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Rules on Belly Putters Reviewed

Rules on Belly Putters Reviewed


Ernie Els’ win in the Open Championship using a belly putter ignited the discussion as to whether professional golf players can keep using long putters. The Royal & Ancient stated that long putters are firmly back on the radar after Els became the third major champion using this type of putter. The other two who used belly putters were Keegan Bradley at the PGA Championship and Webb Simpson at the US Open.

R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson clarified that the discussion with the US Golf Association came out even before Els putt his 15-foot birdie on hole 18. “We appreciate that there is much speculation about this and that we need to clarify the position as soon as possible. And I think you’re going to see us saying something about it one way or the other in a few months, rather than years,” he said.

R&A and USGA are the two organizations setting the worldwide rules of golf. Dawson made it clear that there is still no decision yet. The organizations’ rules committees are conducting study and will submit recommendations the soonest. Should there be any changes, it may be effective in 2016 since the Rules of Golf are updated every four years.

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