Monday, December 03, 2012

Need to Find a New Putting Stroke?

The R&A and USGA have tentatively banned the use of a putter anchored on one's body, effective January 1, 2016. So if you put your putter against your belly or chest and have a fulcrum point, then that's considered an anchor and will be prohibited. You can brace the putter grip against your wrist, like Matt Kuchar, and that will still be allowed. You can also still use the longer putters, but you have to freely swing the putter without it being against your body at a fulcrum point.

The rationale for the ban is a putting stroke is supposed to be a swing and without an anchoring point. I understand the rationale, but I wonder why the R&A and USGA waited so long to ban this style of putting if they felt that a putting stroke should be a swing. Former Tour Pro and past Ryder Captain, Paul Azinger, used the now-banned putting style in the 90's and the governing boards were silent for the past two decades.

Keegan Bradley was heckled by a spectator and called a cheater during Tiger's tournament on Sunday. Today the USGA release a statement that Keegan and others using that style are not cheaters and are allowed under the rules to have that putting stroke.

What to do if you use that putting style and are playing business-golf? Since anchor putting will be banned in 2016, you'll need to practice using a short putter. And when you play business-golf, you're not trying to shoot your personal best round. So I suggest if you're playing a client or prospect who leans toward being a traditionalist, I'd use your short putter. You don't want to give the impression or hint of being a cheater to a client or prospect. This way you avoid the possibility of damaging your business relationship.

If weather permits, go enjoy a round of winter golf!

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