From Steve Orme's report on Tom Watson, longtime traditionalist and passionate supporter of the Rules of Golf, sounds open to bifurcation after seeing how the belly putter kept his son interested in the game.
Asked if the USGA and R&A are on the right track, Watson said: "Yes, but I say that with mixed emotions.
"(A broomstick or belly putter stroke) is not a stroke of golf ... but it makes it easier to play.
"My son Michael, with a conventional putting stroke he couldn't make it from two feet half the time but he went to a belly putter and he makes everything.
"The game is fun to him now, so there lies the danger. Do we take the ability for people to have fun away?"
"Do we go to two sets of rules, where some people can use (long putters) in certain competitions but the PGA Tour maybe can't?
**Ron Kroichick talks to Watson's pal and former USGA president Sandy Tatum, who does not agree.
“I think it’s a move in the right direction,” Tatum said. “What’s been going on is such a serious departure from the fundamental requirements of playing the game. … To watch these guys, with these paddles and other things, it kind of reminds me of the croquet stroke.
“The long putter, in my un-humble opinion, doesn’t qualify as a putter.”