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I know this has been debated before, but I'm rehashing it anyway in hopes of getting actual statistics to show whether or not anchored putters should be allowed on the PGA tour and/or if most amateurs would be better off switching to an anchored putter.

 

 

We saw two things during the open, a person playing an anchored putter who won, and a person playing an anchored putter who collapsed. I don't think there's a huge amount of argument as to whether either of these guys would be in the top without using an anchored putter though. In the end, it was their ball striking that won the tournament. OTH, we have stories of people like Phil who gave the anchored putter an earnest try, but it didn't work for him, not that anything worked for him this past weekend :).

 

Here are stats from the British Open:

 

http://scores.theopen.com/en/Leaderboard.aspx#t_stats

 

GIR: Els (1st: 79.17%), Scott (T11: 68.06%), Snedeker (T6: 69.44%), Woods (T26: 63.89%)

 

Greens Under Regulation: Els (T41: 0), Scott (1st: 5), Snedeker (T8: 1), Woods (T41: 0)

 

Fairways Hit: Els (T43: 62.50%), Scott (T17: 69.64%), Snedeker (T59, 57.14%), Woods (2: 82.14%)

 

Lowest Putting Average: Els (T112: 30.5), Scott (T91: 30), Snedeker (T20: 28.25), Woods (T20: 28.25)

 

-- Putt for show, drive for dough? :)

 

 

So my questions are:

 

1) Would an anchored putter make *everyone* better? Why?

 

2) If not, why does it only work for a small subset of people?

 

3) Are these people actually better putters as a whole than PGA pros who use standard putters? Are the top ten putters from each group distinguishable from each other?

 

4) Should anchored putters be banned? Should most amateurs use the anchored putter?

 

5) Should the putter be excluded from the drop rule?

 

I haven't had a chance to look up the statistics, but considering both Scott and Els are not known for their putting skills, now or anytime this year, I don't see the anchored putter as any sort of overall advantage, but rather as another custom fitting option. However, there is the argument that these particular players have an advantage because with a standard putter they are not as good.

 

I'm on the fence, but would love to hear how the MGS community responds to the questions.

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Trying as we speak to get some data from the PGA Tour on anchored putters (vs) non-anchored putters. Lots of people talking about it out there and debating it although the data is where the rubber meets the road.

 

I will update you guys when I hear back from them.


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1) Would an anchored putter make *everyone* better? Why?

Well let me answer this question with an explanation of putter fittings.

 

When I got fitted for my putter then last time I didn't even have a club in my hands. A ball was set down on the ground and a ruler placed in front of the ball I was asked to stand perfectly upright and close to the line of play represented by the ruler then slowly work my way out away from the ball with my feet increasing my spine tilt from my hips until I visually felt natural in my muscles to see the line of the putt.

 

I then was asked to allow my arms to hang down naturally and get my shoulders into a position that I might grip the club in. They then measured my left wrist to the line of play / ball. That is my optional putter length if the putter is cut off at my left wrist. Everyone can do this same process and find and optimal posture and putter length that fits them that is not a long putter and gets cut off at the wrist.

 

Now, if you extend that posture and position to anchor to the body somewhere all that has done to have a anchored point for the putter to swing on a pendulum easier without having the arms and body do weird things to the path of the putter. From what I know about putting from working with Burnt Edges Consulting the more of an upright posture you have the more SBST it appears to be. Ernie Els happens to have a SBST fetish where he used to putt almost exactly like he was setting up with a 7iron now he is way more upright and closer to the ball with the long putter.

 

Can everyone fit into some kind of long putter, absolutely. However, the flip side of the coin is also true, everyone can still fit into a putter that is cut off at the top hand.

 

 

2) If not, why does it only work for a small subset of people?

 

It probably got them into a better posture position to see the line of play at address to aim the face better or in some way stabilized their stroke from the "yips" or even stabilizing them from getting the "yips" under pressure.

 

 

3) Are these people actually better putters as a whole than PGA pros who use standard putters? Are the top ten putters from each group distinguishable from each other?

Well if you look at the win records this year I am pretty sure more long putters have come away with wins that I can recall off top of my head, that could be wrong. I'd have to see the stats to answer these two questions without any doubt in my mind.

 

4) Should anchored putters be banned? Should most amateurs use the anchored putter?

Yes for the above reasons noted in properly fitting a putter to a persons natural posture and visual perception of the line. Everyone can fit into a short putter and it is more likely to bring the nervous energy "yips" back into the equation at the top level of play. Most people that don't play tournaments won't change anyways if it is banned.

 

5) Should the putter be excluded from the drop rule?

 

I am going to interpret this as the taking relief and 1 / 2 club lengths from the Nearest Point of Relief. I have never even seen anyone with a putter longer then their driver use the putter top get this distance before, I'm not sure that it would be illegal so to speak but it pretty shady if the putter is over 48" in playing length.

 

Even when someone has a 45.50" driver versus say a 44.50" driver they really are not getting much of an advantage in area to be able to drop.I mean 1" per club length and you have to make sure that the ball lands inside the lengths allowed, most guys drop 2 or 3" inside the line anyways unless getting close to it give some advantage of a lie.

 

I never really thought about this as a way to manipulate that rule as I have a traditional length putter.


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You shouldnt be able to anchor a club to your body. Period. The reason why both Scott and Els went to long putters is because they had problems with their putting stroke and by anchoring the putter to their body is smooths out their stroke.


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My person feeling is any putter that is anchored to the body should be banned. I feel it's just not in the spirit of the game! Everyone always talks about this game being one of the only games with integrity left in it and the only game where guys call penalties on themselves. But anchoring a putter has to feel like cheating to a guy who can't seem to nerves in check. I realize there are two sides to every story but I just feel putting is a skill with in itself and when you anchor the putter to your body you are not playing the game as it was intended to be played. Emotion and nerves are part of the game and if you can't keep them in check it shows up most in putting in my opinion. Having the putter anchored to the body just seems to take away from the purity of the game!


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So is the rational emotional/sentimental for getting rid of the anchored putters? Because if that's the case we might as well go back to persimmon woods. As a slight aside, many clubs from the 1900s would be considered illegal by today's rules, but traditionalists only remember so far back...

 

The justification I always hear is it makes people better. Obviously or they wouldn't use it. I agree with TW if it's used to calm nerves then I'm all for it being banned, but as long as it still requires skill to use, I see no reason to get rid of it. Also, if it were to help with nerves, please explain Scott's utter collapse.

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Help doesn't mean eliminate.


I laught at your claims to fight a zombie apocalypse when most of you can't stand up to a Spider

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So is the rational emotional/sentimental for getting rid of the anchored putters? Because if that's the case we might as well go back to persimmon woods. As a slight aside, many clubs from the 1900s would be considered illegal by today's rules, but traditionalists only remember so far back...

 

The justification I always hear is it makes people better. Obviously or they wouldn't use it. I agree with TW if it's used to calm nerves then I'm all for it being banned, but as long as it still requires skill to use, I see no reason to get rid of it. Also, if it were to help with nerves, please explain Scott's utter collapse.

 

Unless you are putting one handed if you have both hands on a "conventional" putter then you have 6 joints that might move and cause inconsistencies. (2 shoulder joints, 2 elbow joints, 2 wrist joints) you have to make all those stable to make a consistent repeatable stroke. To get the closest to a Pendulum you would need to rock the shoulders looking the wrists and elbows out completely.

 

Now the Belly putter anchored in the center of the body acts as a reminder to rock the shoulders only, if the wrist break down, elbows break down the shaft is going to push into your belly hard. It is a great training aid for feel of you wrists and elbows not moving and making a shoulder rock for a pendulum. This is how most people end up playing with one they use it in practice and then just want to use it in play instead of going back.

 

The broom stick / neck putter gets a single pivot point, which is the point the shaft is pushed up against the chest. You take out the shoulders the elbows, the wrists completely in this stroke. All you have to do is get the shaft into the same spot repeatably and dedicate the amount of distance away from the ball and drop the lower hand off the weight of the putter does the work. The only way you can really miss with this putting style is to steer the head with the lower hand. It doesn't take much skill at all to put this way.

 

The last type of anchored putter that I can think of that is popular is the forearm anchor. it is longer then needed but part of the grip rests against the lead forearm, that stabilizes the wrists from breaking down only. Just have to make sure hte shaft sits against your forearm and make the stroke. Now I really don't know where lead hand low (Padraig style) the trialling hand knuckles rest up against the lead arms forearm and is basically like having an anchor reminder. of a forearm anchor. These i don't think bug me as much because the wrists are the easiest things to stabilize in the stroke anyways you can still screw it up easy enough in other places.

 

 

 

I personally don't mind forearm putters, lead hand low putting grip, The big a$$ putter grips on putters (super stroke) all these do is to help someone stabilize the wrists others errors in the stroke still appear pretty easily.

 

 

So it comes down to the fact that a anchored belly and broom stick is an advantage for the people using them, it does take some practice to get use to but in the end is a lot easier to replicate under pressure as a lot less parts can break down causing "yips". It really doesn't have to do with "tradition" of the game at all for me it has to do with how the stroke works, you can't build a stance in a full swing for support, why the hell can you do it in putting that is what you are doing building a more stable stance / stroke by the anchor.

 

Adam Scott feel apart because he steered the pendulum, where the rest of the week he just let it swing. All he had to do was drop that right hand off the putter and probably would have made at least one putt in the last 4 holes for par.

 

 

It makes me sad to see that anchored putters have become so popular maybe that is because they will make a terrible putter with the "conventional" length a good one again. Look at the people that are using them currently 99% of them started on tour with a "conventional" they looked to the anchor as a way to quick fix their strokes.


KZG VC-420 ML (10.5* Loft & 0.2* Open Face Angle) @ 44.50" (2" Bore Depth) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 Stiff

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Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 60-10 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Lamkin UTX Wrap, Including Grip Core: 1/32 over (top hand), 1/16 over (bottom hand)

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Golf Swing & Putting -- Bruce Rearick (Burnt Edges Consulting)

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Unless you are putting one handed if you have both hands on a "conventional" putter then you have 6 joints that might move and cause inconsistencies. (2 shoulder joints, 2 elbow joints, 2 wrist joints) you have to make all those stable to make a consistent repeatable stroke. To get the closest to a Pendulum you would need to rock the shoulders looking the wrists and elbows out completely.

 

Sounds complex, but that's why I want to see the numbers. On paper, you're absolutely right that it makes a bad putter a good putter, but so does changing how you place your hands, your grip type, changing the size of your grip, going to a high MOI head, using the SeeMore alignment thingy, using certain offsets, etc... For me, I hated using the anchored because it felt restrictive and took away feel. I'm by no means a great putter, but I haven't seen a single reason for me to switch to an anchored putter because it'll magically make me better anymore than these other changes might.

 

We hear a lot about guys who switched to the anchored putter, but for the most part, they win through their ball striking. Other than Phil, we don't hear much about players who tried the belly and went back because that would screw up this debate the media loves to have.

 

I looked at the PGA tour stats for overall putting a while back and there were zero anchored putters in the top group. I'll try to dig up those numbers tomorrow if I can. But as I've said before, if the numbers show there is an advantage, then it should be made illegal, I just haven't seen that stat yet.

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I use a 34" putter. Lately, I've been thinking about possibly using a belly putter down the road. For me, it helps automate the stroke a bit. I have an issue with going outside-to-in on my putting stroke. Some days it's not a bother, some days it is.

 

Still, I value speed/touch with putting over all else. Speed/touch essentially is the biggest determinent in your odds of making a putt. The right speed optimizes the effective size of the cup. Less than optimal speed minimizes the effective size of the cup.

 

Then I'm worried about aim.

 

So to me, carrying a belly or long putter doesn't take the skill out of putting because if you have bad aim, bad touch and can't read greens...you won't putt better.

 

As far as my statistical research on Tour, using the metric Putts Gained...the long putter has shown to help golfers putting. But, it usually takes 3-4 years of uninterrupted long putter use to see it come into effect. As much as people rave about Adam Scott and the long putter, he really hasn't putted very well with it outside of a few tournaments. However, historically it shows if he sticks with it for about 2 more years, he'll return to being a very good putter again. Still, I think it may help with yips and confidence.s He still has to be able to read putts, aim, make good contact, have good speed, etc.

 

There's not enough of a sample size with the belly putter, but the improvement on Tour hasn't really been there. I think it's because they are getting better belly putter technology. Still, I need one that I can aim accurate and feel like I can have the right feel and touch with before I go and get one myself.

 

 

 

 

 

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As far as my statistical research on Tour, using the metric Putts Gained...the long putter has shown to help golfers putting. But, it usually takes 3-4 years of uninterrupted long putter use to see it come into effect. As much as people rave about Adam Scott and the long putter, he really hasn't putted very well with it outside of a few tournaments. However, historically it shows if he sticks with it for about 2 more years, he'll return to being a very good putter again. Still, I think it may help with yips and confidence.s He still has to be able to read putts, aim, make good contact, have good speed, etc.

 

Great, this is what I was digging for. What would be interesting is to analyze the trend of improvement with a switch to an anchored putter against a trend in improvement of a switch of other changes you can make to a putter. For example, does switching to a bigger grip also show this improvement, does switching putter styles help?

 

I'd like to see the numbers, but if history shows a trend with anyone switching to an anchored putter and improving after two years across a significant amount of players, then it needs to be banned. What I hope the USGA/R&A don't repeat is the groove rule where they decided changing the depth of the grooves would immediately put a greater emphasis on driving accuracy, which afaik, it didn't.

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I have been waiting for this to come up.

 

I have been putting really well lately, as a matter of fact I shot even par yesterday and today. Yesterday, I had one birdie, one bogey the rest pars. Today, one double bogey, one eagle, one birdie and one bogey. The only changes in the bag was yesterday I used a belly putter and a 64* wedge. Today was a standard putter and a 3 metal. I had basically the same number of putts both days. I did not like the grip on my short putter so I switched to the belly while I was waiting for it to come in. It came in today so I slapped it on and played with it today. The greens were verti-cut and sanded yesterday so many putts that I would normally have made did not go in.

 

 

1) Would an anchored putter make *everyone* better? Why?

 

No. An anchored putter will not help every one. The reason is putting is all about feel. If you are not comfortable you will not putt well.

 

2) If not, why does it only work for a small subset of people?

 

It all comes down to what makes you more comfortable and confident. I know personally with the long putter it makes me more mechanical. I find a spot just in front of my ball, line up with that and make the putt. With the short putter it is much more of a feel and more instinct style putting. I make considerably more long putts with the short putter than the longer putters. Having said that, I do not miss with the long putter as badly as I do with the short putter.

 

3) Are these people actually better putters as a whole than PGA pros who use standard putters? Are the top ten putters from each group distinguishable from each other?

 

For the most part it is only tried by people who have or have had problems putting or bending over to putt. They had a problem the tried the longer putter and it worked for them. Others, Phil, Tiger, and I dare say every professional golfer, has tried the long putter to see if it fit them. They are fools if they have not because everyone misses putts that they should, or at least think they should, make. At some point they have picked one up and either loved it or hated it.

 

4) Should anchored putters be banned? Should most amateurs use the anchored putter?

 

How can it be banned? They have been legal for longer than fairway woods have been metal. There have been numerous tournament winners on every tour including majors for years. I do not know all the statistics but I do know Orville Moody, who's only win on the PGA Tour was the 1969 US Open, turned 50 in 1984. He adopted the broomstick putter and went on to win 11 Senior events including the 1989 Senior US Open. Three of the last four majors or maybe even more have been won. To make them illegal now would be like vacating those wins.

 

Should amateurs use them? if it make them putt better yes.

 

5) Should the putter be excluded from the drop rule?

 

Drop rule? Do you mean 2 club lengths, meaning a 48" putter give a player an advantage because they carry a club that is 48" vs the 46" long driver. Horse hockey! It is still no closer to the hole, what difference does the 2 or 4 inches make in terms of side to side.


 

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Well if you look at the win records this year I am pretty sure more long putters have come away with wins that I can recall off top of my head, that could be wrong. I'd have to see the stats to answer these two questions without any doubt in my mind.

 

 

 

By my count we have had 33 events this year. There have been 4 winner using long putters. 12% of the winners have had long putters. There may be one or two more but they are people that I do not know by sight and do not recall what putter they used. But even if I missed two that is only 18%.

 

Those that have won using the long putter and their rank in total putting stats for the season are Dustin Johnson 81st, Bill Hass 142nd, Webb Simpson 44th, and Ernie Els 39th.

 

Perhaps the reason for the increased number of winners with the long putter has more to do with the increased number of professionals using them rather than some mystical power that anchoring the putter to you body gives you. The fact that these same players are amoung the better ball strikers on tour might have something to do with them winning also.

 

We did not exactly witness Adams Scott's long putter helping him hold the lead. And he even has the great Steve Williams as his caddie. You would think the combination of those two things would have ensured his win. They should have called it after nine holes on Sunday, the TV announcer's did. I distinctly remember them saying Adam Scott had one hand on the trophy. I said, he better put both hands on his putter because this ain't over. And the guys at the bar said, he was playing too well to lose. Ha.


 

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While I think Pelz is definitely a better source than certain others, I also tend to think that he spends way too much time smelling himself and that his "findings" are often self serving. Most importantly, I would like to know how he can show the cause of a missed put.

 

Even if we accept what Pelz says, I have personally found that long and belly putters make my hands much more apt to steer the ball and twist the head one way or the other.

 

Until the data and the results show that it's an unfair advantage, I'm disinclined to take the long putters away from people.


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Unless you are putting one handed ...

 

 

Wait a minute, you should not be allowed to putt one handed, according to the logic put forth by the "purist". Just as no other club is anchored to your body, no other clubs are swung one handed. If you eliminate the anchored putter on the basis that the golf swing is intended to be swung with both hands only, than you must also make putting one handed illegal. That means if you have a two inch tap in and would walk up and tap it in while holding the putter in just one hand, since that is not the way golf was "intended" it should be illegal.

 

A quick aside about what was intended with the golf swing, we really have no idea about what was intended by the golf swing. Since no videos exists and I have never seen anything in writing that how the golf club was intended to be swung. King James IV (1473-1513) is the first recorded golfer. He decided that the threat of war had subsided enough that he lifted the long standing ban on playing golf in 1502. It is recorded is that he purchased 12 golf balls and and a number of golf clubs from a Perth Scotland bow maker. The rules for golf as we know it were not written until 1744. At no time did they mention how the club should be held or swung. Nor did they attempt to limit technology.

 

I think that if we took Adam Scott back in time to King James IV with his bag of equipment, he would not say too much about the long putter compared to the rest of the equipment, and the swing, and shoes etc... Also he was such a club ho, he would probably trade Adam Scott half of Scotland for his clubs. All we would have to do is add a t. Scottland.:P

 

I will also add this. On rough greens, a ball hit with a short popping stroke tends to hold its line better than one with a long smooth stroke. On smooth greens a longer smoother stroke works best. This is why in Arnold Palmer's and Jack Nichlaus' day they used the shorter stroke and why modern putters use the longer smoother stroke. The anchored putter keeps you from making a short popping stroke, so it could be an advantage on PGA type greens. Having never putted on them I could not say for sure.


 

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Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

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I personally don't mind forearm putters, lead hand low putting grip, The big a$$ putter grips on putters (super stroke) all these do is to help someone stabilize the wrists others errors in the stroke still appear pretty easily.

 

I don't get this logic, why is it OK to remove 1/3 of the hinge points (wrists), whereas it's not OK to remove another 1/3 (elbows)?

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The big argument against the anchored belly putter is that biomechanically there are six degrees of freedom in the golf swing: hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist & knees and use of the belly putter effectively eliminates three of them(hands, wrist & elbows)....

 

 

I do not buy into the arguement that it eliminates the hands, wrists, and elbows. I use these no matter what putter I am using. I have noticed that Adam Scott really rotates his shoulders when he putts. He does take the three out of the equation, however, this is not the way I putt. I still use these.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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I'm opposed to anchoring (and long putters) mostly because it is not the traditional way to putt. But if this was outlawed tomorrow, I think all the pros currently using them would transition to the standard length putter without much difficulty. They are all professionals who know how to read greens. They know how to visualize the ball rolling to the hole. They know how to execute under pressure. Those skills are much more important than the mechanics of swinging a putter. If they were forced to change, they would find a way to make it work with a standard putter.

 

Everyone thinks Adam Scott's putting improved dramatically. But if you look at his stats, he is still ranked 161st inside 5 feet. His only really good stat is from 10 to 15 feet where he ranks 2nd. Ernie is just an average putter no matter what putter he uses. I think this would be just like the grooves rule... implement the ban and one year later it will be a non-issue. Yes there may be lawsuits from a few disgruntled individuals, but the Keegan Bradley's, Webb Simpson's and other successful players would learn to putt just as well with whatever is deemed legal.

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I think that ultimately this is much ado about nothing. The reason that more players are winning with long putters is because more people are playing with long putters. I believe that there is no statistical advantage for long putters over short putters. However, some people simply prefer them for whatever reason. Therefore, they will vote not to ban them because to ban them on tour would mean to ban them for amateurs. This would lead to a revolt where the USGA and the R&A would lose face.

 

They changed the groove rules and it only took the manufacturers a couple of years to make something almost as good. Not only that the statistics do not prove that it did anything other than pissoff a bunch of amateur golfers.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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The thing that has always bugged me about this discussion is the statement that the anchored putter gives someone an "advantage". This is inaccurate. An anchored putter is available to everyone, therefore, there is no advantage. If someone thinks it is superior, why on earth would they choose not to use it.

 

The other thing is that the broomsticks are not "anchored" in the sense that belly putters are anchored. The broomstick rests in the hands only. The arms might be pressed to the chest, but the putter itself is not anchored in any way to the body.


Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
Adams XTD Super Hybrid 15* - Stock Fubuki S
Adams DHY 21* - Stock Matrix Ozik White Tie S
Mizuno MP58 4-8 Irons - Fujikura MCI 100 S
SCOR 42,46,50,54,58* - SCOR/KBS Genius S
STX Robert Ingman Envision TR 35", Iomic grip

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