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Azinger: ''It's OK for manufacturers to figure out game improvement. But if a player figures it out, we're going to ban it?''

Paul Azinger laments the forthcoming anchoring ban and tells Doug Ferguson the backstory of how he stumbled on the idea of bracing the putter against the belly.

What befuddles him is the advancements in equipment over the last 20 years, particularly with golf clubs. He referred specifically to the Great Big Bertha driver, which at the time looked enormous and had a big sweet spot. Azinger was only partially joking when he said that club now looks like a 4-wood.

''It's OK for manufacturers to figure out game improvement,'' Azinger said. ''But if a player figures it out, we're going to ban it?''

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Reader Comments (23)

My lord. I can't believe I'm about to say this about Paul Azinger...but he's (gulp!) right.

Wow, that was really hard to say.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Urann
What will they do about currently legal side saddle putting when some of the anchorers try and use that? It looks far more odd and not in the spirit of the game etc etc than belly putting which is scarcely noticeable to a casual viewer.
In my golf shop today (in Malaysia) there were no long putters for sale- clearly it's not a massive problem world wide and needs no attention.
Players don't have the same lawyers or accounting of research and development and tooling investments they must write off.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
There is nothing wrong with players figuring out how to make the game easier and more enjoyable for the millions of recreational golfers. In fact, there are organized groups to champion those good ideas (and there are some good ones), and they will embrace (or maybe just brace) the long putters and anything remotely similar. It's been highlighted on this blog before.

But it's not golf.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Technology aside, the argument is against an act that is a golf hinge, not a golf swing.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
Why now?
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Better late than never.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Who are we to tell Judge Smails that he can't kick the ball out from behind a tree? He was interfered with! Don't penalize him just because he found a way to improve his game.

It's not an equipment issue.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoger
2 very inciteful thoughts in one thread... the description of the anchored putt as a ''golf hinge'', not a ''golf swing.''. Good call, Jeff!

An Ivan Morris answers the question that burns in DTF's soul...''why now?'' BETTER LATE THAN NEVER! Go Ivan!
11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Whats a golf hinge?
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Clayman
Rather than once again launch into my usual harangue regarding the pros and cons of the anchored putter can we at least get one thing straight? Paul Azinger is NOT the "inventor" or "creator" of the Belly Putter. Okay, he may have figured it out on his own but the putter anchored in the gut was first used by Paul Runyan in the 1930's and later by Runyan disciple and PGA Tour player Chuck Courtney in the 60's.

Right now, SI's "" has a headline crediting Azinger as the "creator" of the belly putter. Sorry: NOT TRUE.

Okay. I'm better now.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
SI stands for "silly." My father cancelled the family subscription decades ago, and I haven't paid any attention to it since. I've got Paul Runyan's book upstairs, and you're absolutely right about his adoption of belly anchoring.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
Anything Azinger says is always twisted by his contempt for rules and regulations. He's an idiot not worth listening too.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIanB
Paul Azinger is to golf what Al Gore was to the internet.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDJ
Whats a golf hinge?

Youtube - Miller Barber
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWog
surprised he didnt blame Obama
11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Mike - I know, right? I have to lie down for a bit now.

11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterca1879
That is the first time he has said something with which I could agree or even give some respect. I'm sure it will be short lived.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJerryG
@ Adam Clayton

Assuming you have complete knowledge of what a ''golf swing'' is, then I only need say that a ''golf hinge'' is the motion of the anchored club- called so correctly by Jeff, (a man who should be more identifiable like ''Jeff Doe'', or ''Jeff Doh!''. as his naming of the illegal action will long be used. Or maybe ''Jeff's Law'' would give due just the right amount......

Now, unlike Azinger, I am not going to claim the ''golf hinge'' as''digsouth's discovery'' and say that I ''discovered'' the ''hinge'' just because I am making such a ''ta do'' about it- though if history should be so kind as to giving me ''credit'' for my attempts here at popularizing the name, I would be forever correcting the blurb, and noting that history was actually wrong --I din't(sic) do it, Jeff did - simply..... so.....cruel.

But back to the description- the ''golf hinge'' is a motion of the club where the ENTIRE shaft moves with the fulcrum at the (grip's) end.

For the simple minded (no one in this conversation so far) who say that the club is held at ''the grip's end, yes, but the fulcrum/ the hinge is at the arm's attachment to the body, an area called - the shoulder.

So to restate--

''The golf hinge is the swinging motion of the club where the ENTIRE shaft swings with the fulcrum at the (grip's) end.''

(caps used in the absence of italics)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

As Always,

11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
digger, did Moe Norman's move fulfill the criteria?
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
There was a guy 20 years ago or more who devised a way to never miss 4 foot putts and wrote a book about it. Can't remember exactly what it was. I seem to recall he bent over at right angles and anchored the putter to his chest and held the normal putter with his right hand at the clubhead hand towards the hole. He offered to bet with any pro for a big sum- first to miss pays up. Does anyone else remember this?
Its the same like...if you change the hole two times bigger...yes its getting easier to play golf..but do you still think its golf? and is it still enjoyable? the same with long and anchored might as well bring robot to putt...and you can enjoy the rest of the game right?
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAwan
DTFer..... Del, are you referring to his full swing? If so, his swing is no different than anyone else's. I have not seen a video of his putting,but will check it out.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

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