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Law Suit brewing? It figures

Belly long putter usga R&A

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#1 BrianL99

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:09 AM

The world is entirely too litigious.

http://golfweek.com/...usga-anchoring/

Edited by BrianL99, 31 October 2012 - 10:09 AM.


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#2 Socrates

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:23 AM

I think that they are going to have a long row to hoe (the players).  I don't think Bradley or Els or even all of them in a class action suit would have the deep enough pockets to go through with it.  How many years with Ping??  It might not even get that far if it is thrown out at the first Judge.  I can see the precedent of the USGA and R&A being the established Ruling bodies on how the game is played (wasn't that agreed upon with the groove issue?) being a problem for the players.  Also, the players aren't prevented from playing or competing.  A Judge could look at it and ask them if they can prove they can't play with a different method of putting and when they can't prove that, they might be done.

Regardless, it will get interesting.  Obviously, the USGA and R&A have told the players more than what is being reported.  Why the secrecy?  Someone must have a near verbatim account of the discussion.  Heck these guys can find out all the names of Tiger's indiscretions and yet they can't give us the lowdown on this!!
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#3 SHIVAN

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:27 AM

They should be working WITH the players, not making their rule changes in a vacuum.  Which is what this appears to be.

#4 isaacbm

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:38 AM

I still don't understand this whole deal.  It can't be scientifically proven that using the long putter makes a person a better putter.  the grooves you can prove with spin test results. The drivers you can prove with core testing and dispersion pattern testing.  There's a level of science that can be used to prove that those technologies make a the game easier.  How can it be proved that the long putter makes the game easier?

Everyone of the pros I personally know have tried it at one point or another and less than 10 percent of them switched to the long putter.  Most of them simply don't like the feel of it.  I personally can't use them because I putt much, much worse with them.  It not like the other tech that's out there.

No one in their right mind would be playing tournament golf with a persimmon driver because it would be costing them 25 yards ( or what ever the distance is...)   A long putter on the other hand has been around since the 70's and there are still very few players using this "incredible cheating technology."

Something doesn't add up...

#5 Llortamaisey

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:44 AM

I wish someone would sue them over out of bounds being a penalty of stroke and distance. Just make it like a hazard.


#6 Socrates

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

View Postisaacbm, on 31 October 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

I still don't understand this whole deal.  It can't be scientifically proven that using the long putter makes a person a better putter.  the grooves you can prove with spin test results. The drivers you can prove with core testing and dispersion pattern testing.  There's a level of science that can be used to prove that those technologies make a the game easier.  How can it be proved that the long putter makes the game easier?

Everyone of the pros I personally know have tried it at one point or another and less than 10 percent of them switched to the long putter.  Most of them simply don't like the feel of it.  I personally can't use them because I putt much, much worse with them.  It not like the other tech that's out there.

No one in their right mind would be playing tournament golf with a persimmon driver because it would be costing them 25 yards ( or what ever the distance is...)   A long putter on the other hand has been around since the 70's and there are still very few players using this "incredible cheating technology."

Something doesn't add up...
It doesn't have to add up.  What we have here is two Ruling Bodies (one more than the other) being run by an older generation who is totally against belly and long putters with no other justification other than they don't like it.  They can use all sort of arguments, but it comes down to that they don't like it and are going to do something about it.  Before anyone comes at me for the older generation thing, I'm one of them (over 50).  However, I can see past my nose and realize that the things that people see as "traditional" or "not the way it was intended" are only being viewed from one point of view.  Any change that happens is different but if it is done long enough it becomes traditional and accepted.  If the R&A and USGA were able to step aside and look at this issue 50 years from now (if they were to do nothing), I'm sure that belly and long putting would be as traditional as wearing Plus Fours is now.  

Every generation bitches and moans about something and times change and we all move on.  I'm sure Old Tom Morris spun in his grave when they allowed players to compete in something other than a tweed jacket.  I'm sure Bobby Jones had a fit when they allowed steel shafted clubs to be used instead of hickory.  This one they aren't going to let go and it really only comes down to small group of people who are going to try and exert their ideals on the rest of us because THEY DON'T LIKE IT.
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#7 BrianL99

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:08 AM

Just my opinion, but I think the governing bodies have the right to do whatever they wish, regardless of whether it makes the "sport" harder or easier.

Baseball has changed their "Strike Zone", numerous times.    They've changed the "official ball" over the years.

Basketball changes rules all the time. or at least interprets their rules, apparently at whim, sometimes.

NASCAR has new rules every day.

I don't see what golf should be different.  If it's not in keeping with the ruling bodies' vision of the game, change the rules.  Then again, I thought they should have been able to ban Casey Martin.

This will be interesting, but not half as funny as when some dwarf sues the NBA to allow him to use a lower basket.

#8 Socrates

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:21 AM

They can change what they like, that is their prerogative.  Just don't try and stand there and say it's not traditional or the way it was intended.  Have some balls and just say we don't like it and we are going to change it, the rest of you be damned.  Right now they are trying to smooth it over with the players first by giving them "the old soft shoe" and it's not working.

I sure want to see which sap they throw out there onto the dais to deliver the official message or will they chicken out and just issue a written communique to the media.

Edit: clarity of rant

Edited by Socrates, 31 October 2012 - 11:21 AM.

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#9 596

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:21 AM

My only thought on this is that the belly putters have been in use for nearly 50 years.  Why are we so upset about it now?  I'd think use for 50 years makes it pretty much a tradition.  Everyone has the option of using one, use it if you like it, don't use it if you don't like it, duh!!

btw - Over the past 2 years I've been using a belly putter.  About 2 months ago I changed, just to see, back to a 35" Ping putter and my putting average did NOT change one way or the other.   I fact, I'm probably making more birdies and lipping out more putts with the short putter.  The belly putter was easy to 2 putt.  The short putter results in alot more tap ins and getting closer to the hole with the first putt.  I still average about 29-30 putts per round.

#10 tElihu

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:05 PM

View PostBrianL99, on 31 October 2012 - 11:08 AM, said:

Just my opinion, but I think the governing bodies have the right to do whatever they wish, regardless of whether it makes the "sport" harder or easier.

Baseball has changed their "Strike Zone", numerous times. They've changed the "official ball" over the years.

Basketball changes rules all the time. or at least interprets their rules, apparently at whim, sometimes.

NASCAR has new rules every day.

I don't see what golf should be different.  If it's not in keeping with the ruling bodies' vision of the game, change the rules.  Then again, I thought they should have been able to ban Casey Martin.

This will be interesting, but not half as funny as when some dwarf sues the NBA to allow him to use a lower basket.

Golf should be different because it IS different. Golf to those other sports is apples to oranges.

MLB, NBA and NASCAR rule changes do not affect how the general public plays the game. MLB introducing a new ball or changing the strike zone will have no effect on your little league game, recreational baseball league, etc...  NBA rule changes have NO effect on the college, hs, junior high, rec. league or playground games.  NASCAR rules directly impact no one but the group of people directly competing in the oval.

Golf is completely different. When you change a USGA rule it ripples through the entire sport: through country clubs, through junior tournaments, high school matches, etc.. It affects the local retailer and the local golf course pro shop.

If MLB says you cannot use a certain bat, only MLB players are covered by the rule. If the USGA says you cannot use a certain club, the blanket covers a LOT more people.


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#11 farmer

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:29 PM

The R&A and USGA rule by consent, not decree.  We could see a bifurcation in the rules, because the tour could opt out of this ruling, and allow continued use by tour players.  The spirit of the game is a floating definition at best, and a ban based on appearance is weak.

#12 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostLlortamaisey, on 31 October 2012 - 10:44 AM, said:

I wish someone would sue them over out of bounds being a penalty of stroke and distance. Just make it like a hazard.

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#13 kg92lefty

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:01 PM

Two gloves is next on the USGA's list.  If you win a tournament and there is something different about you they will ban it.

#14 stage1350

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:24 PM

I wish the players would have been this fired up about the groove rule.  The difference is that didn't cost them anything.

For players that can't survive without the belly, this could be the end of their career.  The ruling bodies would have had a better chance if it didn't look like a reaction to players winning majors with anchored putters.

I actually hope the USGA and R&A get sued into oblivion so those arrogant guys will realize the effect of some of their idiotic rulings.
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#15 Socrates

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

View Postfarmer, on 31 October 2012 - 12:29 PM, said:

The R&A and USGA rule by consent, not decree.  We could see a bifurcation in the rules, because the tour could opt out of this ruling, and allow continued use by tour players.  The spirit of the game is a floating definition at best, and a ban based on appearance is weak.
I think you have that backwards:  They currently rule by decree not consensus.

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#16 shankapotamus

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:08 PM

I really don't think they will outlaw the long putter.  You will still be able to have a long putter, but you cannot achor it to your body

#17 cardoustie

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:21 PM

C'mon USGA

I have 3 sweet long putters now and can't go back, investment in time and dollars is too high

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The #1 fact is simply that lots of folks cannot putt well with a Belly or Long putter style ... why not ban the short putters then?   I believe LONG helps me on short putts but it is harder from off the green and on putts outside 30 feet ,,. so it is a wash

The argument is that it violates the game is absurd, we have anchoring putters going back a long ways (chest, arm, leg etc), we have long and belly putters going back a long long ways (100 yrs I believe)

Chest anchoring was done on tour in the 70's

No one can convince me that if the rules allow upper arm/wrist/forearm anchoring and don't allow not sternum or belly anchoring  ... that this would be fair
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#18 Tarkata

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:28 PM

I dont think you should be able to anchor the actual club to your body. That is my view point, and while I think the USGA should quickly resolve this issue, I see no issue with weekend warriors using them.

But then, i also think they should make the golf balls more consistent with traditional distances, so I am like some commie, I know.

Edited by Tarkata, 31 October 2012 - 03:28 PM.

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#19 kg92lefty

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

View PostTarkata, on 31 October 2012 - 03:28 PM, said:

I dont think you should be able to anchor the actual club to your body. That is my view point, and while I think the USGA should quickly resolve this issue, I see no issue with weekend warriors using them.

But then, i also think they should make the golf balls more consistent with traditional distances, so I am like some commie, I know.

What was your opinion on the belly/long putters 2 years ago? Oh yeah, you didnt care.

This is all a reaction to people winning with them which makes the USGA look stupid. I hope they lose their a** on the lawsuits.

#20 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:35 PM

View PostCARDY, on 31 October 2012 - 03:21 PM, said:


The argument is that it violates the game is absurd, we have anchoring putters going back a long ways (chest, arm, leg etc), we have long and belly putters going back a long long ways (100 yrs I believe)

Chest anchoring was done on tour in the 70's



so the usga shouldn't change because certain things were done for so long. ??really we'd still be smoking on airplanes or the nfl would still allow hits to the head. things change for the better whether its sooner or later.

i have still yet to hear an arguement comparing anchoring to anything other than titanium drivers or hybrids. anchoring alters the stroke, steadies the nerves, takes some feel out of the stroke. this is why i wouldn't be surprised to see the long putter be allowed but anchoring be banned. its not the putter, its the way it attaches to the body. you really think i should be able to strap into rocco mediate's v-harness every time i tee off? anchoring is the problem, not the length that is the problem. just because the usga has failed to ban for so long doesn't mean they shouldn't still make things right.

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#21 Jamboy72

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:37 PM

View PostSocrates, on 31 October 2012 - 11:00 AM, said:

View Postisaacbm, on 31 October 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

I still don't understand this whole deal.  It can't be scientifically proven that using the long putter makes a person a better putter.  the grooves you can prove with spin test results. The drivers you can prove with core testing and dispersion pattern testing.  There's a level of science that can be used to prove that those technologies make a the game easier.  How can it be proved that the long putter makes the game easier?

Everyone of the pros I personally know have tried it at one point or another and less than 10 percent of them switched to the long putter.  Most of them simply don't like the feel of it.  I personally can't use them because I putt much, much worse with them.  It not like the other tech that's out there.

No one in their right mind would be playing tournament golf with a persimmon driver because it would be costing them 25 yards ( or what ever the distance is...)   A long putter on the other hand has been around since the 70's and there are still very few players using this "incredible cheating technology."

Something doesn't add up...
It doesn't have to add up.  What we have here is two Ruling Bodies (one more than the other) being run by an older generation who is totally against belly and long putters with no other justification other than they don't like it.  They can use all sort of arguments, but it comes down to that they don't like it and are going to do something about it.  Before anyone comes at me for the older generation thing, I'm one of them (over 50).  However, I can see past my nose and realize that the things that people see as "traditional" or "not the way it was intended" are only being viewed from one point of view.  Any change that happens is different but if it is done long enough it becomes traditional and accepted.  If the R&A and USGA were able to step aside and look at this issue 50 years from now (if they were to do nothing), I'm sure that belly and long putting would be as traditional as wearing Plus Fours is now.  

Every generation bitches and moans about something and times change and we all move on.  I'm sure Old Tom Morris spun in his grave when they allowed players to compete in something other than a tweed jacket.  I'm sure Bobby Jones had a fit when they allowed steel shafted clubs to be used instead of hickory.  This one they aren't going to let go and it really only comes down to small group of people who are going to try and exert their ideals on the rest of us because THEY DON'T LIKE IT.

This is spot on!

#22 kellygreen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

View PostBrianL99, on 31 October 2012 - 10:09 AM, said:

The world is entirely too litigious.

http://golfweek.com/...usga-anchoring/

That's the price you pay when you have a monopoly...people's livelihoods are at stake...and you make truly ARBITRARY decisions.

There is NO data to support the banning of the bellyputter.  No data to support that it gives anyone an "unfair advantage".   If they do ban it, they will be banning it simply because they don't like how it LOOKS.

Frankly, I hope players line up to sue the USGA.  Then maybe it will start making its rulings in a less reactionary fashion.
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#23 kellygreen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

View PostSocrates, on 31 October 2012 - 10:23 AM, said:

I think that they are going to have a long row to hoe (the players).  I don't think Bradley or Els or even all of them in a class action suit would have the deep enough pockets to go through with it.  How many years with Ping??  It might not even get that far if it is thrown out at the first Judge.  I can see the precedent of the USGA and R&A being the established Ruling bodies on how the game is played (wasn't that agreed upon with the groove issue?) being a problem for the players.  Also, the players aren't prevented from playing or competing.  A Judge could look at it and ask them if they can prove they can't play with a different method of putting and when they can't prove that, they might be done.

Regardless, it will get interesting.  Obviously, the USGA and R&A have told the players more than what is being reported.  Why the secrecy?  Someone must have a near verbatim account of the discussion.  Heck these guys can find out all the names of Tiger's indiscretions and yet they can't give us the lowdown on this!!

Wouldn't really require a protracted legal fight.

All it would take to rock the USGA back on its heels would be for the professional tours not to adopt the rule as a condition of competition.

...and the USGA wouldn't be able to do anything but stand there and shake its fist in outrage, at the pro tours thumbing their nose at them.
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#24 Jamboy72

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

View PostHoosierMizuno, on 31 October 2012 - 03:35 PM, said:

View PostCARDY, on 31 October 2012 - 03:21 PM, said:

The argument is that it violates the game is absurd, we have anchoring putters going back a long ways (chest, arm, leg etc), we have long and belly putters going back a long long ways (100 yrs I believe)

Chest anchoring was done on tour in the 70's



so the usga shouldn't change because certain things were done for so long. ??really we'd still be smoking on airplanes or the nfl would still allow hits to the head. things change for the better whether its sooner or later.  Typically there is a burden of proof required which the USGA has conveniently ignored and both of your examples CLEARLY made situations safer/healthier and have CLEAR and defensible benefits....

i have still yet to hear an arguement comparing anchoring to anything other than titanium drivers or hybrids. anchoring alters the stroke, steadies the nerves, takes some feel out of the stroke Please provide proof of this and how it translates into an advantage which isn't available to others... this is why i wouldn't be surprised to see the long putter be allowed but anchoring be banned. its not the putter, its the way it attaches to the body. you really think i should be able to strap into rocco mediate's v-harness every time i tee off? anchoring is the problem, not the length that is the problem. just because the usga has failed to ban for so long doesn't mean they shouldn't still make things right. And your under the impression that this (whatever that may be) is the "right" move...


#25 Sean2

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:44 PM

I started disliking the USGA when the entire groove thing came out. It not only affected players, but OEMs (who had to retool), and we amateurs who have a enough trouble spinning the ball as it is. As they say on ESPN, "C'mon Man."

Hey...be nice.

#26 scotee

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:43 PM

USGA should have acted years ago. Bradley and others will have a very real argument that will say this ruling will put them at a disadvantage because they have used this legally for their whole careers. Having only X number of years to a golfing career and having to relearn compared to players who don't have to relearn will be argued to be unfair.

Edited by scotee, 31 October 2012 - 04:45 PM.


#27 kellygreen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:01 PM

View Postscotee, on 31 October 2012 - 04:43 PM, said:

USGA should have acted years ago. Bradley and others will have a very real argument that will say this ruling will put them at a disadvantage because they have used this legally for their whole careers. Having only X number of years to a golfing career and having to relearn compared to players who don't have to relearn will be argued to be unfair.

The USGA didn't act because there was not rational basis for them to act.

The fact of the matter is that they were willing to tolerate broomsticks and belly putters as long as there was a stigma attached to them, and they were seen as "crutches" for players who seemed to have really bad cases of the yips.

It only became an issue when younger players started to use them as well.  Not seeing them as a crutch, but simply as another viable putting option for their game.   Then when young players using these putters started winning big tournaments and majors...THEN the freak-out started.

Which shows that the objection to them really isn't rooted in any real principle.  But that people don't like the look of them, and don't like the idea of younger players using them.
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#28 mikpga

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:11 PM

It's ashame...

I'm probably "old school", and feel that the putter should not be "anchored" to your body...

Bottom line is the USGA/RA are the governing body of the Rules of Golf...

It will not be a fun process...

"While it is considered important that the Rules be faithful to their historical principles, they must be clear, comprehensive and relevant to today's game, and the penalties must be appropriate.  The Rules need regular review to ensure these goals are met.  This set of rules is the latest stage of this evolution." - Rules of Golf 2012-2015 edition.

#29 kellygreen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:00 PM

View Postmikpga, on 31 October 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

It's ashame...

I'm probably "old school", and feel that the putter should not be "anchored" to your body...

Bottom line is the USGA/RA are the governing body of the Rules of Golf...

It will not be a fun process...

"While it is considered important that the Rules be faithful to their historical principles, they must be clear, comprehensive and relevant to today's game, and the penalties must be appropriate.  The Rules need regular review to ensure these goals are met.  This set of rules is the latest stage of this evolution." - Rules of Golf 2012-2015 edition.

The USGA is bringing this on themselves.

If they could show some hard DATA that showed that the belly putter truly gave the user an undue advantage, then I think more people would be open to seeing it done away with.

But after tolerating long putters for decades---and only moving against them when young players started to see them as just another equipment option, rather than a crutch to be embarrassed about having to use----makes it pretty clear that they are coming from a totally reactionary place here.

I hope it gets REALLY ugly.  Maybe then, the USGA will start thinking through its rule changes rather than trying to rule by royal decree.

"Do it because I said so", didn't work for my parents with me...and it sure isn't going to work coming from the USGA.
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#30 MtlJeff

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 07:37 PM

View PostSocrates, on 31 October 2012 - 11:00 AM, said:

View Postisaacbm, on 31 October 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

I still don't understand this whole deal.  It can't be scientifically proven that using the long putter makes a person a better putter.  the grooves you can prove with spin test results. The drivers you can prove with core testing and dispersion pattern testing.  There's a level of science that can be used to prove that those technologies make a the game easier.  How can it be proved that the long putter makes the game easier?

Everyone of the pros I personally know have tried it at one point or another and less than 10 percent of them switched to the long putter.  Most of them simply don't like the feel of it.  I personally can't use them because I putt much, much worse with them.  It not like the other tech that's out there.

No one in their right mind would be playing tournament golf with a persimmon driver because it would be costing them 25 yards ( or what ever the distance is...)   A long putter on the other hand has been around since the 70's and there are still very few players using this "incredible cheating technology."

Something doesn't add up...
It doesn't have to add up.  What we have here is two Ruling Bodies (one more than the other) being run by an older generation who is totally against belly and long putters with no other justification other than they don't like it.  They can use all sort of arguments, but it comes down to that they don't like it and are going to do something about it.  Before anyone comes at me for the older generation thing, I'm one of them (over 50).  However, I can see past my nose and realize that the things that people see as "traditional" or "not the way it was intended" are only being viewed from one point of view.  Any change that happens is different but if it is done long enough it becomes traditional and accepted.  If the R&A and USGA were able to step aside and look at this issue 50 years from now (if they were to do nothing), I'm sure that belly and long putting would be as traditional as wearing Plus Fours is now.  

Every generation bitches and moans about something and times change and we all move on.  I'm sure Old Tom Morris spun in his grave when they allowed players to compete in something other than a tweed jacket.  I'm sure Bobby Jones had a fit when they allowed steel shafted clubs to be used instead of hickory.  This one they aren't going to let go and it really only comes down to small group of people who are going to try and exert their ideals on the rest of us because THEY DON'T LIKE IT.

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