TIGER WOODS has come out against long putters saying he’s “never been a fan”.
On the eve of his return to the 2012 US PGA Tour at Pebble Beach this week Woods said he had been talking to golf powerbrokers in recent times about the increasingly popular belly and broomstick putters.
If such a ban were put in place one of the first casualties would be Australia’s Adam Scott, who has revitalised his career since switching to a broomstick putter early last year.
Young American Keegan Bradley really bought the issue to a head when he used a belly putter to win a major, the 2012 PGA Championship, and they seem to have become all the rage with other “younger” players such as Bill Haas and Webb Simpson and who have wielded them to great success.
The long putters seem to have been regarded as okay by many when they were only being used by a smattering of (mainly) older golfers – Australia’s Peter Senior for example – but now many are clamouring for a stand to be taken.
“My idea was to have it so that the putter would be equal to or less than the shortest club in your bag,” Woods said this week. “And I think with that, we’d be able to get away from any type of belly anchoring.
“I believe it’s (putting) the art of controlling the body and club and swinging the pendulum motion. That’s how it should be played. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to that.”
Golf’s rule makers, the R&A and US Golf Association, say they are reviewing the issue.
“If you look back at the interest in it, it really never changed for over 20 years,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said on the weekend.
“Then all of a sudden in 2011 … this has become a much bigger topic. So the R&A and USGA have been talking about this at length.”
“It is something that we have taken a fresh look at, because there are more players in the game, both on the elite level and on the recreational level, using it,” Davis said.
“I think we just want to be sure that we’re looking at all the angles and thinking about what is in the best interest, both the traditions of the game, the history of the game and what is what we think would be good for the game long term.”