Tag Archive | "rules of golf"

Putters – Long or Short?

long or short puttersGolf enthusiasts go with never-ending discussions about golf and the technology involving it. Just like the heated debates regarding the use of long putters.

The ruling authorities of golf, both R&A and USGA, already admitted that the current Rules of Golf is “firmly back on the radar”. Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of R&A, emphasized that a final resolution is yet to be discussed and worked on.

Professional golfers also have their respective opinions about the matter. Ernie Els once said that although using a long putter makes him feel like cheating, he would still take advantage of it since it is not prohibited. He has won four major tournaments in his career.

Tom Kite strongly stated, “Belly putters are legal and are both wonderful ways to putt. But I don’t think they are good for golf.” Kite is the 1992 US Open Champion and has won the Ryder Cup seven times.

Steve McKenna of the City of Newcastle Golf Club says, “The conventional method of putting is playing with a standard-length putter and holding it with an orthodox grip. It is still the preferred method of good golfers. As long as the golfer’s technique, feel and ability to read greens is sound there is no need to move away from convention.”

While Brian Rumney of the Arcot Hall Golf Club says, “Anchoring the putter against the chest, chin or whatever and requiring only one hand for the stroke is not how the game was designed to be played. There’s currently a huge debate on these types of putters and my prediction, for what it’s worth, is that the USGA and the R&A believe they should do something about them.”

Indeed, all matters will settle once the USGA and the R&A do something about it. In the meanwhile, let us all look forward to what they have to say, hopefully, soon.

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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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