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Wednesday
Jan022013

''It was a pure reaction to Keegan and Ernie and Webb."

Strong words from belly putterer anchorer Carl Pettersson in a story by Doug Ferguson.  Pettersson talks about the reasons for the anchoring ban, the lack of outreach by Commissioner Hawaiian Shirt and Pettersson's lack of interest in calling the USGA's Mike Davis back because it's a fruitless conversation.

"'It feels a bit like a witch hunt to me,'' Pettersson said. ''It was a pure reaction to Keegan and Ernie and Webb. They keep harping on the younger generation using them, but I think they're going to ban it because it looks bad. But you have strong arguments from other players, too.''

His arguments against the ban are pretty strong, but this one loses steam when you see how many young players are putting belly-style, reinforcing the USGA/R&A case that it will become the way every elite player putts within a decade.

''There's no argument that it's a better way to putt because then everybody would be using it,'' Pettersson said. ''If it was easy, everybody on the PGA Tour would be using it. So I don't know where they got that from. It's just a different way of putting.''

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Reader Comments (20)

Suck it up Carl.

Even you say it looks bad, but what you mean is it does not look like someone playing GOLF. The reaction to the 3 you mention is because the youth's reaction is so GD copycat, and it is not a different way to putt, it is a training aid.

If it is a 2 stroke penalty to touch a piece of grass in the backswing, dependant on it being dead or alive, attached or loose, then the penalty for anchoring a club should be more severe, because IT IS ILLEGAL and it is finally going to be enforced,.... and the POTUS reason for this long delay WILL COME OUT- count on it.

Happy New Year Carl. Have a banana split, go get a Ping Anser and play golf. It's easy. I wish you well!
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
It doesn't matter if it is easier than standard putting. It doesn't matter if it has produced better results for those that use it vs. those that don't use it. I would argue that the true comparison is does it produce better results for those that use it vs. what they otherwise would have achieved had they not used it? And of course the answer to that is yes, or else why else use it ? The key issue is that it is based on a stroke that is not consistent with the historical (undefined) view of a stroke. That is what is being banned, and that is why they are banning it. In the past this was not viewed as necessary because the the combination of peer pressure and inertia kept many young players and active Tour pros from taking it up, but that has vanished thanks to the Keegans and others like him. Many people have tried to equate the use of hybrids, or cavity back irons or any other "game improvement" innovations (or whatever you want to call them), but none of these things have resulted in or been the product of a fundamentally different action or swing as the long putter has.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Yeah, that's right Poppin' Fresh. It a witch hunt and they are coming to get you. It's a secret effort to eradicate the tour of all the plump Swedish redneck types.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
"this one loses steam when you see how many young players are putting belly-style, reinforcing the USGA/R&A case that it will become the way every elite player putts within a decade."

Can you support that statement?
01.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrier of Fact
Whatever happened to rational back and forth dialogue. Why the anger toward a guy that is not from the Keegan school. Relax and discuss, you guys are better than that.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterskippy
"this one loses steam when you see how many young players are putting belly-style, reinforcing the USGA/R&A case that it will become the way every elite player putts within a decade."

Can you support that statement?----

No, because anyone whose been to an AJGA event, or a college meet can tell you that kids aren't taking it up in droves.

And the ones who are still suck with the putter for the most part.

K
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterkenoneputt
Wow, Skippy-- I hope you don't think I am angry, especially at a guy just stating his opinion. I just am tiring (already) of the after the fact defenses of anchoring, vs swinging.

A preemptive presentation/ ''plea'' to the ''powers'' may have sold the deal. The problem was that there was no sale to be made; it was not a stroke.

So Carl is whining at this point, and that is annoying.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I coach a small D3 team in Philly. Every once in a while we see a college player putting with a long or belly but not too often and they sometimes will switch back and forth to a 35 incher. The statement in question is difficult to support at the college level. Might be a different story on the AJGA anf IJGT trail though?
01.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterArdmoreari
Guys like Petterson should be damn thankful they got away with things as long as they did.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
Hey Carl, I may be mistaken but usga and r&a announced they'd be making a call on long putter earlier last year - before web and Ernie won.

Mix in a salad every now and again and you might be able to make a stroke without your new 34 inch putter crammed in your gut.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBouje
After a well rested (and fed) holiday break where I didn't think one iota of the anchoring issue (Rory's shiny new clothes and clubs are ever present in my addled mind...'I bet Hackel is hoping Rors wears a tank top since he has a thing for young muscular arms or some other metrosexual fetish ;-))...Oh the topic...anyways, I am more than convinced anchored strokes should be taken behind the old barn and killed with a dull pitchfork.

Reason is simple: In what other part of golf is the grip end of the club purposely fixed so that it stays in the same place?? In any basic construction/engineering field, that PHYSICAL and SOLID contact point would be readily ID'd as a mechanical hinge and/or fulcrum...I'm sure some gearheads could throw in alot more mechanical part analogies.

For way too long, some pros have been allowed to only control one end of the club...not two like the game was originally intended to be payed. Chests and Bellies weren't even in the ream of imagination. I can't blame em though, for playing under a "gray" part of the rules that may or may not have had the 'wink-wink-nudge-nudge' tacit approval of the white shoe boys running the USGA (and...I'm kinda with digs on this...perhaps mostly thanks to a former prez who had the wherewithal to tell the USGA to go pound sand....I love a good conspiracy as the next guy!!!)
01.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnycz
Enough said Dig and Fyg! You guys are spot on. They are trying to fix a thing that should have been addressed as soon as the anchoring started.
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Good point, Digs. But let me add that I'm so tired of the standard excuse from the pro - If it's a better way to putt everybody would be doing it. No, but if you've never had or have lost the ability to make the makeable under pressure it is. On the amateur side every plus, scratch and low single digit I know did so for that very reason. Bad backs and y-word notwithstanding. As for the rule change driving the less proficient away or causing them to lose interest in the game, BS. The real issues have been discussed ad nauseam. Besides, it always seems like the guy getting the strokes struggles with the long clubs and putts like a demons. At least against me ;-)
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
FYG and Viz cut to the heart of the matter: the length of time they were allowed to get away with it. I really don't have a problem with Carl voicing his feelings at this point, even if it is whining, the 'REAL' blame hear lies at the feet of the ruling bodies who didn't jump all over this right away with some conviction and say "no no, you can't anchor the putter in that fashion." To let it go on for so long without taking any action is laughable, and then to have such long periods before the new rules kick in is a joke as well - IMO. They let too many guys spend too much time working on and perfecting an anchored stroke, then they tell them it's going to be illegal. Some of those players have a right to be pissed, not because they are taking anchoring away, but because they took so long to finally get around to it.
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
The USGA and R&A had a two month discussion of the anchoring issue...in 1989. So it's not the first time it has been on the radar.
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
@PressAgent

The ruling bodies ironically enough are like Congress...It takes time to finally see the light LOL!!!
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
@ DMac: That guy used to beat me like a drum. Nickname was "Dink, Dink, Dink, PING!" 200-yard slice off the tee with an oversize (ha!) Wilson Staff Killer Whale (made of wood!), 180-yard slice with a long club in the general direction of the green, wedge of whatever distance required to inside 10 feet, PING with an Anser! Nice to have as a partner. Drove opponents nuts. No one gave him any strokes. But no one got strokes in that group, period. Show up with what you got and pay your money.

Anyway, if you fail to act for 20-30 years, you lose the right to act. Joe Dey might have had suspect motives when he came down on Sam Snead, but he did it quickly and cleanly. And yeah, I generally agree with the anti-anchoring caucus. But I also agree with Bernie Sanders a lot. So there is that.
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Anyone continuing to play with this fungo bat of a golf club is just rubbing it in at this point. Lord, let it drop like a lead anchor in Kapalua. Please.
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
KLG - what motvies did Dey have re SNead?
01.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
All I know about this is what I read:

Snead was seen putting croquet-style at Augusta. Jones said ,"That isn't right!" Probably, "Goddam it, that isn't right!" Dey, who was Executive Director of the USGA at the time (1934-1968), found somehow that straddling the line was against the rules. End of croquet-style putting for Snead. The subtext is that Jones and Dey were close friends, while Jones and Snead were nothing more than cordial to one another. There is no Snead Memorial at ANGC AFAIK even though he won the Masters three times along with his 80-something other wins...One does wonder what Jones would have said, or not, if it had been Hogan. Not that Hogan would have ever done such a thing. Perish the thought! We are more likely to have Digs find the "smoking gun" on the USGA, Papa Bush, and the long putter than to find out this particular truth. But it does imply that the USGA can move quickly and decisively. Or could at one time.
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG

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