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Tuesday
Nov132012

GMac: USGA Has Research To Back Anchoring Ban

Mark Hayes in the Herald Sun with the revelation from former U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell regarding the governing bodies and their research into belly putterers.

"They're convinced the research has shown that under pressure on a Sunday afternoon the long putter just kind of takes one extraneous movement out of the putting stroke," McDowell said at Kingston Heath.

"It just makes it physically easier to stroke the putter when the nerves are there (and) I think we should be levelling the playing field (by banning it).

"I think it's probably something they're disappointed in themselves that it's got to this point. They probably should have nipped it in the bud many, many years ago."

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Reader Comments (28)

yep.
11.13.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Tell that to Adam Scott
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDules
I am now a huge G-mac fan!
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Dules,

that is a silly argument. Just because Tiger and Phil still hit it all over the place doesn't mean new drivers haven't been easier to hit
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
Adam Scott won 15+ tournaments with short one and 1 with long one. Why is he still persisting with it - let alone protesting at a ban?
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
I guess there is no nerves in bombing a driver 320 into the rough and wedging it onto the green somewhere. The only nerves some when putting. Tell that to Rory when he nailed the Butler Cabin or Ocoa when she topped into the water at cherry hills.
11.13.2012 | Unregistered Commentermark
I'll take controlling the ball over banning some putter. Next...
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPHK
This notion of "evidence' sounds like absolute B.S..
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Clayman
This isn't evidence. There are data that have been presented, the analysis of which can be used to support the hypothesis that anchoring helps. One can also look at other data from the same time period to support that anchoring does not assist.

Personally, I'd rather see an objective review of driving distance and juiced balls. That's an easy study to perform using robotic swing machines in laboratory conditions. The powers that be avoid this at all costs though.
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
Ban the tee to fix the game
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
Adam Scott contended at a major with a short putter what once? And and 5 times with the long one. That's your answer Mike.
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUnderTheChin
Duh
11.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
You don't need evidence just common sense to realise that a pair of hands steadied by an anchored club is going to provide an unfair advantage over the player who has no 'outside agency' to help him make a smooth stroke under the severest pressure.

Still, for the benefit of the stat nerds, chew on this: 3 out of the last 5 majors have been won by players using a belly putter. Is anymore "evidence" really needed?
A look at those using bully/long putters in the top 25 putting stat ranks reveals not many using them (2 as far as I can tell) Is anymore "Evidence" really needed?
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUnderTheChin
C-and-C,

What are the statistics for winning tournaments year-round, not just majors? Additionally, how about top 10 finishes for traditional vs. belly putters?

Using your look at statistics, I could say that 4 of the last 6 Presidential elections in the US went to the Democrats, therefore all elections are heavily favored by Democrats. Not true for that, not necessarily true for your argument, either. I'm just trying to draw an analogy.

Seriously, I find it fascinating that perhaps the single least damaging innovation in the sport is facing a ban. Yet, classic courses are becoming or have become obsolete due to changes in the ball and clubs. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it is EASY to test and quantify the effects of these clubs and balls on distance and accuracy. How I wish I was back in academia and not in the consulting world right now. I would snag a grant somehow to run a very straightforward study of driving distances using a single driver as the standard, testing a range of balls from the last several years and representing a range of construction designs. THAT is easy to do, yet the Powers That Be drag their heels on it.

Ultimately, I'm surprised that the Powers That Be want to ban the belly putter. It brings more people into the game, and it is a good and growing (it seems) revenue stream for equipment manufacturers. Why take that away? I know, I know. There are many of you sitting at the computer in your plus-fours screaming in horror at the offense that belly putting is to ..The Game (pause to genuflect)...Do you want people to enjoy the game or be drawn away? That's a fairly easy question, and I'd love to see it answered without qualifications.
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
If everyone can use the belly putter what is the problem?
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuffett
The problem, I'd guess is that the long putter isn't a golf stroke. It takes skill and nerve to use a golf club. The putter souldn't be achored, just like any other club. But, the long putter allows the player to anchor it, therefore, taking out some of the nerve factor. You could say, it is like using a training aid when you play. Or, someone lining you up and staying there as you hit the shot. It is assistance.
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
UnderTheChin,

I really hope your comment wasn't meant to be serious?
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStord
seems like too many people disagree with banning anchoring solely on the fact they believe the ball and longer distances should take precedent. while i agree the bigger issue is distance, that doesn't mean banning anchoring should be ignored.

if anything, the argument that they've allowed it for so long so they should continue to allow will only get stronger if they don't do something about it now, or risk a much higher percentage of amateurs and future major champions having won with the anchor while making a future ban even harder.
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
Pete the L- the belly/long putter hasn't brought one single player into the game.It has however stopped a tiny minority from giving up.
Changing strokes from that used with a short putter to the long one is quite tricky and takes time-most people can't be bothered and good putters dont really need to.
If you have never developed a short putter stroke then learning to putt with a belly putter is easy and very effective-but it is not a proper stroke.
For once the Rules makers are looking to the future because this will escalate-I think this time they should be applauded.
Yes drivers and the ball are a bigger problem at the moment but I see no reason why we should continue to let anchoring 'slip through the net' because of that.
Fixed Point/Anchor Point = Fixed Axis Under a Fulcrum = More Mechanical Help = Teaching Aide and/or Crutch!

If they could come up with a 5 min scan test for the (useless) groove rule a few years back...and they did. Then I'm sure figuring out how more stable an anchored putter is versus a regular putter can't be THAT hard or out the of realm of possibility via MOI tests.
11.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
always liked GMAC
11.14.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmiledoc
Charlie, Walkie talkie banks, said it well.Couldn't agree more.
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
The Belly putter isn't bringing more people into the game, comments like that are absurd.
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterViz
I'll buy that belly putting isn't bringing people into the game, sure. I do believe that it may be providing something to keep people playing or playing more often than otherwise. We could argue all day about how the new balls keep number of rounds stable/up, same with any other equipment.

At the end of the day, there are bigger issues than this. I think it is more important to focus on the core issues affecting the game rather than salivating at this tertiary issue's potential address. In my mind, it's a red herring meant to distract from the other issues that are out of hand.

Just my 2 cents worth....
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
Pete, I leave stat-gazing to the nerds. Purely from observing the game, there are still comparatively few pros on the various main tours who use the belly putter and yet, three of them have each won a major in the course of the last two years.

Perhaps the governing bodies should have foreseen several decades ago that a non yippy pro would some day put pride and self-respect to one side and use an implement designed purely for the yippers market. Nevertheless, I think it's time they were cut a bit of slack because the reason they did turn a blind eye was to allow yip-afflicted golfers the opportunity to extend their enjoyment of the game. If you want to have a go then have a go at so-called professional golfers who've created this crises because if it hadn't been for them, I daresay the governing bodies would still be turning a blind eye!
"Yet, classic courses are becoming or have become obsolete due to changes in the ball and clubs."

For about 0.1% of golfers. For 99.9% of golfers, current golf courses are plenty long...and 95% of those probably would benefit from playing a shorter tee anyways.
11.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
Stord,

No it wasn't. But I can take a flimsy bit of "evidence" and spin it too.
11.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUnderTheChin

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