Twitter: GeoffShac
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden
« Will Guan Make Condi A Masters Sidebar? | Main | "Jim Flick was a teacher's teacher." »

Adam Scott Rebuts Tiger's Putter Length Theory

Patrick Johnston of Reuters quotes Adam Scott addressing Tiger Woods' known but hardly outspoken stance on putter length as it relates to the anchoring debate.

The American believes putter length should be capped and be equal or less than the shortest club in the golfer's bag. Scott was not a fan of that idea.

"His voice carries some weight on the issue, a lot of players have been quite outspoken about it and certainly when Tiger Woods speaks about it generates a lot of interest," the 32-year-old said of arguably the world's greatest golfer.

"But I'm not necessarily sure his views on what the putter should be are correct at all, I don't think the putter should be the shortest club in the bag, that has never been a rule in golf so I don't know why it should be now."

In Tiger's defense, he's only talked about the matter when asked. He's hardly been a crusader. At least publicly.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (35)

Scotty must need to use the broomstick or else he wouldn't care if it was banned--it obviously helps him.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Tiger has a bully pulpit in golf (& he knows it). When he says something publicly, stuff tends to happen.

And he gets paid way to much money by nike to speak out against the ball
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
While we are at it why not limit everyone to a Bullseye or 8802?
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Ray Floyd's putter was the length of his 4 iron I believe.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
What does it mean to say that the putter must be the shortest club in the bag? Does it mean that if your ball is on the green you must use the shortest club in your bag to hit it? If not, then just call your (oversized) putter your driver and claim that you're putting with your driver.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterwilliam
hmm, to be fair, I think Tiger's shortest club in the bag idea came from his desire to figure out a way to end anchoring (and was clearly misguided), rather then a real desire to control the length of putters.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
The shortest club idea is not a good one.

It seems like TW just threw that out there without giving it full consideration.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
william, well played!
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I love the long putter!. What is wrong with a little anchoring? Sure it's strange - like Jim Furyk's swing.

There's nobody out there with a broomstick putter that's a great putter. I'm not sure about the belly putter but I think the best putters use the traditional version.

The only benefit I see from this potential rule change is that the USGA and R&A may tackle the ball and driver head size next.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt H.
@Matt H - its not that anyone is a great putter or not, but some, such as Scottie here, are much better than they would have otherwise been. Ban them.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
golf is a game of skill, nerve, artistry and imagination.
We have taken a lot of the skill, artistry and imagination away already.Lets not remove nerve a well.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchico
the simplest solution is to apply the same rules to putters as to other clubs; specifically, the putter shaft has to be straight (not bent) and must connect at the end of the putter (not in the middle). if putters cannot be center-balanced, none of these belly or long putter methods are effective.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnimal Kingdom
<< its not that anyone is a great putter or not, but some, such as Scottie here, are much better than they would have otherwise been. >>

And my response to that is: "Yeah, so what?" So what if a few yippy pros (and a few thousand amateurs) putt a LITTLE better with a longer, anchored putter? You, Geoff, and a number of others give no cogent reason for a ban except, I presume, that "it doesn't look good."

Well, boo hoo. Until great putters become greater by never missing inside 12 feet and making almost everything from 20 or 30, the idea that an anchored putter is "bad for the game" is nothing but hooey-filled claptrap.

Let's get the USGA to do something that will actually HELP the game: rein in distance via the ball and what-was-already-illegal Spring Effect and you'll save money on course expansion, course maintenance and thus collaterally, you'll have faster play and lower green fees. (The two biggest obstacles in the way of golf's survival.)

Banning longer putters will rank right up there on the list of Momentous Decisions with the genius move to "fix" the grooves.

If instituted, they say the ban will become effective in 2016. My wish is that EVERY major and DOZENS of important events, both professional and amateur are won with longer putters.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
AK, the Bullseye and Anser don't connect at the end. Do they really need banning?
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead tell how a different ball will lower maintenance costs, lower green fees and speed up play
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuck
Ben S.

Wow! A bit of PASSION (caps sub for italics) in our writing this afternoon! Did you and the guys slurp down a couple of extra margaritas?
The problem is that we are on the verge of ''making the regular putter go the way of the persimmon driver'' as was so shockingly stated earlier today.

Do you really want that?
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
<< tell how a different ball will lower maintenance costs, lower green fees and speed up play. >>

Really? Okay, here we go.

A shorter ball and a muffled driver will immediately eliminate the need for longer new courses and expanding current layouts. Shorter golf courses will mean less land required and thus reduced upkeep by maintenance crews. Shorter golf courses means less time spent ON the golf course resulting in faster play. (Also: amateurs won't be constantly thinking "I can hit this par 5 in two so I'm going to wait until that group gets off the green.") Shorter golf courses = less upkeep = fewer crew members and land costs = reduced green fees.

And about this: << The problem is that we are on the verge of ''making the regular putter go the way of the persimmon driver'' as was so shockingly stated earlier today. >>

Yeah, so what? If every golfer was wielding an anchored putter, I'm doubting overall scoring wouldn't change one bit. Perhaps your jittery grandpa loses his case of the yips and now wants to get out there a few more times each summer. That's bad?

Again: If the anchored putter was a decided advantage then EVERYBODY WOULD BE USING IT. Many try the long stick and find that it doesn't help.... they still putt like crap. (Ask Phil M.) Even that lyin' cheatin' Adam Scott, whose game was Totally Turned Around by the long putter barely moved an inch in the putting stats. The two top cheaters in the Strokes Gained category are Carl Petterson at number 20 and Keegan Bradley lists at 28. It's THAT kind of non-dominance that makes a ban necessary?

Please: somebody show me some statistics that say the long putter provides a Measurable Genuine Advantage and I'll change my tune in a microsecond. (Well, by 2016, anyway.)
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle

(don't get to say that often;)
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
This reminds me of the great Sam Snead who attempted to hold the putter croquet stile. The PGA ruled it illegal. Now sixty years later the duffers and wanta bees are asking to use Belly Props and Garden Hoes to roll the ball on the green. If you will study the origin of golf you will find that the intent was to only anchor the grip of the club to the hands and touch no other part of the body,. If Adam scott and all of the other duffers out there can't use the regulation putter that has been used for over 100 years then go home and take up ditch digging or garbage collecting. This whole thing actually started when the biggest cheat in golf, Paul Azinger, Built a belly putter in his garage and was allowed to use it.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLovecinder

That you RLL?

This picture here says you are wrong:

golfcentraldaily (dot) com/2012/02/keegan-bradley-blasts-back-at-tiger-and (dot) html

Hangs in the Riviera clubhouse. What year you figure that's from?
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
If they ban anchoring the putter, is your hand touching your body and not the end of the putter still anchoring the club? Long and belly putters have been used for many decades. It is a ridiculous move if they approve this ban. If they do then the players need to get togetherand boycott tournaments to show they will not let the change go quietly!
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason
<< This whole thing actually started when the biggest cheat in golf, Paul Azinger, Built a belly putter in his garage and was allowed to use it. >>

Not quite. Although Zinger loves to fabricate the tale that he "invented" the belly putter, it's on record that Paul Runyan actually came up with the idea way back in the 1930's. I saw Runyan's protege, touring pro Chuck Courtney, also use one in San Diego when I was a toddler in the 1960's.

Bringing up another good point: if it's been around for more than 70 years and it worked so damn well, then where's the wave of fantastic flatstickers rolling them in from everywhere? I must have missed that.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
ben, the truth of the matter is, and you specifically pointed to this earlier, they just don't like the way it looks.

It's purely an issue of aesthetics.

There is absolutely zero statistical evidence whatsoever that anchoring the putter is a superior method for holing out sooner -- period.

And I still haven't gotten an answer as to why now?
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I have decided to give you the answer. the answer is ''Yes!''. I like the Tracy II, and the Dianna.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
If your going to claim anchored putters are an advantage for mediocre putters than why not let players use things like beta blockers or peds? this is a game off individual talent and performance & if a longer putter helps a player perform then everyone should have an opportunity to level the advantage. Frankly the Usga rarely considers rule changes as it to ams and should not be the body making the rules for the tour as it relates to equipment. all that said I'd like to see the broom stick putter go away while allowing the belly be allowed assuming it's capped at 45 inches. Just my thoughts.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthemerk
The game is hurting because how we insist courses be maintained makes the game too hard and very costly raising the cost and oh yeah it takes too long too, golf like bridge is declining in interest

Maybe like the Republican Party golf has to figure out how to expand its base beyond white dudes
11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
BS....if you think a golf course that is 500 yards shorter will have any impact on the overall maintenance costs, you're not living in the real world. As for amateurs waiting to hit a par 5 in 2, for the most part they will catch up before the end of a round. They were waiting to begin with. Your arguments are BS I'm afraid
11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuck
Tighthead - Good point. The bullseye isn't center-balanced, and I don't think the anser is either, so they don't really "need" to be banned. My point is just that it is the center-balancing that makes long putters feasible (and generally makes putting much easier). Requiring all putter shafts to connect at the end (like with other clubs) is just the simplest, most clear-cut (or bright line) rule I can think of that would solve the problem.
11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnimal Kingdom
Don't ban the long putter ........if it will cause Keegan Bradley to become a hacker :)
11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom
I think the R&A and USGA are just considering the anchoring of the putter. It is pretty hard to decide if a long putter is of any advantage, but actual anchoring of the putter is in breach of rule 14-2 A, physical assistance or protection from the elements. I have noticed that players do have an advantage if they can steady themselves by leaning on the putter, in windy conditiiions.
11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete Robbins
Anchoring the club is akin to using a TEACHING aide plain and simple. I have a plastic thing that attaches to the end of a regular putter (into the hole in the end of the grip) and then has a wide bracket/cradle that one affixes to their upper torso and under the upper is designed to help "anchor" the club to the body and lets the clubhead swing thru...EXACTLY like a belly putter does today.

Add a new condition of competition under local PGAT rules that bans anchoring and defines them as teaching aides and the problem goes away.

Note: I have more of a problem with belly putters than the broomstick Scott least the broomstick forces a golfer to learn a new posture and stance, stroke with only one hand applying power, etc...the belly is nothing but a crutch.

If you don't believe me then just checkout howMarco Dawson uses the belly. I saw on TV a few weeks ago how he starts off by setting the putter behind the ball with both hands, takes BOTH hands OFF the club, and then he leans his body/belly into the shaft/grip like one would prop up a rickety fence in high winds with a metal pole!!!! Now if someone can honestly tell me they could do that with anything OTHER than a fulcrum powered "long" putter then I got some magic beans to sell ya along with a NY bridge.
11.7.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Sorry, but what is funny is that people defend the long putter because it supposedly helps/improves your putting (good or bad). My thought on this is when I see my friends/ or pro's, converting to a long putter makes me chuckle a bit because they think that it makes them a better golfer. If your a beginner or pro, you have a putting stoke regardless of the length. If you suck at putting... practice your short game more than your swings. New technology (longer putter) is getting a little outta hand at this point. Lets use something that should be considered as a training aid on the practice green to help with your putting stroke and keep it there. My final thought on this is if you have to anchor the butt end of the putter... btw, it is a fricken training aid that adds a third point of contact which I believe that you don't need on any other club in the bag, try practicing. For those that converted... did you enjoy spending the money on a training aid that may or may not work for you? Because the manufacturer does dumb ass's!
11.7.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjmac
PAB, didn't commish 'I only utter meaningless statements when I say that I'm being clear' try that with the TW Project?
11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUbb
Ben, what's with the "lying cheating Adam Scott" ? He is a very good golfer who speaks his mind honestly in these issues, contributing to the debate.
11.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterErrol
Considering that my long (broomstick) putter was the first club I ever built, I have plenty to say, but it will all be opinion. What I want to add to the discussion holds some hope out for broomstick putters. As long as there is no assinine length restriction you can use a broomstick putter, and develop a nice stroke, WITHOUT anchoring to your chest or chin. I just grab the end of the putter with my left hand and let it hang (that's a key...don't try to lie the clubhead flat on the ground...ignor the lie angle of the shaft and just let it hang). position your left hand about an inch away from your chest and point your left elbow down the putting line. Grip the clup loosely with your lower hand and putt with the rocking action of your upper body. The chest/chin anchor is replaced by the anchor created by your fairly rigid left hand and arm. It works great. Also, very few golfer "anchor" their broomsticks the same way belly putters are anchored. There is a big difference. I think my new putting method will be legal as long as I can have a 48-52 inch length club in the bag.
12.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris C.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.