Belly putter saga

  • Mar. 6, 2013 4:13 p.m.

The belly putter rule is dead! Long live the belly putter rule!

My apologies for destroying that historic quote which was used to commemorate the crowning of a new king after the previous one had passed away.

In this case, the old belly putter rule is on its death bed while a new rule is cooking in the ovens of the Royal & Ancient and the USGA.

But wait, the plot thickens as the PGA had decided to take a clear as mud stance about the rule banning anchoring a long putter.

Essentially what came out of the mouth of PGA commish Tim Finchem was they don’t agree with what the governing bodies are pitching but didn’t exactly say what their plan for tour members was going to be.

The main point Finchem made in front of many viewers of the Accenture Match Play was there is no empirical evidence the use of a long putter anchored somewhere on your body allowed for an advantage over other golfers.

He added the ban would slow down growth of the game on the amateur level.

The USGA and the R&A counter with the integrity of the game being compromised by a player not executing a swing with the long putter. So off with its head!

Well a quick look back shows this putter has been around for decades but only since Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els won on tour with the broom handle has the debate about its use heated up.

The governing bodies clear their collective throats, look annoyed and state those wins have nothing to do with what they are contemplating.

But if the integrity is at the centre, why wait so long to make a move on changing the rule? As for the perceived advantage, the PGA stats show no such thing.

In 2012, the strokes gained category, a main measuring stick for putting, showed no belly putters in the top 12 players.

In the average putts per round category, once again no belly putter players in the top 12.

If the ruling bodies stick to their guns then it will be interesting to see what the PGA Tour does in response and that is a whole other mess.

The saga will continue for a little while longer with a decision to be made in late spring but a showdown is looming as one side or the other has to blink.

Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!

Just Posted

Alberta Election called for April 16th

Upcoming election will be about who is fit to be Premier, says Notley

Red Deer athletes qualify for Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru

The official Pan American Games will be held from July 26th to Aug. 11th

Local youngsters lend a helping hand to the Red Deer Hospital

First Steps and Beyond School students donate to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Red Deer RCMP arrest man during break and enter in progress

RCMP found two males in the parking garage attempting to steal a vehicle

Red Deer RCMP announce new Officer in Charge

Grobmeier has 26 years of service with the RCMP where he has moved through the ranks across Canada

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Fought to unite Alberta conservatives: Former MP Kenney ready to run for premier

Kenney, 50, was born in Oakville, Ont., raised in Saskatchewan, and spent his adult years in Alberta

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley wants chance to ‘finish that job’

Notley, 54, is the daughter of the late Grant Notley, who led the NDP from 1968 to 1984

PHOTOS: Massive fire at Wetaskiwin’s Rigger’s Hotel

Multiple fire departments involved, building badly damaged

Alberta government announces further easing of oil production restrictions

The government said it will continue to monitor the market and its response to the increases

Trudeau condemns hateful, ‘toxic segments’ of society after New Zealand shooting

Prime Minister expressed sorrow at the many attacks in recent years

Air Canada grounds its Boeing Max 8s until at least July 1 to provide certainty

Airlines around the world have been working to redeploy their fleets since their Max 8s were grounded last week

Budget to tout Liberal economic record, provide distraction from SNC furor

This is the Liberal government’s fourth and final budget before the election

Notley’s government puts priority on health care in throne speech

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell kicked off the legislature session

Most Read