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Opinions - belly/long putters??

Duckhook Mallard

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
22
1
Hi all,
I just moved into a new house and have been out of pocket for about 10 days with the move and all - glad to be back. Looks like you guys have been busy - good stuff over the past couple of weeks. :D

I played with my usual crew last friday (shot 94 from the tips - played terrible :mad: ) and we ended up having a very spirited discussion about belly and long putters. The argument basically centered around belly putters being a crutch for players that can't putt.

My take on the whole thing was that putting is tough enough - no matter what putter you use. You could use that Rodney Dangerfield-target-laser-putter from Caddyshack and still three putt if you're having a bad day on the greens.

True, you see a trend on tour and its probably saved a couple of careers but it hasn't produced an unfair advantage for players as far as I can tell. And as far as the average player trying to break 90/80 is concerned, I don't see what the big deal is. I had guys in my group who were getting really upset about it and I couldn't understand why?

Are people just being traditionalists? Is it resistance to change/new ideas? Why all the fuss about what other people hit the golf ball with? Maybe I'm missing the point here, but the whole argument just seems strange to me??

What do you guys think?
 

Rockford35

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Aug 30, 2004
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I think belly and long putters should be banned. They provide an unfair advantage to those using traditional putting styles. If we let this slide, the skies the limit when it comes to change in the wonderful game.

A good example of the is Vijay Singh. He used the long putter for a long time. And why would he do that? He said that it made putting easier for him. No injury, no excuses, he flat out said that it made the game easier and a legalized way to cheat and why wouldn't he take advantage of that?. And to me, that's flat out wrong. He also went back to his traditional style putter and has lit it up.

True, you can say the same thing for the new balls, the drivers, new irons and wedges. But each club still instills skill to get it on the fairway or on the green. But, are we all shooting in the low 70's? No. This game still takes practice and skill.

It's saved some careers like Freddy and others, but on a professional tour, if you can't compete within the rules, then you can't play. It's pretty simple. For guys like us, the hacks, i could really care less. Use whatever equipment your heart desires. But i can't say the same for the tour.

Just my opinion. I expect no one to feel the same way.

Cheers,

R35
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
Good points Rock. I disagree. :)

Long putters are actually NOT a new thing. They have been in use for decades. I tried one for a while, and trust me, they do NOT make putting easier. The may help with direction, but they kill you on feel and distance control.

How do long putters make an unfair advantage on those using classic length? I could understand the reasoning if some were allowed to use long and some not, but they all have access to them, so no advantage. Furthermore, if they helped THAT much, everyone on tour would have one. Just as everyone has metalwoods as opposed to persimmon, and everyone has the new juiced up balls as opposed to balata, or even featheries.

This argument was really started when Ernie Else complained openly about them in a veiled finger pointed at his nearest "rival". This is the same man who started screaming because equipment has come far enough where the mere mortals on tour can now compete with himself and Tiger, so they need to cap technology. Wow. And I say again, Wow! So much for me seeing his side of the argument. :)
 
OP
D

Duckhook Mallard

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
22
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Good point Rock.

I'm still not sure that it provides an "unfair advantage" though. Many of the players that have moved to bp's have since come back . . . .

I think that VJ's a very interesting example because he's went back to the trad putter and is en fuego right now. What does that tell you?

More power to the tour guys who use them for the simple fact that they do this for a living and and are trying to put food on the table for their families. I can tell you that if my livelihood was at stake, I'd use every advantage or "percieved advantage" available to me - and if that meant using a belly putter within the existing rules of golf then so be it. But I do get your point that the rules should be changed to prevent this. . .

Ya know what would be interesting - if all the players had to use the EXACT same equipment (lengths and lies modified of course). Same shafts, same balls, same heads, all of it. Would make for an interesting competition - golf is the only sport where you can have pretty wild variations in the equipment used between players. I guess that's what makes it fun. . .and keeps my wallet empty! ;)
 

Rockford35

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Duckhook Mallard said:
Ya know what would be interesting - if all the players had to use the EXACT same equipment (lengths and lies modified of course). Same shafts, same balls, same heads, all of it. Would make for an interesting competition - golf is the only sport where you can have pretty wild variations in the equipment used between players. I guess that's what makes it fun. . .and keeps my wallet empty! ;)


I like this idea, but we will NEVER see it happen. The same could be said for every sport then. Hockey, baseball, tennis, ect. No one is ready to be on the same level as anyone else. How many guys would sign up to that? I bet none.

Great idea tho.

Crowe, i understand your thoughts on the BP's, but i still am a man of the rules. In putting, one cannot use any other part of his body to control the motion of a putt. It's that simple. Wether it be a chin, a belly, an arm/hand below a "standard" grip, it's all illegal in my book. Sure, the layperson should have no problem playing them, the same as a COR exceeding driver. But professionals should be restrained from toeing the line when it comes to the rules. That only makes sense and allows for a more even playing field.

Not to argue, just saying, is all. :)

R35
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
rockford35 said:
I like this idea, but we will NEVER see it happen. The same could be said for every sport then. Hockey, baseball, tennis, ect. No one is ready to be on the same level as anyone else. How many guys would sign up to that? I bet none.

Great idea tho.

Crowe, i understand your thoughts on the BP's, but i still am a man of the rules. In putting, one cannot use any other part of his body to control the motion of a putt. It's that simple. Wether it be a chin, a belly, an arm/hand below a "standard" grip, it's all illegal in my book. Sure, the layperson should have no problem playing them, the same as a COR exceeding driver. But professionals should be restrained from toeing the line when it comes to the rules. That only makes sense and allows for a more even playing field.

Not to argue, just saying, is all. :)

R35
Points taken Rockie. :)
 

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
3,986
3
On the one hand they seem to break the rules of golf and if so should be banned. On the other hand, (there's always the other hand) I tried one of these at Golfsmith out of curiousity and found it very difficult to use. I can't believe anyone would switch to a belly putter for any reason except desperation or maybe a bad back. I have a pretty bad back and I still wouldn't use one. If there's an unfair advantage to using a belly putter I don't know what it is, but again if it breaks the rules, too bad, so sad get it out of here.
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
Do they break the rules? I ask honestly. If they break the rules of golf, then why aren't they banned? I was watching the 1991 Ryder Cup highlights and one of the Euros had an odd putting style. He anchored the standard putter to the inside of his arm and clamped it there with his other hand, just swinging his arm. Is this breaking the rules? I guess if there is a rule against anchoring a club against your body, then enforce it. If it isn't going to be enforced then take the rule out. Either way, this is a diferent light on the argument than unfair advantage.
 

Rockford35

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I think the unfair advantage I speak of is the same for long drivers. You must be within length limits.

Sure, make a limit on the "standard" putter length. I'd be happy with that. Or, make a grip length limit. If you want to use a belly or chin putter with a standard grip, as long as you don't wrap your hands around the shaft (like a hockey stick), then you can use it. But seperating your hands is just wrong. I think the "claw" even borderlines on illegal. It may work for some, but really, if you can't compete within the standards put out, then you just don't cut it.

Survival of the fittest.

You don't see baseball players using huge or long bats because they have rules for length, weight and barrel diameter. The same can be said for many pro sports.

I just think it's wrong and it paves the path for more lenient rules. Again, fine for guys like us, but pros are pros because they are good, not because their equipment dictates it.

Good question, but and endless argument.

Crowe, i'm buying you a "standard" putter for Christmas. Just to bury this once and for all. :D

White Hot #1 work alright?

R35
 

jc@bg

Style guru
Sep 10, 2004
94
0
Long putters

I saw ONE long putter, one time, that I could make a putt with. Strangely enough, I didn't buy it (I bought everything else...). I have no idea now what model it was, but it felt great and I made everything on that carpet in the golf store. Other than that, if the argument is efficacy, those long putters aren't that great, or everyone would be using them. As to the rules, well, rules change all the time. If a piece of equipment is obviously against the rules, then it's only fair (more appropos, only equitable) for the rule to be enforced. But will long putters ruin the game by making it too easy? As if.

Same goes for 52" drivers. Have you tried hitting one? Or to look at the tour side of the question, how many touring pros do you see with 47" or 48" drivers? The USGA, bless their little pea-picking hearts, have made it their lifetime work to control the variables of golf, but people come in a lot of physical and mental makeups.

IMO, the whole "equipment must be banned!" crusade is based on slippery-slope thinking: "the game as we know it must be preserved, and it's only a matter of time before someone comes up with a stance or club configuration or other device that will destroy all competition and make the worst golfer as good as the best." Personally, I think all slippery-slope thinking is itself a slippery slope: the more paranoid you get, the more prone you are to paranoia. Bottom line, the USGA has been wrong before--witness the rulings that have changed--and it's very possible that they're on the wrong track if they're seriously considering banning "anchored" putters. Will they outlaw the "claw" and the "saw" because they immobilize the non-leading-hand wrist? Just play golf, guys!

Duckhook Mallard said:
Hi all,
I just moved into a new house and have been out of pocket for about 10 days with the move and all - glad to be back. Looks like you guys have been busy - good stuff over the past couple of weeks. :D

I played with my usual crew last friday (shot 94 from the tips - played terrible :mad: ) and we ended up having a very spirited discussion about belly and long putters. The argument basically centered around belly putters being a crutch for players that can't putt.

My take on the whole thing was that putting is tough enough - no matter what putter you use. You could use that Rodney Dangerfield-target-laser-putter from Caddyshack and still three putt if you're having a bad day on the greens.

True, you see a trend on tour and its probably saved a couple of careers but it hasn't produced an unfair advantage for players as far as I can tell. And as far as the average player trying to break 90/80 is concerned, I don't see what the big deal is. I had guys in my group who were getting really upset about it and I couldn't understand why?

Are people just being traditionalists? Is it resistance to change/new ideas? Why all the fuss about what other people hit the golf ball with? Maybe I'm missing the point here, but the whole argument just seems strange to me??

What do you guys think?
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
rockford35 said:
I think the unfair advantage I speak of is the same for long drivers. You must be within length limits.

Sure, make a limit on the "standard" putter length. I'd be happy with that. Or, make a grip length limit. If you want to use a belly or chin putter with a standard grip, as long as you don't wrap your hands around the shaft (like a hockey stick), then you can use it. But seperating your hands is just wrong. I think the "claw" even borderlines on illegal. It may work for some, but really, if you can't compete within the standards put out, then you just don't cut it.

Survival of the fittest.

You don't see baseball players using huge or long bats because they have rules for length, weight and barrel diameter. The same can be said for many pro sports.

I just think it's wrong and it paves the path for more lenient rules. Again, fine for guys like us, but pros are pros because they are good, not because their equipment dictates it.

Good question, but and endless argument.

Crowe, i'm buying you a "standard" putter for Christmas. Just to bury this once and for all. :D

White Hot #1 work alright?

R35
Oh, keep the cash for lobbying the USGA :). I have a standard Tour Edge, and it's the bomb.
 

grazo

slacker hacker
Aug 31, 2004
108
0
Not certain on this one but...

I thought that the question regarding belly putters is not because of the club itself, but because of the way you use it. In putting, or in fact in any golf swing, the club cannot be anchored against any part of the body, and must be held in the hands. The longer putters are either anchored in the belly or under the chin, hence the stroke used is illegal.

The belly putter itself could be used as a normal putter and not be considered illegal, if you held it only in your hands and not against any part of your body. Hence, the "claw" putting grip is legal, as is "left hand low" because the club is still being held in the hands.

Similarly, a conforming driver is legal, but if you run up to the ball a la Happy Gilmore and give it a whack, then that is against the rules of what is considered a golf swing.

Is this not correct?
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
grazo said:
Not certain on this one but...

I thought that the question regarding belly putters is not because of the club itself, but because of the way you use it. In putting, or in fact in any golf swing, the club cannot be anchored against any part of the body, and must be held in the hands. The longer putters are either anchored in the belly or under the chin, hence the stroke used is illegal.

The belly putter itself could be used as a normal putter and not be considered illegal, if you held it only in your hands and not against any part of your body. Hence, the "claw" putting grip is legal, as is "left hand low" because the club is still being held in the hands.

Similarly, a conforming driver is legal, but if you run up to the ball a la Happy Gilmore and give it a whack, then that is against the rules of what is considered a golf swing.

Is this not correct?
You get one and only one warning... Don't mess with Happy Gilmore.

You are correct, I believe. It is the actual stroke that is the problem. So, on a long putter, where the top is held in your left hand, your left hand at the sturnem, the bottom hand on the grip, is this an illegal stroke?
 

Loop

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,418
3
There are NO rules in golf pertaining on how you hold the putter.
The only condition is
1. That you cannot putt with the line of putt crossing between your feet
2. The ball must be fairly struck at (Rule 14-1)

So long putters are legal. And IMHO, they shouldn't be banned, as everyone has their one putting style, and good for them if they've found a putter that suits them.
 

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