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Guan Tianling And The Anchoring Ban 

Derek Lawrenson thinks 14-year-old Guan Tianling's win in the Asia Pacific and subsequent Masters berth using a belly putter should be yet another sign that the governing bodies need to act.

Yes, you’re right, the governing bodies should have snapped this dreadful implement in half at birth. But if you’re in any doubt that it is never too late to do the right thing, then the sight of 14-year-old Guan Tianling winning his spot at the Masters using one of the damn things should convince.

In other words, the future stars are now not even bothering learning the complexities of putting with orthodox equipment, and why should they when this form of legalized cheating offers such an easy way out?
The Royal and Ancient and the United States Golf Association have seen the future, and know that if they don’t act now a conventional putter in another decade will be about as common as a persimmon driver.

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Reader Comments (18)

"Legalized cheating"???
Military intelligence?
Jumbo Shrimp?
Honest politician?

Golf Journalist?
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat Burke
Derek please show as much anger about the ball and you will be doing everyone a favour. Hefty stands on a Par 3 on Sunday 197yds and hits a smooth 8 iron that nearly lands in the hole on the full. Dont think the Belly Putter is the real issue Derek.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
"will be about as common as a persimmon driver"-the most relevant comment I've read for some time.The Rules makers should act now before that ever happens.
The fact that it is not the most pressing equipment issue is irrelevant.It is one of the issues and it should be addressed.
The long putter issue isn’t the biggest issue facing golf today but it may be the easiest one to solve. That's why the authorities should act without further delay. Slowing down the ball is a higher priority but fixing that may not be as simple.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
@Ivan-I agree!
The sentence "about as common as a persimmon driver" is what should be grabbing everyone's attention.
@Walkie Talkie Banks

You beat me to it but yes, finally a voice of reason with a statement that should send chills down everyone's back......

"about as common as a persimmon driver''

@Pat Burke

Always great to see a little Carlin reference in the morning to put a smile on my face. Thanks.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I don't buy this argument that a problem should not be fixed because there are other bigger problems out there. Phase it out starting NOW!
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan
I used one of those Swing Shirts as an experiment during a round two weeks ago - I tied my lowest round of the year by essentially "anchoring" with the rest of the clubs in my bag.

We had a debate after the round. It could be argued that it is just an odd piece of clothing and not explicitly a swing aid. If belly anchoring is legal, then a form of arm anchoring should be legal. Why the arbitrary line?

I actually felt pretty good shooting the low score with my form of "legalized" cheating.

The bottom line is that they need to ban all forms of anchoring as soon as possible because it really isn't "golf"
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
14 year-old wins with a broom? This is truly an absurd phenomenon and it needs to be stopped post haste.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
sgolfer--It is the truth that keeping your trailing elbow close to your body(scraping your belt) will tighten up the swing and add power. That shirt does it.

Your observations are noteworthy. Thanks.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
"Putting is a very individual art form. To inhibit a golfer's style would take some fun out of the game, that's not why we make the rules."

-- David Fay --

"I think such a ruling (banning anchoring while putting) could result could result in a bunch of disgruntled golfers. We need positive developments in golf. If we really want to grow the game, eliminating long and belly putters just seems to be the wrong way to go".

-- Chip Lutz --

(Lutz is a top senior amateur player, certainly has more credibility than Lawrenson)
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Is it true that Keegan Bradley will sue if they ban the Belly Putter ? Surely not. How can someone sue against a rules decision and how would his felow Pros feel about him doing such a thing. I think this could be more interesting than the whole belly debate.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
to get around the rule, one could "anchor" the putter as he does his pre-shot routine, then just before he takes his stroke he barely moves the putter off his body. The rule might be unenforceable because in this situation, one can't be sure if, during the stroke, the putter is in contact with the stomach, sternum, etc.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commentertom
tom, one can putt with a great deal of the ''feel'' of the belly putter by practice.

Using a split grip ( the hands, not an actual pair of grips, though that could be used....I would recommend an extra long conventional putter grip)

The player putts with the lower hand moving and the upper hand hinged at the wrist , and the arm stationary. It works and it is not anchoring nor is it a long putter.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
"The rule might be unenforceable because in this situation, one can't be sure if, during the stroke, the putter is in contact with the stomach, sternum, etc."
This may result in my fear being realized, that golf will go the way of football, with video review to determine if the putter was, in fact, in contact with the stomach, sternum, etc. (I suppose that they could use that slow-motion Biz-Hub camera thing for the review. )
I again suggest, allow only one grip on a club, with that grip being no longer than 12-14 inches. I'd wager that few players would be interested in employing a stroke that regularly required placing a hand on a grip-less shaft.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom T.
This is only a problem as it relates to good players. Have you seen a hack use one? They wave that thing around more then a beauty queen riding in a parade.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
The author is an old white male who desperately tries to keep everything as it always was. You are probably happy medical science is not governed by people like yourself. If it was, leuchemia would still be treated with leaches.....
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSweden
COME on what about hybrids they don't come close to resembling a 3,4 or 5 iron which are much harder to hit. If throng putter goes so must hybrids .
11.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRDBell

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