RookieBlue7, on 08 February 2012 - 02:10 PM, said:
T, they're not telling them they can't use the $200 putter that they just bought. That's the thing. The $200, $10,000, or $10 putter they just bought will still be legal. The method in which it can be used is all that is being talked about.
I'm not attacking anyone, as I know you were taking a shot at me. Historically, and in product discussion, teaching discussion, etc who have long putters (belly and broomstick) been targeted at? Poor putters. Who on the PGA Tour has turned to them? Again, poor putters. That's why I keep saying that's who they're aimed at. That's not aggression, that's from persons that teach it, who discuss it in the golf media, and what the manufacturers have aimed their product at.
The point I'm trying to make in this is that they're not going to tell anyone that they can't use the product. That's never been the discussion from my behalf, not what the USGA and R&A are discussing. The only point they're discussing is the methodology in which the putter can be used.
As far as the groove roll back, driver resizing, shaft technology, etc. None of those technological advancements have fundamentally changed the way the club is swung.
I've asked time and time again and have yet to get an answer from anyone to the question. Why does the putter need to be anchored to be effective? Why does the putter have to be anchored to even be used? How does anchoring alleviate the disability factor that is brought up at times? Is the disability not related to posture? Does not anchoring change the manner in which the putter will be used in regards to posture? How does anchoring a putter alleviate back, knee, joint, whatever pain?
Again, no one will say why anchoring makes the putter either usable or not usable. Is it a prerequisite to use this type of putter that it MUST be anchored?
I would simply ask, fundamentally, why does it matter how a club is swung. As far as I know, there's know current rule that makes a distinction between how different clubs in the bag can be swung. And while I realize any anchoring rule would be all-encompassing, would anybody be bent out of shape if I chose to anchor my driver...you know, to keep my swing on plane.
How long before someone decides James Lepp's saucer pass swing provides an unfair advantage around the greens (I know...it's not anchoring)? Point is, there are about 100 other things the USGA and R&A could be focusing on that would actually improve (and grow the game). Wasting time on how a club should be held (again, where the numbers suggest there is no actual advantage gained) is silly.
As for the impact on equipment purchases...you can spin it anyway you want, but I don't think you'd find many who would seriously argue that belly putters aren't designed to be anchored to the belly. Telling a guy he can't use his club as designed, might be worse than telling him he can't use it all.
The distinction between Belly Putters and long putters is an important one. I would maintain that with long putters, the hand is anchored to the body, not the club. Creating a definition of "anchoring" that tippy toes around the subtleties of it is difficult...and you'll have to deal with guys phoning in even more penalties (why does the PGA even answer the phone?).
The only way to do it would be the Tiger way, but then you'll end up with decisions for the rule to deal with situations like player breaks his putter, can he then putt with a hybrid, or must he use a wedge because anything else would exceed the length limitations.
At the end of the day, there's no statistical evidence to support the perception that people putt better with belly putters (and it's certainly not a universal truth). It's just not anything I think is worth pursuing.