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“Nobody can tell me how Sam Snead’s croquet (putting style) illegal, and then tell me (the belly putter) is legal.”

Rex Hoggard catches up with Dave Stockton during his book tour stop at Golf Channel headquarters and asks about the belly putter.

“(Mickelson) is only going to get better at doing it. He’s got the eyes, he’s got the feel,” Stockton says. “With it anchored like that you’re only going to repeat (the stroke).”

To be clear, Stockton has no plans to convert to a long putter, nor would he advise one of his students to try one, at least not from the outset. In fact, he’s still not sure the long putter’s use should be legal, at least at the highest level.

“I’m old school. I don’t understand how you can anchor it on your body,” he says. “Nobody can tell me how Sam Snead’s croquet (putting style), where nothing is connected but just because you’re straddling your line is illegal, and then tell me (the belly putter) is legal.”

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Reader Comments (13)

Sam Snead was ruled out of bounds because the Blue Blazers and Bucket Hats of the USGA thought it looked bad. Given their history, a good counterfactual case can be made that another player, say a Texan born in the same year as Sam Snead, would have been given a pass.
Valid point made, Ky. I don't think the long putter is a problem, though. It looks tacky, but if the faces of the PGA, i.e. Adam Scott, are using it, the PGA won't say anything. And they shouldn't. Adam Scott is a bro and the PGA benefits from him doing well.
Anything that looks bad, is not good for the game of golf.
09.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSquire
golf has a long history, i.e. the 19th century, of banning stuff that makes the game like croquet, billiards or other games. the shaft goes into the clubhead at an angle for this reason.

the belly putter helps older people and adam scott to play the game. leave it alone.
09.16.2011 | Unregistered Commentersmails
They would ban it but they are still scared of Ping's lawyers after the six pack of whoop butt they opened on them last time.
09.16.2011 | Unregistered Commentercalvin coolidge
ANything that looks bad is good for the game. Especially when the game depends on overweight white guys in khakis with pleats!
09.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolden Caulfield
Key difference is that Snead didn't anchor the club...he still held the putter in his hands. Maybe that straddle-type posture made some southern blue bloods blush.

How they can allow jamming a club into the body to create a solid hinge for the club to swing under is beyond my understanding. It's a shame that golf holds onto the premise that "everybody plays by the same rules" when in reality the game we watch on TV is different from what most of the golfing population the world over does every weekend. Pros have TIO's, one ball rules, groove specs, galleries tramping around, and whatever custom built clubs they want made to order!

Let the pro leagues set their own solved the problem handily regarding bats. Golf could do the same with no adverse effects.
09.17.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz

Are you saying that you want the TOUR(s) to write their own rules and that you would expect them to ban anchored-putting if they did take on that rules-writing role?
09.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTed Mitchell
The long anchored (crutch) ''putter'' is legal because the blue blazer bucket hats did not want to make a club the sitting POTUS was using ilegal. It was not anyting to do with Dem or GOP, it was simply that it would have embarassed the POTUS, and again, this is verifiable from article(s) of the day. as they say,''You can look it up''.

If it is not a genuine advantage, how do so many POOR putters end up kicking ass with the crutch? How? because they now have a clear advantage, one that need to be halted now. If the can make a dumb ass move like the ''groove'' issue, then they need to show some intelligence by bnning the anchoring, or someone will figure out a way to apply it to drivers, and Corey Pavin will end up winning long drive contests.

09.17.2011 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
The lack of change regarding anchoring had nothing to do with the use of a long putter by a POTUS sitting or past.

Once upon a time you (digsouth) read an article containing baseless conjecture and you took it as gospel.
09.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Hayes
Which POOR putters are "kicking ass with the crutch"?

Is Keegan Bradley one of them? His stats (below) are rather unimpressive.

Strokes Gained - Putting .087 89th -
Putting from Inside 5' 96.95% 43rd age - Insi - 982 de 5' - 952
Putting from 5-10' 53.31% 144th age - 5-10 - 302 ' - 161
Putting from - 10-15' 29.25% 88th ' - 212 -
Putting from - 15-20' 21.80% 41st ' - 133 -
Putting from - 20-25' 13.00% 71st ' - 100 -
Putting from - > 25' 3.50% 173rd - -
Putting from 5-15' 43.39% 144th - -
Putting from 15-25' 18.03% 46th ' - 233 -
Putting from 3-5' 88.74% 49th - -
09.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTed Mitchell
POTUS wants to tax the Scotty Cameron broomstick users so other not so fortunate broomstick wannabe users can use a broomstick, got it?
I wish PGA would vindicate & bring back SAMs putter! It would take a lot of misery out of putting.

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