Feb
7
2012
Woot! Tiger Wants to Ban Belly Putters Too!
By Conor Nagle under PGA Tour

Tiger sizes up an old-fashioned putt at the 2010 US Open

Further to yesterday’s announcement of the USGA and R&A’s decision to reconsider the legality of putting techniques based on “anchoring” (ie. the bracing of the putter grip against the body), 14-time major champion Tiger Woods used his pre-tournament press conference at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am to join the lobby in favour of an outright ban.

Asked by Wei Under Par’s own Stephanie Wei if he felt being able to putt without anchoring the club against the body was a fundamental part of the game, Woods responded in the affirmative, saying:

“I’ve never been a fan of [anchoring]. I believe it’s the art of controlling the body and club and swinging the pendulum motion. I believe that’s how it should be played. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to that.”

In addition to stating his position on the subject, Woods offered a suggestion as to how the rules of golf could be amended to preclude the controversial technique used by a growing number of PGA Tour professionals, including USPGA champion Keegan Bradley and FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas.

“I’ve talked to Peter Dawson [head of the R&A] about this for a number of years, going back and forth over how we could word [a change to the rules].

“My idea was to have it so that the putter would be equal or less than the shortest club in your bag. And I think with that we’d be able to get away from any type of belly anchoring. You can still anchor the putter like Bernhard Langer did – against the form. But that’s still the art of swinging the club at the same time.

“But I think you can get away from the belly or the long putter by that type of wording, whether or not they do it or not. And Peter’s looked into it for a  number of years, trying to get it to work, and you can actually measure everybody’s sand wedge and putter before you go out and play, that’s another thing, too.”

What do you think of Tiger’s solution? Is it capable of being implemented? And if so, should it be?

Comments below.

Conor Nagle

*Ed. note: My story for golf.com is now live — check it out. –SW