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« More From Clark & Scott... | Main | PGA Of America Rules Out Crooked Stick; Rota Of Muggy, Middle-American Major Venues Reduced To Four »

Anchorers Clark & Scott To Gov Bods: Just The Facts Please

Doug Ferguson gets Tim Clark, lead anchorer, to speak about his appearance at the Torrey Pines player meeting where the proposed anchoring ban snowballed from done deal to PGA Tour opposed.

"What we have here is a different method of putting," Clark said. "It's not wrong. It's not against the values of the game. It's still a stroke. People who come out and say, 'It's not a stroke, you don't get nervous,' I can't believe that. I've been using it for 15 years. I get nervous. I miss putts under pressure. Putting essentially will always come down to 99 percent brain and mindset and confidence.

"If I felt I was cheating, I wouldn't be using it."

So what exactly changes when the putter end gets moved an inch away from touching your chest? Apparently a lot.

Adam Scott begged for mercy. And facts.

"Now we're making rules for the betterment of the game based on zero evidence? Incredible," Scott said.

"What did they think when they allowed it?" the Australian added. "You're dealing with professional athletes who are competitive, who want to find better ways. ... What do they think when they've got super talented golfers putting in thousands of hours of practice with a long putter, short putter, sand wedge, whatever? It was just a matter of time. They're going to get good."

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Reader Comments (28)

Well just get good at not anchoring then Adam.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
These two cry babies need to man up and adjust to the new order.

Wasn't Scott's star on the wane before he took up the long putter? If so, then he can hardly claim that it offered no advantage to him.

It's also extremely unfair to blame current regulators for a decision (well, more a turning of the blind eye) that happened on the watch of a previous generation of administrators. Where I do think the current regulators have stuffed up is in not defining exactly what they meant by a comment period thereby giving false hope to people like Tim Clark.
Yes, what is lost in all this is that everyone can still use the same club(s). No problem. You just can't press it against your body. It's not that complicated.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrant
You want facts Adam Scott? Look at your Strokes Gained Putting stats the last year you had a short putter and the years since. That's a fact.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
Funny it comes out now that Clark was a College All American using the short putter. So the idea that it is medically impossible for him to use it is junk. Uncomfortable maybe, impossible, obviously not.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
I believe the USGA and R&A were trrying to be ''nice'' by not presenting ''facts'', but it would be great to see the ''fact request'' end up with Adam's ''before and after'' used as evidence of the effect the long putter has.

Ram tat broom down his throat.

And Tim, bless you, but for the life of me, how can you you swing a regular club with your ''condition'', and not use a conventional putter? Show me.

Adam was well on the ay to a career in modeling, when he elected to give the broom a sweep, and I would miss seeing his virtually perfect swing: Clark, you are a nice guy, but...., and as to Bradley and Simpson, AMF, screen door.
Oh to have Adam's problems....
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterWillie
I think we need to focus on improvements generally by all the pros not just one individual. Just because it may have helped Adam Scott that doesn't mean we should ban the putter. To give you an example, Tiger Woods probably uses a low lofted driver that I, as a 9 handicap couldn't even hit, so does it follow that we should ban Tiger's driver because he saw improvement using it. We need to look at this from a broad spectrum and not foccus on individual players.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve A
So is Adam Scott willing to support rolling back the ball, driver size and all the other things that FACTS clearly shown have mad the game easier. I assume his argument will then morph into to something else since the FACTS are against him.

He is the last person in the world who needs to be asking for proof that the long putter / anchoring is an advantage. The best proof out there is ADAM SCOTT pre and post belly putter.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark
If Clark, Scott, and other anchorers had any sense, they would focus on trying to establish as a fact that while anchoring might help for short putts, it actually hurts or causes problems on long putts or lag putts or whatever. So there is a tradeoff. Isn't that the case with cavity backed irons - pros trade accuracy to some extent for "feel" or being able to shape the ball flight a bit ? As a result, many pros don't use cavity backs - they don't want to make that trade-off. Back to the putters, if they could establish that, that could go a long way to making their case. I still think they would lose because at the end of the day, it is about the definition of the stroke.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Steve A I agree with your comment. Clark, Scott, Webb, Bradley all will justify their positions to keep the long putter. The human mind is great at rationalization. Maybe professional golfers are even better at it than the rest of us. They aren't giving up successful careers quietly.

I expect more whining, not less!
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt H
IF the ban goes through, and that is a HUGE IF, then these guys will have to make a change by 2016 I think. As for right now, contrary to what a bunch of you are saying, they can continue to use their long putters, anchored to their bodies all they like.

I have to admit, this is getting BORING.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Good point Adam. Ya better get started with that practice thing.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterP-dog
agree with Steve A, evidence has to have positive correlation across the entire group...approving long putters/anchoring in the past added to the problem irrespective of the rationale of the past gave your blessing on the method many times in the past, you had your chance...

loved Azinger pointing out that a long putter is not going to help Adam Scott putt good down the stretch...ZING! errrr
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUmp
Their response should be this:

If the rule makers think this is best for the game, then I will support it. The game is more important than any individual.
Don't worry about me, I have three years to adjust. I am confident I will figure out something to continue playing the game I love.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLynn S.
Mr. Steve A.

There is absolutely nothing you are saying that makes any sense. A driver with different lofts is still just a driver- now you can have a driver that is variable by 4*, from a low loft to a high.

Sorry. Just not a vry good example.
Steve A --

Your example is of Tiger's driver is irrelevant, since Adam, Tim, Keegan and Webb can keep their long putters as long as they want, just like Tiger can keep his 9 degree driver and Phil can keep his 64 degree wedge.

And as for Adam not being able to putt well down the stretch with a long putter: Adam wasn't even anywhere near the lead in majors "down the stretch" before the long putter (4 top 10's and 14 missed cuts in 39 majors before he used it at the 2011 Masters and began a string of 4 top 10's (including 2 seconds) in 8 events) and, anyway, he didn't lose the Open because he missed putts. He lost the Open because he hits pulls with his long clubs (a la Jim Furyk) under pressure.

Those are "facts".
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
The argument that most professional golfers make who are for the ban is that when the club is anchored, it is not "swung" (which is true in a sense). The goal of any good putting stroke is to turn your body and your putter into a pendulum and it is much easier to do when the club is anchored to your chest or stomach.

When you're at the professional level, the difference between being a Top-10 golfer and a "missed cut" golfer is generally an average of just one or two strokes per round. Even the slightest advantage can make a difference in an entire career. For the advocates against the ban, the evidence is there. Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Adam Scott, ect. If this trend continues, there's no doubt the ban will take effect.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina Warner
Not a HUGE IF, the ban is going through.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg

And Today would be soon PA said, this is getting (past) boring.
Methinks thou dost protest too much.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGarland
The reference to Tiger's driver was interesting. What if "as a condition of professional competition" the maximum club to be used on tee shots was limited to the loft, length and head size of a typical 3 wood? That would take away the 20-30 yards or so everyone would like to see disappear. Non-pros would still have drivers to use (and they would). Neat and simple, except that I do not suppose the tours would ever agree.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ
@ Lynn S. - very good!

Even disregarding the tenor of most of the above comments, Scott's and Clark's remarks come off as whining.
Though I feel badly for the lads, at some point, assuming the PGA Tour eventually concurs with the USGA ban, they
will have to man up and adjust to a non-anchoring method. I think attitude is critically important in successfully dealing with
issues like this.

Get busy living, or get busy dying.
Andy Dufresne, "The Shawshank Redemption"
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
Let's just clean house; ban the tin-head driver, graphite shafts, 5-layer solid-core golf balls, 60-degree wedges, face-balanced putters, over-sided putting grips (and the pistol-grip is still banned?), cavity-back irons, Investment-cast irons, cross-handed & saw-grip putting grips just to start. Heck, Steroids, high-tech video golf instruction, hot golf balls, square grooves, graphite shafts, and tin-head drivers all have made the game easier for more players than the broom or belly putter ever thought of helping. As a professional golfer I personally don't give a hoot if the guy I am playing uses the broom, the belly, the face-balanced putter, the hot ball, the 460cc driver, L wedge (64?) long I can make the choice what is best for me, get on with it. I can only control my game, not his. I truly don't think the broom or belly helps a guy's nerves or guts. Might help him mentally. Then prove it. But it won't slow his heartbeat down. It won’t make his hands stop sweating on the 18th tee with water down both sides of the fairway. And it took the USGA 35 years to figure out they don't think it is a legal stroke? And we want them in charge? GMAB. Where in the hell have they been? Working on pace of play? Or changing par 5’s to par 4’s and par 4’s to Par 3’s!? Too many Blue Blazered Amateurs telling professional golfers how the game should be played. The Suits lost control of the game a long, long time ago. Let them tend to the museum and the GHIN system. Gold knows they have more than they can handle with both of those. Now where did I put those Beta Blockers?
I have big respect for you, and know your involvement in the golf business.

I am against the ban. Mostly, another of those that believes that chasing even a small number from the game
is a bad idea.
How, in your opinion, does the ban improve, or help the game?
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCeloso
Even Ernie said it makes putting easier and that he will keep on using it untill they ban it!!
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlan
If the anchoring of putting made such a huge difference in strokes gained and putting stats improving, why is everyone not using it? I believe Bernard Langer used the long putter for more than 25 years now. The R and A should focus on more relevant stuff like changing the rule about fixing spike marks on greens.

I would love to see the long putters and belly putters continue.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenk
Interesting that Ernie was #1 in the world using a standard length putter and Adam Scott got as high as #2 in the OWGR with a standard length putter and neither will ever come close to those rankings again using an anchored putter.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan

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