that really need some lawyers definition? It's like the supreme court justice who said, when describing what is pornography, "I know it when I see it"<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    actually, yes. i'm not sure anyone's definition of what's "natural" is going to be the same as someone else's. Without a reasonable chance of interpretation, rules are meaningless. i'm afraid "i know it when i see it" just isn't a way to govern a group of people.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    You admit that you honestly can't determine what is and what isn't an "anchored" club? Nor can you deduce what is and isn't a natural putting stroke? It defines itself. We all know what a putting stroke with a standard length/non-anchored putter looks like. This isn't that difficult.
    Posted:
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  • RookieBlue7RookieBlue7 Members  13170WRX Points: 182Posts: 13,170 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 #14
    Maximilian wrote:
    <br />
    Good, this would mean I can stop practising with mine already! good.gif In all seriousness though, if they ban them, they can't really expect the pro's already using one to switch to a short putter right away, nor can they make them illegal for amateurs that already laid down the cash for a new putter anytime soon. If it happens, it will probably not be enforced for a few years for tour players and not until like 10-20 years for us amateures. <br />
    <br />
    I don't see the point of banning them though. They've been around for ages and so what if they turn people into better putters eventually? It's not like it doesn't take a lot of practise and skill to be successful with them (believe me I'm trying)! Also the long putters seam to make it easier on the older guys backs. Would be cool (yet sad) if you had to apply for one, just like applying for handicap parking permission!<br />
    <br />
    It should be banned immediately if they decide to ban the practice of anchoring. As for the part about bad backs, it's called getting older and if you can no linger be competitive on tour, hang it up and enjoy the casual game. I have no sympathy after they ruled that Casey Martin couldn't use a cart due to a degenerative disease in his leg. They told him to deal with it, well I say deal with a bad back or retire.
    Posted:
  • Breaker999Breaker999 Members  1250WRX Points: 1Posts: 1,250 Bunkers
    Joined:  #15
    Rules can be reinterpreted and amended, so I'm not going to dissect the rules. Belly/long putters will be deemed illegal eventually. With the driver limit and u-groove situations, once a ruling was made, everybody converted (to larger drivers, to conforming grooves). If a the belly putter is legalized, not all players will convert. As long as a group of players continue to use belly putters, this debate will not cease. Therefore, I'm for the bifurcation of equipment rules. Allow us to use belly putters/anchoring, and make it illegal for tour players. An example of separate practices in play: many recreational golfers ride golf carts while pros have to walk.
    Posted:
  • RookieBlue7RookieBlue7 Members  13170WRX Points: 182Posts: 13,170 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #16
    Why bifurcation? It's the same game is it not? Just different levels of play. One set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there.
    Posted:
  • SplitterSplitter The truth is out there.... Members  3396WRX Points: 56Posts: 3,396 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #17
    poizster wrote:
    <br />
    A quote that jumped out at me in that article:<br />
    <br />
    [color="#333333"][size="2"]"The R&A do not like the fact that golfers can steady themselves by using a putter as a crutch in windy, rainy or cold weather," the source said. "In essence, they are steadying themselves with the putter. This was never intended under the Rules of Golf. They are using the putter for something other than a traditional stroke."[/size][/color]<br />
    [color="#333333"][size="4"]<br />
    [/size][/color][size="2"][color="#333333"]Perhaps they will draft the language with specific stipulations that says anchoring is only allowed when the wind is under 15 mph.[/color][/size]<br />
    <br />
    [color="#333333"][size="2"]For the record I'm against anchoring but have lost all confidence in the ruling bodies of golf (USGA specifically) after the groove debacle. I just have to cringe when thinking about them drafting rules that will effect a specific method of taking a stroke even if it's only used by a minority of golfers. They have let this slide for decades, and even though I don't agree with anchoring I wish they would just leave it the **** alone. [/size][/color]<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    I agree with a lot of this. They don't have a great recent history of making and implementing rules. I still can't see where the groove rule has affected golf much (if at all)<br />
    <br />
    IMHO, I think if they just make a rule that said, your hands cannot be within 10 (or whatever) inches of the the butt end of the putter (for broomsticks) and the butt end of the putter cannot be affixed/pressed into/touching any part of your body (for bellys) during a swing, it would have the desired effect. It pretty much takes the rest of the debate out of it.<br />
    <br />
    Guys could still have long putters for their backs, they just could not use the butt to anchor. Isn't that what the back issue is anyway. Why do they need to anchor them? They could still use them, just modify the swing a bit.<br />
    <br />
    After testing one, I am more convinced than ever that they are an advantage for an average putter. I also think that doesn't happen if the pro's don't use them. "Win on Sunday sell on Monday". So banning them IMHO is bad for the amateur game.<br />
    <br />
    I'm also not sure the governing bodies will get it right. Which makes me wonder if the "evil" we have now is not better than the "evil" that will be inflicted upon us.
    Posted:
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  • KDMullinsKDMullins Members  3396WRX Points: 135Posts: 3,396 Titanium Tees
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    Seems a little (I can't think of the word) that everybody decides to get serious about this now that young guys are kicking people's a$$e$ with them. Whether you agree with anchoring or not, the timing of all this reeks of (again, the word I can't think of). It was okay as long as old fat guys were using them that weren't any real threat to win, but now that the likes of Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Adam Scott & Camilo Villegas are using them, we really have to put a stop to this nonsense.
    Posted:
  • Breaker999Breaker999 Members  1250WRX Points: 1Posts: 1,250 Bunkers
    Joined:  #19
    <br />
    Why bifurcation? It's the same game is it not? Just different levels of play. One set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    No. Wooden bats and aluminum bats in baseball.
    Posted:
  • SplitterSplitter The truth is out there.... Members  3396WRX Points: 56Posts: 3,396 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 #20
    <br />
    Why bifurcation? It's the same game is it not? Just different levels of play. One set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    No, it's not. Not in about a million ways. OK, maybe not that many. <img src='http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /><br />
    <br />
    But really, it's not. Everything from Caddy help to ball chasers, to perfect courses and greens, to properly labeled ground under repair, etc... <br />
    <br />
    Just because the rules are the same do not mean the game is. IMHO, the game they play is MUCH different then the one we play.<br />
    <br />
    And BTW.. I think if you look at every other sport out there you'll see that most of the rule books are different for the amateurs (except golf). And even us amateurs get to play different grooves, so in a way it's already different too.
    Posted:
  • RookieBlue7RookieBlue7 Members  13170WRX Points: 182Posts: 13,170 Titanium Tees
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    Breaker999 wrote:
    <br />
    <br />
    Why bifurcation? It's the same game is it not? Just different levels of play. One set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    No. Wooden bats and aluminum bats in baseball.<br />
    <br />
    Are they swung in a different manner?
    Posted:
  • RookieBlue7RookieBlue7 Members  13170WRX Points: 182Posts: 13,170 Titanium Tees
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    Splitter wrote:
    <br />
    <br />
    Why bifurcation? It's the same game is it not? Just different levels of play. One set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    No, it's not. Not in about a million ways. OK, maybe not that many. <img src='http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /><br />
    <br />
    But really, it's not. Everything from Caddy help to ball chasers, to perfect courses and greens, to properly labeled ground under repair, etc... <br />
    <br />
    Just because the rules are the same do not mean the game is. IMHO, the game they play is MUCH different then the one we play.<br />
    <br />
    And BTW.. I think if you look at every other sport out there you'll see that most of the rule books are different for the amateurs (except golf). And even us amateurs get to play different grooves, so in a way it's already different too.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    There's courses around here where caddies are paid services. If I could afford to pay someone to carry my bag while I played, I'd hire them.
    Posted:
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  • Breaker999Breaker999 Members  1250WRX Points: 1Posts: 1,250 Bunkers
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    Three point line in NBA vs NCAA, and the time clock. <br />
    <br />
    Arguing over the language of the rules is for the courts. The USGA can assert control and make the decisions. Long putters popularize the sport and drive equipment sales (at least for the time). On the other hand, they compromise the spirit of the game (Faldo, Palmer, many great players go on record). Bifurcation is the middle road. It won't please everyone, it's the most logical and reasonable route.
    Posted:
  • poizsterpoizster Members  2338WRX Points: 120Handicap: +2Posts: 2,338 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #24
    <br />
    Breaker999 wrote:
    <br />
    <br />
    Why bifurcation? It's the same game is it not? Just different levels of play. One set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    No. Wooden bats and aluminum bats in baseball.<br />
    <br />
    Are they swung in a different manner?<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    You said one set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there. The fact is just about every pro sport out there has different rules then it's amateur counterpart.<br />
    <br />
    NFL vs college football<br />
    NBA vs college basketball<br />
    Amateur Boxing vs pro Boxing<br />
    MLB vs college baseball<br />
    NHL vs AHL<br />
    <br />
    I could go on.
    Posted:
  • Body_VisionsBody_Visions Members  2560WRX Points: 153Posts: 2,560 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #25
    It is too late. I think you will run into lawsuits, possibly by the players that have used them their entire career. <br />
    <br />
    And for those that don't know, it is not automatic, nor neccessarily better than any other method. If it were, everyone would be doing it.
    Posted:
  • cmrl1986cmrl1986 Members  2391WRX Points: 92Handicap: 0.2Posts: 2,391 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #26
    Let me and me belly putters be! I highly doubt anything will come of this. Like previously stated, they have been around forever. Also, they're selling like crack right now. I'd be very surprised if the issue doesn't die before or even gets any momentum. "people are putting too good so it must be illegal" is a rediculous arguement. If they didn't allow golf to change we would still all be playing niblicks and mashie's, wait, bad reference! Point being that technology and golf go hand in hand, rules will always be there. Let the belly putter be!
    Posted:
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  • hebron1427hebron1427 Older. Slower. Weaker. AtlJeff Members  3720WRX Points: 0Posts: 3,720 BST Banned
    Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 #27
    KYMAR wrote:
    <br />
    hebron1427 wrote:
    <br />
    KYMAR wrote:
    <br />
    I find it almost impossible to believe that there are people here asking what is meant by "natural stroke" and "anchoring of the club". Does that really need some lawyers definition? It's like the supreme court justice who said, when describing what is pornography, "I know it when I see it"<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    actually, yes. i'm not sure anyone's definition of what's "natural" is going to be the same as someone else's. Without a reasonable chance of interpretation, rules are meaningless. i'm afraid "i know it when i see it" just isn't a way to govern a group of people.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    You admit that you honestly can't determine what is and what isn't an "anchored" club? Nor can you deduce what is and isn't a natural putting stroke? It defines itself. We all know what a putting stroke with a standard length/non-anchored putter looks like. This isn't that difficult.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    "anchored" seems definite enough. but i have no clue what "natural" means. and i don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a definition as to what is "natural." if you can't tell me what it is in definite words, I'd say that's pretty good evidence that it's not definite. JMO<br />
    <br />
    and, no--"i know it when i see it" isn't good enough
    Posted:
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  • Unusual PenguinUnusual Penguin Members  269WRX Points: 0Posts: 269 Greens
    Joined:  #28
    Why don't they just leave the rule alone? If belly putters really did make putting so much easier why don't all the pros use them? Why isn't Kegan Bradly/ Camilo Villegas/ Webb Simpson winning every single tournament? Personally I think that anyone for the rule change just wants an advantage over their opponents. Kind of like that kid who cries and runs to their mom when they loose.
    Posted:
  • MaximilianMaximilian Members  1512WRX Points: 316Posts: 1,512 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 #29
    <br />
    Maximilian wrote:
    <br />
    Good, this would mean I can stop practising with mine already! good.gif In all seriousness though, if they ban them, they can't really expect the pro's already using one to switch to a short putter right away, nor can they make them illegal for amateurs that already laid down the cash for a new putter anytime soon. If it happens, it will probably not be enforced for a few years for tour players and not until like 10-20 years for us amateures. <br />
    <br />
    I don't see the point of banning them though. They've been around for ages and so what if they turn people into better putters eventually? It's not like it doesn't take a lot of practise and skill to be successful with them (believe me I'm trying)! Also the long putters seam to make it easier on the older guys backs. Would be cool (yet sad) if you had to apply for one, just like applying for handicap parking permission!<br />
    <br />
    It should be banned immediately if they decide to ban the practice of anchoring. As for the part about bad backs, it's called getting older and if you can no linger be competitive on tour, hang it up and enjoy the casual game. I have no sympathy after they ruled that Casey Martin couldn't use a cart due to a degenerative disease in his leg. They told him to deal with it, well I say deal with a bad back or retire.<br />
    <br />
    We are aloud to play non-conforming grooves until 2024 and the pro's knew in forehand when the rules was going to change for them. It wasn't in the middle of a season they all of the sudden told the guys they need to change wedges next week. Why should this be different? Regarding long putters and bad backs, I was talking about amateures. If I had a bad back, I could use a golf cart on my course. Here in Sweden, you do need a handicap license to rent a golf cart on most courses, otherwise you're walking.
    Posted:
  • SplitterSplitter The truth is out there.... Members  3396WRX Points: 56Posts: 3,396 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Feb 6, 2012 #30
    <br />
    Splitter wrote:
    <br />
    <br />
    Why bifurcation? It's the same game is it not? Just different levels of play. One set of rules should cover the game at any level. Just like every other sport out there.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    No, it's not. Not in about a million ways. OK, maybe not that many. <img src='http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /><br />
    <br />
    But really, it's not. Everything from Caddy help to ball chasers, to perfect courses and greens, to properly labeled ground under repair, etc... <br />
    <br />
    Just because the rules are the same do not mean the game is. IMHO, the game they play is MUCH different then the one we play.<br />
    <br />
    And BTW.. I think if you look at every other sport out there you'll see that most of the rule books are different for the amateurs (except golf). And even us amateurs get to play different grooves, so in a way it's already different too.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    There's courses around here where caddies are paid services. If I could afford to pay someone to carry my bag while I played, I'd hire them.<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    Agreed. And they even go down and spot your ball for you like the pro's have. But how many of us can afford to do that? I could also *just* use ProV1s at the practice range, but I can't afford to do that and no one is going to give them to me.<br />
    <br />
    So in the end I think my argument is valid; The rules are the same, but the game itself is very different. The differences may be financial, it may be course maintenance, and in one solid rules case it is equipment for a few more years.<br />
    <br />
    I don't spend enough time to look at the real reasons behind non-bifurcation. I suspect it's more financial than anything else. Golf is the only sport where you'll consistently run into people who *genuinely* believe that if they "just did this" they could play professionally. I'm sure using one set of rules helps that feeling and to some extent keeps golf going. <img src='http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
    Posted:
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  • KYMARKYMAR Members  13257WRX Points: 56Posts: 13,257 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #31
    cmrl1986 wrote:
    <br />
    Let me and me belly putters be! I highly doubt anything will come of this. Like previously stated, they have been around forever. Also, they're selling like crack right now. I'd be very surprised if the issue doesn't die before or even gets any momentum. "people are putting too good so it must be illegal" is a rediculous arguement. If they didn't allow golf to change we would still all be playing niblicks and mashie's, wait, bad reference! Point being that technology and golf go hand in hand, rules will always be there. Let the belly putter be!<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    its ridiculous to spell ridiculous rediculous too, but that doesn't stop a good 50% of posters. <br />
    <br />
    This isn't a matter of technological advancement. It's using equipment in a way that many like me argue should already be precluded under the rules. The fact that the governing bodies have let the issue go until now is the real problem. They are once again faced with having to turn back the clock on something. Just like the grooves rule. <br />
    <br />
    And I would agree that "people are putting too good so they should be illegal" would be a ridiculous argument, except NO ONE is making that argument. The argument is simple, anchoring the club to your body is an effort to gain artificial stability in a stroke and eliminates a large part of the skill of putting. Now, most assuredly, someone will give the old "well they don't help or everyone would be using them" argument. My simple response to that is, first, no they wouldn't. I have never used one, i won't ever use one. and second, if there is no advantage to having the club pinned to your gut, what benefit to you derive from it? Why is anyone using a belly putter if it is not bettering performance? And explain to me how that benefit in performance comes from anything other than the anchoring of the club. <br />
    <br />
    Ban em! <img src='http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/good.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':good:' />
    Posted:
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