Long Putter Use Way Down Through West Coast Swing

Jason Sobel has obtained Darrell Survey results showing long putter use is way down in 2013 (they do not track whether players anchor). So far the 94 who have used the long wand made 61.7 percent of cuts and scored nine top-10s, slightly above the average.

Broken down, the data shows a decrease at each event: Hyundai Tournament of Champions (from seven to five); Sony Open (24 to 21); Humana Challenge (30 to 18); Farmers Insurance Open (31 to 13); Waste Management Phoenix Open (25 to 11); AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (25 to 10); and Northern Trust Open (33 to 16).

With most of the success coming for long putter users coming in Hawaii, Sobel says:

Yes, the game’s governing bodies still must determine whether an anchored putt should be defined as a legal stroke, but any notion that this is greatly affecting the game at its uppermost level has so far been summarily dismissed by the statistics.

Reading that, I realize the "no competitive advantage" talking point really is problematic either way it is used as an argument.

Those claiming it--while ignoring the major championship wins and improved putting by several players in majors where pressure is greatest--must have a hard time keeping a straight face.

But to also claim there is simply no advantage--that it can be "summarily dismissed"--helps the governing bodies say, okay, we do not see this as a traditional stroke, you say there is no advantage, everyone with back issues can keep using a long putter, so what's the problem again?